The cryptocurrency trading industry like other financial spaces has always faced the threat of hackers. However, not all hacking incidents are intrinsically malevolent. There are various categories of hackers, most fall under the black hat hacker category. These hackers are criminals who intend to steal assets, data and anything else that could prove to be lucrative.
However, there are also white hat hackers and grey hat hackers, that do not share the same intentions. White hat hackers are certified hackers that look to improve systems by scrutinizing current protocols and attempt to exploit a deficiency. Grey hat hackers are in between typically motivated to hack out of curiosity and interest, often do not intend to steal.
Recently, one of the most popular platforms for exchanging crypto has become the target of black hat hackers, who have managed to breach their security protocols. Reportedly, the incident involved multiple black hats that managed to attain access to client accounts through a flaw in Coinbase’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) security earlier this year.
According to technology news outlet, Bleeping Computer, the hackers managed to gain access to around 6000 accounts, many of the hijacked accounts were subjected to the theft of their Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptoassets. Due to the scale of the attack, the value of the misappropriated funds are yet to be determined by Coinbase. The platform has bewildered customers over the course of past few days, stating that the loss occurred between March and May.
The MFA, which was implemented as a core component of their overall customer facing security, was initially thought to be highly effective protection until recently. As the hackers were able to navigate past the MFA, they were able to access 6000 accounts. Which would suggest they may have acquired the initial information to begin their process through phishing or similar nefarious strategies. Following the attacks, Coinbase realised the root cause in its security which was a design flaw in the account recovery protocol. This bug in the procedure is widely accepted to be the foundation of the attack.
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