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Community Submission - Author: WhoTookMyCrypto.com

2017 was a remarkable year for the cryptocurrency industry as their rapid increase in valuations propelled them into mainstream media. Unsurprisingly, this garnered them immense interest from both the general public as well as cybercriminals. The relative anonymity offered by cryptocurrencies has made them a favorite amongst criminals who often use them to bypass traditional banking systems and avoid financial surveillance from regulators.

Given that people are spending more time on their smartphones than desktops, it is thus not surprising that cybercriminals have also turned their attention to them. The following discussion highlights how scammers have been targeting cryptocurrency users through their mobile devices, along with a few steps that users can take to protect themselves.

Fake cryptocurrency apps

Fake cryptocurrency exchange apps

The most well-known example of a fake cryptocurrency exchange app is probably the one of Poloniex. Prior to the launch of their official mobile trading app in July 2018, Google Play was already listing several fake Poloniex exchange apps, which were intentionally designed to be functional. Many users that downloaded those fraudulent apps had their Poloniex login credentials compromised, and their cryptocurrencies were stolen. Some apps even went a step further requesting the login credentials of users Gmail accounts. It is important to highlight that only accounts without two-factor authentication (2FA) were compromised.

The following steps can help protect you against such scams.

  • Check the exchange’s official website to verify if they indeed offer a mobile trading app. If so, use the link provided on their website.

  • Read the reviews and ratings. Fraudulent apps often have many bad reviews with people complaining about getting scammed, so make sure to check them before you download. However, you should also be skeptical of apps that present perfect ratings and comments. Any legitimate app has its fair share of negative reviews.

  • Check the app developer information. Look for whether a legitimate company, email address, and website are provided. You should also perform an online search on the information provided to see if they are really related to the official exchange.

  • Check the number of downloads. The download count should also be considered. It is unlikely that a highly popular cryptocurrency exchange would have a small number of downloads.

  • Activate 2FA on your accounts. Although not 100% secure, 2FA is much harder to bypass and can make a huge difference in protecting your funds, even if your login credentials are phished.

Fake cryptocurrency wallet apps

There are many different types of fake apps. One variation seeks to obtain personal information from users such as their wallet passwords and private keys.

In some cases, fake apps provide previously generated public addresses to users. So they assume funds are to be deposited into these addresses. However, they do not gain access to the private keys and thus do not have access to any funds that are sent to them.

Such fake wallets have been created for popular cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Neo and, unfortunately, many users lost their funds. Here are some preventive steps that can be taken to avoid becoming a victim:

  • The precautions highlighted in the exchange app segment above are equally applicable. However, an additional precaution you can take when dealing with wallet apps is to make sure brand new addresses are generated when you first open the app, and that you are in possession of the private keys (or mnemonic seeds). A legitimate wallet app allows you to export the private keys, but it is also important to ensure the generation of new key pairs is not compromised. So you should use a reputable software (preferably open source).

  • Even if the app provides you a private key (or seed), you should verify whether the public addresses can be derived and accessed from them. For example, some Bitcoin wallets allow users to import their private keys or seeds to visualize the addresses and access the funds. To minimize the risks of keys and seeds being compromised, you may perform this on an air-gapped computer (disconnected from the internet).

Cryptojacking apps

Cryptojacking has been a hot favorite amongst cybercriminals due to the low barriers to entry and low overheads required. Furthermore, it offers them the potential for long-term recurring income. Despite their lower processing power when compared to PCs, mobile devices are increasingly becoming a target of cryptojacking.

Apart from web-browser cryptojacking, cybercriminals are also developing programs that appear to be legitimate gaming, utility or educational apps. However, many of these apps are designed to secretly run crypto-mining scripts in the background.

There are also cryptojacking apps that are advertised as legitimate third-party miners, but the rewards are delivered to the app developer instead of the users.

To make things worse, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated, deploying lightweight mining algorithms to avoid detection.

Cryptojacking is incredibly harmful to your mobile devices as they degrade performance and accelerates wear and tear. Even worse, they could potentially act as Trojan horses for more nefarious malware.

