With the development of digital technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to secure your own crypto funds. Over the past 2019, criminals stole almost $ 4.5 billion in cryptocurrency. The largest break-in in 2019 was the hacking of the Coinbene exchange, when attackers gained access to 109 types of tokens of the ERC-20 standard for about $ 105 million. Also the major hacks were Upbit sites for $ 49 million, Binance for $ 40 million and BITPoint for $ 32 million. since 2018, the number of thefts and frauds using digital currencies has increased 2.5 times. This suggests that on the cryptocurrency market it is becoming more dangerous, and it is more difficult to defend oneself.
Cryptocurrencies themselves are basically protected by the principles of their design. Strong cryptography maintains a transaction registry that is almost impossible to fake or modify retroactively. The only weak point of the system stems from its anonymity and distribution - it is a private key that gives full control over the wallet to its owner, which may be wrong, not very successfully plan its actions, succumb to deception and extortion.
Many cryptocurrency exchanges, services and projects boast of their security systems. Users go through complex verification procedures, store many codes. Outwitting hackers is possible only with the help of competent actions, if you follow simple and obvious rules.
How they steal cryptocurrencies
To get started, in order to protect yourself from fraudulent activities, find out how attackers can take control of your cryptocurrency, and protect all your accounts using the methods described below.
The most common ways to steal cryptocurrency
There are so many options for how attackers can steal your digital money and every day they come up with new ones, so this is not a complete list of ways to steal crypto, but just a few basic examples that allow you to understand exactly how the theft of cryptocurrency occurs.
1. Commonplace fraud, which is based in most cases on the greed of users, when, fraudsters promise to sell or buy cryptocurrency at an extremely favorable rate and the expectation of huge profits blinds a person. Then the victim without hesitation transfers the money to the scammer. There is cannot be protection and therefore this method will always be in the top in popularity among them. Also, many gullible users can believe people to impersonate others. For example, scammers hacked into several verified Twitter accounts, pretended to be Elon Musk and lured $ 170,000 in Bitcoins.
2. Fake wallets in which code is used, allowing hackers to take control of your cryptocurrency. You download such a wallet, install it, after which the attacker simply transfers your crypto assets to himself.
3. Creation of fake sites of cryptocurrency exchanges. With their help, attackers get your username and password. Ideally, they need to know your email, to which they will drop a link to the site under the guise of an official letter. There are other ways, but they are more time consuming. But this will not work if you use two-factor authentication.
4. Fake exchange points. This is not so common, but it is quite possible in this way to lose your coins. If you use an exchanger, then at least look for reviews about it. And if he has too attractive conditions, then this will definitely be an occasion to seriously beware.
5. Any services and sites that promise guaranteed and too great profits. Your greed is in the hands of scammers, so always remember the saying about free cheese in a mousetrap.
6. Blocking viruses that encrypt, or pretend to encrypt, computer drives and offer to return control over the ransom over them. This type of fraud has been known for decades, but it was not really widespread until a convenient channel for transferring money with the advent of cryptocurrencies appeared. These programs hold the first place in the number of victims.
7. SIM swap, which consists in the fact that the offender receives a copy of the SIM card and with it access to the person’s mobile phone number. So an attacker hacks his accounts on social networks and financial applications. When authenticating the client, the fraudster receives a message or phone call to the specified number associated with the victim's accounts.
This method is becoming increasingly popular among scammers. Most recently, US authorities discovered a 15-year-old fraudster who, by substituting their SIM cards for 75 residents of the country, stole their personal data and more than $ 1 million in cryptocurrency.
8. Hackers began stealing the cryptocurrency of YouTube users. Video clips have appeared on the network that distribute malware aimed at stealing digital money. The video advertises a tool that can generate private keys for Bitcoin wallets. Downloading the program to steal cryptocurrency leads to infection of the Predator the Thief Trojan virus, which gives attackers access to the clipboard of victims, the ability to steal files, use a webcam and track transactions in cryptocurrency.
