Recent Facebook leak might hurt Crypto

04/10/2021

Facebook has been hit by many high-profile security breaches in recent years. Back in 2018, it had accidently exposed the personal information of more than 50 million users due to a coding error. Then, in 2020, it came to light that thousands of developers had been able to access data from inactive platform users. Now in 2021, with fresh data leaks, the number of users whose records were exposed is nearly 500 million.

The leaked info includes phone numbers, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses of over 553 million located users across a total of 100 countries. Not only that, of the above-stated figure, 32 million users are apparently from the United States, while 11 million are from the United Kingdom.

This data sitting online has potentially put at risk the savings of millions of digital currency traders who now may be vulnerable to SIM swapping and other identity-based attacks, which have happened in recent years.

What can be done?

People who have had their phone numbers leaked need to be extra cautious since a lot of fraud involving digital assets happens on such info. Those who believe their crypto may be at some sort of risk need to reconsider their existing privacy strategies — basically, thinking twice before storing all their holdings in a centralized exchange that may be using their phone numbers for two-factor authentication.

Managing one’s own keys could be a better way to protect our valuables from being phished via the use of stolen phone numbers.

Also, as a precautionary measure, it would be best if most users change their passwords across all of their social media accounts as well as other platforms that share their data with Facebook.

Does decentralization help?

As more data leaks continue to happen, an increasing amount of people around the world are beginning to ponder on the value proposition that decentralized systems put forth from a security standpoint, especially since they do not feature a single point of failure.

The backend system of a platform distributed using blockchain technology might make it a bit harder on the hackers to get a hold of user info. Still, contrary to what some may believe, it’s never a good idea to save personal information on any sort of blockchain ecosystem. Such data can never totally be protected by blockchain with any sort of long-term effectiveness.

Crypto hacks in 2020 attacked DeFi

Late last year, crypto hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger was hit by a data hack, as a result of which the private information of more than 270,000 users was leaked online. Following the incident, users started reporting extortion threats from bad actors resulting in many users even considered initiating legal action against the firm.

Furthermore, a total of 28 attacks were witnessed in relation to various prominent cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms in 2020, with the total sum of money being compromised as a result of these ploys amounting to around $300 million.

In the past, most hacking schemes have, by and large, focused on stealing funds from cryptocurrency exchanges, for example, in 2014 and 2018, the amount of money compromised as a result of exchanges being hacked lay at $483 million and $875 million, respectively.

However, an increasing number of miscreants are now turning their attention to stealing user data because it provides them with unique avenues to acquire funds with relative ease. Thus, it is of utmost importance that crypto owners learn how to protect their assets, using advanced tools not to fall prey to such breach attempts.

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