How To Avoid The Most Common Crypto Phishing Attacks
Scams involving financial assets have a lengthy history dating back to the invention of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. When it comes to the field of cybersecurity, the same can be said of phishing scams. The primary principle of crypto phishing scams is to defraud unsuspecting victims of their money or personal information.
The recent increase in the number of crypto phishing assaults has sparked a lot of interest in crypto security. As the popularity of cryptocurrencies grows and more people desire to profit from these new digital assets, the risk of phishing schemes has skyrocketed. Furthermore, because cryptocurrencies enable stronger privacy protection, the potential of phishing scams in crypto might be rather serious.
How can you spot and deal with crypto phishing scams? The following discussion will assist you in identifying some of the most typical cryptocurrency phishing scams. You can also read about the steps to take if you are the victim of a phishing assault. Most importantly, you’ll be able to determine the best techniques for protecting your crypto assets from fraud.
Phishing Attacks in the Cryptocurrency Industry
Crypto phishing attempts have resulted in significant losses, which have attracted attention. Between October 2020 and March 2021, people in the United States lost more than $80 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Scams involving cryptocurrency investments and phishing are common; the only way to avoid them is to recognize them. When you understand how to spot a con, you’ll be able to tell when you’re being duped. The most frequent crypto phishing scams to be aware of.
Phishing with a specific intent
The first post in a series on “How to Avoid Crypto Phishing Attacks” will cover spear phishing. According to a survey – Barracuda Networks, Spear-phishing attacks are on the rise. Hackers use personalized messages to target specific persons in spear-phishing attacks.
” #Education Sector Facing Disproportionate Level of Spear-Phishing Attacks. Barracuda Networks’ latest analysis found that over 1000 schools, colleges, and universities faced more than 3.5 million spear-phishing attacks.#CyberSecurity #infosecurity
— Genieall Corporation (@GenieAll) October 30, 2020
The attacker’s goal in crypto phishing attacks is to dupe victims into disclosing crucial information. A false email, for example, may appear to come from a well-known company or individual. In rare circumstances, attackers can trick users into visiting a malware-infected website by sending them links.
Spear-phishing attacks in the crypto world may take the shape of emails or text messages from well-known wallet providers. For example, a crypto wallet provider may send subscribers an email or text message urging them to change their seed phrase. When you click the link to update your password or seed phrase, you give the hacker access to your credentials. In crypto, spear phishing attacks can also entice consumers with appealing promos.
Is there a method to protect yourself from crypto scams like spear phishing?
Enterprises can experiment with a variety of ways to protect their crypto assets from spear-phishing assaults. Here are a few crypto-specific ways for businesses to avoid spear phishing assaults.
- Machine learning is being used to discover communication patterns.
- Account-takeover measures can be made easier with AI tools.
- Employee knowledge and training on reporting essentials have improved.
- Individuals can protect themselves from crypto phishing attempts like spear-phishing by following the methods below.
- Two-factor authentication should be implemented.
- Wi-Fi networks that aren’t password-protected should be avoided.
- Sender email addresses and links are double-checked.
- Verifying the legitimacy of senders.
- Emails requesting log-in credentials or passwords should be avoided.
- Cryptocurrency Flashcards can help you learn the terms associated with cryptocurrency.
- Browser Extensions That Aren’t Real
Cryptocurrency users utilize a variety of browser extensions in conjunction with MetaMask or other crypto wallets. While the wallet browser extension gives crypto users more options, it might also make it an easy target for hackers. Fake browser extensions are the second most common type of crypto attack perpetrated through phishing.
Cybercriminals are using fake crypto wallet browser extensions to defraud users of their funds. The bogus browser extensions can be used to steal the user’s wallet log-in details. Last year, one example of such an attack made headlines after receiving over 120 downloads from the Chrome Web Store. Ledger Live, a malicious Chrome plugin, promoted itself with the appearance of legality by using Google Ads.
