Summary: One day, Fabrice Grinda noticed that his phone was no longer working correctly while traveling. What he had not noticed yet was that had been a victim of a hack that resulted in losing his crypto assets on an exchange. The hacker(s) managed this by getting access to his mobile phone through phishing the cell phone provider, which they then used for resetting passwords and two-factor authentication. While, luckily for Fabrice, the hack did not result in a major loss (0,01 BTC), it does underline that exchanges are not the best solution for long-term storage.
Since the birth of the Bitcoin over $1,500,000,000 ($1,5b) in crypto assets was stolen during cryptocurrency exchange hacks. Crypto assets left in exchanges are not only vulnerable to attacks on the cryptocurrency exchanges, however.
“I assumed that by using very complex passwords, or a password manager like Dashlane, and requiring two-factor authentication with text messages sent to my cell phone, I would be safe. Boy was I wrong! “
Data on your computer or smartphone can be used as well to gain access to your cryptocurrency exchange account too. A mobile phone can notably be used to gain access to your two-factor authentication and password reset options (e-mail or exchange account). Once hackers gain access to your data, logging into the cryptocurrency exchange account and moving your crypto assets is an easy task. Having a hardware wallet, such as the Ledger Nano S, can protect you against this type of hack as no data that grants access to your crypto assets is left on your computer or smartphone. Fortunately in this particular case, the hackers were only able to take 0,01 BTC.
Not all are that lucky, however. Cryptoslate mentions that a crypto investor active on Binance lost $50,000 and could not get it back. This hack was equally started through phishing the customer support of their mobile phone service provider.