The following steps can be taken to guard against them.

  • Only download apps from official stores, such as Google Play. Pirated apps are not pre-scanned and are more likely to contain cryptojacking scripts.

  • Monitor your phone for excessive battery draining or overheating. Once detected, terminate apps that are causing this.

  • Keep your device and apps updated so that security vulnerabilities get patched.

  • Use a web browser that guards against cryptojacking or install reputable browser plug-ins, such as MinerBlock, NoCoin, and Adblock.

  • If possible, install mobile antivirus software and keep it updated.

Free giveaway and fake crypto-miner apps

These are apps that pretend to mine cryptocurrencies for their users but don’t actually do anything apart from displaying ads. They incentivize users to keep the apps open by reflecting an increase in the user’s rewards over time. Some apps even incentivize users to leave 5-star ratings in order to get rewards. Of course, none of these apps were actually mining, and their users never received any rewards.

To guard against this scam, understand that for the majority of cryptocurrencies, mining requires highly specialized hardware (ASICs), meaning it is not feasible to mine on a mobile device. Whatever amounts you mine would be trivial at best. Stay away from any such apps.

Clipper apps

Such apps alter the cryptocurrency addresses you copy and replace them with those of the attacker. Thus, while a victim may copy the correct recipient address, the one they paste to process the transaction is replaced by those of the attacker.

To avoid falling victim to such apps, here are some precautions you can take when processing transactions.

  • Always double and triple check the address you are pasting into the recipient field. Blockchain transactions are irreversible so you should always be careful.

  • It is best to verify the entire address instead of just portions of it. Some apps are intelligent enough to paste addresses that look similar to your intended address.

SIM swapping

In a SIM swapping scam, a cybercriminal gains access to the phone number of a user. They do this by employing social engineering techniques to trick mobile phone operators into issuing a new SIM card to them. The most well-known SIM swapping scam involved cryptocurrency entrepreneur Michael Terpin. He alleged that AT&T was negligent in their handling of his mobile phone credentials resulting in him losing tokens valued at more than 20 million US dollars.

Once cybercriminals have gained access to your phone number, they can use it to bypass any 2FA that relies on that. From there, they can work their way into your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.

Another method cybercriminals can employ is to monitor your SMS communications. Flaws in communications networks can allow criminals to intercept your messages which can include the second-factor pin messaged to you.

What makes this attack particularly concerning is that users are not required to undertake any action, such as downloading a fake software or clicking a malicious link.

To prevent falling prey to such scams, here are some steps to consider.

  • Do not use your mobile phone number for SMS 2FA. Instead, use apps like Google Authenticator or Authy to secure your accounts. Cybercriminals are unable to gain access to these apps even if they possess your phone number. Alternatively, you may use hardware 2FA such as YubiKey or Google's Titan Security Key.

  • Do not reveal personal identifying information on social media, such as your mobile phone number. Cybercriminals can pick up such information and use them to impersonate you elsewhere.

  • You should never announce on social media that you own cryptocurrencies as this would make you a target. Or if you are in a position where everyone already knows you own them, then avoid disclosing personal information including the exchanges or wallets you use.

  • Make arrangements with your mobile phone providers to protect your account. This could mean attaching a pin or password to your account and dictating that only users with knowledge of the pin can make changes to the account. Alternatively, you can require such changes to be made in person and disallow them over the phone.

WiFi

Cybercriminals are constantly seeking entry points into mobile devices, especially the ones of cryptocurrency users. One such entry point is that of WiFi access. Public WiFi is insecure and users should take precautions before connecting to them. If not, they risk cybercriminals gaining access to the data on their mobile devices. These precautions have been covered in the article on public WiFi.

Closing thoughts

Mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives. In fact, they are so intertwined with your digital identity that they can become your greatest vulnerability. Cybercriminals are aware of this and will continue to find ways to exploit this. Securing your mobile devices is no longer optional. It has become a necessity. Stay safe.

