After an increase in the price of Bitcoin at the end of 2017, mining and trading cryptocurrencies became a key technological trend. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic till now, the value of Bitcoin has quadrupled. Cryptocurrencies hold much value as compared to traditional currencies with inherent weaknesses and inflation risk. Today trading bitcoins and Ethereum is considered profitable, but you have to beware. A huge sum of cash has started moving around cryptos, and you are aware of the saying that thieves are trying to steal it where there is money. In the first quarter of 2018, crypto-mining malware for businesses saw a whopping increase of 27%.
The latest numbers have shown that crypto-crime is falling but except for ransomware, which saw an increase and was aided by the lapses in security with decentralized workers who were forced to work from home in this global pandemic. The crypto industry has grabbed a lot of unwanted attention from the evildoers who consider hacking transactions involving cryptocurrencies a goldmine.
- From hacked apps to malicious Chrome extensions and cloned websites, the question is that how hackers Hacking Cryptocurrencies. The hackers’ most common tactic is luring the victim to a cloned website that looks like it is an original one. They use either a Google or Facebook ad that has seems like an original service or has a slightly modified URL that points to a trapped version of a website. Once you enter the website, you are fooled into uploading your private information through a page that is similar to a legit payment gateway or an indistinguishable trading site.
- Another trick used by hackers is switching a legit URL you are copy-pasting for making a payment with a fake one using malicious software like Cryptoshuffler. Various other techniques of hacking cryptos include hacked slack bots and fake social media. Using these tricks, the hackers lure you into uploading your private information on the malicious URL.
- Hackers may also steal additional money from the victims after the deed is done. For example, they may demand ransom for deleting the personal information of the trader.
Cryptocurrency and Money Laundering
Cybercrime is an industry with a worth of around $1.5 trillion per year, and in the cybercrime industry, ransomware alone has a worth of about $1 billion. Like all other criminals, cybercriminals also can’t deposit their ill-gotten gains in normal banks. Thus like other criminals, they have to go for money laundering. But this time, they have to do it with digital currency, i.e. cryptocurrency. Crypto transactions are anonymous, and they don’t require financial intermediaries such as PayPal or banks. You can see how easily this money can fall through the cracks. Although money laundering through crypto coins is complicated than traditional methods, it is still convenient and inexpensive as you don’t have to pay the money to establish a sham business.
Protecting your Assets
There are certain ways in which you can protect your digital wallet from getting stole. These ways may include simple tricks for reducing the chances of getting scammed or may include defensive technologies preventing cryptocurrency hacks from occurring.
- The first technique you can use is 2FA. Although it is not 100% safe still you can employ this technique. It would be best if you avoided 2FA via SMS because it is considered to be less secure.
- You should not trust Slack Bots and report everyone who looks suspicious. You can use a good antivirus for protecting the Slack channel as well.
- You should never download any crypto add-on. Crypto add-on is similar to the malware-ridden search tool extensions in Chrome that clogged people’s computers in the past. Also, if you are using public Wi-Fi, you should not perform a crypto transaction, and if it is possible, you must use a different PC or smartphone for crypto trading.