Each year in the United States, thousands of people are victims of hacking attacks that involve stealing cryptocurrency. The United States isn’t alone in this problem; every other nation in the world has seen fraud around cryptocurrency in 2020. There are six primary tools that hackers use in order to commit fraud, and it’s important to know what they are in order to lessen the risk of getting scammed.
In July, the Bleeping Computer platform found suspicious activities in the accounts of 2.3 million Bitcoin wallets. Attackers used malware called clipboard hijackers. It operates the user’s clipboard and can replace a copied wallet address with one that belongs to the scammer. This type of threat was predicted by one cryptocurrency analyst in November 2019. It’s one of the most widespread attacks used to get a wallet owner’s identification, information or funds. This accounted for 20% of all malware attacks so far in 2020. Criminals managed to steal more than $9 million of Ethereum with this technique.
Lack of attention
A lack of account owner attention is a common mistake that hackers use in order to steal a wallet owner’s money or personal data. Most people aren’t security professionals. They don’t know a lot of the basics about hardware, apps, operating systems, files, folders and the internet in general. People are lax in their personal responsibility around clicking on email links and using secure passphrases. Human arrogance and inattention are easy for hackers to exploit.
These attacks exponentially increase when cryptocurrency prices are on the rise or new markets open. For example, Bitcoin price in India rose after the country’s government de-regulated cryptocurrency trading which led to a surge in cyber-attacks on individuals. In 2019, more than 250 million people had some type of online account hacked as a result of a lack of attention, knowledge or personal responsibility about their security.
Direct Blockchain Attacks
The platforms where Bitcoin is traded are in a constant arms race with hackers. As soon as a hacking attempt or successful hack takes place, the platforms make changes. The hackers are always on the ball looking for new ways to exploit each platform’s security features. When the platform launches a new security feature, hackers are already working on ways to defeat it. Attacks on blockchains, exchanges and ICOs are common ways hackers try to steal Bitcoin, and this will be an ongoing problem.
People install apps without looking into their reputations or security features. This can lead to viruses and malware. One way users can avoid this is to only load apps from reputable sources. Users can also use two-factor authentication. Users should also check links to apps they find online against links to apps from the official site of the company. One of the most infamous targets of an app attack was Poloniex, which was available on Google Play. It was a piece of malware that was downloaded more than 5,500 times before Google removed it.
Slack bots send users a link with a private key. This allows the bot to steal the currency when the user logs into their account. Users should report the slack bots and ignore their notifications.
Good old-fashioned fishing is a tried-and-true technique for stealing Bitcoin. These attacks are usually from email and include a link to a site that’s nefarious. Hackers stole more than $30 million in cryptocurrency this way in 2019.