The first bitcoin heist ever reported took place back in 2011. A bitcoiner under the moniker “allinvain” woke up to the loss of his 25K bitcoins! The loot had been valued at $500K.
The nastiest bit is that “allinvain” could track the movement of his bitcoins by keeping watch over the public ledger; but still, he couldn’t get the name or location of the thief!
Other bitcoin heists both small and large have happened since, and so, the message is clear; hackers pose a real threat to bitcoin users.
Generally, the bitcoin network is designed to be safe, and unless the hacker uses sophisticated tools to pull their job, you can keep your bitcoins very secure.
To keep you warned, here are some of the ways that your bitcoins might be stolen.
- Con clients
If you sell bitcoins through online markets like BitQuick, you realize that the platform supports bank transfer only. So, a buyer deposits the money, and the seller releases the bitcoins.
Now if a buyer is ill-intentioned, they may dispute that transaction with their bank, and their bank would effectively authorize a chargeback. In short, the buyer could convince their bank that you (the seller) are a scammer, and the bank would reverse your payment!
And you’d lose your bitcoins because the blockchain is designed to be unalterable!
- Using auto-login widgets
Many of us have signed up for accounts on a long list of websites both social and professional, and remembering the passwords can be hectic, and so, auto-logins save us the trouble.
But when it comes to your wallets, you’d better deactivate the auto-login function, because when a stranger takes possession of your device, they may access either your software wallet or web wallet and they’d be able to transfer bitcoins to their addresses! You’d be screwed.
- The issue of fake wallets
Something that bitcoiners ought to understand is that anarchy is one of the underlying philosophies of the bitcoin network. You’ll also notice that most bitcoin users have some anarchical inclinations (myself included) and so there are no regulations in our trade.
For that reason, there are lots of fake wallets online, and guys are signing up there, and depositing bitcoins in them, and someday they’ll try to log in and there’ll be a 404 error!
Scammers have extended their ill practices to gambling. Basically, a scammer will create a website and run silly games, where you may sign up and participate either as a winner or loser, and then after attracting enough people, they can wipe your wallets clean.
- Powerful software
Humans are making tremendous advancement in technology, but sadly, some of the advanced tools are in the possession of sick minds.
A hacker could simply send you an email, and once you clicked on it, all the contents of your device would get relayed back to them, and they’d do as they wished. They’d own your system and download data.
Thankfully, the bitcoin network is open source, and for our common good, our wish must be that the network is always a step ahead of the hackers!