The crypto space is full of scams and attacks, and one of the most common attacks is phishing. This is a subtle form of attack that gets a crypto owner to voluntarily provide the details of their account or wallet to the attacker.
The attacker tricks the victim into believing that they are providing the information to a legitimate source, and then they use the provided information to access the victim’s wallet and drain it.
Anyone using crypto is at risk of a phishing attack, especially if they use a crypto exchange. In this guide, we discuss what a crypto phishing attack is, how it works, and how to prevent it.
How a Phishing Attack Works
As stated earlier, phishing attacks aren’t as intrusive as other forms of attacks. Instead, the attacker passively retrieves sensitive account information from the victim such as usernames and passwords they can use to access wallets or exchange accounts.
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The primary mode of operation of phishing scams is by emails. An attacker sends an email to the victim with a link for example. The email may contain a message such as a promo or an offer and asks the victim to click on the link to access the info.
The unsuspecting victim then clicks on the link and because the email design looks like that of the original exchange, they provide information such as login details.
Rather than access their exchange account, the information goes to the scammer instead, and they use it to access the real exchange account.
An attacker may send emails to several potential victims at the same time, thus increasing their chances of getting victims.
Types of Phishing Attacks
There are different types of phishing attacks that can be used to steal from victims. The following are the most commonly seen in space.
Spear Phishing Attacks
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Attackers can usually send emails to many potential victims at a time, but only one victim is the target in spear attacks.
This could be an individual or an organization. Either way, the attacker gets familiar with the target victim, and then sends them an email supposedly from someone they know. Of course the email will contain a phishing link that can lead
This type of attack targets whales, that is top people in an organization. The attacker sends a customized email to the head of the organization with a phishing link to get them to click on it.
The goal is to get just one top person to fall victim and the attacker can access several other people in the organization.
As the name implies, cloning attacks involve the attacker cloning an email previously sent to the victim. Because the victim has received a similar email before, they are likely to just click on the link without checking.
This is an attack in which the victim is redirected to a fake website even though they log into the correct one. The attacker then collects account information they provided and can use it to do with the account as they please.
Browser Extension Attacks
Browser extension attacks happen through crypto wallets that come as browser extensions. Examples are Metamask and Phantom. If they are installed from the wrong source, the attacker can drain the victim’s wallet easily afterwards.
Measures for Preventing Phishing
Phishing attacks are common, and anyone can fall victim. However you can greatly reduce your risks by being mindful of emails, especially emails with links in them.
Before you provide login information on a website, double check to be sure that you’re on the right website and not a fake.
Also before installing browser extension wallets, make sure you’re downloading from the trusted source by double checking the web address.
Keep these measures in mind when interacting with emails and websites and you should be fine and your crypto protected.
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