Opinion

Phishing Attacks in the Crypto Space: Common Phishing Attacks

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Snapshot:

  • What is Phishing? 
  •  General anatomy of Phishing attacks 
  •  Characteristics of Phishing attacks 

With a global investment of 8.7 billion dollars in cryptocurrency, it will not be an exaggeration to say that crypto has started to gain mainstream attention. Experts believe that cryptocurrencies have the power to change the future of the global finance sector. However, as these digital assets have started to make a huge impact in the financial sector, there has also been a rise in the amount of cybercrime around these digital assets. 

It’s important to secure these assets but the question remains how? Before one understands how to protect one’s assets one needs to know the different types of attacks. Multiple times the user is ignorant about the attack let alone taking measures to mitigate it. The most common type of cryptocurrency attack has been in the form of server attacks, one of the mediums being phishing. But what is phishing? 

What is Phishing? 

As the oxford dictionary describes, phishing is the malpractice of sending fraudulent messages purporting to be from dignified organizations. The purpose of these emails is to get information from the individuals such as passwords, bank account details, or other confidential company details. In simple terms, the attacker tries to lure you to the website that’s under their control and then uses your trust on the platform to extract confidential details. 

There has been a significant rise in phishing attacks around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. But how do we realize a fraudulent email? Keep reading! Let’s avoid phishing attacks together. 

General Anatomy of Phishing attacks 

The attacker sends a fraudulent message such as an email to the victim.
The victim goes to the fraudulent website by clicking on the link sent. 
The attacker collects the credentials of the victim from the phishing website. 
The attacker uses the credentials to access the legitimate website. 

 

The attacker sends a fraudulent message asking the victim to sign in to a particular website or download software. The unaware victim ends up visiting the website which leads to system compromise. This system is then used by the attacker to extract confidential details.

In the case of cryptocurrency, certain instances of phishing attacks can be: 

The user is asked to update a certain crypto platform across different social media channels. 
An unknown URL claiming to be a well-established crypto platform 

But how do we identify a phishing message or email? Let us understand the characteristics of phishing emails. 

Characteristics of Phishing emails 

Urgent Requests 
Poor grammar and misspelled words
Mismatched email address information
Generic signature line
Unexpected requests concerning personal information 

1. Urgent Requests: Phishing attacks induce a sense of panic in the receiver thereby causing the person to act before investigating the authenticity of the message. 

2. Poor grammar and misspelled words: Phishing messages are known for having wrong or poor grammar and misspelled words. 

3. Mismatched email address information: Ensure that the email address that is  displayed in the form field is the same as listed behind mailto:

4. Generic signature line: The signature line is generic and not the usual company signature. 

5. Unexpected requests concerning personal information:  One must be extremely careful of opening any links from contacts wherein the conversation was not initiated from their end.  The actual exploit happens when the user visits the link or performs the action asked by the attacker. 

There are different quizzes designed by google that you can play to identify a phishing attack. Click here for some cyber fun. 

Summing it Up!

Phishing attacks are quite common especially in these times when the world has gone completely digital.  When it comes to the protection of our assets one needs to be extra careful with the messages received. The above steps and characteristics of these fraudulent attacks if kept in mind will protect the user in every circumstance. 

Stay updated with the news around the cryptocurrency world with CoinDCX. Start your crypto journey today with the CoinDCX app, India’s simplest and safest investment app. Want to learn more about Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency visit DCXLearn, a complete and free blockchain and cryptocurrency course.

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