A lesson on why you should use a tool like Google Authenticator…

Now that we have your attention, being hacked is the last thing you want to have happen to your precious crypto assets. It may sound simple by adding things like anti-virus protection to your computer and making tough passwords even you can barely remember. But with recent advances within the crypto space bad actors have figured out how to utilize social engineering techniques to snatch your coins.

Let me take you back in time to the fall of 2017 when I personally got involved in some heated reddit groups that were constantly targeting and spamming my email with bitconnect’s illustrious Ponzi methods. I refrained for some time and ignored the constant banter, until they began targeting some of my own personal posts and threads.

Now we get into a new unexpected territory with social engineering in which the conversation got so heated the next thing I knew one of my email accounts was hacked. Much like the article I am linking below, I questioned how exactly this could happen and attempted fruitlessly to get into my email only to be repeatedly denied access, I was extremely puzzled. In the matter of about two hours, my cell phone stopped working and would only connect to the internet via wifi.

As it turns out, the exact scenario that happened to John McAfee in late December, is what happened to me in the fall and it was 100% my own fault. I had listed my actual phone number on a website that I was promoting and since I had SMS Two Factor Authentication (2FA) turned on for my gmail account, the bad actors were able to hack into my email and call T-mobile to perform a SIM swap completely disabling me from my own cell phone. Now fortunately for me this was not my main email address and I didn’t have any crypto assets tied to that account in any way shape or form. I did however learn that when you are doing anything in this new crypto world you do NOT want to utilize SMS 2FA at all for anything period!

After some time and research I personally feel that using a program like google authenticator is the smartest option to go for securing your accounts and I highly recommend it. Additionally make sure you are using wallets and programs that you control your own private keys and never store them on your computer, always write them down on a piece of paper and lock them up in your safe, off-site in a security deposit box, or in a encrypted file somewhere, after they are your assets…..proceed with caution.

Check out John McAfee’s story below:

“I’ve only been hacked once. I know exactly how it happened, because the people who did it contacted me. They used a new technique called SIM Swapping. At first I thought they didn’t hack my account – I can’t be active. I thought they hacked Twitter, but what they did, they hacked my carrier AT&T, which is the largest carrier.  So what they did, using social engineering, kept calling local offices until they found the sympathetic hero. “Oh, my name is John McAfee, I lost my SIM cards, I have a new one. Can you please change my account to this?” And eventually someone did. My phone stopped working. Then they went into Twitter and say I forgot my password, please, send it to my phone. 

And so they sent a code to what is supposed to be to my phone but it’s their phone. They use that code, change my password and they were on for two and a half hours while I struggled to get back in. I finally hacked myself back in and through the mail. I’ve never heard of that technique before. It’s a brand new social engineering technique of hacking. So it was not Twitter, it was AT&T. I complained to AT&T; they did nothing. So I took off two-factor authentication, if I had not had two-factor authentication, they could not have hacked me. So now, what used to be the best way to protect yourself, turned out to be the worst, because if you have your phone number in there, then they can get it; they can go in and send that. If you don’t have a phone number, they can’t send the code anywhere, and they’ve got to figure out my password, which is impossible. – John Mcafee”

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This was a Guest post by Brian at MadDigits. Follow him here: http://maddigits.com/