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The cryptocurrency industry, much like the realm of personal finance and credit cards, has seen remarkable growth recently. This expansion brings new opportunities for traders and investors. A crucial first step in this journey is creating a crypto wallet, the cornerstone of buying, selling, and storing digital assets. This guide will simplify the process of choosing the right crypto wallet, highlighting its importance and the essential features to consider. Whether you’re interested in the security of cold wallets, like hardware wallets, or the accessibility of hot wallets connected to the internet, we’ll cover it all. We’ll also touch on the role of private keys and the unique aspects of paper wallets. Understanding crypto wallets is as vital as selecting the best credit cards for your financial needs. This guide is designed to equip both new and experienced market participants with the knowledge to navigate the ever-changing crypto landscape effectively. What are Crypto Wallets? Just as a credit card is a key tool in personal finance, a crypto wallet is essential in the world of digital currency. Crypto wallets, much like wallets that store credit cards, are where you keep your valuable digital assets. However, unlike a physical wallet, a crypto wallet doesn’t actually hold your cryptocurrency. Instead, it stores private keys – crucial codes needed to access and manage your crypto. There are several types of crypto wallets, each offering different security levels and conveniences. Hot wallets, which are software wallets connected to the internet, provide easy access and are ideal for those frequently trading on crypto exchanges. They’re akin to using a credit card for everyday purchases. However, being online, they require a robust privacy policy to ensure security. On the other hand, cold wallets, such as hardware wallets or paper wallets, offer enhanced security. A hardware wallet, resembling a USB drive, stores your private keys offline, making them immune to online hacking attempts. This is similar to keeping the best credit cards in a safe. A paper wallet involves writing your private keys on a piece of paper, an old-school but effective form of cold storage. For long-term storage, cold wallets are preferred. They’re like safety deposit boxes for your digital wealth. Whether you choose a hot wallet for convenience or a cold wallet for security, understanding how to store your crypto safely is crucial in safeguarding your digital investments. What Are the Safest Wallets to Hold Crypto? Crypto wallets, much like a secure vault for your credit card, are essential for safeguarding your digital assets. The key to crypto safety lies in the type of wallet you choose, each offering different levels of security and convenience. Cold wallets, including hardware wallets and paper wallets, are widely recognized as the safest options for long-term storage of cryptocurrencies. A hardware wallet, similar to a high-security credit card for digital currency, stores your private keys offline, significantly reducing the risk of online hacks. These devices, resembling USB drives, connect to your computer only when you need to access your crypto, mirroring the concept of using a credit card for specific transactions only. On the other hand, hot wallets, which are software wallets connected to the internet, offer ease of use and quick access, much like using a credit card for everyday purchases. However, they pose a higher security risk, akin to carrying a credit card that could be susceptible to theft. For those actively trading or frequently accessing their crypto, hot wallets serve as a convenient option, but with the caveat of increased vulnerability. For utmost security, especially for significant amounts of cryptocurrency, investing in a hardware wallet is advisable. Think of it as choosing the best credit card for major transactions – you want reliability, security, and peace of mind. While cold wallets like hardware wallets come with a cost, they are akin to investing in a premium credit card that offers enhanced security features for your financial assets. Whether it’s a hardware wallet for long-term storage or a hot wallet for regular transactions, the key is to choose a wallet that aligns with your usage patterns and security needs.   Types of Crypto Wallets In the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, understanding the types of crypto wallets is as crucial as choosing the right credit card for your financial needs. Here’s a breakdown of the main types of crypto wallets: Hot Wallets Hot wallets are digital wallets that are always connected to the internet, similar to online banking for your credit cards. They offer convenience and quick access, making them ideal for frequent transactions, much like using a credit card for daily purchases. However, this constant connectivity also poses security risks, as they are more vulnerable to online threats and hacks. Cold Wallets Cold wallets, including hardware wallets, are like secure safes for your digital assets. They store your private keys offline, providing enhanced security compared to hot wallets. This is akin to keeping your best credit cards in a secure place, away from potential theft. While they offer superior security, especially for long-term storage, their offline nature means they are less convenient for regular transactions. Paper Wallets Paper wallets involve printing your private keys or seed phrases on a piece of paper. They are a form of cold storage, completely offline, and can be as secure as storing a credit card in a locked safe. However, they are not user-friendly and are susceptible to physical damage like fire or water, making them less ideal