The latest attack on a cryptocurrency company was attempted earlier this week as a team or individual tried to gain access to Coinbase wallets presumably to steal the cryptocurrency contained within. Coinbase announced on August 8 that they successfully foiled an attack that was aimed at the work devices of dozens of Coinbase employees in an attempt to gain control of their machines and escalate privileges in a way that would allow the attackers access to funds.
In the Coinbase announcement, it was made clear that this attack was highly sophisticated and targeted. The attackers executed it with a lot of preparation and its possible that they also breached the Cambridge domain, which allowed them to send emails that looked as though they came from Cambridge staff.
The emails that they sent contained malicious code that when opened, were meant to take control over Coinbase employees’ computers and give the attackers heightened permissions. The attack began on May 30 and escalated gradually. The Coinbase security team caught the attack within hours of it happening and thwarted it immediately by closing off affected computers and quarantining the devices.
A Win for Big Exchanges
Cryptocurrency exchanges do not have the best track record when it comes to staving off hacks, so it’s encouraging to see Coinbase continue to lead the industry by protecting the funds of their company and users. Coinbase took immediate action with their security team to prevent the loss of funds. Though this is an encouraging win for the community that has seen many hacks and exploits, it remains unsettling to see increasingly complex attacks on exchanges that we trust most.
Hopefully, we see other cryptocurrency exchanges follow suit and implement robust protections to prevent these types of attacks from succeeding in the future.