So long as you are a user of any digital device or network, you are prone to get hacked. Hacking is the act of gaining unauthorized access to compromise a system, device, or network to steal data, cause corruption, or to make a statement simply. While this is considered unethical, or even illegal, digital systems are always prone to hacks, and digital assets are certainly no exception. Here are some examples of the most significant cryptocurrency hacks of all time.
In July 2019, Bitpoint, a cryptocurrency exchange, revealed that their system was compromised. About 55,000 users were affected, and a total of $27.9 Million was stolen.
Bittrex is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the US. In October 2019, Bittrex delisted Bitcoin Gold (BTG) after a series of hacking attacks on the exchange led to the loss of over $18million in funds. The hackers took control of more than 51% of the overall hash power of BTG, which amounted to more than 388,000 BTG via a method called “double-spending,” a technique used by the hackers to trick the exchange into transferring double the amount of coins than the usual.
In 2013, Mt.Gox was the leading cryptocurrency exchange, with over 70% of the world’s Bitcoin exchanges taking place on its platform. A significant attack occurred unnoticed over a period from 2011 to 2014. The attacks finally came to light when exchanges revealed that their cold wallets were virtually empty.
About 850,000 Bitcoin was stolen from the exchange. The value of the stolen Bitcoin at that time amounted to approximately $460Million, which is worth about $8.5 Billion at present.
The digital age is continuously progressing. While systems have indeed become more complex and sophisticated, so have the methods used by hackers. Thus, it is crucial to look at how we can keep our cryptocurrency assets safe. Below are 5 of the best ways to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
Store your coins in a cold wallet
Store your coins in a hardware device like a USB or a hard drive. Avoid storing your coins in an online exchange, as listed in the above examples; even the biggest exchanges are not “hack-proof.” Some USB devices have buttons that require users to confirm or cancel transactions. This solution ensures that hackers are unable to record your keystrokes.
Don’t keep all your assets in a single place
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The idea here is to protect your assets by minimizing the impact of any loss by spreading out where your currencies are stored and how they are managed. While it may seem inconvenient, it is undoubtedly worth the trouble as it allows peace of mind.
Use Two-factor authentication
If you are trading on the exchanges, you absolutely must enable two-factor authentication. This measure usually requires the use of security software on your devices, like Google Authentication or Authy on your smartphone. After you keyed your user and password, you will be prompted for a code from your authenticator program. The code changes every thirty seconds. Additionally, two-factor authentication also protects your withdrawals, where you will be prompted for an authentication code again.
Two-factor authentications are crucial — without it, a hacker simply needs to gain access to your username and password to take control of your funds.
Have a reliable anti-virus software
Many anti-virus software solutions in the market may be free of charge. However, it is worth noting that a reliable anti-virus software requires constant updates from evolving threats. Reputable anti-virus software solution providers have a sizable team of professionals — and this costs money. While a free anti-virus software seems like the most attractive solution, it is instead worthwhile paying for one to ensure that your system remains protected in a digital environment where threats are continuously evolving.
Use a trusted and secure network.
It doesn’t make sense to use a public Wifi hot spot when it involves your money. Only make transactions on networks you own and trust. This is to avoid any unauthorized users from gaining access to your assets. Public Wifi networks are often unencrypted and unsecured, leaving you vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM). MITM is when a cybercriminal exploits a security flaw in the network to intercept data, essentially giving hackers access to sniff out any information that passes between you and the websites you visit. This includes details of your browsing activities, account logins, and purchase transactions. Your sensitive information, such as passwords and financial data, are then vulnerable to identity theft.
But with great power comes great responsibility.
These are straightforward steps that tend to get overlooked by most, but this is no game. Digital assets store real value like all other assets. They require protection and should not be taken lightly; you wouldn’t let thieves into your house, and it is, therefore, irrational to allow digital hackers to gain access to your digital assets ensuing from negligence.