Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) are becoming increasingly tempting targets for hackers, with a single Bitcoin (BTC) now selling for more than $50,000. Cybercrime may take various forms, from sophisticated spear-phishing scams to targeted ransomware attacks. Here’s how to safeguard yourself.
According to David Bloom, broker of The Investment Center, the rising interest in digital currencies will pave the road for an increase in cryptocurrency investments and broaden the danger landscape of cryptocurrency scams. “It is impossible to monitor cryptocurrency transactions since they are not regulated and are not supervised by a central authority,” said Bloom. As a result, cryptocurrency is an accessible target for hackers all across the world.”
Cryptocurrency exchanges have also been attacked. For example, KuCoin, a Singapore-based digital asset exchange, verified massive, unusual withdrawals of Bitcoin and Ethereum tokens from the exchange in September 2020. As a result, a total of $150 million in Ethereum ERC20 tokens was stolen.
In July 2020, 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were stolen with Twitter’s crypto-jacking administrative tools to promote a Cryptocurrency hoax, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg, and Apple.
The scammers hacked into high-profile accounts and sent out tweets pushing people to pay money to a specific Crypto wallet address in exchange for double the quantity of Bitcoins. This reveals a common feature of cryptocurrency scams: While the cons can be pretty sophisticated in terms of technology, their final success is frequently dependent on the willingness of unsuspecting victims to fall for the ruse.
Cybercriminals have made millions from unwary customers via fake cryptocurrency investment platforms, counterfeit crypto wallet frauds, and complex crypto-jacking malware. Here are some of the most typical frauds committed against cryptocurrency users by scammers:
- Imposter websites: One of the most common ways to commit cryptocurrency fraud is to create phony websites that appear to be authentic. A surprising number of cryptocurrency trading platforms have already spawned fake competitors designed to deceive people into making investments and losing digital currency. Verify if the website has a little lock icon signifying security near the URL bar to avoid such websites. It’s also important to be cautious when visiting sites that don’t start with “HTTPS.”
- Counterfeit mobile applications: Hackers and fraudsters have created various fake look-alike apps accessible for download through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, similar to phony websites. Look for misspelled text and modified logos that differ significantly from the original to distinguish fake software from real. Next, look into the app and verify whether the developer’s name is correct and the user reviews to see any unfavorable remarks concerning the app’s authenticity. Finally, go to the genuine website of the organization and seek a link to their approved mobile app. Another good approach to tell whether an app is fake is to look at the permissions it requests to perform its functions on your phone. Apps that seek approval that they don’t need should be avoided.
- Social Media Manipulation: Cryptocurrency-related social media scams are a sort of financial fraud that has expanded widely throughout social media platforms. Fraudsters may quickly establish fake social media accounts mimicking high-profile persons and globally known celebrities and post false information that makes it appear as if celebrities endorse the investment or material.
- Crypto-jacking: Crypto-jacking is the illegal mining of cryptocurrencies on someone else’s computer. Hackers use two main techniques to steal cryptocurrencies from a victim’s computer. The first approach includes duping users into installing crypto-mining programs onto their computers (through phishing campaigns). Victims may, for instance, receive a legitimate-looking phishing email urging them to click on a link. When you visit the URL, the code that runs the crypto mining script on your computer is triggered. The other approach includes cybercriminals injecting a malicious script onto a website or advertisement. When a victim visits the webpage, the script runs automatically. Once loaded, the crypto mining programs perform complicated mathematical calculations on the victim’s computer and sends the results to a server controlled by the hacker. Crypto-jacking is a popular choice for hackers since the crypto mining code works quietly and can go undiscovered for a long time.
As cryptocurrency becomes more widespread, scammers want to take advantage of its popularity by preying on investors. Ponzi schemes, crypto-jacking malware, and fraudulent alternative cryptocurrency frauds are all examples of crypto scams. Therefore, individuals should exercise caution, conduct due diligence, and comprehend the risks of digital currencies.
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