The KRACK attack: a crypto holders nightmare.
Storing crypto is probably one of the most important aspects of trading, hodling and buidling crypto.
I say this because I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. A few years back I had the pleasure of getting my wallet hacked. Well, it really wasnt a pleasure, but some good did come out of it. I was having an issue sending and receiving funds in and out of my wallet. I contacted support like anyone else would do. I explained the issue and was advised to make a backup of my mnemonic seed, which is the 12 random words we use to restore the wallet in case we lose it. Then, the next step was to erase the wallet and restore it. So I did. However, the support specialist also suggested that I use a VPN while doing so. And of course, I didnt.
This is what happened. I was at the central library in my city, (they had fast free internet connection) and did all the support suggested, erased it and restored it over wifi without a VPN. It worked and I was able to now send and receive the funds I needed to trade. This was before I purchased a cold storage wallet like the Ledger.
The next morning I opened my wallet and to my surprise, my balance was 14 cents.....
I stared at the user interface in disbelief while my mind went racing all over the place. Panic at the Disco. I did everything I could think of to get some kind of respectable balance back to my wallet to no success. I contacted support and tried to to explain what had happened, but I really didnt even know myself. I wanted some explanation and fast. Someone had to pay, but who? I couldnt for the life of me begin to understand what happened. What would be the outcome? I started to question the development team behind the wallet project and insinuated that they were somehow responsible for the missing funds. However, I myself am a programmer and knew deep down inside that the development team wasnt responsible, after all they were a reputable project and still are.
What happened to my crypto? Well, after all I was on a public wifi and I didnt use a VPN to restore my wallet which is exactly what the support advised me to do.
A KRACK attack. In this attack an attacker (bad actor) can reconnect your device to a public wifi and steal any personal info that you may have sent over the network to withdraw your tokens. They do this by using wifi mapping tools and sniff out internet traffic.
Luckily it was not my life savings, none the less it was a fair amount and a costly lesson. VPNs are now a must have when I make any transaction with my crypto, public or private. Since then I have also purchased a Ledger which I use to store any amount over $150. The Ledger now supports ETH2 for staking with its latest firmware update.
Storage and VPNs are now an integral part of this crypto journey that is ongoing. With crypto on the rise this is a real potential issue for anyone who stores crypto for any reason. Being secure is being one step ahead in the crypto game.