for active traders. Comparison of Wallet Types For active traders and those frequently accessing their crypto, hot wallets or software wallets are more suitable due to their ease of use and quick access. For long-term investors or those holding large amounts of cryptocurrency, cold wallets, particularly hardware wallets, offer better security. Paper wallets are best for those who want an extremely secure, albeit less convenient, form of cold storage. Each type of wallet serves different user needs, much like how different credit cards cater to various spending habits and security preferences in personal finance. Choosing the right wallet depends on your individual needs, whether it’s the convenience of a hot wallet or the security of a cold wallet. Best Hardware Wallets How hardware wallets work Cold hardware wallets, much like secure vaults for your digital assets, are essential for robust cryptocurrency storage. These devices, often small and USB-like, serve as the ultimate safeguard, akin to the most secure credit cards for your digital currency. They operate offline, similar to keeping your best credit cards disconnected from risky online transactions, thus providing a fortress against online threats. When you use a hardware wallet, it’s like using a credit card for specific, secure transactions. You connect the wallet to your computer to generate an address, allowing you to receive crypto securely. Similarly, you can send crypto from this wallet to another address. Each wallet supports various cryptocurrencies, from popular ones like Bitcoin to others, ensuring versatility in your digital financial management. A critical feature of these wallets is the recovery phrase, akin to a credit card’s PIN, offering a backup in case the device is lost. This phrase is a cornerstone of your crypto’s security, much like a privacy policy safeguards your credit card information. While these wallets prioritize security, they trade off some convenience, as accessing your crypto requires connecting the wallet, similar to retrieving a credit card from a safe for each use. Despite this, for substantial cryptocurrency holdings, the security of a cold hardware wallet, just like choosing the best credit cards for major transactions, is an investment in peace of mind. Best hardware wallets in 2024 In the constantly changing world of cryptocurrency, similar to selecting the best credit cards for personal finance, choosing the right hardware wallet is crucial for securing your digital assets. Here are the top 5 hardware wallets: 1. Trezor Model T (Best Overall) Trezor Model T is renowned for its top-notch security and user-friendly experience. Supporting over 8,000+ crypto assets, it features a color touchscreen and web 3.0 wallet integrations. However, its compatibility with iOS devices is limited. Priced at €179, it’s akin to having a premium credit card for your digital currency. 2. Ledger Nano X (Best for All Devices) Priced at €149, the Ledger Nano X stands out with its Bluetooth connectivity, enabling easy management of over 5,500 cryptocurrencies across various devices. It boasts a secure element chip and supports popular blockchain networks, making it a versatile choice for diverse crypto portfolios. 3. Safepal S1 (Best for Trading) Backed by Binance, the Safepal S1 is ideal for spot trading, supporting 32 blockchains and over 5,000 tokens. Its air-gapped signing mechanism and integration with the Binance exchange enhance its security and trading capabilities. 4. Ellipal Titan (Best for Mobile) Priced at $169, the Ellipal Titan 2.0 offers air-gapped cold storage and supports a wide range of crypto assets. It focuses on mobile users with DApp functionality and ease of access to DeFi protocols, though it lacks desktop support. 5. BC Vault (Best for Long-Term Storage) BC Vault uses a seedless cold storage approach with a recovery method via an encrypted SD card. Priced at $138, it features a FeRAM chip with over 200 years of lifespan and supports thousands of coins, making it ideal for long-term storage. Each type of wallet serves different user needs, much like how different credit cards cater to various spending habits and security preferences in personal finance. Choosing the right wallet depends on your individual needs, whether it’s the convenience of a hot wallet or the security of a cold wallet. Best Software Wallets How software wallets work Software wallets, much like the apps used for managing credit cards in personal finance, are applications installed on your computer or smartphone. They interact with the blockchain, enabling you to manage your crypto assets. However, unlike a credit card app, software wallets don’t actually store crypto. Instead, they hold private keys, the crucial codes for accessing your digital currency on the blockchain. These wallets are non-custodial, meaning you directly control your private keys, unlike custodial wallets used on some crypto exchanges. This direct control is akin to having a personal key for a safety deposit box, ensuring access to your assets even if the wallet software ceases to exist. Functioning as simple software on your device, these wallets use your screen to present transaction interfaces and store your private keys in an encrypted form. This is known as “hot storage,” indicating that the keys are readily accessible but also more exposed to online threats. When you confirm a transaction, the software wallet uses your private key to sign it, much like authorizing a transaction with a credit card, but in a digital realm. Software wallets are popular due to their ease of use, minimal barriers to entry, and compatibility with various blockchain apps and services. They offer a user-friendly interface, making them ideal for beginners in