The demand and increase in the volume of cryptocurrency have risen dramatically over the last decade – beginning from Bitcoin’s inception in 2009 and its bull run in December 2017. Since then, several cryptocurrencies have been developed – all offering several utility solutions to the general populace. Blockchain technology, upon which most of these solutions are driven, is known to be trustworthy because the transaction data contained in the smart contracts are transparent and immutable.
Unfortunately, the security of the Blockchain technology does not extend to cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms. This has inadvertently made these platforms a juicy target for cyber attackers to perpetrate their crimes.
Ways by which Cybercrimes Are Conducted in the Crypto Space
Two significant ways these cybercrimes are conducted are:
- Malware: Also known as malicious software, these programs are injected into victims’ devices with the aim of either using the device resources to mine cryptocurrencies, maliciously gain access to crypto wallets and transfer the assets or obtain login credentials for a trading platform. All those mentioned above are performed without the knowledge of the victim.
- Phishing: This is mostly done by tricking victims into providing personal credentials to a website or email address purported to be from the crypto platform they have an account with. Once the hacker obtains these details, they proceed to loot their victim’s assets.
Other ways by which these cybercrimes are perpetrated are through unsecure trading platforms, unregulated exchanges, and corrupted third-party applications.
To keep crypto-assets safe from cybercriminals, the following tips may be applied:
- Use a VPN: The cost of buying a VPN service is rather meager compared to the amount of assets that could be potentially lost if security measures aren’t put in place. A VPN helps add extra encryption to the information being transmitted over the Internet. This way, if any information is intercepted, it will be useless to the hacker.
- Install Antivirus Software: Antivirus software helps prevent, scan, and delete malicious programs that might be trying to get into the device or are already existing. There are several free antivirus software on the Internet that can help serve this purpose.
- Use Two Factor Authentication: Most crypto trading platforms allow traders to enable this option on their accounts for multi-level security. With two factor authorization, unauthorized access is prevented by requesting a one-time password (OTP) upon login. This OTP is usually sent to the registered email address or phone number on the account.
Image Source: unsplash.com