Phishing for crypto – exposing the methods used to hack an exchange

The long and excruciating decline of the digital currency market has led to great disappointment and a loss of interest amongst amateur investors and traders.

Buyers who jumped on board when Bitcoin was priced at $20,000, now expect to break even, and most have abandoned all hope of making a profit.

Despite the recent decline however, the cryptocurrency industry continues to thrive.

Current evolutions in the sector can be largely attributed to the emergence of specialized trading platforms which connect buyers and sellers.

While many unsuccessful investors are licking their proverbial wounds, economic giants like Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange (a company associated with the New York Stock Exchange) are entering the fray.

Goldman Sachs intends to run its own trading operation, permitting customers to trade Bitcoin futures, whereas ICE will offer crypto-to-fiat swap agreements to banks and financial institutions.

Such big business will undoubtedly attract cybercriminals. Cybersecurity experts have analysed the most common tactics employed by hackers and the following sections will discuss methods and countermeasures for the most common attacks.

Email Phishing

You receive a message from an exchange you are using. The message states that suspicious activity has been detected in relation to your account. You are advised to change your password immediately using the hyperlink provided. While the majority of us may be able to recognise this as a sneaky attempt to obtain personal details, surprisingly many people do still fall victim to this scam.

How to avoid this scam:

Refrain from opening emails if you are unfamiliar with the sender.
Do not send your individual details to 3rd parties.
Look at the sender’s e-mail address: messages from significant exchanges are normally sent out from main domain names.

Phishing Websites

While most cryptocurrency investors are likely to be both literate and tech-savvy, when it comes to keying the name of an exchange into the address bar, misspellings can be easily overlooked. Similarly, a lack of security icon can easily be missed. Hackers use this to their advantage, but you can avoid this by bookmarking the exchange and adopting this as your sole method of visiting the site. Furthermore, you should always make use of the most effective VPNs that secure your website traffic.

Email Hacking

Hackers will target an email address if they discover that it is linked to an exchange. This method involves taking control of your email account, usually in order to send a password reset or recovery request. The best way to avoid this type of attack is to implement a double factor authentication process. However, please be aware that even this does not guarantee total security.

Following these simple guidelines should ensure that you do not fall victim to fraud while exchanging cryptocurrencies. Good luck and happy trading!

Phoebe Hodgkinson-meadows

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