crypto, similar to user-friendly credit card apps. However, the convenience of being always connected to the internet, like a hot wallet, brings risks. Your private keys, stored within the browser’s data, are vulnerable to online threats, akin to the risks of storing credit card information online. This vulnerability highlights the importance of weighing convenience against security when choosing how to store your crypto assets. Best Software Wallets in 2024 Here are the top 5 software wallets of 2024, each offering unique features to suit different user preferences: 1. Coinbase Wallet (Best for Beginners) Coinbase Wallet is a user-friendly mobile app and browser extension wallet created by Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It allows users to buy crypto directly from Coinbase, transfer crypto from their Coinbase account, interact with DeFi protocols, and store a wide range of cryptocurrencies. This wallet is ideal for beginners due to its simplicity and integration with the Coinbase platform. 2. MetaMask (Best for Ethereum) MetaMask is a widely-used mobile wallet and browser extension known for its easy-to-use interface. It’s particularly popular among investors interested in NFTs and DeFi protocols on the Ethereum network. However, it’s limited to Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, which might be a drawback for those looking to store other types of cryptocurrencies. 3. ZenGo (Best for Easy Account Recovery) ZenGo stands out for its user-friendly design and unique account recovery feature. Each wallet has two ‘mathematical secret shares’ – one with the user and one on the company’s server. This feature allows users to recover their wallet even if they lose access to their private keys, making it a great choice for those concerned about losing access to their crypto. 4. Guarda Wallet (Best for Cryptocurrency Selection) Guarda Wallet is available on desktop, mobile, and browsers and is known for supporting a vast array of blockchains and crypto-assets. It supports more than 400,000 cryptocurrencies but does not currently support NFTs. Guarda is a good choice for those looking for a wallet with a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies. 5. Crypto.com DeFi Wallet (Best for DeFi Staking) The Crypto.com DeFi Wallet is excellent for investors interested in DeFi. It integrates with your Crypto.com exchange account, allowing easy transfer of cryptocurrency between platforms. The wallet also offers features like staking rewards and an Ethereum gas tracker, making it a solid choice for DeFi enthusiasts. Each of these software wallets offers unique features and benefits, similar to how different credit cards cater to various needs in personal finance. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced crypto user, these wallets provide a range of options to securely manage and store your digital assets.   HOW TO CREATE A CRYPTO WALLET Creating a crypto wallet is similar to selecting a secure place for your digital assets, much like choosing a bank for your credit cards in personal finance. A crypto wallet doesn’t store your cryptocurrencies directly; instead, it holds your private keys, which are essential for accessing your crypto on the blockchain. This is similar to how a credit card contains secure information for accessing your funds. Steps to Create a Software Wallet Selecting a Wallet App: The first step is choosing a reliable software wallet app. Options like Exodus, Electrum, and Trust Wallet offer various features and security levels. It’s crucial to research and compare these wallets, akin to choosing the best credit cards for your needs. Downloading and Setting Up: After selecting a wallet, download it from the official source to ensure security. Then, create an account with basic information and a strong password, much like setting up online access for a credit card. Transferring Assets: Finally, transfer your cryptocurrencies to your new wallet. This can be done by depositing from a bank account, exchanging other cryptos, or receiving them from another wallet. Ensure you use the correct wallet address, similar to using the right account number for a credit card transaction. Creating a Hardware Wallet Choosing and Buying Hardware: Research and buy a hardware wallet like Ledger Nano X or Trezor Model T. These wallets are like high-security versions of credit cards for your digital currency. Installing Software and Transferring Crypto: Install the necessary software and transfer your cryptocurrency to the wallet. This process is akin to activating a new credit card and then using it for transactions. Setting Up a Paper Wallet Generating Keys: Use a reputable wallet generator to create your public and private keys. This is similar to receiving a credit card and its security PIN. Printing and Storing Safely: Print the keys on paper and store them securely, like keeping a credit card in a safe place. Key Considerations Security: Choose a wallet with robust security features, akin to selecting a credit card with a strong privacy policy. Ease of Use: Consider the user-friendliness of the wallet, similar to how you’d choose a credit card with a user-friendly online platform. Support for Multiple Cryptocurrencies: Ensure the wallet supports various cryptocurrencies, just as you might choose a credit card that offers multi-currency transactions.   