Cryptocurrencies have eliminated the risk of physical robbery. However, crypto exists in the digital realm where it is exposed to various types of cyber threats. This article sheds light on phishing attacks and how to avoid them.
What is a Phishing Attack?
A phishing attack is a type of online or digital scam that coerces the victims into giving up their private or sensitive information. This type of attack can expose the victim’s data to threat actors who can misuse it.
It is often classified as a social engineering attack where scammers intend to steal data from their users such as passwords, credit card information, and other personal data. There are various ways to perform phishing attacks.
Types of Phishing Attacks
Here are some of the most common types of phishing attacks:
Hackers can send spiked links filled with malware, spyware, or ransomware included in an email. This is the most common way to perpetrate in an organization or government department.
Spear phishing is also conducted through email but it targets a key person. Such that this type of phishing email can contain very specific information related to the victim. It is usually directed toward personnel who make payments on behalf of their organization.
Whaling attacks target top executives and their goal is to steal as much sensitive information as possible. Since criminals are dealing with company executives, therefore rather than sending detectable fake emails they try to impersonate other executives.
Smishing and Vishing
Smishing is done through text messages in the same way as email phishing. Meanwhile, vishing can involve trying to extract personal information from the users using telephonic conversation.
Angler phishing weaponizes social media platforms. It can contain a flurry of fake accounts, spiked URLs, clone sites, posts, messaging, etc. In some cases, scammers can also impersonate corporate or influencer accounts.
What is Crypto Phishing Attack?
A crypto phishing attack is also a way to siphon data from the target. However, in this case, the threat actors can be after wallet credentials, private keys, and even seed phrases. Crypto phishing attacks may take place using ICOs, free token giveaways, coin dusting, etc.
How to Spot a Crypto Phishing Attack?
Here are some tell-tale signs of crypto phishing attacks:
Phishing attackers often impersonate a legitimate organization, individual, or business. They can steal logos, typefaces, and color schemes to throw off their victims. However, the receiver can ascertain the difference through investigation.
Phishing emails or other mediums can often contain grammar mistakes and inaccuracies such as spelling errors. The main reason is to bypass spam filters and the other reason is the insufficient knowledge of the threat actors.
Phishing sources are bound to be filled with suspicious links. The aim of the threat actors is to ensure that their victims click on the spiked links as much as possible. Scammers may use a pharming attack which means adding clone sites in the URLs.
Clone phishing is a method where hackers try to deceive their victims by replicating official email addresses. The email can appear to be identical to the original one but it is created on a malicious domain.
How to Avoid Crypto Phishing Attacks?
Here are some of the best ways to avoid crypto phishing attacks:
- Use a good anti-virus to sort emails and check and scan every new link before opening it in the browser.
- Do not click on unknown URLs or download attachments.
- Update your software and operating system to the latest version.
- Create strong passwords and never repeat them among various accounts.
- Activate two-factor verification and add various methods of security confirmation such as fingerprint authentication etc.
- Never share your private key information with anyone and keep it stored in a secure place.
- Use reputable crypto exchanges and custodial services providers.
- Double-check websites and use security extensions to ensure their authenticity.
- Enable VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.
When it comes to the digital world, it is not possible to adopt sufficient precautions. Phishing attacks are scary but they allow the investors to update their software and use the latest gadget to stay protected.