What is a Phishing Attack in Crypto & How to Prevent it?
Amid the ever-mounting fight between the cyber security industry and cybercriminals, sometimes a new technology turns out to be effective against scams, and sometimes a simple scam creates havoc for the cryptocurrency world. Where the crypto industry is emerging with endless opportunities in the form of NFTs and DApps, scammers have also got a new playground to do malevolent activities. According to a report, scammers made a whopping $14 Billion worth of crypto in 2021.
Phishing in crypto is one of the most common attacks. So let’s discuss in detail what a phishing attack is and how we can prevent it.
What is a Phishing Attack in Crypto?
Phishing is a type of scam in which the attacker tricks victims and get control of their credentials, private information, and most importantly the private key. The attacker appears to be a legitimate entity in the network and gains the trust of the targeted person. Once the victim shares private information, scammers hijack his crypto software wallet and steal the crypto funds.
Additionally, scammers determine the loopholes in the cryptocurrency exchanges and crowd sale platforms such as ICOs. Crypto phishing can also take place via SMS, email, or social media.
Common Crypto Phishing Attacks
Below are some common phishing attacks in the cryptocurrency space.
As the name suggests, this type of attack happens when an attacker clones the email or SMS such that it appears to be coming from a legitimate source. For instance, the attacker replaces the original link with a malicious one that the victim opens and gets into the trap.
It is a type of phishing attack that targets a specific organization or a person. The phisher already has some knowledge about its target and finds ways that could help him steal the private information of the attacker.
SMS or Voice Phishing
In this, attackers use voice calls, whether conventional or voice-over IP. the attacks spoof the calls and appear to be an agent from a legitimate source. Similarly, SMS phishing attacks happen via SMS in which the attacker embeds a link in the SMS that takes the victim to the login page on clicking. From there, the credentials are stolen.
This type of attack navigates the victim to a fake website even if they enter the correct website URL. The attacker hijacks the DNS server as it converts the URL to IP address. The attackers embed malicious code to redirect websites to the wrong URL. These attacks are difficult to detect.
A whaling attack is a specific type of spear phishing attack targeting high-profile individuals within an organization, such as CEOs. It’s particularly dangerous due to its potentially wider reach than a regular spear phishing attack. For instance, if a CEO falls for it and clicks on a malicious link, the attacker could gain access to the company's entire network.
Evil Twin Phishing
This type of phishing attack takes place when the attacker set up a fake public Wi-Fi network with a legitimate name. When the victim gets connected to the network, they are redirected to enter a legitimate network.
The attacker sends a fake transaction email to the victim that appears to be from a legal source. This transaction asks the victim to sign in using their private key.
How to Prevent Crypto Phishing Attacks?
While developing a crypto-based project, crypto development services take into account the measures to protect the software from all possible attacks. For that, there are some considerations that the developers must address while coding smart contracts for crypto digital wallet app development services or any other project.
Other than that, below are some ways to prevent crypto phishing attacks.
- Check the emails cautiously, especially the links or attachments, do not click them if you are not sure if they are legitimate
- Always update your operating system to install advanced security systems and protocols
- Use strong credentials for login (username and password)
- Never share your personal information such as login credentials or private keys with anyone
- Avoid downloading browser extensions from unreliable sources
- Do not connect to public Wi-Fi
- Keep a vigilant eye on all the crypto-related activities that happen within your account and outside of your account
- Add layers of authentication such as two-factor authentication that requires multiple actions before login so that no unauthoriz\ed entity could access your account
- Store your digital assets in a secure location. For instance, store your funds in cold storage
The attackers in digital space are roaming to find vulnerabilities in the cryptosystems. The upcoming crypto projects employ advanced security mechanisms to provide strong protection against phishing attacks. However, as cryptocurrency users, we must also be aware of attackers’ false attempts to avoid hefty losses.