What’s the difference – Software Vs Hardware Wallets Software Wallets: Convenient but Vulnerable Software wallets, also known as hot wallets, are applications installed on internet-connected devices like smartphones or computers. They store your private keys in an encrypted state within your device’s data store, akin to how a credit card app stores your card details. While they offer ease of access and are usually free, much like downloading a credit card app, they are constantly connected to the internet. This connection makes them susceptible to online threats, similar to the risks associated with using credit cards online. The primary risk is that your private keys, which are like the PIN of your credit card, are vulnerable to hackers. Hardware Wallets: Enhanced Security On the other hand, hardware wallets, or cold wallets, provide enhanced security for storing cryptocurrencies. These physical devices, similar to high-security credit cards, store your private keys offline. This isolation from the internet shields them from online hacking attempts, offering a level of security akin to using a credit card with advanced fraud protection. They might be less convenient for frequent transactions, but for long-term storage, they are akin to storing your best credit cards in a safe. Making the Right Choice Choosing between a software and a hardware wallet depends on your needs. If you frequently trade or access your crypto, much like using a credit card for daily expenses, a software wallet offers convenience. However, for long term storage or large amounts of cryptocurrency, akin to keeping your best credit cards for major purchases only, a hardware wallet provides superior security. It’s about balancing ease of access with the level of security, much like managing personal finance and credit cards. Best Practices For Storing Cryptocurrencies Storing cryptocurrencies safely is as crucial as protecting your credit cards in personal finance. Cryptocurrencies, unlike traditional currencies, require unique methods of safekeeping due to their digital nature and the risks associated with online platforms. Consequently, just as you would choose a bank with a strong privacy policy for your credit cards, selecting the right storage for your digital assets is essential. Choosing the Right Wallet Cold Storage for Long-Term Security: Cold wallets, like hardware wallets, offer the highest security level by storing private keys offline. This method is akin to using a safe for your best credit cards, providing a barrier against online threats. Hardware wallets, although they may have an upfront cost, are ideal for long-term storage of significant crypto assets. Hot Wallets for Accessibility: Hot wallets, including software wallets, are connected to the internet and offer convenience for frequent transactions, much like using a credit card for daily expenses. However, they are more susceptible to online attacks. Therefore, it’s advisable to store only a small amount of crypto in hot wallets for regular use. Multi-Factor Authentication: Similarly, just as you would secure your credit card accounts, enable two-factor authentication for your crypto wallets. This adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for unauthorized users to gain access. Safeguarding Your Assets Backup and Encrypt: Regularly backup your wallet and encrypt the backup to protect against data loss or theft. This is similar to keeping a copy of your credit card information in a secure place. Keep Private Keys Private: Importantly, your private keys are the most critical aspect of your crypto security. Store them securely and never share them, akin to how you would protect your credit card PIN. Be Cautious with Exchanges: While exchanges are necessary for trading, they can be vulnerable to hacks. Use them cautiously, similar to how you would cautiously use your credit card on online platforms. Regular Updates and Strong Passwords: Keep your wallet software up to date and use strong, unique passwords. This is as important as updating your banking apps and using strong passwords for your credit card accounts. Awareness and Due Diligence: Additionally, stay informed about phishing scams and other online threats. Be diligent in researching and understanding the platforms and wallets you use, just as you would research a bank or credit card company. Ultimately, storing cryptocurrencies safely involves a balance between security and accessibility. Whether you choose a hardware wallet for long-term security or a hot wallet for ease of access, the key is to be mindful of the best practices, much like managing your personal finance and credit cards.. Conclusion In conclusion, the journey of storing cryptocurrencies safely mirrors the careful management of credit cards in personal finance. Whether opting for a hardware wallet for long-term cold storage or a software wallet connected to the internet for daily use, the principles of security remain paramount. Emphasizing practices like multi-factor authentication and regular backups, comparable to safeguarding a credit card’s privacy policy, is essential. As the crypto market evolves, staying informed and cautious, much like managing personal finance, becomes crucial. By following these best practices, you not only ensure the safety of your digital assets but also navigate the dynamic world of cryptocurrency with informed confidence, akin to choosing the best credit cards for your financial needs. FAQ Q: How does a cold wallet differ from a paper wallet in terms of securing my private key? A: A cold wallet, such as a hardware wallet, stores your private key offline, providing strong protection against online threats. A paper wallet, also a form of cold storage, involves printing your private key and public address on paper. While both secure your private key offline, a paper wallet is more susceptible to physical damage but is often considered a very secure way to store cryptocurrency for long periods. Q: What are the benefits of using cold storage, like a paper wallet, for long-term cryptocurrency storage? A: Cold storage methods, including paper wallets, offer