If you’ve not heard of Mark Cuban, let us introduce him to you. For starters, he’s a billionaire. He’s got a net worth of $5.2 billion as of this year. Aside from that, he’s also known as a prominent “shark” in the hit reality TV-series Shark Tank. Last but not least, he’s the owner of popular basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks.
But when you’re rich, you’ll be a target for hackers. Sadly, these hackers came for Mark Cuban’s wallet. As a result, he lost a total of $870,000 worth of crypto assets. Luckily, Mark Cuban managed to move $2.5 million worth of $USDC from Polygon in time. Otherwise, the damage could have been much greater.
How Did Mark Cuban Get Hacked?
In his own words, he downloaded a version of Metamask with some shit in it”. Before that, he was searching for something else on Google. It is highly likely that he had downloaded a fake version of Metamask. These “fakes” come in many forms, such as:
- Google search results.
- Apps on Apple App Store or Google Play.
- Browser extensions, and many more.
Mark Cuban’s address “mcuban” was drained for $870K last night.
What some may have missed is that the damage could have been MUCH worse. Cuban had ~$2.5M USDC on Polygon, in the same wallet!
Luckily, he managed to transfer it to Coinbase without the hacker realizing. pic.twitter.com/DVoygYC88f
— Arkham (@ArkhamIntel) September 16, 2023
Once Mark Cuban downloaded this fake version, his “Metamask” began crashing. After the second crash, Mark’s funds were drained from his account. Yes, hacks usually happen very quickly. In a matter of seconds, millions can be stolen.
A Deep Dive Into Phishing
Looking back at this incident, Mark Cuban was a victim of a phishing scam. Simply put, phishing scams refer to hackers that impersonate legitimate entities. For instance, a company’s email, app or software. When unsuspecting users trust these, hackers use this opportunity to seize valuable information. Such information could be your private data, credit card number, or even your crypto seed phrase. As you know, once you lose your seed phrase, your funds are as good as gone.
In Mark Cuban’s case, he could have keyed in his seed phrase into the fake version of Metamask. Or, the fake app could have installed malware onto Mark’s phone. In turn, said malware can then extract Mark’s seed phrase.
How Can You Avoid Making the Same Mistake?
So, how can you avoid making the same mistake as Mark Cuban? To do so, you’ve got to understand that phishing uses social engineering. That’s the core of all phishing scams. Hence, as long as you’re alert, you will not fall into the phishing trap.
What does being alert mean? That means double checking download links. Confirming URLs are correct. Not downloading anything through Google, in particular from sponsored ads. Before you take any action, think about how a hacker could be trying to gain access to your seed phrase.
Mark Cuban just lost $870,000 in 5 minutes!
This bear month saw some wild hacks & scams:
– Vitalik's 𝕏 hacked and hackers ran away with $700,000.
– Crypto's biggest online casino, Stake was reportedly hacked for over $50M!
And now, Cuban lost $870,000 today!
Some major… pic.twitter.com/IElr6nVanP
— Elja (@Eljaboom) September 16, 2023
On top of that, here’s some helpful tips you can take to prevent yourself from phishing.
Tip #1: Use Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets, like Ledger, require you to approve transactions on the physical ledger itself. So, hackers can’t access your keys online. They need your physical ledger too. This adds an additional layer of protection for your crypto.
Tip #2: Use Multiple Wallets
It’s advisable for you to keep your crypto assets in multiple wallets. In this case, you won’t lose all your assets if one of your wallet gets hacked. We also recommend you keep your long-term crypto holds in a few secure hardware wallets. For crypto assets that you regularly trade, you can keep them on an online Metamask wallet.
Tip #3: Keep Your Seed Phrase Secret
Never key in your seed phrase into any shady emails, apps or chats. Do not even store it as a text file or picture on your phone. However, you may have to key in your seed phrase on your computer in some cases. If so, check the app or website again and again to ensure it’s legit. Indeed, you don’t want to be like this guy below.
Tip #4: Be Wary of Phishing Scams
A mistake which Mark Cuban made was that he was not aware that he could be a target. Be aware that you could, at any time, be phished. With that, you will be less likely to fall victim. Some steps you could take are:
- Being cautious with links on social media sites. This is especially so if they’re paid ads or sponsored links.
- Staying away from shady emails or apps. Again, these are likely malicious links designed to phish your seed phrases. Do not click into them!
- Avoiding “easy” money or crypto. Is someone promising double your return if you send them some $ETH? Or promising a huge airdrop if you key in your seed phrase? Scam alert!
For more tips on avoiding scams in crypto, you can refer to our previous research here.
A Brazilian YouTuber lost all his money live on air by accidentally opening a notepad containing his private key.
Safeguarding your crypto assets is paramount. When it comes to self-custody digital wallets, remember:
✅ Keep your private keys offline and secure.
❌ Avoid… https://t.co/00lei2F4Lt
— DotsamaNFT (@DotsamaNFT_com) August 31, 2023
Tip #5: Stay Humble and Low-Key
Well, I guess this isn’t easy for Mark Cuban to follow. He’s a billionaire, and his crypto wallet is visible for all to see. But, you can follow this advice. By staying below the radar, phishers and hackers won’t identify you as a target. So, avoid flashing your large stash of crypto online, and don’t tell your friends about it too!
The crypto space has a long way to go in terms of security for its users. Hacks are rampant and common. Unlike conventional crimes, once you lose your crypto, it’s almost impossible to get it back. To avoid being phished like Mark Cuban, follow the above tips that you’ve just read. Keep your crypto safe with you, and you’ll be reaping the rewards in the next bull run.