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History of Cryptography

History of Cryptography
Cryptography, the science of writing codes and ciphers for secure communication, is one of the most important elements that goes into making modern cryptocurrencies and blockchains possible. The cryptographic techniques used today, however, are the result of an incredibly long history of development. Since ancient times, people have used cryptography to transmit information in a secure manner. Following is the fascinating history of cryptography that has led up to the advanced and sophisticated methods used for modern digital encryption.
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What Is Axie Infinity (AXS)?

What Is Axie Infinity (AXS)?
It’s 2021, and that means you can earn money by playing games and breeding virtual pets. An easy way to think of Axie Infinity is to imagine a blockchain game that combines Pokémon, CryptoKitties, and card game elements.
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Is Bitcoin a Store of Value?

When you think of a safe-haven asset, precious metals like gold or silver probably come to mind. They’re investments that individuals flock to as hedges against turmoil in traditional markets. The debate over whether Bitcoin follows in the footsteps of these assets rages on. In this article, we’ll look at some of the main arguments for and against Bitcoin being a store of value.
When you think of a safe-haven asset, precious metals like gold or silver probably come to mind. They’re investments that individuals flock to as hedges against turmoil in traditional markets. The debate over whether Bitcoin follows in the footsteps of these assets rages on. In this article, we’ll look at some of the main arguments for and against Bitcoin being a store of value.
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What Is VeChain (VET)?

What Is VeChain (VET)?
VeChain provides blockchain solutions for businesses around the globe. With plenty of existing industry blockchain applications from supply chain management to anti-counterfeiting and carbon credits, their systems have been proven in the real world. VET is the coin that underpins VeChain, where VTHO is the gas token that’s used for transactions on the VeChainThor blockchain (like Ethereum’s gas).
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Приготовьтесь! Биткойн будут сливать, но это не точно

Приготовьтесь! Биткойн будут сливать, но это не точно
Только что в Twitter наткнулся на пост от Jacob Canfield, якобы есть инсайдерская информация, о том что Bitcoin планируют сливать, дабы выбить некоторых конкурентов, потом обратно откупить, подняв стоимость до $70к.
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More about the Crypto Fans club

More about the Crypto Fans club
Now I will tell you what our club is, how it works and what advantages it has. A minimum of water, a maximum of specifics. The club is a kind of trust fund, which consists of a team of Asset Managers, on the one hand, who invest in the crypto market, and Investors, on the other. I will not describe in this article what cryptocurrency is, why it is growing, and what are its advantages, this topic is worthy of a separate article. You can google all this, or go to coinmarketcap.com and see how the value of a particular cryptocurrency has grown at least this year, and doubts about investing in cryptocurrency should disappear.
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What Is The Sandbox (SAND)?

What Is The Sandbox (SAND)?
The Sandbox is a play-to-earn game that combines blockchain technology, DeFi, and NFTs in a 3D metaverse. Its virtual world allows players to create and customize their games and digital assets with free design tools. The virtual goods created can then be monetized as NFTs and sold for SAND tokens on The Sandbox Marketplace.
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What Is Tether (USDT)?

What Is Tether (USDT)?
Tether (USDT) is one of the most popular stablecoins out there. It was designed to hold a one-to-one value with the US dollar. The coin exists on many different blockchains and has experienced rising trading volumes and improved liquidity over the past few years.
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What Is Solana (SOL)?

What Is Solana (SOL)?
Solana is a blockchain network focused on fast transactions and high throughput. It uses a unique method of ordering transactions to improve its speed. Users can pay their transaction fees and interact with smart contracts with SOL, the network’s native cryptocurrency.
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What Is Polkadot (DOT)?

What Is Polkadot (DOT)?
Polkadot positions itself as the next-generation blockchain protocol, capable of connecting multiple specialized chains into one universal network. With a strong focus on building infrastructure for Web 3.0 – and founded by the Web3 Foundation – Polkadot aims to disrupt Internet monopolies and empower individual users.
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What Is Harmony (ONE)?