enhanced security for long-term storage of cryptocurrencies. They keep your private key completely offline, safeguarding it from online hacking attempts. Paper wallets, used correctly, can be an extremely secure and cost-effective way to store cryptocurrency, though they require careful handling to prevent loss or damage. Q: Is it safer to store cryptocurrency in a cold wallet compared to online wallets? A: Yes, storing cryptocurrency in a cold wallet is generally safer than online wallets. Cold wallets, such as hardware or paper wallets, are not connected to the internet, significantly reducing the risk of hacking. They are ideal for storing large amounts of cryptocurrency securely, especially for long-term holdings. Q: Can I transfer my cryptocurrency from a paper wallet to a cold wallet for added security? A: Absolutely. You can transfer cryptocurrency from a paper wallet to another form of cold storage, like a hardware wallet, for added security and convenience. This process involves importing your private key from the paper wallet to the cold wallet, ensuring your assets remain secure during the transfer. Q: How do I ensure the safety of my private key when using a paper wallet for storing cryptocurrency? A: To ensure the safety of your private key with a paper wallet, store it in a secure, private location, away from potential physical damage like water or fire. Consider using a laminated paper wallet or storing it in a safe deposit box. Additionally, make sure to have a secure backup of your private key. Q: What are the risks associated with losing the private key of my cold wallet or paper wallet? A: Losing the private key of your cold wallet or paper wallet can result in the permanent loss of access to your stored cryptocurrency. Unlike custodial wallets, where you can recover access through customer service, losing your private key in non-custodial storage options means no one can retrieve your assets. Therefore, it’s crucial to securely back up and protect your private key.  

about 2 months ago
Coinpedia
Coinpedia
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The post Thunder Terminal Cyberattack: Funds Stolen, Hacker Demands 50 ETH Ransom appeared first on Coinpedia Fintech News In a recent cyberattack, the multi-chain trading platform Thunder Terminal fell victim to a hacker attack, revealing that a malicious actor exploited vulnerabilities to gain access to a MongoDB connection. The breach, disclosed on December 27, highlighted the hacker’s successful acquisition of a MongoDB connection URL, which granted them access to session tokens and enabled unauthorized withdrawals on behalf of users. Incident ReportAt 12:11:47 AM UTC, suspicious withdrawals started getting sent through Thunder wallets. A malicious actor got access to a MongoDB connection URL which they used to pull session tokens and execute withdrawals on behalf of users.At 12:20:35 AM UTC, the last… — Thunder (@ThunderTerminal) December 27, 2023 Response by the Thunder Terminal Team Thunder Terminal promptly responded to the security breach by revoking all session tokens and transaction signing access as a precautionary measure. They took several steps to prevent further malicious withdrawals and future access to session tokens: Revoked all pre-existing connection URLs. Revoked all pre-existing session tokens. Ensured that all current and future connection URLs can only be accessed and used directly from their servers. While assuring users that no private keys or wallets were compromised, Thunder Terminal acknowledged that “less than 1% of wallets” were affected, resulting in funds being stolen from a minimum of 114 wallets. They clarified that the exploit occurred through withdrawal requests that their server considered authorized due to leaked session tokens, emphasizing that no private keys were stored, and desktop wallets remained unaffected. As of the latest update, the exact method through which the hacker gained access to the project’s database remains unclear. Thunder Terminal suggested a potential link to an incident involving New York-based MongoDB. In mid-December, MongoDB reported detecting “suspicious activity” on its network, ultimately confirming a breach where hackers had infiltrated their systems. Blockchain Analyst’s Findings Blockchain analyst ZachXBT traced the attack, revealing that 86.5 ETH (approximately $192,500) was transferred to Railgun, a privacy-centric protocol facilitating anonymous cryptocurrency swaps and private transactions. Additionally, the hacker made off with over 439 SOL (around $49,160). Initially, Thunder Terminal attributed the attack to a compromise of their third-party provider and assured users that their funds were safe, promising imminent refunds. However, a surprising twist occurred when the hacker issued a blockchain-based statement. This message accused the Thunder Team of dishonesty and demanded a ransom of 50 ETH, threatening to disclose all user data if the payment was not made. Conclusion Thunder Terminal’s recent ordeal serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threats facing the cryptocurrency space. When platforms rely on third-party services for data accumulation, the entire system becomes vulnerable to security threats. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve, platforms must remain vigilant and reinforce their security measures. Stakeholders should prioritize user protection and strengthen their defenses against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

2 months ago
Coin Edition
Coin Edition
Blockchain Security Firm Recommends How To Build a Safe DeFi
3 months ago
PancakeSwap
PancakeSwap
