How to hack or steal Bitcoin

25 August 2017

Bitcoin has a lot going for it these days. Its price is taking off, mainstream companies are progressively adopting it as a type of payment and investors are placing money into Bitcoin-based new businesses. Nonetheless, cybercriminals are taking benefit of the rising cost and popularity of cryptocurrency to try to hack the coins and distribute malware. In this article, we have accumulated a rundown of ways hackers can steal your Bitcoins and how you can shield yourself from them.

Stealing private keys 

Owning a Bitcoin wallet generally implies owning a private cryptographic key (blockchain password) to open a particular address. The private key resembles a long series of numbers and letters. In this case, the hacker just takes assistance from the insiders at the online service or hacks the server, copying database of personal keys and takes control of the Bitcoins at all those addresses. The fraudster can now spend all of those Bitcoins anywhere he/she desires.

Stealing private keys

Fake wallets

This type of fraud is less widespread, however a significant number of individuals have become its victims. Fake wallets are basically apps that at first resemble a genuine wallet until it has the threat to steal your coins. Typically, these programs utilize logos of officially existing e-wallets to trick users. Some fake wallets have even appeared on Apple’s App Store after successfully slipping through its vetting process. If certain apps seem suspicious, you can come to guidelines of the community registered on such websites as Reddit or Bitcointalk.

Bitcoin phishing

Phishing is an exceptionally well-known method of information theft primarily based on social engineering. There are variations to the scheme, but the most widely recognized ones are e-mails and fake websites, which tempt users to enter their Bitcoin keys. However, once the blockchain password is entered, the hacker is able to freely spend from the victim’s wallet.

Pyramid scam

Within the said pyramid schemes, individuals are offered to pour their money and invite friends to do a similar thing. Cybercriminals urge people to join a scheme with a low start-up investment — then reap the benefits when they sign up new members to the financial pyramid. To keep away from being tricked by these, basically avoid websites that offer implausible returns like 1% per day or 100% per month and so forth.

Fake cryptocurrencies

One of the most brilliant examples of this kind of fraud is Onecoin. This scheme works by persuading people that they are purchasing units of a successful cryptocurrency when they are actually just paying for numbers to show up on a website. In such “Ponzi scheme” coins are sold as educational services, or victims are offered to share their digital money with someone in order to twofold the sum. To stay away from these tricks is to check if the coin exists on comparison websites like CryptoCompare or Coinmarketcap.

Scam ICOs

ICO, standing for Initial Coin Offering, is a kind of fund raising that has become extremely popular among cryptocurrency communities. The teams behind a certain project launch an ICO in order to sell tokens related to their project in exchange for Bitcoin, fiat or other cryptocurrencies. Despite the fact that ICOs have already assisted hundreds of companies in raising millions of dollars in a matter of hours, you must be exceptionally mindful and wary as long as fraudsters are always on the watch.

Scam ICOs

Scammers on peer-to-peer share market

This type of fraud is prospering on peer-to-peer share markets such as LocalBitcoins or Paxful. These peer-to-peer exchanges enable users to exchange coins straightforwardly between themselves utilizing an external payment system like cash deposit, PayPal, credit cards and others. Dissimilar to Bitcoin, operations carried out through this very type of payment option, can be disputed and tracked, if necessary. Fraudsters frequently utilize these markets to cash out hacked PayPal accounts or stolen credit cards. To keep away from hackers on peer-to-peer stock exchanges, sell your Bitcoins only to authorized dealers and avoid payment methods expecting access to your PayPal or Skrill.

As the popularity and usage of cryptocurrency become more widespread in the future, it is essential to remember the drawbacks and vulnerabilities of Bitcoin, at least in the present day. To put it in plain words, keeping Bitcoins secure is just like cash: you should always stay watchful against potential risks, and take every necessary step to protect it.

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