Common Phishing Attacks in the Crypto World
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Common Phishing Attacks in the Crypto World

Ever since the inception of blockchain technology, one of its most lucrative features has been security and anonymity. However, over the last few years, security on blockchains has been an issue of concern, thanks to various criminal activities linked to blockchain technology, including phishing attacks.

 The menace of phishing in the crypto world is growing each day. In the first two months only of 2018, more than $1.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen in various crypto scams. 13% of the amount was stolen through phishing attacks. The statistics show how important it is for bitcoin users to beware of the menace. In this write-up, we are going to discuss the types of phishing attacks against bitcoin users. 

Smishing

They are also known as SMS phishing, where an attacker sends malicious SMS to the target device. The SMS contains a link that directs the user to a malware inflicted webpage. Once on the page, the phone owners lose control of their phones.

The attackers remotely steal all relevant information and can even remotely start activating various apps in the device. Here are four different types of phishing SMSs:

  • Lottery Winning SMS- The SMS informs the user of a lottery winning or any other kind of winning and leaves a link for the user to follow.
  • Bank Account Alerts SMS- The SMS informs the user that his bank account has some problem. Users click on a given link and provide their information, including details of other existing accounts like bitcoin wallets and email addresses.
  • Credit Card Alert SMS- They inform the user that their credit card has seen some malicious activity, and you follow their link for assistance. 
  • Unusual Account Activity Alert- Informs the user of strange activities in his phone line or other accounts, including email.

Note that all of the SMSs carry a link in it. When the user clicks on the link, cyber attackers hack into their phones and take crucial information, including bitcoin wallet passwords, usernames, and email. 

Email Phishing

Almost as soon as email became commonly used, criminals started using it to defraud unsuspecting persons. Between April 2018 and March 2019, UK members of parliament and other parliamentary staff received over 20 million malicious emails, which were phishing attempts. 

In these malicious emails, attackers impersonate the bitcoin currency service providers. The emails lure you to changing your passwords by claiming that your password is about to expire and give you a way out. If and when you do that, attackers take over your account.

The best way of staying vigilant for email phishing is to avoid following the links given or even opening any email links from untrustworthy emails. 

Fake Websites

In 2017, there were more than 1.7 billion websites. The above makes the identification of malicious websites a big struggle. Website phishing has proven to be one of the most successful ways cyber criminals use to attack and steal data. Just because the site you are using looks legit, don’t assume that it is. 

Check out for companies’ name spelling. Some malicious websites are so similar to big companies’ web pages to confuse you. Unwarranted pop-ups may also help you know if you are on the right web page or a phishing website. Websites used to steal bitcoin use Google ads with the word bitcoin or blockchain misspelled cunningly. Whenever you come across these websites, refrain from adding your personal information in them. 

Persons using bitcoin wallets directly from the websites need to be very cautious. Checking and rechecking the URL will ensure the security of your bitcoin.

Social Media Based Phishing

The use of social media platforms has dramatically grown over the years, with billions of accounts in place on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media has, therefore, proven to be the best space for hunting unsuspecting individuals.

On Facebook, for example, an attacker may create a Facebook business page with the name bitcoin. As people follow, they start sending messages to individuals inbox and luring them into clicking on their link.

Also, using these social media accounts, cybercriminals may pretend to be people of goodwill. They listen to your complaints and are ready to assist you if you follow their link, and when you do that, you open your account to criminals who will take advantage of your ignorance. 

Protect Yourself Against Phishing With BitcoinMix

Although phishing in the crypto world has existed for over a decade, many people still don’t know how to protect themselves from the dangers. Luckily, there are several ways you can protect yourself from phishing attacks, including using a bitcoin mixer. 

BitcoinMix.org is a bitcoin tumbler that aims to make your bitcoin transactions anonymous and not leave any trace. They ask for little information and do not store any logs. The less the information they ask for the more your bitcoin address is protected. It helps to avoid phishing attacks by dissociating your cryptocurrency address with your private data like emails, names, any other credentials.

The website is also helpful in mixing different coins. There is a pool of coins that you can mix your coins with thus hiding the source of your bitcoins from attackers. A visit to the website is the first step towards achieving maximum bitcoin security. 

Author’s Note

Ever since internet use became popular across the globe, criminals have been looking for ways to go around the system. Blockchain technology held the promise of security for its users but with phishing attacks creeping into the crypto space, it seems that no one is safe. 

Unfortunately, there are several ways through which criminals can phish your hard-earned cryptocurrencies from your accounts. You cannot take a chance, and the best thing to do would be to ensure you are aware of the different methods they would use. You should also take things a step further and have some software in place. Bitcoin mixer is one of the best tools you could use to ensure your cryptos are well-protected from phishing attacks. So, why don’t you go ahead and try their website?

coinmag

Wayne is a Blockchain enthusiast and expert in crypto trading. Currently, he covers trendy issues on digital currencies.