Security analysts have highlighted several of the main techniques used by threat actors to hack into cryptocurrencies trading platforms – What is it?
The Market And The Exchanges
The cryptocurrency business continues to evolve and escalate despite the fact that many amateur traders and retail investors are now beginning to lose interest due to the long and painful downtrend in the digital currency market. The part of the community that bought Bitcoin (BTC) for $20,000 in December 2017 would only have to wait for the comfort of believing that they would be able to sell their funds at the same or better rate at some point.
As such, brokers still cannot break the back of traders and lower the critical psychological threshold of $5,000. And this applies essentially to specialized trading platforms. While failed investors have been frustrated and unhappy, new players are coming into the game. We're talking about experienced teams like Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
While some low-skilled investors are leaving the business, the big names are beginning to break new ground that has enormous potential. Goldman Sachs plans to allow its clients to trade Bitcoin futures. While ICE will offer swap contracts to banks so that customers can obtain their cryptocurrencies the day after the purchase transaction.
And it is quite possible that for these same reasons in a context of hopelessness for some and for those who have the ability to manage large amounts of capital to invest, it is very likely that cybercriminals will turn more strongly to this industry.
The following is a list that shows and explains some of the most common major attack vectors. And of course, in the list we also offer you the countermeasures that each user of these platforms should follow step by step if they want to avoid being the victim of a harmful attack:
Suppose that the security systems of the cryptocurrency exchange you are using have detected suspicious activity in your account. In response to this, the service has sent a notification to the email address you provided in your profile. The message contains a hyperlink and a recommendation to change your password immediately to prevent your funds from being stolen.
Despite all the simplicity of this scheme, many newcomers have actually fallen into the rabbit trap. And they continue to fall to this day. For example, if you follow that link, there will usually be several fields to fill in: your old password, your new password and the confirmation of your new password. This way, while trying to keep control of their funds, many traders unknowingly hand them over to criminals.
For this case of phishing emails, there are several simple rules that will keep you safe:
- Do not open emails from unknown sources.
- Do not send your personal information to third parties.
- Browse the sender's email address: messages from major exchanges are usually sent from the official domains.
It should be noted that the obvious thing is that all cryptocurrencies traders are literate people, at least so far no evidence to the contrary has been provided. However, when it comes to typing the name of an exchange in the address bar correctly and visiting your website through a hyperlink, many of them overlook spelling errors and the lack of a security check icon in the browser.
As soon as unsuspecting and unlucky users enter their username and password, crooks get virtually all the credentials they need to access the account. The only way to avoid this fraud is to pay close attention to detail. Since it is unlikely that imitators of popular commercial platforms related to phishing will disappear in the near future, it should be considered a latent threat, at least for now in the ecosystem.
The simple couple of recommendations to avoid falling into this trap are:
- Bookmark your main trading website and visit it just by clicking on this bookmark.
- Always use the best VPNs that encrypt your traffic.
Email linked to one's account on a cryptocurrencies exchange tends to be attacked by hackers as strongly as they do against the exchange account itself. Once you have taken control of your email, the author can send you a password recovery request, set up a new temporary password and easily transfer the funds to your own wallets. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the most effective protection mechanism in this case that prevents third parties from accessing your account.
Teamviewer As An Entry Point
2FA is effective as long as the application is installed on another device, such as a smartphone. This considerably reduces the risk of being hacked. Unfortunately, even two-factor authentication does not guarantee maximum security if Google Authenticator is integrated into a PC web browser. With the TeamViewer tool installed, the attacker will most likely access the TOTP authentication codes in real time and take advantage of them to hack into their profiles in the exchange.
Recommendations And Conclusions
Many users of Cryptocurrency exchanges neglect fundamental security practices. That's because users themselves believe they'll never get into trouble like Mt. Gox or Coincheck customers did. But even so, even the most sophisticated trading platforms have a number of hidden vulnerabilities that threatening players can exploit to hack into the system.
A final recommendation is that some people may find it redundant to enable two-factor authentication, but it is very important to consider and take into account at all times that black hats can outperform even the most successful traders. Therefore, it is imperative to follow some basic and simple guidelines that will significantly reduce the risk of losing assets after hacker attacks and scams.
Therefore, the bottom line is that no matter how long it takes you to make these kinds of checks at any given time, as long as you keep your funds protected. Be aware that building these safety walls is an investment of time that will prevent you from losing your money.