How to protect yourself from the recent spate of ‘crypto muggings’

There have been a number of “cryptographic assaults” in London recently, with thieves violently threatening cryptocurrency holders unless they transfer their digital currencies to mobile phone wallets or wallets.

According to The Guardian UK, crime reports from the City of London police detail how thugs in person stole thousands of dollars in crypto. One victim said her phone had been pocketed while drinking and later learned that more than $ 12,000 in Ethereum (ETH) had been diverted from her account. Victims believe the thieves witnessed typing in their account PIN.

Another victim was approached by a group offering to sell him cocaine and after moving to another place to buy the drug, the person stood against a wall while the gang accessed his phone and his cryptographic account through facial verification, transferring more than $ 7,000 on Ripple. XRP) to their own portfolios.

This is an increasingly common variation of what is called a “$ 5 key attack.”

Since blockchain transactions are irreversible and most cryptocurrency storage methods are responsible for the security of assets to the person who owns them, Cointelegraph spoke with security firm BlockSec, who shared the following tips on how to protect cryptocurrencies from robbery. :

“Don’t deposit a large amount of cryptocurrency in a wallet or exchange application. Just leave a small portion inside. You can have a multisig wallet with a policy that says only two subscribers can move money in the wallet. By doing so, you will only lose a small amount of crypto during the robbery “.

BlockSec also suggested a way to trick thieves if a cryptographic user is docked, saying that some smartphones may have different logins that may hide certain applications, such as Huawei’s “Private Space” feature:

“The applications of the ‘Private Space’ are different from the main ones that are actually used. Therefore, if users are hacked, they can enter the ‘Private Space’ by proving that they do not have any cryptographic application installed on their phone, or vice versa, they can hide cryptographic applications in this space. “

Samsung phones have a similar feature called “secure folder” that can be used to hide all your cryptographic applications behind a PIN or password, and the folder itself can also be hidden on the home screen.

On Apple iPhones, apps can move to a home screen page and hide them all at once, and there are other options, such as deleting an individual application from being displayed on the home screen just by accessing through search.

Cointelegraph also spoke with a pseudonymous Twitter user and independent security researcher known as the “CIA official” popular for creating and sharing guides and tips on how cryptographic users can enhance the security of their assets.

The CIA official shared an article they wrote in April that presented 13 tips on the principles of storing cryptocurrencies, saying:

“I wrote the article because my sense of justice only drives me forward because perhaps the biggest threat to cryptocurrencies is cryptocurrency scams, as people are disappointed and leave forever.”

In the article, the CIA official recalls that mobile wallets like MetaMask are just interfaces and recommends storing all cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet like Ledger or Trezor instead of keeping them in an exchange or mobile wallet.

Related: Warning: Smartphone text prediction guesses the initial phrase of crypto hodler

A physical storage device will keep all encryption offline and assets can only be moved if someone has access to the wallet and knows the PIN and, in some cases, a password. You can even create one using an old smartphone instead of using a dedicated device.

Encryption stored in the cold wallet can further enhance security, and the CIA official echoes BlockSec’s advice to set up a multi-signature wallet that uses two or even three separate devices to approve a transaction.

The CIA official also shared his rules for crypto OpSec, which is the abbreviation for “operational security” a risk management process aimed at preventing leakage of sensitive information.

“You should build your own OpSec stone wall, so you know exactly what to do if something happens.”

In light of the robberies, such OpSec measures include keeping cryptocurrency investments a top secret. Potential thieves in public environments could overhear a discussion or even witness a person’s cryptographic exploits, as in the previous case where the victim was a pickpocket.

“Being a suspect is always a good thing,” the CIA official writes.

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