Hacker steals $16 million USD via Bitcoin wallet exploit

Attacks on holders of large amounts of cryptocurrency money have become a trend of recent growth, cybersecurity specialists claimed. One of the most recent incidents affected the owner of 1,400 Bitcoin (about $16 million USD), who suffered an attack on their cryptocurrency wallet

While many cryptocurrency exchange platforms have managed to reduce the rate of security incidents, hackers have decided to target their attacks against users of any resource for storing virtual assets, which appears to be paying off.

One sign of this is the recent attack on multiple Twitter accounts owned by politicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs; the compromised accounts were used to advertise a supposed investment in Bitcoin too good to be true. Unfortunately some users fell into the trap, so they lost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Regarding the most recent attack, experts discovered a new fraud that allowed the theft of about $16 million USD from a single user who ran with very bad luck, mentioning a report published in NewsBTC.

The user (whose identity remains anonymous) accessed his Bitcoin wallet developed by the Electrum back in 2017, so they did not have the latest security updates issued by Electrum, which the attacker took advantage of to install an exploit that notified him when the user tried to update their wallet, allowing him to access the 1,400 Bitcoin stored by the victim.

Cybersecurity expert Ben Kaufman mentions that before connecting to the blockchain, Electrum software must connect to a public server that acts as a trusted third party. However, threat actors can exploit some flaws in this process; in this case, the attacker exploited the reminder so that private keys are not trusted with third parties.    

Given the nature of cryptocurrency transactions, it is highly likely that the victim will not be able to recover their virtual assets, although there have been cases in which a potential victim detects this malicious behavior and acts quickly enough to prevent the fraud from being completed. Experts mention that this is a good example of why all the technological tools we use on a regular basis should be kept up to date.