Coinbase confirms that hacker circumvented authentication measures and stole cryptocurrencies from more than 6,000 users

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Coinbase confirms that hacker circumvented authentication measures and stole cryptocurrencies from more than 6,000 users By Angel Di Matteo @shadowargel

The security breach reported by Coinbase it took place between March and May of this year. What happened rekindles the debate about whether it is appropriate to hold crypto funds in a centralized exchange.

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The US-based international exchange, Coinbase, confirmed that a hacker managed to bypass its authentication mechanisms and illegally stole crypto funds hosted on the accounts of more than 6,000 users.

Coinbase was the victim of an attack

According to various reports published today, the security breach of which he was a victim Coinbase it took place between March and May of this year. The attack that led to the theft of users’ accounts consisted of a combination of several techniques, among which stand out Phishing (theft of data from people) and the detection of vulnerabilities in the security measures implemented by the exchange.

As clarified Coinbase, the attackers obtained the emails, passwords and phone numbers of the affected users, as well as access to the victims’ emails. The researchers do not know how the hackers accessed this information.

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In relation to the attack, the researchers pointed out in an email sent to users:

“In this incident, for customers using SMS messages for two-factor authentication, the attacker took advantage of a flaw in the Coinbase account recovery process via SMS to receive a two-factor authentication token… and so on. get access to accounts ”.

They didn’t just steal crypto funds

Another thing that the members of the team of Coinbase is that the attackers not only stole the funds of the affected people, but also exposed the private information of the victims, leaving this data at the disposal of other attackers.

Among the data that were exposed are the names and surnames of the victims, their emails, physical addresses, dates of birth, addresses IP, transaction history, as well as their balances and movements through the accounts of Coinbase.

Since the hack occurred mainly through messages SMS, the recommendation is that people do not use this mechanism to do two-factor authentication. This case joins many others in which attackers steal or clone the SIM Card of people to access these types of codes.

They are not your keys, they are not your coins

The announcement once again ignited the debate about the relevance of leaving funds hosted in exchange accounts, and how this is not a real guarantee that said funds are safe.

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A very popular saying in the cryptocurrency space is the popular “Not your keys, not your coins”, or in spanish “They are not your keys, they are not your coins”, precisely to refer to the fact that the only way to keep digital currencies safe is in a wallet in which users have the private keys. Although reputable exchanges usually implement rigorous security mechanisms to protect customer funds or support them in the event of any eventuality, being centralized entities they become very attractive targets for hackers and criminals.

Critics and people with mastery of the subject reacted to what happened and highlighted that there are other types of services that eliminate the need for a third party to guard the assets. An example of this are decentralized exchanges (DEX), in which users trade directly from their private wallets, maintaining control over the cryptocurrencies to be traded at all times.

Another invitation is to maintain good hygiene in computers and devices used to trade cryptocurrencies. There are a large number of reports in which attackers take the opportunity to introduce malware into the victims ‘computers, which they execute from crypto mining without the victims’ consent to attacks of the type Ransomware, where they hijack people’s private information demanding payments with digital currencies.

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Source: BitcoinMagazine, Bleepingcomputer

Version by Angel Di Matteo / DailyBitcoin

Picture of Unsplash

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