If you’re like the rest of the US, you’ve already ditched traditional cash when making purchases. If you actually go to a store, rather than order online, you’re kind of a rare beast. But if you’re one of an estimated 8 percent of Americans who are buying and selling cryptocurrency online, you’re an early adopter in a technological revolution that could see the end of fiat currencies completely. That is, if it can win the battle in fighting cyber crime.
Any cryptocurrency investor knows, it’s not all plain sailing. If you’re smart enough not to get duped by a fly-by-night ICO scam team, and you manage to buy and sell before avoiding colossal drops, hats off to you! But, whatever you do, don’t get complacent. While Bitcoin and friends are impossible to counterfeit, making them safer than traditional cash, they can (and have) been stolen. The secondary software made for crypto users, like wallets and exchanges, is also inherently insecure. This leaves your currency potentially vulnerable to cyber crime.
In fact, it seems like almost daily that we hear about high profile hacking attacks and ICO thefts. The criminal’s vehicle of choice for laundering money and avoiding taxes is under attack itself. Cryptocurrencies are attracting cyber criminals by the bucket load, and it’s important to stay updated on the latest techniques they’re using.
According to a report by SecurityScorecard, a security ratings firm based out of New York, alongside traditional methods of phishing and using fake websites and cryptocurrencies, Man-in-the-Browser Attacks (MitB) are on the rise. And that can leave anyone vulnerable to attack, including you.
Cyber Crime: Man-in-the-Browser Attacks (MitB)
It seems that MitB attacks are gaining in cyber crime popularity as a way of stealing cryptocurrency. SecurityScorecard found that hackers had even made attempts on some of the industry’s most important sites, including coinbase.com and blockchain.info. So, how do you know if you’re under attack from a MitB? There are a few things you can check:
- If you’re using blockchain.info and a “service unavailable” message pops up immediately after logging in, your machine could have been compromised.
- If you can’t use the “Enter” key when filling out the sign-in forms, that may be because it’s been disabled by a hacker. They want you to click the “sign-in” button to generate their malicious code, so disabling the Enter key is common in a MitB attack.
- If you’re not certain, inspect the website’s source code by right-clicking your mouse and selecting “inspect.” If you see obfuscated code, you may be infected and should refrain from signing in.
- If you’re using Coinbase, see if you can access the settings page as, if for some reason you can’t, you may be under attack.
- Finally, always use at least a 2-step authentication every time you sign in and for all transactions. It takes a few more minutes, but it will give you greater peace of mind.
It’s not all champagne and roses in the crypto world just yet. The technology that surrounds the blockchain still has a lot of ways to improve. But you can stay safe online and still invest, just be sure that you know the signs.