What Is Harmony (ONE)?
Harmony is a layer-1 blockchain using sharding and Effective Proof of Stake to achieve scalability, security, and decentralization. The network was launched in 2019 and features trustless cross-chain bridges and four shards, which process transactions in parallel. Effective Proof of Stake encourages decentralization of validators, and sharding shares the network's load among validators, delegators, and users.
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What Is Filecoin (FIL)?

What Is Filecoin (FIL)?
FFilecoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital storage marketplace using blockchain technology. It’s built on top of InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and allows users to rent unused hard disk space and earn FIL tokens in return. Let’s see how Filecoin aims to shake up the online storage space.
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What Is Decentraland (MANA)?

What Is Decentraland (MANA)?
Decentraland is a virtual world and community based on blockchain technology. Users develop and own plots of land, artwork, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). Members also participate in the platform’s Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
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What Is Ethereum 2.0 And Why Does It Matter?

What Is Ethereum 2.0 And Why Does It Matter?
Ethereum 2.0 is a long-awaited upgrade to the Ethereum (ETH) network that’s promised significant improvements to the functionality and experience of the network as a whole. Some of the more notable upgrades include a shift to Proof of Stake (PoS), shard chains, and a new blockchain at the core called the beacon chain. All of this and more is expected to be phased in through a carefully planned roadmap.
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What Is BUSD?

What Is BUSD?
BUSD is a regulated, fiat-backed stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. For every unit of BUSD, there is one U.S. dollar held in reserve. In other words, the supply of BUSD is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 ratio. Holders can swap their tokens for fiat and vice versa. Paxos, the token’s issuer, releases monthly attestations of BUSD’s reserves.
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What Is Avalanche (AVAX)?

What Is Avalanche (AVAX)?
Avalanche attempts to improve scalability without compromising speed or decentralization. Three blockchains make up its core platform - the Exchange Chain (X-Chain), Contract Chain (C-Chain), and Platform Chain (P-Chain). The X-Chain is used for creating and trading assets. The C-Chain is for smart contract creation. The P-Chain is for coordinating validators and Subnets.
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What Are Wrapped Tokens?

What Are Wrapped Tokens?
A wrapped token is a cryptocurrency token pegged to the value of another crypto. It’s called a wrapped token because the original asset is put in a wrapper, a kind of digital vault that allows the wrapped version to be created on another blockchain.
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What Is a Stablecoin?

What Is a Stablecoin?
A stablecoin is a cryptoasset pegged to another asset, such as fiat currencies or precious metals. Stablecoins are designed to maintain a relatively stable price so that users can avoid the volatility risks common in the crypto markets.
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Tokenized Bitcoin on Ethereum Explained

Tokenized Bitcoin on Ethereum Explained
Tokenized Bitcoin is a way to use bitcoin on other blockchains. But wait, isn’t Bitcoin great already? Indeed it is! It has a solid use case, and it already acts as a kind of public good. At the same time, its purposely limited features leave little room for further innovation.
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How to Use WalletConnect

WalletConnect is a protocol used by many crypto wallets that allows you to easily connect with the many DApps of decentralized finance (DeFi). Simply find the DApp you want to interact with, connect with a QR code or deep link, and you’re good to go. Always remember to disconnect at the end of any session for maximum security
WalletConnect is a protocol used by many crypto wallets that allows you to easily connect with the many DApps of decentralized finance (DeFi). Simply find the DApp you want to interact with, connect with a QR code or deep link, and you’re good to go. Always remember to disconnect at the end of any session for maximum security
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What Is Ethereum? (ETH)

Ethereum is a decentralized computing platform. You can think of it like a laptop or PC, but it doesn't run on a single device. Instead, it simultaneously runs on thousands of machines around the world, meaning that it has no owner.
Ethereum is a decentralized computing platform. You can think of it like a laptop or PC, but it doesn't run on a single device. Instead, it simultaneously runs on thousands of machines around the world, meaning that it has no owner.
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What Is Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is a digital form of cash. But unlike the fiat currencies you’re used to, there is no central bank controlling it.
Bitcoin is a digital form of cash. But unlike the fiat currencies you’re used to, there is no central bank controlling it. Instead, the financial system in Bitcoin is run by thousands of computers distributed around the world. Anyone can participate in the ecosystem by downloading open-source software.
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How to Use MetaMask

