What’s the best way to protect your cryptocurrency from hacks? Three cryptocurrency investors and three cybersecurity experts weigh in.
Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, added about 1.9 million new users in the last two months. In the same period, Blockchain.com, the leading digital wallet to store cryptocurrencies, saw its users grow just slightly less than that.
Many are newcomers, unaware of the risks and security holes in the complicated yet lucrative world of cryptocurrency, making them easy prey for hackers and cyberthiefs.
One common crime that’s carried out on cryptocurrency investors is the phone-porting attack. Hackers snoop around social media, looking for cryptocurrency conversations in which investors post their phone and email for easy contact. Then, posing as the victim, they call up the phone provider in an attempt to fool the customer service representative into transferring the phone number to a device they control.
Once the hackers take over the phone number, they can go into the victim’s cryptocurrency exchange account by resetting the password, ultimately stealing cryptocurrencies from the account. Cody Brown, a virtual reality developer, blogged about how he lost around $8,000 worth of cryptocurrencies on Coinbase in 15 minutes, triggered by a phone porting attack on his phone account.
A cellphone number is not the only point of weakness. Adam Dachis, a former writer for Lifehacker, says his Coinbase account was ransacked in May by hackers who took control of his home computer, costing him $10,000 worth of cryptocurrencies.
“Computer hacks, phishing attacks and cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes are all common types of cryptocurrency theft,” said Jonathan Levin, co-founder of Chainalysis, an intelligence software firm that specializes in tracking and solving cryptocurrency crimes.
So what’s the best way to protect your cryptocurrency investments from hacks?