For the anniversary of the well-known cryptocurrency, Check Point software reveals the security risks of the blockchain evolution and gives seven recommendations to protect users’ wallets
On the anniversary of the crypto currency Bitcoin, Check Point warns users about the ongoing dangers of cryptocurrencies and gives recommendations on how to keep their wallets safe. The concept of Bitcoin and blockchain was first introduced in 2008. Since then, cryptocurrency trading has been significantly developed, including the introduction of Ethereum, non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), the Metaverse and the Internet of Value.
Despite these advances, there are still major risks for users. Last year alone, crypto scammers stole a record $14 billion. So what are these risks? Why are crypto scammers so successful? And what can users do to protect themselves?
- In 2021, crypto scammers stole a record amount of $ 14 billion – an increase of 79 percent over the previous year.
- Over the past 12 months, Check Point Research (CPR) has found serious security vulnerabilities in leading Web3 platforms such as OpenSea, Rarible and Everscale.
- CPR also estimates that thousands of cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks took place in 2021, at least 40 of which had serious consequences, causing losses of up to $ 1-3 billion.
Rapid innovation fosters gaping security gaps
Cryptocurrencies are growing rapidly – in just fifteen years, the market for crypto assets has grown to a value of over $ 2 trillion. While innovation is desirable, the pace of development often leaves potential gaps open for security breaches.
In the last 12 months alone, Check Point Research (CPR) has identified serious vulnerabilities in leading Web3 platforms such as OpenSea, Rarible and Everscale. Fast innovation means that new projects come onto the market every day. However, the sufficient security of these projects often falls by the wayside. New digital spaces, such as the Metaverse, for example, are being built on a too insecure basis and are not yet ready for the market in terms of security.
In fact, issues of security and privacy are the main issues that stand in the way of the development of the Metaverse. According to the (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study from 2021, there are already 2.72 million cyber security experts missing worldwide, not to mention those who specialize in the Web3. The same study shows that the number of cybersecurity employees worldwide must increase by 65 percent in order to effectively protect the critical assets of companies. This percentage will probably be much higher if we take into account cryptocurrencies and the metaverse.
How to protect yourself
Blockchain transactions are irreversible. Unlike a bank, blockchain does not allow you to block a stolen card or challenge a transaction. If the keys to your wallet are stolen, your crypto funds can become easy prey for cybercriminals, and therefore security should always be the concern of users. In order to prevent the theft of keys, CPR recommends following the following general security tips:
- Do not open suspicious links, especially from sources you do not know.
- Keep your operating system, antivirus software, and cybersecurity software up-to-date at all times.
- Do not download software and browser extensions from unverified sources.
- Be careful when you are asked to sign a link on a crypto marketplace.
- Before approving a request, you should carefully consider what is being requested and consider whether the request seems unusual or suspicious.
- In case of doubt, users should reject the request and further check it before granting permission.
- Users are advised to review and revoke token approvals at this link: https://etherscan.io/tokenapprovalchecker .
Oded Vanunu, Head of Products Vulnerability at Check Point Software, comments: “The Bitcoin Day is an opportunity for us to look back and look at the technological milestones that the blockchain has achieved. The big tech companies are already investing in the metaverse on a large scale. In this way, blockchain technologies create the new Internet – the Internet of values – through constant innovations. We are now at the beginning of a new era, the era of the Metaverse, and it will be fascinating to see what will come and how we will secure its future.“
Vanunu continues: “In the meantime, users should continue to be aware of the risks of crypto wallets and remain vigilant when it comes to suspicious activities that could lead to theft. Threat actors will continue to expand their efforts to hijack crypto wallets while exploiting system vulnerabilities, as we have already seen in 2022.“