Cryptocurrency users often fall prey to cyber hackers, with Mark Cuban being the latest high-profile example where nearly a million dollars can slip out of your digital wallet.

The security of your money can be greatly enhanced by following the three simple guidelines we will outline in this article. But before delving into these issues, it’s critical to understand the types of threats that exist today.

FBI has clear evidence of Lazarus Group

The Lazarus group is a North Korean state-sponsored hacking group known for its sophisticated attacks associated with various cyberattacks and cybercrime campaigns, including the WannaCry ransomware attack.

WannaCry disrupted critical services for many organizations, including healthcare and government agencies, by encrypting files on infected computers and demanding ransom payment in Bitcoin (BTC).

One of its earliest cryptocurrency-related hacks was an April 2017 attack on South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Yapizon (later renamed Youbit), which resulted in the theft of 3,831 Bitcoins worth more than $4.5 million at the time.

The Lazarus Group’s activities in the cryptocurrency space have raised concerns about its ability to raise funds for the North Korean regime and evade international sanctions. In 2022, for example, the group was linked to several high-profile cryptocurrency hacks, including the theft of $620 million from Axie Infinity bridge Ronin.

The FBI blamed the Alphapo, CoinsPaid and Atomic Wallet hacks on Lazarus Group and said the total losses from all these hacks exceeded $200 million, with the group stealing more than $200 million in 2023.

This month, the FBI blamed Lazarus Group for a $41 million hack of crypto gambling site Stake, which was carried out through a spear phishing campaign targeting some of its employees.

Finally, a $55 million hack of cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx was carried out by North Korean state-sponsored hackers, according to blockchain security firm SlowMist.

Most hacking attacks involve social engineering and exploit human error

Contrary to what movies usually show, which means hackers either gain physical access to the device or brute force passwords, most hacking occurs through phishing and social engineering. Attackers rely on human curiosity or greed to lure victims.

These hackers may impersonate a customer support representative or other trusted figure to trick victims into handing over personal information.

For example, a hacker might impersonate a company’s IT support staff and call employees, claiming they need to verify login credentials for a system update. To build trust, attackers may use public information about the company and the target’s persona.

Related: North Korea Cryptocurrency Hacks Down 80%, But That Could Change Overnight: Chainaanalysis

Phishing attacks involve sending spoofed emails or messages to trick recipients into taking malicious actions. An attacker might impersonate a reputable organization (such as a bank) and send users an email asking them to click a link to verify their account. The link took them to a fraudulent website and their login credentials were stolen.

Bait attacks offer victims something enticing, such as free software or job opportunities. Attackers pose as recruiters and create convincing job postings on reputable job sites. To further build trust, they might even conduct fake video interviews and then notify candidates that they have been selected. Hackers continue to send seemingly innocuous files, such as PDFs or Word documents, that contain malware.

How Cryptocurrency Investors Can Avoid Hacks and Exploits

Fortunately, despite the increasing skills and capabilities of today’s hackers, there are three simple steps you can take to keep your money safe. Right now:

  • Use hardware wallets to store your crypto assets long-term rather than connecting directly to the internet, making them highly secure against online threats such as phishing attacks or malware. They provide an extra layer of protection by keeping your private keys offline and away from potential hackers.
Common crypto hardware wallets.Source: Enjin
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on all your cryptocurrency exchange and wallet accounts. This adds an extra security step by requiring you to provide a one-time code generated by an application such as Google Authenticator or Authy. Even if an attacker manages to steal your password, they won’t be able to access your account.
  • Use caution when clicking links in emails and social media. Scammers often use enticing offers or freebies to lure victims. Use a separate “burner” account or wallet to experiment with new decentralized applications and airdrops to reduce the risk of losing your funds.

This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.