9. Abductions and extortions. For example, one of the recent cases with Singapore cryptocurrency entrepreneur Mark Cheng, who was kidnapped and tortured by kidnappers demanding a ransom of $ 740,000 BT. In Thailand, a group of masked people grabbed Mark Cheng and put him in a truck. Under torture, he transferred to the criminals a little over $ 46,000, after which they decided to kill him, but Chen managed to escape. This is just one of many cases where people associated with cryptocurrencies become victims of kidnappers and extortionists. Earlier that year, a businessman from Cape Town was abducted and released only after his family paid a ransom of 50 BTC.
Beware of such attacks
1. Keylogger is usually a program designed to intercept all keystrokes on your computer. Attackers usually install this tool on a careless user’s device and use it to seize passwords.
2. Phishing is a type of cyber attack in which an attacker pretends to be a well-known company in order to seize their sensitive data.
3. Crypto jacking cybercriminals use for unauthorized use of a device for hidden mining of cryptocurrencies. An attacker installs malicious software on a user's device, and then uses his computing power and bandwidth.
4. Ransomware is a ransomware program whose ultimate goal is to convince the victim to pay a ransom to receive decryption in order to recover their compromised files or system.
5. Dust attack is used to identify wallets and users. Fraudsters recently realized that Bitcoin users do not pay much attention to these tiny amounts appearing on their wallets, so they began to spread the “dust” to a large number of addresses, sending them several satoshi.
Then they track these funds and all transactions of these dusty wallets, which allows them to link the addresses and ultimately identify the individuals behind these addresses. This info can subsequently be used to create targeted phishing attacks or extortion. Initially, dust attacks were carried out using Bitcoin, but they also occur with other cryptocurrencies that operate on the basis of a public transparent blockchain.
How to protect yourself from cybercriminals
1.Phishing. A wallet can be considered safe, but problems can arise not with the wallet, but with connection points.
- Check the address bar and applications, because fraudsters often use address bar spoofing. You copy one link, transfer it to the address bar, but there it is converted and displays the user on a completely different page. You must always be careful and check the address.
- Do not download or install software that you are not sure about and systematically check your device for viruses.
- Always check the https certificate so as not to fall into the clone of this site. You can use a special extension that will check for fake links yourself.
- Using a search engine, make sure that advertising does not lead you to a third-party resource.
- When using a mobile device, try to download only reliable applications from trusted sources. It’s easy to access your wallets through your smartphone.
- Check your browser settings and do not install extensions from obscure developers. Use a separate browser for transactions.
- Do not use public Wi-Fi networks to transfer cryptocurrency.
- Do not click on external links from e-mail if you are not sure of the sender.
2. Ransomware. The most important rule to confront them is to have a reliable antivirus program that can counter complex viruses in real time. It is also necessary to back up data.
3. Hacking account. In addition to the well-known rules on the use of complex passwords and two-factor authentication, do not store money on the exchange. Criminals can gain access to the wallets of the trading platform, regardless of what security measures you follow.
4. SIM swapping. The only thing that can completely protect against this fraud is the design of a separate SIM card for registering accounts on exchanges and wallets. Such a phone should not be used in everyday life, it should not be published anywhere and no one should be informed. You can also create an additional password for the SIM card. You can also use special programs for two-factor authentication, instead of a phone.
5. Dust attacks. Avoid using suspicious funds in future transactions.
If the dust does not spread further, then the attackers cannot establish the connection that they need to de anonymize the users of this wallet or the owner of the address.
6. Avoidance of risks when using exchangers. Always be careful and critically analyze when using crypto exchangers.
- Set up complex passwords unique to each site. If one is hacked, then its base is then passed through all other similar ones.
- Divide large amounts into parts and exchange the next part after receiving the previous payment, then the probability of losing a large amount decreases sharply.
- Check the details at each stage so that there is no substitution of the Bitcoin address in the clipboard.
- Check reviews about services and money changers on independent sites, such as exchangers monitoring and forums.
- Always pay attention to the limits of the payment systems you work with.
In addition to protection against each specific threat, use general safety rules that everyone should know. Their observance will allow you to protect yourself in most cases.
- Use strong passwords. This is a simple truth, but many forget about it.
- Do not store passwords in electronic form; it is better to write them down on a paper.
- For registrations on cryptocurrency exchanges and other operations, use a separate email and phone. Never and should anyone show them. Key services should be tied to the email that no one knows.
- Do not register on suspicious sites, do not download dubious applications onto your phone.
- Always stay. Before clicking any button on a new site, first make sure that this is not a phishing project that collects data.
- Download all applications only from official websites of developers. They may contain malware, which is very common in the cryptocurrency industry.
- Use an antivirus.
- Keep your private keys in a safe place.
- Keep your privacy and confidentiality, do not talk about the availability of certain amounts of cryptocurrency, the less information one can use against you.
Of course, now using cryptocurrencies leaves fewer opportunities to remain anonymous, since many sellers, exchanges and exchangers require KYC / AML checks. Passing these checks, users are thereby forced to disclose their Bitcoin addresses, real names, and other information that fraudsters can use.
What are some ways to protect Bitcoin anonymity?
1. For each new transaction, use a new specially created address. This does not guarantee you 100% protection of your data, although it will reduce the risk for a while. Coins will appear on the new wallet only if they are sent from another wallet, which will help track you.
2. Always use secure browsers such as Brave or Tor, which will hide your real location.
3. Use the Bitcoin mixer to mix coins and thereby clear them of traces that would help attackers identify you. So, the best Bitcoin mixers offer several levels of cleaning to prevent hackers from connecting your identity with your crypto wallets.
It is worth ensuring the privacy of your coins after you buy cryptocurrency or before you intend to sell it. The Bitcoin mixer handles this task perfectly. A crypto mixer provides cleaning of your coins from traces of previous transactions, so it will be much more difficult to calculate you, and in most cases it is impossible.
The basis of the action of the crypto mixer is that while sending the coins, before it reaches the recipient, it passes through many different wallets of the Bitcoin tumbler, mixing with other users crypto. Each whole transaction is divided into many smaller ones, confusing the traces of transactions in the crypto mixer.
Effective cryptocurrency mixers have several more options for making it difficult to identify wallets and users who own them several times to significantly increase the anonymity. For example, as one of the best and safest Bitcoin mixers BitMix.Biz, it provides your Bitcoin privacy with several powerful additional features.
1. Time-delayed transaction
In order to highlight a specific transaction when analyzing a cryptocurrency blockchain, hackers and analyzers look for a record of transferring a certain amount to a specific moment. A delayed transaction will not allow them to identify which transaction and from which wallet was made, and there will be nothing to bind to, so this greatly increases the complexity of tracking your crypto, since many different transactions will appear on the blockchain during the delay.
2. Multiple transaction
The BitMix.Biz crypto blender will help you get cleared coins from sundry wallets to protect Bitcoin privacy when choosing advanced randomization. This will be especially relevant when clearing up larger amounts of cryptocurrency, which attackers monitor firstly.
3. The fee for servicing Bitcoins can vary over a wide range of values.
Knowing a certain commission for mixing, someone who analyzes the blockchain can easily determine from what and to what address and how much the transfer was made. However, if it is possible to change the fee at the user's discretion or automatically according to the random algorithm of the system in the range of 0.4% - 4%, it does not allow to understand what kind of transaction it was and where it arrived.
4. The ability to quickly mix coins at the expense of prepared units of the crypto already in the system, as well as the ability to manually delete information about it immediately after confirmation of the transaction in the blockchain.
5. There is no need to pass KYC / AML checks so as not to violate anonymity and not to jeopardize the user's identity and identification by malefactors.
Set your preferences to manually clear your cryptocurrency from traces or let the service do this randomly automatically and protect your crypto assets from the interference of any unwanted third parties. For greater security, it is advisable to use Tor when you are going to clear your coins. Thanks to the encryption and distribution by the Tor browser of data between different network participants, probably the best Bitcoin mixer
, BitMix.Biz will be able to guarantee your privacy, and therefore the security of your digital assets when using them in everyday life.
Be sure to download and keep the letter of guarantee that you will receive when depositing your crypto for mixing. It will be a guarantee that you have transferred your coins to the right place and in case of any difficulties you can contact with user support for the BitMix.Biz mixer.