How Nfts Are Being Used To Facilitate Cybercrime
Google has just announced that NFT searches have surpassed cryptocurrencies! This is big news for the digital design world, as it shows that this industry is only continuing to grow. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a new type of cryptocurrency that has been gaining in popularity over the past year, and it looks like this trend will only continue. Cyberattackers have taken notice of NFTs and are already beginning to exploit them for their gain.
What is an NFT?
An NFT is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, each NFT is unique and can’t be exchanged for another token of the same type. This makes them perfect for storing digital art, music, or gaming items.
The NFT, established in 2014, is a unique digital or tangible asset with a lot of value. It can’t be replaced by anything else of similar worth. “Fungible” means that the products are interchangeable from transaction to transaction. For example, a bitcoin can be exchanged for another and returned with the same amount.
How does NFT work?
One of the most well-known types of NFTs is those linked to the Ethereum network. Ethereum supports cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and dogecoin, as well as NFTs, which can store extra information on the blockchain. These NFTs can act as a unit of exchange for items, title deeds, and virtual certificates connected to creations and stored on the blockchain. Other blockchains may have their variants of NFTs.
The digital certificate that recognizes an NFT contains information about the piece’s author, copyright ownership, etc. This certificate is tracked on the blockchain. The blockchain ensures the security of transactions made on marketplaces using cryptocurrency.
NFT and Cybersecurity
With the rise in popularity of NFTs, it was only a matter of time before cyberattackers began to target them. There have already been a few high-profile cases of NFT-related attacks.
The most notable case happened in February 2021, when an unknown hacker stole over $500,000 worth of NFTs from the popular cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. The hacker gained access to many high-profile users’ private keys and then used them to transfer the NFTs from their accounts.
In October 2021, another unknown hacker stole over $200,000 of NFTs from the popular digital art platform, which was super rare. The hacker accessed many users’ private keys and then used them to transfer the NFTs from their accounts.
NFT Stealing common Tactics
The following are some common methods that cyber attackers use to steal NFTs:
One of the most common ways cyber attackers steal NFTs is through phishing campaigns. In a phishing attack, the attacker will send an email or message that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as an exchange or marketplace. The message will contain a link that leads to a fake website that looks identical to the real one. The user will then input their login credentials on the fake website, which the attacker can use to gain access to their account.
Another common tactic that cyberattackers are using to steal NFTs is social engineering. In a social engineering attack, the attacker will try to trick the victim into sending them their NFTs. They may do this by posing as buyers or selling NFTs that don’t exist.
Another way that cyberattackers are trying to steal NFTs is by creating counterfeit NFTs. They will make an NFT that looks identical to a legitimate one and try to sell it on a marketplace or exchange. If the victim buys the counterfeit NFT, they will lose their money and the attacker will keep the NFT.
Another tactic that cyberattackers are using to steal NFTs is by creating fake airdrops and giveaways. They will create a social media account or website that looks like it’s from a legitimate source and offer free NFTs. The victim will then input their private key on the fake site, giving the attacker access to their account.
Sim swapping is a tactic that cyber attackers use to steal cryptocurrencies, but it can also be used to steal NFTs. In a sim swap attack, the attacker will call the victim’s phone service provider and trick them into giving them control of the victim’s phone number. They will then use this phone number to reset the passwords on the victim’s accounts and gain access to them. Once they have access to the accounts, they can transfer the NFTs out of them.
Scalpers are people who buy popular items and then sell them at a higher price. They may also try to steal NFTs by posing as buyers and then not paying for the NFTs after they receive them.
How to Protect Yourself from NFT Attacks
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from NFT-related attacks:
- use multi-factor authentication
- Secure your wallet. Be careful when buying NFTs to know who you’re dealing with. Only buy from reputable sources.
- Don’t click on links from people you don’t know.
- Be careful of fake airdrops and giveaways.
- Keep your private keys safe and secure.
- Don’t store your NFTs on an exchange. Store them in a safe place.
- If the proposed collaboration fee appears excessive, better go away.
What to do if you Got Stolen NFTs
If you have been a victim of an NFT attack, there are a few things that you can do:
- Report the incident to the police.
- Report the incident to the platform where the NFT was stolen.
- Change your passwords on all of your accounts.
- Check your statements for any suspicious activity.
- Monitor your credit score for any changes.
- If you have any information about the attacker, share it with the local police.
NFTs are a new and exciting way to invest in digital assets, but they are also a new target for cyberattackers. Be sure to take precautions when buying, selling or storing NFTs. And if you do become a victim of an NFT attack, be sure to report it to the authorities.