If you’re interested in the Ethereum ecosystem, you need an application like MetaMask. Far more than a simple wallet, it allows you to interact with websites that integrate Ethereum.
If you’re interested in the Ethereum ecosystem, you need an application like MetaMask. Far more than a simple wallet, it allows you to interact with websites that integrate Ethereum.
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A Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin's Lightning Network

A Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin's Lightning Network
Cryptocurrencies have some pretty unique properties. They can’t be hacked or shut down easily, and anyone can use them to transmit value around the globe without a third party’s intervention. To ensure that these features remain, significant trade-offs must be made. Since many nodes are responsible for running a cryptocurrency network, throughput is limited. As a result, the number of transactions per second (TPS) a blockchain network can process is relatively low for a technology that aims to be adopted by the masses.
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What is Fundamental Analysis (FA)?

What is Fundamental Analysis (FA)?
When it comes to trading – whether you’re dealing with century-old stocks or nascent cryptocurrencies – there’s no exact science involved. Or, if there is, Wall Street’s top players ensure that the formula remains a well-kept secret.
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History of Blockchain

The underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies is the blockchain. It allows every client in the network to reach consensus without ever having to trust each other.
The underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies is the blockchain. It allows every client in the network to reach consensus without ever having to trust each other.
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How Does Blockchain Work?

In short, a blockchain is a list of data records that works as a decentralized digital ledger. The data is organized into blocks, which are chronologically arranged and secured by cryptography.
In short, a blockchain is a list of data records that works as a decentralized digital ledger. The data is organized into blocks, which are chronologically arranged and secured by cryptography.
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What Is MakerDAO (DAI)?

What Is MakerDAO (DAI)?
MakerDAO is a Decentralized Finance (DeFi) project with a crypto-collateralized, stablecoin DAI pegged to the US dollar. Its community manages the coin via a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Users generate DAI by locking cryptocurrency in a Maker Vault at a certain Liquidation Ratio. For example, a 125% Liquidation Ratio requires $1.25 of crypto collateral value for each $1 of DAI.
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What Is a Crypto Wallet?

In short, a crypto wallet is a tool that you can use to interact with a blockchain network. There are various crypto wallet types, which can be divided into three groups - software, hardware, and paper wallets. Depending on their working mechanisms, they may also be referred to as hot or cold wallets.
In short, a crypto wallet is a tool that you can use to interact with a blockchain network. There are various crypto wallet types, which can be divided into three groups - software, hardware, and paper wallets. Depending on their working mechanisms, they may also be referred to as hot or cold wallets.
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What Is Tulip Mania?

The Tulip Mania is considered by many as the first recorded story of a financial bubble, which supposedly occurred in the 1600s. Before discussing if the Tulip Mania was really a financial bubble or not, let’s go through the most common narrative that considers it to be a real bubble.
The Tulip Mania is considered by many as the first recorded story of a financial bubble, which supposedly occurred in the 1600s. Before discussing if the Tulip Mania was really a financial bubble or not, let’s go through the most common narrative that considers it to be a real bubble.
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What Is Technical Analysis?

What Is Technical Analysis?
Technical analysis (TA), often referred to as charting, is a type of analysis that aims to predict future market behavior based on previous price action and volume data. The TA approach is extensively applied to stocks and other assets in traditional financial markets, but it is also an integral component of trading digital currencies in the cryptocurrency market.
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What Is Staking?

What Is Staking?
You may think of staking as a less resource-intensive alternative to mining. It involves holding funds in a cryptocurrency wallet to support the security and operations of a blockchain network. Simply put, staking is the act of locking cryptocurrencies to receive rewards.
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What Is Phishing?

What Is Phishing?
Phishing is a type of cyber attack where a malicious actor poses as a reputable entity or business in order to deceive people and collect their sensitive information - such as credit card details, usernames, passwords, and so forth. Since phishing involves psychological manipulation and relies on human failures (instead of hardware or software) it is considered a type of social engineering attack.
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What Is Inflation?

Ever hear your grandmother talk about how everything was cheaper when she was younger? That’s because of inflation. It’s caused by irregularities in supply and demand for products and services, leading to an increase in prices.
Ever hear your grandmother talk about how everything was cheaper when she was younger? That’s because of inflation. It’s caused by irregularities in supply and demand for products and services, leading to an increase in prices.
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What Is Hyperinflation?

All economies experience some level of inflation, which occurs when the average price of goods increases, as the purchasing power of that currency decreases. Usually, governments and financial institutions work together to ensure inflation occurs at a smooth and gradual rate. However, there have been many instances in history where inflation rates have accelerated at such an unprecedented degree that it caused the real value of that country's currency to be diminished in alarming proportions. This accelerated rate of inflation is what we call hyperinflation.
All economies experience some level of inflation, which occurs when the average price of goods increases, as the purchasing power of that currency decreases. Usually, governments and financial institutions work together to ensure inflation occurs at a smooth and gradual rate. However, there have been many instances in history where inflation rates have accelerated at such an unprecedented degree that it caused the real value of that country's currency to be diminished in alarming proportions. This accelerated rate of inflation is what we call hyperinflation.
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What Is Hashing?

What Is Hashing?
Hashing refers to the process of generating a fixed-size output from an input of variable size. This is done through the use of mathematical formulas known as hash functions (implemented as hashing algorithms).
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What Is Fiat Currency?

Simply put, fiat currency is legal tender that derives its value from its issuing government rather than a physical good or commodity. The strength of the government that establishes the value of fiat currency is key in this type of money. Most countries around the world use the fiat currency system to purchase goods and services, invest, and save. Fiat currency replaced the gold standard and other commodity-based systems in establishing the value of legal tender.
Simply put, fiat currency is legal tender that derives its value from its issuing government rather than a physical good or commodity. The strength of the government that establishes the value of fiat currency is key in this type of money. Most countries around the world use the fiat currency system to purchase goods and services, invest, and save. Fiat currency replaced the gold standard and other commodity-based systems in establishing the value of legal tender.
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What Is Cryptojacking?

What Is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is a malicious activity, in which an infected device is used to secretly mine for cryptocurrencies. In order to do so, the attacker makes use of the victims’ processing power and bandwidth (in most cases this is done without their awareness or consent).
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What Is Arbitrage Trading?

What Is Arbitrage Trading?
Arbitrage trading is a relatively low-risk trading strategy that takes advantage of price differences across markets. Most of the time, this involves buying and selling the same asset (like Bitcoin) on different exchanges. Since the price of Bitcoin should, in theory, be equal on Binance and on another exchange, any difference between the two is likely an arbitrage opportunity.
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What Is a Multisig Wallet?

What Is a Multisig Wallet?
Multisig stands for multi-signature, which is a specific type of digital signature that makes it possible for two or more users to sign documents as a group. Therefore, a multi-signature is produced through the combination of multiple unique signatures. Multisig technology has been extant within the world of cryptocurrencies, but the principle is one that existed long before the creation of Bitcoin.
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What Is a Dusting Attack?

What Is a Dusting Attack?
A dusting attack refers to a relatively new kind of malicious activity where hackers and scammers try and break the privacy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency users by sending tiny amounts of coins to their wallets. The transactional activity of these wallets is then tracked down by the attackers, who perform a combined analysis of different addresses to deanonymize the person or company behind each wallet.
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What Is Web 3.0 and Why Does It Matter?

What Is Web 3.0 and Why Does It Matter?
The Internet is a constantly evolving technology that continues to innovate. So far, we’ve experienced Web 1.0 and 2.0, and there’s much discussion of what to expect from Web 3.0. Web 1.0 provided a static experience for users without the ability to create the content-rich sites we have today. Web 2.0 brought us together with social media and dynamic websites, but at the cost of centralization.
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