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To our Pancake Protectors community, We want to share an update concerning recent events related to the Pancake Protectors game on August 21st. 👉 1. Addressing an Unexpected Challenge 1.1)On August 21st, our game servers faced an unexpected circumstance. A notable script-based event aimed to stress our servers and introduce latency to the game. As a result, there was a brief disruption towards the end of Season 6. 1.2)We want to assure you that all user funds, both on-chain and in-game, remain secure and unaffected by this incident. 2. Immediate Actions and Adjustments In response, we've implemented the following measures: 2.1)S6 Settling Time: The settling time for S6 has been rescheduled to 12:00 UTC on Tuesday and adjusted for most activities in the game. This new timing aims to accommodate all players. 2.2)Arena Entries: For S6, there are no restrictions on the number of arena entries. You can engage without concerns about losing your arena opportunities. 2.3)Compensation for Purchased Arena Entries: Players who purchased arena entries before the original settlement time of S6 will receive specific in-game resource compensation. 2.4)Post-S7 Compensation: Upon entering Season 7, all active players in the Arena will receive in-game resource compensations. 3. Future Preventive Measures To safeguard against future situations, we're actively taking steps: 3.1)Enhanced Server Protection: We're enhancing the server's defense mechanisms to detect and counteract script-based events more accurately. 3.2)Strengthened Security: We're enhancing our automatic server defense services to ensure resilience against potential threats. While we deeply regret any inconvenience caused, we are genuinely thankful for your understanding and patience as we work tirelessly to overcome these challenges and elevate our systems. Your support is invaluable to us. 🙏 We will keep everyone informed about our progress as we move forward together.

1
6 months ago
Binance Blog
Binance Blog
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Main TakeawaysEducate yourself for protection. As interest in blockchain grows, so does the risk of cyberattacks. Staying informed about attack methods is crucial for protecting your accounts and recognizing danger.Scammers employ a variety of techniques, including session/cookie attacks, phishing attempts, and 2FA hijacks to access and take over your account.Among other measures, you can help keep yourself safe by avoiding public Wi-Fi for financial activities, keeping your 2FA devices secure, and always verifying links and outreach from potential scammers.Account takeovers are an unfortunate aspect of dealing with cryptocurrencies, so taking precautions is key to staying safe.As interest in the blockchain ecosystem grows, it's inevitable that bad actors look to capitalize on this trend. One of the best ways to keep yourself protected and your account firmly in your hands is to educate yourself on their methods.Building on our Stay Safe articles, we're peeling back the curtain on these tactics to provide you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself. From phishing tricks to 2FA takeovers, you'll learn what to look out for and how to better equip yourself to prevent, detect, and respond to potential hijacking threats.In today’s blog, we’ll cover some of the more sophisticated attacks you might not be familiar with. You’ll also learn exactly how you can avoid them with our safety recommendations.Account Takeover 1: Session/Cookie HijackingAny internet user is likely to know that websites use cookies. But do you know why they exist and how they can be used maliciously? First, let’s get back to the basics.Getting to grips with cookiesCookies store important information, allowing a server to remember it's you when you access a web page or application. This could save you time logging in, reauthenticating yourself, or keeping your search preferences. This process of remembering who you are is known as a session. Let’s look at an example. Imagine you decide to do some “googling” one evening. Over the space of an hour, you start checking flights, looking up directions, and then researching movie times at the local cinema. During your session, Google will send you cookies that can identify you the next time you access their services. Such cookies consist of small text files that contain unique data that can  personalize your experience.The next time you go back to Google, you may find that it remembers details of your last search. It could also recognize your account details if you had decided to log in during your last Google session.Cookies are often stored in a user’s browser or device for as little as 24 hours and up to a few months. We may have apps on our phones that, once logged in, don't need us to enter the password every time we open it if we use it regularly. This access could, however, be revoked if the system is able to detect that this app has not been used for a while. The next time the user wants to use the app, they have to log in and start a new session. Cookies can be abused by hijackersWhile cookies can be useful, what would happen if someone managed to get hold of them? If an attacker were to gain access to your session cookies, they may be able to access your logged-in accounts. To get your cookies, the attacker typically needs to access your browser or device, but this can be difficult. Instead, a bad actor will use other methods to hijack your cookies:Session fixation - An attacker sends the victim a pre-fixed session ID attached to a certain website. When a user clicks on it and logs in, the session becomes identical to the session ID prefixed by the attacker. The attacker can now gain access to the victim’s account as they have the same session ID.Session sniffing - This attack usually happens