- Scammers are attacking crypto users by cloning web3 wallets like Metamask. The interface of a scam wallet looks the same, but the original code is different.
Web3 wallets contain users’ funds online; therefore, these wallets become the main target of hackers to infiltrate and steal their funds. As wallet companies are making their applications hack-proof, hackers engineer new ways to get their hands on the funds.
There are two types of crypto wallets; Hard wallets or cold storage and Web3 Application based wallets or hot wallets. Hot wallets remain on the internet and are application-based; therefore, hackers find it easy to find ways and scam people out of their money. Cloning Web3 Wallets is one recent attempt to steal private keys.
How Are Web3 Wallets Cloned?
There are two kinds of keys for any crypto wallet; Private keys and public keys. Unfortunately, people usually confuse both terms with each other, which can cost huge if your private key ends up in the wrong hands. The public key is where you receive your funds, just like you use your email address to receive emails. On the other hand, the private key is like the password to your email account.
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If you share your password, you can imagine the circumstances. Even worse can happen if you share your private key. Private keys are your entry pass to the wallet, or whosoever owns the private key owns the funds in the wallet, so NEVER share your private key or seed phrase with anyone – We can’t emphasize it more.
Hackers are actually changing the original code of Web3 wallets like MetaMask. They code the application in a way that the interface of the wallet and everything look perfectly similar on the surface, except the application shares the private keys with the hackers when logged in.
This happens mainly to open-source applications, as all the code is there, and the hackers change or add one line to get the private keys. The rest is straightforward; they distributed the pirated application or their version of web3 wallet through the different websites and search engines like Baidu. So when users don’t install MetaMask or Trust Wallet from the original App Store or platform, there are likely to become a potential target of these hackers.
It’s hard to tell if your wallet is a malicious application once you’ve installed such a wallet as it functions almost the same. Therefore, the practice to avoid such scams could be only to establish your wallet from verified and official sources. If you are unsure about your version of the wallet and want to make sure your funds are safe, you should probably transfer your funds to a new wallet.
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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.