Also, read – Understanding Blockchain’s Layer 3 Protocol
The ambiguity around genuine and phony browser extensions necessitates a response on how to avoid crypto phishing assaults such as these. Surprisingly, with a little caution, you can avoid phony browser addons. When hunting for crypto extensions, never trust web retailers. On the contrary, put in some time to look at the crypto extension’s profile page. Examine the extension’s profile page to learn more about the extension’s team and authentic reviews.
If the evaluations and the developer team’s identification are genuine, you can determine whether the extension is genuine. Most importantly, you should concentrate on assessing the permissions that apply to an extension. Step away if you notice differences between the extension’s permissions and advertised functionality. Another simple way to avoid phony browser extensions is to get them directly from the developer’s website.
Hijacking of the DNS
In recent years, the intricacy of crypto phishing scams has increased dramatically. DNS hijacking is one of the most difficult scams to spot, requiring a strong eye for detail. DNS hijacking or DNS spoofing attacks, in which attackers take control of legitimate websites, are not new. The attackers then use a phony interface to replace the legitimate website.
Unsuspecting individuals can compromise their crypto assets by using their log-in credentials and private keys on the bogus website. Two prominent DeFi systems are the most current example of crypto frauds involving DNS hijacking. A DNS spoofing assault hit Cream Finance and PancakeSwap. However, there were no clear specifics about the damage.
How can you protect yourself from DNS spoofing? In crypto, you can protect yourself from DNS hijacking attacks by using a VPN. It can assist in bypassing network settings and assuring data transmission through an encrypted channel. Furthermore, you can avoid crypto scams like this by double-checking the URL on your browser. Check for a trusted certification on the website, and be on the lookout for cautions regarding unsecured connections. Most importantly, you can use an offline hardware wallet to prevent your crypto assets from being harmed by internet DNS spoofing assaults.
Bots that Phish
Phishing bots are the final and most intriguing entry among the prominent crypto phishing scams. It’s worth noting that phishing bots have been used in the past to varying degrees. The cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask has warned users of a phishing assault perpetrated in its name. The employment of phishing bots in crypto, on the other hand, is primarily aimed at compromising users’ important seed phrases.
The phishing attack was carried out by a collection of phrase-stealing bots on Twitter, according to MetaMask. The phishing attack is coming from an account that looks quite similar to MetaMask’s. The proposal requires customers to put up a support form on big sites like Google Sheets or look for their secret recovery phrase.
How will people protect themselves from phishing bots? Many of you must have considered checking the message’s origins from an official account. Yes, you can put forth every effort to determine whether a message originates from a trustworthy website. Surprisingly, the scam’s creativity in deploying phishing bots might be a difficult riddle to solve.
However, there is almost no way to tell if the original website or page has been hacked right away. The Twitter hack was the most recent example in 2020. The hack, which is considered one of the most devious crypto attacks, resulted in the theft of $121,000 in Bitcoin.
In addition to these popular phishing attempts in crypto, there are a few other important attacks to be aware of. Here are a few major cryptocurrency scams you should avoid at all costs.
- New assets or projects are exclusively accepting bitcoin payments.
- Anonymous or fictitious identities are used.
- Digital goods and games with a shady reputation.
- For crypto investing, there are Ponzi and pyramid schemes.
- For newbies, the diversity of frauds and potential attacks in the crypto world can be rather intimidating.
Best Practices for Avoiding Scams
The following description of frequent crypto phishing assaults and best practices for dealing with them might help you become more resilient to such attacks and scams. To avoid bitcoin fraud, however, you must follow the guidelines below.
- In social media posts or messages, look for typos and misspellings.
- Recognize hints of psychological manipulation techniques like blackmail and extortion.
- Avoid claims of free money or huge earnings that aren’t true.
- Avoid phony celebs and crypto influencers.
- Locking your crypto assets under a contract is not a good idea.