NFT: hackers’ new darlings

Over $100M in non-fungible tokens stolen this year

There are only three letters, but they also represent a business model that attracts companies from different sectors. The NFT, an acronym for non-fungible token, is in vogue to represent a new way of working in the digital environment – to the point of paving the way for developing projects in the Metaverse.

In short: they are true and have come to an end and changed the entire financial market. In fact, this analysis carries a dangerous burden: cybercriminals. This type of asset has become a major target for hackers, who are constantly looking for loopholes to bypass systems and attach keys to businesses and people.

A great example is the case that happened in May of this year. The Discord channel of the OpenSea platform – the largest NFT trading market in the world – suffered a cyberattack with a scam called phishing. The criminals published a fake advertisement that the platform is partnering with YouTube for a new collection of non-fungible tokens, saying that anyone can click on a link to issue NFTs for free. The link directed users to a website that requested personal data. Earlier, in February, the same platform lost about US $ 1.7 million due to hacking.

What makes cybercriminals have their eyes on NFTs is the increasing number of transactions involving this crypto asset. Non-fungible tokens represent unique properties, that is, they are considered unregulated by smart contracts, guaranteeing the integrity of the encrypted information. Because of this, they have become attractive options for various sectors. These range from cultural assets, such as music and plastic images, to investment assets in the financial market, commercial products, and other situations. NFTs are everywhere because they provide the convenience and efficiency expected in digital transactions.

So, even if there are signs that the stomach is burning, the market for non-fungible symptoms has already moved to US $ 30 billion worldwide in the first five months of 2022 – in 2021, the cost generated is US $ 40 billion, according to an estimate by Chainalysis. The number of jobs will continue to grow. Juniper Research estimates that the global number of NFT transactions will increase from 24 million in 2022 to 40 million in 2027 – a growth of 66.6% in five years.

Let’s face it, it’s the economic numbers that really catch the attention of cybercriminals. No wonder, the blockchain company Elliptic reported that more than $100 million of non-fungible tokens were stolen this year worldwide. All it takes is a quick Google search to find other businesses that have suffered hacker attacks when it comes to NFTs.

These attacks reinforce the need for information security for businesses and their customers. In order to protect them, it is necessary to protect all areas of a business, proposing new and better solutions. This includes, for example, from simple solutions, such as protecting employee passwords and logins, to powerful applications that can provide another layer of security in the network. , such as tools that “scan” systems in search of malware. With the support of the best suppliers, it is possible to find tools to meet the different goals and needs of the company, taking care of creating a security policy.

It’s not the best way to save. Efforts to address this type of attack are costly, and the losses may not be just monetary. After all, it is impossible to recover any stolen information. But it is not enough to just provide security solutions in one place, because, as the social network is constantly changing, the tools must follow the same speed.

Otto Pohlmann is the CEO of Centric Solution.

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