Notable cryptocurrency investor and Youtube influencer Ian Balina ended a livestreamed ICO review last night when he realized he was being hacked. Balina seemed to realize something was amiss when he was required to sign back into Google to save changes to the spreadsheet he was using, saying "I have to get going" and ending the stream.
Balina took to social media to ask for the support of his followers in tracing over $2 million worth of cryptocurrency being moved from his Etherscan wallets. He said he didn't care about the money, and just wanted to catch the person or people responsible.
There were a number of vulnerabilities in Balina's security which he admits were the cause of the hack. His main email account was backed up by an old college email account, long-since abandoned. In the event of Balina losing the password to his account, the college account could be used to reset the password. Hackers discovered this account and accessed it, using it to reset the password and access the main account where they came across the second major security breach.
Balina stored the personal and public keys he needed to access his digital assets on popular cloud storage program Evernote, secured with password protection. Having accessed the main email, it was a simple matter of resetting the Evernote password and gaining access to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. Balina recalls receiving a message about his college account being targeted, saying "I remember getting an email about it being compromised and tried to follow up with my college security to get it resolved, but wasn’t able to get it handled in a fast manner and gave up on it thinking it was just an old email.”
The hack came days after Balina shared his portfolio on Twitter, which may have incited hackers to target him.
The timing of the hack coming days before the US tax filing deadline has also lead to suspicions that Balina is actually inventing the hack in an effort to avoid paying taxes, while others doubt that such a move would be effective. Balina is a notable investor who reportedly turned a $90,000 investment into $4 million, and has amassed a considerable online following with well over 100 thousand followers on both Youtube and Twittter. The security lapse has lead to wider discussion around whether other cryptocurrency users are storing their keys securely, and may in turn lead to extra precautions being taken by other investors.
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