Unidentified Exploit Steals Over $10.5 Million in NFTs and Coins

Since December 2022, an unidentified exploit has drained more than $10.5 million in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and coins from experienced members of the crypto community who believed they were “reasonably secure.” The alarming incident was first brought to light by MetaMask developer Taylor Monahan, who revealed that over 5,000 Ether (ETH) had been stolen. However, the extent of the losses is yet to be determined. Monahan also cautioned that no one knows how the exploit works yet.

What is particularly worrying about this exploit is that it does not target crypto newbies but rather those who are experienced in safeguarding their digital assets. As Monahan noted, the exploit is not like the usual phishing attempts or random scammers. It targets those who are “crypto native,” with multiple addresses and work within the space. Some of the known commonalities about the exploit are that it targets keys that were created from 2014 to 2022.

To safeguard their digital assets, Monahan advised crypto veterans to use a hardware wallet or migrate their funds. Those who have their assets in a single private key are especially vulnerable and should consider splitting up their assets or getting a hardware wallet. Community member Jacky Goh echoed this sentiment, stating that the unknown hack is yet another reminder to use a hardware wallet. Goh recommended moving assets worth more than $1,000 for more than a week to a hardware wallet, which can save one in the long run.

The crypto community has been grappling with cybersecurity threats, with data published by cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky indicating that it detected over 5 million crypto phishing attacks in 2022 alone. This marks a 40% year-on-year increase compared to 2021 when the company detected around 3.5 million attacks. The rise in cyberattacks targeting the crypto community highlights the need for robust cybersecurity measures.

Moreover, the exploit highlights the need for greater awareness and education around digital asset protection. While many crypto veterans are well-versed in securing their digital assets, it is essential to stay up to date with emerging threats and vulnerabilities. The fast-paced and rapidly evolving nature of the crypto space means that vigilance is essential. By keeping a close eye on one’s digital assets and using best practices for digital asset security, one can reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks.

In conclusion, the recent exploit that has stolen over $10.5 million in NFTs and coins serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of robust cybersecurity measures for crypto assets. The crypto community must remain vigilant and educate themselves on emerging threats to safeguard their digital assets effectively. By adopting best practices and staying up to date with the latest cybersecurity trends, crypto veterans can protect their assets from theft and loss.


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Hackers Steal $500,000 Worth of Tokens from Arbitrum Airdrop

Hackers have managed to steal $500,000 worth of tokens from layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum’s March 23 airdrop. The theft was carried out through the use of vanity addresses, customized cryptocurrency addresses that contain specific words or phrases chosen by the user to make them more personal and identifiable. While vanity addresses offer a level of personalization and identification, their safety is questionable, as they can compromise the security of users’ private keys.

The hacker compiled vanity addresses that were eligible to receive ARB tokens and generated similar addresses using vanity address generators. This allowed them to redirect the airdropped tokens to their own addresses, making it impossible for the original owners to claim their ARB tokens. Several crypto users have expressed sadness about their stolen ARB tokens, with many being unaware of the reason behind the loss and having no idea what to do about it.

Creating a vanity address requires using special software or services that could potentially compromise the security of users’ private keys. Hackers who gain access to the private key could steal any crypto assets tied to that address. This is not the first time scammers have compromised vanity addresses in the crypto space. In January, MetaMask warned crypto users about address poisoning.

Arbitrum’s token giveaway caused a lot of excitement and overwhelmed several websites. However, according to the blockchain analytics platform Nansen, 428 million ARB tokens are still available to claim. As of late Thursday, March 22, around 240,000 addresses had not yet claimed governance tokens, even though 61% of eligible crypto wallets had already done so. The 428 million unclaimed tokens, worth nearly $596 million as of publication time, represent 37% of the total 1.1 billion ARB allocated for Arbitrum’s airdrop.

It is important to note that the use of vanity addresses to claim crypto assets is not a secure practice. Vanity addresses require the use of special software or services that can compromise the security of users’ private keys, making them vulnerable to hackers. Therefore, crypto users should exercise caution when using vanity addresses and prioritize the security of their private keys.


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Coinbase users angry with customer support after funds disappear from accounts

Coinbase is under fire for terrible customer service following reports of users accounts being hacked and drained of funds. 

According to an Aug. 24 investigation by CNBC, thousands of customers across the country have lodged complaints against the company.

The outlet stated that it had interviewed numerous Coinbase customers who claimed hackers had drained their accounts, with the issue exacerbated by the exchange not responding to support requests:

Interviews with Coinbase customers around the country and a review of thousands of complaints reveal a pattern of account takeovers, where users see money suddenly vanish from their account, followed by poor customer service from Coinbase that made those users feel left hanging and angry.

One Coinbase client, Tanja Vidovic, claimed to have lost nearly all of her $168,000 in cryptocurrency holdings after receiving a number of password change security alerts in April. Attempts to contact Coinbase by phone were fruitless, Tanja said.

Another customer told the outlet that after logging in to the Coinbase app in March, almost $35,000 in various crypto assets had disappeared from his account. Coinbase’s Regulatory Response Team eventually emailed the victim stating that transactions on the blockchain are irreversible adding that Coinbase’s insurance policy does not cover theft from individual accounts.

In March, the New York Times ran a piece on a helpless Coinbase customer who eventually sued the company after losing $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

Venting their frustrations, other Coinbase users have taken to social media such as popular analyst Kaleo who told his 360,000 followers that the company had shown an “absolutely embarrassing display of care for customers.”

The tweet, which was posted less than a day ago, had already attracted a stream of responses from other Coinbase customers that had similar problems with support or had been hacked. Coinbase did actually respond to this complaint, but one individual pointed out that:

“You will only reply and assist people who have many followers so your reputation will not go down to hell! What about us? 5 months with no help! Locked account!”

Others said “I haven’t been able to get into my Coinbase account for almost 4 months now. The worst!”

Related: Coinbase creates support phone line for account takeovers

In April, when the company went public, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong somewhat ironically told CNBC, “People no longer need to be scared of it [crypto] like in the early days.”

Coinbase users have filed more than 11,000 complaints against Coinbase with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2016, and the majority of them are related to customer service.


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