on unsecured Wi-Fi networks like you’d find in a mall or airport. An attacker plants a session sniffer that steals session information from all traffic on the public network.Cross-site scripting - An attacker will send a victim a link, tricking them into thinking it's legitimate. On the page, a malicious script may be hidden behind an image. When a user clicks on that link, the page loads, and the script searches for session IDs, which are returned to the bad actor.Once armed with your session ID, a hijacker opens the page they want to access with your cookies. A request will be sent to the server along with your session ID, and the server will be tricked into thinking it's you and log the attacker in.Sarah’s cookie-stealing storyTo give a bit of context, let’s look at an example of how an attacker can hijack your cookies.Sarah, a frequent cryptocurrency trader, had just arrived at a coffee shop to catch up on her open positions on Binance during a weekend getaway. Eager to check her investments, she logs into the account using the cafe's public Wi-Fi. Unbeknownst to her, an attacker has decided to exploit the vulnerability of the coffee shop’s public network. Using the session sniffing method outlined above, the attacker intercepts and steals the session cookies that were generated when Sarah logged into her Binance account. Armed with these stolen cookies, the attacker gained unauthorized access to Sarah's account, putting her investments and sensitive information at risk.So what was the big issue here? Well, Sarah chose to use an unsecured public Wi-Fi network to access her financial accounts. Public Wi-Fi networks are known to lack robust security measures, making them a hotspot for hackers. How to Recognize a Session/Cookie Hijacking AttemptHow might have Sarah been able to recognize she’d had her cookies stolen? Luckily for the crypto community, there are a few telltale signs that you might be under attack!A new device has appeared without you logging inMany services will let you see exactly what devices/IP you’ve logged in with and when you logged in. If an attacker has your active session ID with an authenticated login, you may see they’ve accessed your account from an unrecognized location or device.Two devices are logged in at the same time using different IP addressesIt’s not uncommon for people to be logged in to a service on two different devices at the same time. However, these devices typically access the site from the same location and IP address. Two devices across two different locations likely suggest two different people are using the account at the same time.Here’s an example below of what it would it could look like on Binance:You can access the [Account Activity Records] page by hovering over the account icon on the main navigation bar and clicking [Security].Next, scroll down the page to the [Devices and Activities] section and click [More] next to [Account Activity].How to Avoid Session/Cookie Hijacking AttacksAvoid using public Wi-Fi or other unknown networks to access your accounts.Avoid adding risky, untrustworthy plugins to your browser that might pose a risk of “man-in-the-browser” attacks. These can allow attackers to install malware into your browser and steal important information stored there.Use antivirus software to protect your devices.Avoid logging into your account from unknown or other devices.Account Takeover 2: Compromised Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)If you’re serious about your security, you should be using 2FA. 2FA requires two types of authentication to verify your identity when logging in to an account. Typically, you’d use a phone, physical authenticator, or perhaps email as your second authentication device. While 2FA is a highly secure method to use, it isn't immune to cyber attacks. At the end of the day, your 2FA-enabled account is only as secure as you keep your 2FA device.Why attackers will want to compromise your 2FAAfter compromising a 2FA device, an attacker has a few options to choose from:Freely access any of your service’s features and products. For example, they could make a withdrawal request using a 2FA verification code.Lock out the account's owner. An attacker can delete your previously authorized devices and add their device as 2FA. This will likely give them access to your account for longer and make it more difficult for you to retrieve it.Regain access to the account. Even if you change your password, the attacker may be able to reset it using your compromised 2FA device.Mark’s 2FA troublesWith all the information laid out, let’s put it together in a use case. Mark is a diligent investor who’s proud of the layers of security he set up for his online banking account. After reading about 2FA online, Mark added his smartphone as an authenticator for his online banking app.After downloading a few apps on his phone in preparation for a long trip, Mark’s sense of security was soon shattered. At the end of his journey, Mark finds his bank account drained. In a calculated attack, a hacker had gained access to Mark's 2FA device and log-in information by infecting his phone with malware. With control over the device, the attacker bypassed the 2FA process and swiftly transferred funds out of Mark's account.Mark's security breach was partly the result of his own oversight. He had inadvertently installed a malicious app on his smartphone while downloading software from an unofficial app store. This malicious app managed to exploit vulnerabilities in Mark's device's operating system, gaining access to the phone's functions and data. Because Mark's banking app was linked to his smartphone for 2FA, the hacker had full control over his 2FA device, allowing them to bypass this crucial security