In a world where more and more things are done online, the use of security tools when managing important virtual data becomes crucial, even more so when dealing with money. In fact, because the use of the so-called cryptocurrency wallets is increasing at such a quick pace, the ways of attacking them is similarly growing just as fast with more online hackers than ever trying to steal people’s online money. This is exactly what happened with Enigma, a “data-driven crypto investment platform” curiously built to enhance people’s security when it comes to shared data.
This is just one example of how easy it is for hackers to obtain your information. Actually, many times all they need is your phone number and a novice call center employee to start the attacks, which only demonstrates that these companies can’t be trusted and that your virtual money is not safe with any of them. But if you still want to take the risk and choose to use cryptocurrency then this is why it is important to take some preventive measures, such as using a VPN.
The Enigma Hack
The Enigma hack was actually not a hack per se, but a lesson on how things shouldn’t be handled when dealing with virtual services, especially ones that deal with money. The attack happened a couple weeks before Enigma’s initial coin offering (ICO) and was scheduled for September 11 2017, where attackers set up a fake website by compromising its domain, Slack channel and some email lists. Using the emails of those who had shown interest in the pre-sale, hackers then asked people to send Ethereum ahead of time to a cryptowallet . Clients weren’t suspicious and sent in their payments, resulting in about $500,000 worth of Ethereum for the attackers.
But the center of the question here is the weak password security, as hackers got access to Enigma’s network thanks to its CEO; Guy Zyskind was one of the many affected by the Ashley Madison hack. Sadly, not only was his email and password compromised back then, but he never ended up changing his passwords afterwards, nor did he enable two-factor authentication for any other services where he used the same one.
For the compromised Ethereum users, this is beyond outrageous coming from the CEO of a company that places the highest emphasis on security. And if this weren’t enough, what’s even more scandalous is that only after regaining control of its network did Enigma step in to add security measures that should have been in place from the start, such as two-factor authentication and stronger passwords for employee email accounts.
Cryptocurrency: Popular and Easy Targets for Hackers
The more things change the more they stay the same, and despite all the evolution in technology over the years thieves will always go for gold. And the fact that cryptocurrency wallets are becoming more popular, it is natural that they become one of the most popular targets for hackers. In fact, there are many known cases where gaining access to and stealing people’s virtual money is relatively easy.
As the New York Times wrote, many times all it takes is simply the victim’s phone number. Attackers just keep calling support and fake an emergency situation asking to transfer the number to a new device – the one they’re controlling – until someone with less experience on the other end agrees. From that moment on, services that use phone numbers for security purposes are in the hands of hackers, who can then alter all the victim’s passwords. From here to accessing online accounts for cryptocurrency services is just a quick step, with users losing hundreds of thousands in just a couple minutes.
Cryptocurrency and other blockchain services are on the rise, being applied to everything from health services to decentralized DNS or even VPNs, which only proves that this will become the future sooner rather than later. But since all the security measures are still being developed, they are not to be trusted entirely. It’s always best to have some protection while managing your account, and one great option is to use a VPN. With these you’ll be hidden from any eavesdroppers since you’ll be routing your connection through encrypted tunnels to a server located in another country, not to mention the added benefits of having your true IP hidden. Likewise, it’s just as important to use strong, safe passwords and enable two-factor authentication on every service that allows it.
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