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5 Common Crypto Attacks And How TO Protect Yourself

Published May 3, 2024 9:34 AM
Alisha Bains
Published May 3, 2024 9:34 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Bad actors target crypto users with tactics that range from traditional scams like phishing to complex exploits of blockchain networks or smart contracts.
  • Dusting attacks and crypto malware are also other types of crypto attacks to be aware of.
  • Proactive measures like using strong passwords, hardware wallets, and trusted software are essential to minimizing risks.
  • Exercise skepticism when interacting with crypto-related emails, websites, or projects. Verify, double-check, and don’t rush into actions that might compromise your assets.

The crypto world presents fascinating opportunities for decentralized systems and financial innovation. But just like any new technology with substantial potential, it also draws bad actors looking to take advantage of weaknesses.

Knowing the most prevalent attack methods and how to defend oneself are essential for successfully navigating the cryptocurrency world. The most common crypto attacks to be aware of include:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware
  • 51% attacks
  • Smart contract vulnerabilities
  • Dusting attacks

This article will explain the above listed crypto attacks and how to protect yourself against them.

1. Phishing Attacks In Crypto

Phishing is one of the most widely used attack vectors in cryptocurrencies and traditional finance. Attackers that use phishing attacks frequently pose as reputable companies, exchanges, wallet providers, or well-known cryptocurrency initiatives. 

To fool victims into disclosing their private keys, seed phrases, or login credentials, they may utilize phony websites, emails, or social media communications.

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks

To protect yourself from phishing attacks, one can use the below measures:

  • Verify URLs: Before logging in, make sure the exchange or wallet’s website address is correct. Attackers frequently trick users by using minute modifications of trustworthy URLs.
  • Be aware of misspellings: Phishing emails and websites sometimes have minor typos or grammatical problems, which could be a warning sign.
  • Never disclose your login information: Your private keys or seed phrases will never be requested by trustworthy exchanges or wallet providers.
  • Bookmark important sites: Make sure to bookmark wallets or exchanges that you use frequently to prevent unintentionally accessing fake versions.

2. Crypto Malware

Malicious software, often known as malware, can take many different forms and is intended to steal crypto assets or private data. Typical forms of malware found in the cryptocurrency world include:

  • Keyloggers: These apps secretly log your keystrokes with the possibility to steal your seed phrases and passwords.
  • Cryptojacking: It is when malware mines cryptocurrency for the attacker using the processing power of your device without your knowledge or permission. 
  • Clipboard Hijackers: This spyware watches your clipboard covertly. If you duplicate a crypto address, it may be replaced with the attacker’s address, causing your money to go to the wrong place.

How To Protect Yourself From Crypto Malware

To safeguard against crypto malware attacks, consider these precautions:

  • System updates: Update your operating system and applications on a regular basis to address security flaws.
  • Antivirus and anti-malware: Install and maintain up-to-date security software, including antivirus and anti-malware programs.
  • Use caution when downloading: Downloading software from unreliable sources should be avoided. Rely on reliable repositories or official websites.

3. 51% Attacks

Although 51% attacks are mostly dangerous for smaller blockchains, they are nonetheless important to be aware of. When one person or organization controls more than 50% of the network hash rate (computer power) of a blockchain, an attack of this kind takes place. 

With this control, they can:

  • Double-spend crypto: By using reverse transactions, one can spend a cryptocurrency more than once.
  • Disrupt mining: Prevent reputable miners from verifying transactions and getting paid.
  • Alter the blockchain: It is possible to add fraudulent transactions or change previous ones. 

How To Protect Yourself From 51% Attacks

Use following safety measures to protect yourself from 51% attacks:

  • Bigger is often safer: Use more well-known coins with bigger, decentralized networks that are more difficult to hack. 
  • Investigate carefully: Carefully consider the security and mining distribution of smaller or lesser-known cryptocurrencies before making an investment.
  • Monitor news: Keep yourself updated on potential flaws or attacks in crypto initiatives.

4. Smart Contract Vulnerabilities

On blockchains, smart contracts are self-executing programs that carry out agreements or automate transactions. 

Even though smart contracts are very helpful, badly written ones may have vulnerabilities that hackers might take advantage of. These flaws can occasionally result in money theft or alter the intended behavior of the smart contract.

How To Protect Yourself From Smart Contract Vulnerabilities

Employ these safety precautions to shield yourself from smart contract vulnerabilities:

  • Audits matter: Give preference to initiatives or decentralized apps that have had security audits performed by reliable companies.
  • Understand the Code (if at all possible): Examine the smart contract code for a project or seek professional analysis if you possess the necessary technical knowledge.
  • Risk assessment: Whenever working with smart contracts, be sure to take into account the degree of trust and potential hazards.

5. Crypto Dusting Attacks

Dusting attacks are meant to compromise the anonymity that is the foundation of many cryptocurrencies. Attackers transfer small quantities of cryptocurrency (“dust”) to numerous wallets. 

They then keep an eye on the blockchain to trace the movement of this dust and when. By connecting wallets to potentially identifiable exchanges or transactions, the intention is to deanonymize wallets.

How To Protect Yourself From Crypto Dusting attacks

Employ these safety protocols to defend crypto dusting attacks:

  • Don’t panic: Being the target of a dusting assault does not immediately jeopardize your finances.
  • Don’t transfer suspicious funds: Handle any unforeseen, tiny sums of cryptocurrency carefully. If you’re not sure, don’t touch them.
  • Think About Creating a New Wallet: In some circumstances, it can be wise to make a new wallet and move your primary holdings there with caution.


Attacks using cryptocurrencies demonstrate why security and awareness are essential in this changing environment. Risks include phishing scams, malware and attacks on blockchains and smart contracts. It’s critical to be knowledgeable, use robust security methods like hardware wallets and multi-factor authentication, and practice vigilant caution. 

Give top priority to funding initiatives with a track record of success and open security procedures. Recall that your best line of protection against losing your cryptocurrency holdings to dishonest parties is vigilant awareness.


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