layer.How to Avoid 2FA AttacksAvoid using the same email address for all your 2FA accounts. If your email address is compromised, then all your accounts will be compromised. Creating an email address only for your Binance account to help limit the risk of exposure to the outside world. For example, we often fill up our email address in surveys or many other places, which can pose a risk of exposing our email accounts.Secure your email account with another 2FA device as well, like a phone or other authenticator device.Set stronger passwords. Avoid using words or names, as these are often found in password leaks. Using alphanumeric passwords with special characters and a mixture of capital letters can increase your account’s security.Check your account’s activity and device management history regularly to detect any abnormalities. Early detection can be helpful in preventing losses.Account Takeover 3: Phishing AttacksPhishing is a type of social engineering attack where an attacker attempts to trick users into providing important information. This is typically done by manipulating their emotions or impersonating someone of authority.Phishing manipulation tacticsAttackers always tend to manipulate a user’s emotions of fear or greed. For example, a bad actor could send a spoofing SMS or email to a user claiming unauthorized withdrawals on their account.The message will say that if they don’t log in to confirm their identity, they will lose these funds. However, by using the link in the email or SMS, the user will actually give their details over to the attacker. The same tactic could be used by claiming the victim has a prize to claim, or that there’s an investment opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of now.To claim their prize or invest, the victim is encouraged to connect their wallet to a decentralized application (DApp). The DApp will then drain the wallet.You can see below an example of a phishing SMS sent to a Binance user. The URL provided looks similar to the real Binance URL but is, in fact, a malicious site. Note that Binance will never send you an SMS containing a URL.Emma’s phishing experienceMeet Emma, an enthusiastic Binance user who loves to earn passive income on her BTC holdings. Recently, Emma received an email from Binance's customer support team. The email stated that there was a potential issue with her account and that urgent action was needed to resolve it. In the link was an email to the Binance login page. Emma inputs her credentials and 2FA code too. However, unbeknownst to Emma, an attacker has phished her details, and there was never any issue in the first place. Emma soon finds that someone is trying to withdraw funds from her Binance account.Emma's downfall was primarily due to her lack of suspicion and haste to address the supposed account issue. The phishing email was designed to evoke a sense of urgency and fear as we previously mentioned, causing Emma to act without thoroughly verifying the legitimacy of the email or the website. She also didn't take the time to cross-check the email sender's address, and the sophisticated design of the fake website made it difficult for her to distinguish it from the real Binance website.How to Avoid Phishing Account TakeoversAvoid accessing links sent by others. Always go through the legitimate or the normal way of logging in.Never click on links that are masked behind URL shorteners.Add anti phishing codes to your Binance account.Always use Binance Verify or contact customer support to see if any communication you’ve received is legitimate.No URL can be exactly the same. A phishing URL or fake Binance web will have a similar-looking link, but it cannot be the same as Binance’s. You can spot these by:“.something” or “-something” being added to the URL.A country code being added, such as “binance-de”, “binance-IT”, or “binance-PR” for example.Keywords being added to the URL, like “account compromised”, “account “blocking, or “account management”.The URL having a slight misspelling, but still looking close to the original name, like “Binacne”.Vigilance Will Help Keep You SafeUnderstanding sophisticated attack methods is paramount in safeguarding your digital assets. Whether it's session/cookie hijacking, a phishing attempt, or a compromised 2FA device, recognizing the tactics employed by malicious actors is your first line of defense.But it’s not the end of your security journey yet. Make sure to keep up to date with new developments and scams by reading the Binance blog. We regularly update you on the latest tactics used by scammers and best security practices too. So, remain vigilant and always have a healthy dose of skepticism at hand too. Your digital assets depend on it!Further ReadingStay Safe: All You Need to Know to Prevent Account Takeover AttacksStay Safe: What to Do if Your Account Gets CompromisedStay Safe: Best Practices for Preventing Account Takeover AttacksDisclaimer: Digital asset prices are subject to high market risk and price volatility. The value of your investment can go down or up, and you may not get back the amount invested. You are solely responsible for your investment decisions, and Binance is not liable for any losses you may incur. Past performance is not a reliable predictor of future performance. You should only invest in products you are familiar with and where you understand the risks. You should carefully consider your investment experience, financial situation, investment objectives, and risk tolerance and consult an independent financial adviser prior to making any investment. This material should not be construed as financial advice. For more information, see our Terms of Use and Risk Warning.

6 months ago

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