According to DL News, observers in the crypto community noticed suspicious activity on EtherScan around a wallet labeled “Mark Cuban 2.” The crypto stolen was spread out across 10 different cryptocurrencies, including stablecoins and tokens.
Cuban told DL News that this likely happened because he downloaded a fake version of MetaMask, a popular crypto wallet and browser extension that allows users to manage their Ethereum-based assets and interact with decentralized applications. Cuban is not the only one to be fooled by this common tactic, which aims to capture sensitive information from a user through a bogus—yet realistic—app.
Crypto hacking has become more prevalent, and understandably, more businesses are on high alert. Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis estimated that hackers stole $3.8 billion from crypto businesses in 2022. We previously reported on several of these hacks, and how the lack of government regulation makes de-centralized prone to hackers.
Decentralized finance protocols, which enable financial transactions to occur outside of traditional banks, are public and use open-source code. While this can be helpful because it allows for security issues to be discovered and fixed quickly, it also means that cybercriminals can extensively study the code and find vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
As Brittany Allen, Trust and Safety Architect at Sift, noted in a PaymentsJournal article last year, “The transparency of the blockchain makes it difficult for fraudsters to get away with their crimes forever––all it takes is one mistake to reveal their real identity, at which point that mistake is part of the public, permanent blockchain record. However, the real challenge for exchanges doesn’t lie in catching these cybercriminals post-attack, but in preventing them from happening in the first place.”
Cuban’s unfortunate encounter serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing security challenges within the cryptocurrency landscape. As crypto scams and hacks persist, users—regardless of their stature—must exercise the utmost caution, verifying the authenticity of wallet software and staying vigilant against potential threats.: