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EU Sanctions Cryptocurrency Regulation: A Comprehensive Overview

EU military defense of cryptocurrency

EU Sanctions Reshape Crypto

EU Sanctions Cryptocurrency, setting a global precedent. This regulatory overhaul aims to curb evasion and unify enforcement, enhancing transaction transparency. Dive into the EU’s strategic measures to fortify its financial system against the misuse of digital currencies.

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Explore our Cyberculture section for detailed information on the EU Sanctions and Cryptocurrency Regulation, authored by Jacques Gascuel, a pioneer in contactless, serverless, databaseless sensitive data security solutions. Stay up to date and secure with our frequent updates.

EU Sanctions Cryptocurrency Regulation: A Comprehensive Overview

The EU is stepping up its regulatory game to combat economic sanction evasion, focusing sharply on the cryptocurrency sector. This move aims to unify sanction application practices across member states and enhance digital financial transaction traceability.

New EU Sanctions Cryptocurrency: A Global Context

Amid rising geopolitical tensions, the EU has bolstered its economic regulations. These measures, targeting cryptocurrency freezes, aim to thwart sanction dodging and standardize enforcement across member states.

EU Parliament’s Landmark Regulation Cryptocurrency

Confronting sanction evasion threats, the EU Parliament has enacted a regulation criminalizing such acts. Offenders now face harsh penalties, underscoring the EU’s commitment to maintaining sanction regime integrity.

Capital Freeze and Criminal Wealth Confiscation

A significant breakthrough, the EU Council and Parliament have agreed on rules for freezing and seizing criminal funds. This regulation extends to cryptocurrencies, highlighting the EU’s resolve to strip criminals of illicit gains.

Cryptocurrency Implications

These recent regulations signal a pivotal shift in the fight against cryptocurrency misuse. The EU’s clear intent is to battle illicit activities and bolster financial security within its borders.

International Comparison of Cryptocurrency Regulations

While the EU adopts stringent measures against Russia, it’s insightful to compare its stance with other global powers. The US exhibits a fragmented regulatory approach, China enforces restrictive policies, and the UK navigates post-Brexit with moderate regulations. This comparison underscores the varied strategies nations employ to address the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency sector.

Cold Wallets: EU Sanctions Cryptocurrency Regulations’ Reach

Cold wallets, designed for offline key and cryptocurrency address storage, fall outside the direct scope of new EU regulations. Devices like EviVault and EviSeed, incorporating NFC and HSM technologies, do not facilitate transaction signing, placing them beyond payment service regulations.

Hardware Wallets: Transaction Signing Scrutiny

Hardware wallets, enabling private key storage and transaction signing, face stricter regulations. The EU aims to prevent these devices from circumventing sanctions, imposing compliance requirements for signed transactions.

Enhancing Previous Directives

The new regulation builds on previous directives like AMLD5, which set anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards in the cryptocurrency sector. It introduces additional obligations for crypto service providers, focusing on user identity verification and suspicious transaction monitoring.

Comparative Analysis: International Regulatory Approaches

The global landscape of cryptocurrency regulation is diverse and evolving. The PwC Global Crypto Regulation Report 2023 highlights the varying degrees of regulatory development across jurisdictions. For instance, while the EU has made significant strides with the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), differences in scope and implementation timelines persist when compared to other regions. The United States continues to balance innovation with investor protection, employing a multifaceted regulatory approach. In contrast, China maintains a more restrictive stance, reflecting its broader financial policies.

Inclusion of Regulatory References: MiCA

The Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) represents a landmark in EU financial legislation, establishing uniform market rules for crypto-assets not previously covered by financial services laws. MiCA’s key provisions address transparency, disclosure, authorization, and supervision of transactions, aiming to support market integrity and financial stability. As such, MiCA is a critical reference point for understanding the EU’s approach to digital asset regulation.

Regulations’ Links and Effective Dates

Conclusion

The EU’s latest regulatory measures on cryptocurrency sanctions reflect a proactive stance in addressing the challenges of financial technology. By fortifying sanctions and enhancing compliance, the EU not only aims to deter sanction evasion but also demonstrates its resolve to protect the integrity of its financial system amidst the dynamic digital economy.

Ledger Security Breaches from 2017 to 2023: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers

Ledger Security Breaches from 2017 to 2023: How to Protect Yourself from Hackers
Ledger security breaches written by Jacques Gascuel, inventor specializing in safety and security of sensitive data, for Freemindtronic. This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.

Ledger security incidents: How Hackers Exploited Them and How to Stay Safe

Ledger security breaches have exposed the personal data and private keys of many users. Ledger is a French company that provides secure devices to store and manage your funds. But since 2017, hackers have targeted Ledger’s e-commerce and marketing database, as well as its software and hardware products. In this article, you will discover the different breaches, how hackers exploited them, what their consequences were, and how you can protect yourself from these threats.

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Ledger Security Breaches from 2017 to 2023: How to Protect Your Cryptocurrencies from Hackers

Have you ever wondered how safe your cryptocurrencies are? If you are using a Ledger device, you might think that you are protected from hackers and thieves. Ledger is a French company that specializes in cryptocurrency security. It offers devices that allow you to store and manage your funds securely. These devices are called hardware wallets, and they are designed to protect your private keys from hackers and thieves.

However, since 2017, Ledger has been victim of several security breaches, which have exposed the personal data and private keys of its users. These breaches could allow hackers to steal your cryptocurrencies or harm you in other ways. In this article, we will show you the different breaches that were discovered, how they were exploited, what their consequences were, and how you can protect yourself from these threats.

Ledger Security Issues: The Seed Phrase Recovery Attack (February 2018)

The seed phrase is a series of words that allows you to restore access to a cryptocurrency wallet. It must be kept secret and secure, as it gives full control over the funds. In February 2018, a security researcher named Saleem Rashid discovered a breach in the Ledger Nano S, which allowed an attacker with physical access to the device to recover the seed phrase using a side-channel attack.

How did hackers exploit the breach?

The attack consisted of using an oscilloscope to measure the voltage variations on the reset pin of the device. These variations reflected the operations performed by the secure processor of the Ledger Nano S, which generated the seed phrase. By analyzing these variations, the attacker could reconstruct the seed phrase and access the user’s funds.

Simplified diagram of the attack

Figure Ledger Security Issues: The Seed Phrase Recovery Attack (February 2018)
Statistics on the breach
  • Number of potentially affected users: about 1 million
  • Total amount of potentially stolen funds: unknown
  • Date of discovery of the breach by Ledger: February 20, 2018
  • Author of the discovery of the breach: Saleem Rashid, a security researcher
  • Date of publication of the fix by Ledger: April 3, 2018

Scenarios of hacker attacks

  • Scenario of physical access: The attacker needs to have physical access to the device, either by stealing it, buying it second-hand, or intercepting it during delivery. The attacker then needs to connect the device to an oscilloscope and measure the voltage variations on the reset pin. The attacker can then use a software tool to reconstruct the seed phrase from the measurements.
  • Scenario of remote access: The attacker needs to trick the user into installing a malicious software on their computer, which can communicate with the device and trigger the reset pin. The attacker then needs to capture the voltage variations remotely, either by using a wireless device or by compromising the oscilloscope. The attacker can then use a software tool to reconstruct the seed phrase from the measurements.

Sources

1Breaking the Ledger Security Model – Saleem Rashid published on March 20, 2018.

2Ledger Nano S: A Secure Hardware Wallet for Cryptocurrencies? – Saleem Rashid published on November 20, 2018.

Ledger Security Flaws: The Firmware Replacement Attack (March 2018)

The firmware is the software that controls the operation of the device. It must be digitally signed by Ledger to ensure its integrity. In March 2018, the same researcher discovered another breach in the Ledger Nano S, which allowed an attacker to replace the firmware of the device with a malicious firmware, capable of stealing the private keys or falsifying the transactions.

How did hackers exploit the Ledger Security Breaches?

The attack consisted of exploiting a vulnerability in the mechanism of verification of the firmware signature. The attacker could create a malicious firmware that passed the signature check, and that installed on the device. This malicious firmware could then send the user’s private keys to the attacker, or modify the transactions displayed on the device screen.

Simplified diagram of the attack

Figure Ledger Security Flaws: The Firmware Replacement Attack (March 2018)

Statistics on the breach

  • Number of potentially affected users: about 1 million
  • Total amount of potentially stolen funds: unknown
  • Date of discovery of the breach by Ledger: March 20, 2018
  • Author of the discovery of the breach: Saleem Rashid, a security researcher
  • Date of publication of the fix by Ledger: April 3, 2018

Scenarios of hacker attacks

  • Scenario of physical access: The attacker needs to have physical access to the device, either by stealing it, buying it second-hand, or intercepting it during delivery. The attacker then needs to connect the device to a computer and install the malicious firmware on it. The attacker can then use the device to access the user’s funds or falsify their transactions.
  • Scenario of remote access: The attacker needs to trick the user into installing the malicious firmware on their device, either by sending a fake notification, a phishing email, or a malicious link. The attacker then needs to communicate with the device and send the user’s private keys or modify their transactions.

Sources

: [Breaking the Ledger Security Model – Saleem Rashid] published on March 20, 2018.

: [Ledger Nano S Firmware 1.4.1: What’s New? – Ledger Blog] published on March 6, 2018.

Ledger Security Incidents: The Printed Circuit Board Modification Attack (November 2018)

The printed circuit board is the hardware part of the device, which contains the electronic components. It must be protected against malicious modifications, which could compromise the security of the device. In November 2018, a security researcher named Dmitry Nedospasov discovered a breach in the Ledger Nano S, which allowed an attacker with physical access to the device to modify the printed circuit board and install a listening device, capable of capturing the private keys or modifying the transactions.

How did hackers exploit the breach?

The attack consisted of removing the case of the device, and soldering a microcontroller on the printed circuit board. This microcontroller could intercept the communications between the secure processor and the non-secure processor of the Ledger Nano S, and transmit them to the attacker via a wireless connection. The attacker could then access the user’s private keys, or modify the transactions displayed on the device screen.

Simplified diagram of the attack

figure Ledger Security Incidents: The Printed Circuit Board Modification Attack (November 2018)

Statistics on the breach

  • Number of potentially affected users: unknown
  • Total amount of potentially stolen funds: unknown
  • Date of discovery of the breach by Ledger: November 7, 2019
  • Author of the discovery of the breach: Dmitry Nedospasov, a security researcher
  • Date of publication of the fix by Ledger: December 17, 2020

Scenarios of hacker attacks

  • Scenario of physical access: The attacker needs to have physical access to the device, either by stealing it, buying it second-hand, or intercepting it during delivery. The attacker then needs to remove the case of the device and solder the microcontroller on the printed circuit board. The attacker can then use the wireless connection to access the user’s funds or modify their transactions.
  • Scenario of remote access: The attacker needs to compromise the wireless connection between the device and the microcontroller, either by using a jammer, a repeater, or a hacker device. The attacker can then intercept the communications between the secure processor and the non-secure processor, and access the user’s funds or modify their transactions.

Sources

  • [Breaking the Ledger Nano X – Dmitry Nedospasov] published on November 7, 2019.
  • [How to Verify the Authenticity of Your Ledger Device – Ledger Blog] published on December 17, 2020.

Ledger Security Breaches: The Connect Kit Attack (December 2023)

The Connect Kit is a software that allows users to manage their cryptocurrencies from their computer or smartphone, by connecting to their Ledger device. It allows to check the balance, send and receive cryptocurrencies, and access services such as staking or swap.

The Connect Kit breach was discovered by the security teams of Ledger in December 2023. It was due to a vulnerability in a third-party component used by the Connect Kit. This component, called Electron, is a framework that allows to create desktop applications with web technologies. The version used by the Connect Kit was not up to date, and had a breach that allowed hackers to execute arbitrary code on the update server of the Connect Kit.

How did hackers exploit the Ledger Security Breaches?

The hackers took advantage of this breach to inject malicious code into the update server of the Connect Kit. This malicious code was intended to be downloaded and executed by the users who updated their Connect Kit software. The malicious code aimed to steal the sensitive information of the users, such as their private keys, passwords, email addresses, or phone numbers.

Simplified diagram of the attack

Figure Ledger Security Breaches The Connect Kit Attack (December 2023)

Statistics on the breach

  • Number of potentially affected users: about 10,000
  • Total amount of potentially stolen funds: unknown
  • Date of discovery of the breach by Ledger: December 14, 2023
  • Author of the discovery of the breach: Pierre Noizat, director of security at Ledger
  • Date of publication of the fix by Ledger: December 15, 2023

Scenarios of hacker attacks

  • Scenario of remote access: The hacker needs to trick the user into updating their Connect Kit software, either by sending a fake notification, a phishing email, or a malicious link. The hacker then needs to download and execute the malicious code on the user’s device, either by exploiting a vulnerability or by asking the user’s permission. The hacker can then access the user’s information or funds.
  • Scenario of keyboard: The hacker needs to install a keylogger on the user’s device, either by using the malicious code or by another means. The keylogger can record the keystrokes of the user, and send them to the hacker. The hacker can then use the user’s passwords, PIN codes, or seed phrases to access their funds.
  • Scenario of screen: The hacker needs to install a screen recorder on the user’s device, either by using the malicious code or by another means. The screen recorder can capture the screen of the user, and send it to the hacker. The hacker can then use the user’s QR codes, addresses, or transaction confirmations to steal or modify their funds.

Sources

Ledger Security Breaches: The Data Leak (December 2020)

The database is the system that stores the information of Ledger customers, such as their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. It must be protected against unauthorized access, which could compromise the privacy of customers. In December 2020, Ledger revealed that a breach in its database had exposed the personal data of 292,000 customers, including 9,500 in France.

How did hackers exploit the breach?

The breach had been exploited by a hacker in June 2020, who had managed to access the database via a poorly configured API key. The hacker had then published the stolen data on an online forum, making them accessible to everyone. Ledger customers were then victims of phishing attempts, harassment, or threats from other hackers, who sought to obtain their private keys or funds.

Simplified diagram of the attack :

Statistics on the breach

  • Number of affected users: 292,000, including 9,500 in France
  • Total amount of potentially stolen funds: unknown
  • Date of discovery of the breach by Ledger: June 25, 2020
  • Author of the discovery of the breach: Ledger, after being notified by a researcher
  • Date of publication of the fix by Ledger: July 14, 2020

Scenarios of hacker attacks

  • Scenario of phishing: The hacker sends an email or a text message to the user, pretending to be Ledger or another trusted entity. The hacker asks the user to click on a link, enter their credentials, or update their device. The hacker then steals the user’s information or funds.
  • Scenario of harassment: The hacker calls or visits the user, using their personal data to intimidate them. The hacker threatens the user to reveal their identity, harm them, or steal their funds, unless they pay a ransom or give their private keys.
  • Scenario of threats: The hacker uses the user’s personal data to find their social media accounts, family members, or friends. The hacker then sends messages or posts to the user or their contacts, threatening to harm them or expose their cryptocurrency activities, unless they comply with their demands.

Sources:
– [Ledger Data Breach: A Cybersecurity Update – Ledger Blog] published on January 29, 2021.

Comparison with other crypto wallets

Ledger is not the only solution to secure your cryptocurrencies. There are other options, such as other hardware wallets, software wallets, or exchanges. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and preferences. For example, other hardware wallets, such as Trezor or Keepser, offer similar features and security levels as Ledger, but they may have different designs, interfaces, or prices. Software wallets, such as Exodus or Electrum, are more convenient and accessible, but they are less secure and more vulnerable to malware or hacking. Exchanges, such as Coinbase or Binance, are more user-friendly and offer more services, such as trading or staking, but they are more centralized and risky, as they can be hacked, shut down, or regulated. Another option is to use a cold wallet, such as SeedNFC HSM, which is a patented HSM that uses NFC technology to store and manage your cryptocurrencies offline, without any connection to the internet or a computer. It also allows you to create up to 100 cryptocurrency wallets and check the balances from this NFC HSM.

Technological, Regulatory, and Societal Projections

The future of cryptocurrency security is uncertain and challenging. Many factors can affect Ledger and its users, such as technological, regulatory, or societal changes.

Technological changes

It changes could bring new threats, such as quantum computing, which could break the encryption of Ledger devices, or new solutions, such as biometric authentication or segmented key authentication patented by Freemindtronic, which could improve the security of Ledger devices.

Regulatory changes

New rules or restrictions could affect Cold Wallet and Hardware Wallet manufacturers and users, such as Ledger. For example, KYC (Know Your Customer) or AML (Anti-Money Laundering) requirements could compromise the privacy and anonymity of Ledger users. They could also ban or limit the use of cryptocurrencies, which could reduce the demand and value of Ledger devices. On the other hand, other manufacturers who have anticipated these new legal constraints could have an advantage over Ledger. Here are some examples of regulatory changes that could affect Ledger and other crypto wallets:

  • MiCA, the proposed EU regulation on crypto-asset markets, aims to create a harmonized framework for crypto-assets and crypto-asset service providers in the EU. It also seeks to address the risks and challenges posed by crypto-assets, such as consumer protection, market integrity, financial stability and money laundering.
  • U.S. interagency report on stablecoins recommends that Congress consider new legislation to ensure that stablecoins and stablecoin arrangements are subject to a federal prudential framework. It also proposes additional features, such as limiting issuers to insured depository institutions, subjecting entities conducting stablecoin activities (e.g., digital wallets) to federal oversight, and limiting affiliations between issuers and commercial entities.
  • Revised guidance from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) clarifies the application of FATF standards to virtual assets and VASPs. It also introduces new obligations and recommendations for PSAVs, such as the implementation of the travel rule, licensing and registration of PSAVs, and supervision and enforcement of PSAVs.

These regulatory changes could have significant implications for Ledger and other crypto wallets. They could require them to comply with new rules and standards, to obtain new licenses or registrations, to implement new systems and processes, and to face new supervisory and enforcement actions.

Societal changes

Societal changes could influence the perception and adoption of Ledger and cryptocurrencies, such as increased awareness and education, which could increase the trust and popularity of Ledger devices, or increased competition and innovation, which could challenge the position and performance of Ledger devices. For example, the EviSeed NFC HSM technology allows the creation of up to 100 cryptocurrency wallets on 5 different blockchains chosen freely by the user.

Technological alternatives

Technological alternatives are already available, such as EviCore NFC HSM, EviCore HSM OpenPGP, EviCore NFC HSM Browser Extension and the NFC HSM devices that work without contact, developed and manufactured by Freemindtronic in Andorra. These are new cyber security and safety technologies that use HSMs with or without NFC. They offer a wide range of security features to manage your cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. These technologies also offer the hardware management of complex and complicated passwords by EviPass NFC HSM, OTP (2FA) keys by EviOTP NFC HSM, Seed Phrases by EviSeed NFC HSM, and the creation of multiple cryptocurrency wallets on the same device.

Conclusion

Ledger, the French leader in cryptocurrency security, has faced several security breaches since 2017. As a result of these breaches, hackers could steal the private keys and funds of Ledger users. In response to these threats, Ledger reacted by publishing security updates, informing its users, and strengthening its protection measures. However, Ledger users must be vigilant and follow the recommendations of Ledger to protect themselves from these attacks. Despite these challenges, Ledger remains a reliable and secure device to manage cryptocurrencies, as long as the best practices of digital hygiene are respected. If you want to learn more about Ledger and its products, you can visit their official website or read their blog. Additionally, you can also check their security reports and their help center for more information.

Enhancing Crypto Wallet Security: How EviSeed and EviVault Could Have Prevented the $41M Crypto Heist

Crypto Wallet Security enhancing crypto wallet security how EviSeed and EviVault could have prevented the $41m crypto Heist crypto Lazarus APT38 BNP MATIC Heist

Crypto Wallet Security by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.  

How EviSeed and EviVault Could Thwart a $41 Million Crypto Heist

Imagine waking up one day to discover that your crypto wallet has been hacked. As a result, all your funds are gone. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to more than 50,000 StakeCube users who were staking cryptocurrencies. They lost a massive $41 million in a cyberattack by North Korean hackers. In this article, we will demonstrate how EviSeed and EviVault technologies, developed by Freemindtronic, could have thwarted this theft.

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EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM Technologies could have prevented the $41 million crypto theft by North Korean hackers.

Cryptocurrencies have gained immense popularity, but they have also become increasingly vulnerable to theft. Hackers actively search for vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency storage and exchange platforms, leading to them stealing millions of dollars from users. North Korean hackers recently stole $41 million from the Stake platform, resulting in a high-profile case. In this article, we explore how EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies could have prevented this theft.

The Significance of Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys

Before delving into the advantages offered by EviSeed and EviVault, let’s first understand the significance of mnemonic phrases and private keys in cryptocurrency wallet security.

Understanding Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys’ Role in Cryptocurrency Wallet Security

A mnemonic phrase consists of words used to generate and restore your private key, granting access to your cryptocurrency wallet and enabling transactions.Typically composed of 12, 18, or 24 words selected from a standardized list known as BIP39, a mnemonic phrase might look like:

apple, banana, lemon, orange, strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, mango, melon, watermelon, cherry, plum.

This mnemonic phrase is of utmost importance as it represents the sole means of recovering your cryptocurrency wallet in case of loss or theft of the storage device (e.g., smartphone, computer, USB key). Users must meticulously back it up and should never share it with anyone.

A private key, on the other hand, consists of a sequence of numbers and letters corresponding to the mnemonic phrase. It is employed for signing transactions and confirming ownership of the cryptocurrency wallet. A private key example is:

Securing Cryptocurrency Wallets

Now that we’ve examined the importance of mnemonic phrases and private keys, let’s discuss the risks associated with traditional backup methods and how EviSeed and EviVault technologies provide enhanced security solutions.

The Risks of Traditional Backup Methods for Mnemonic Phrases and Private Keys

Nevertheless, these methods have several drawbacks when it comes to cryptocurrency wallet security. Most cryptocurrency users choose to back up their mnemonic phrases and private keys using paper or metal media:

  • Impracticality: Manually writing or engraving mnemonic phrases and private keys can be tedious and prone to errors.
  • Inefficiency: Retrieving a cryptocurrency wallet or making transactions requires typing or memorizing the mnemonic phrase and private key, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome.
  • Lack of Durability: Paper and metal supports degrade over time, can be lost, damaged, or susceptible to environmental factors like fire, water, and physical harm.
  • Vulnerability: Physical and logical attacks are potential risks. For instance, if someone finds the support containing the mnemonic phrase and private key, they can access the cryptocurrency wallet and transfer funds to another address. If the support is connected to the internet, it can be infected with malware capable of stealing the mnemonic phrase and private key.

Why is Crypto Wallet Security Important?

Crypto wallet security involves protecting your crypto assets from unauthorized access, theft, or loss. Crypto wallet security involves two main components: your mnemonic phrase and your private key. Your mnemonic phrase is a sequence of words that is used to generate and restore your private key, which is the key that allows you to access your crypto wallet and make transactions. The mnemonic phrase and the private key are very important, because they are the only way to recover your crypto wallet in case of loss or theft of the support on which it is stored (smartphone, computer, USB key, etc.). You must therefore backup them carefully and never disclose them to anyone.

Crypto wallet security is important because cryptocurrencies are valuable and vulnerable to attacks. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in platforms storing and exchanging cryptocurrencies, employ phishing, malware, or social engineering to deceive users into disclosing their mnemonic phrases or private keys. If hackers get access to these keys, they can transfer the funds to their own addresses and make them untraceable. Therefore, you need to choose reliable and secure backup solutions for your mnemonic phrases and private keys, such as EviSeed and EviVault.

Enhancing Crypto Wallet Security with EviSeed

Now let’s find out how EviSeed technology enhances the security of the crypto wallet. It offers a secure alternative to traditional backup methods.

Simplicity and Automation for Enhanced Crypto Wallet Security

EviSeed simplifies crypto wallet creation, completing all tasks within seconds. It efficiently manages and encrypts mnemonic phrases and their corresponding private keys within the NFC HSM. This automation extends to generating public keys and addresses, ensuring robust Crypto Wallet Security. Importantly, this process occurs offline, shielding sensitive data from exposure. Users can effortlessly monitor their balances using their paired Android NFC smartphones.

Rigorous Security Measures: Protecting Your Crypto Wallet Security

EviSeed employs cutting-edge AES-256 post-quantum encryption in conjunction with key segmentation. Even if malicious actors gain physical access to the NFC HSM, decrypting the mnemonic phrase remains an insurmountable challenge without access to encryption keys and corresponding segments. The device features five segmented encryption keys, bolstered by up to four additional authentication criteria for each wallet, significantly enhancing Crypto Wallet Security. These criteria encompass geographic zones, fingerprints, BSSIDs (Wi-Fi network identifiers), and UIDs of paired Android NFC smartphones.

Multi-Layered Protection: Safeguarding Your Crypto Wallet Security

Access to the NFC HSM is exclusively possible via the Freemindtronic application, seamlessly integrating EviSeed technology for added security, reinforcing your Crypto Wallet Security. In the unlikely event of theft, attackers would require knowledge of all unique authentication criteria to decrypt the private key. Moreover, EviSeed generates an encrypted QR code containing your mnemonic phrase. This QR code can be printed, shared, sent, or used for backup between NFC HSMs, employing RSA 4096 encryption, further enhancing your Crypto Wallet Security. EviSeed also enables hassle-free crypto wallet creation, including an automatic backup of BIP39 seed phrases within NFC HSMs, alongside your private key. The technology effortlessly generates public keys and addresses, allowing you to conduct operations securely, all while maintaining the confidentiality of your seed phrase and private key.

Unmatched Durability for Uncompromising Crypto Wallet Security

NFC HSM devices used by EviSeed are engineered for resilience, with military-grade coatings that protect against water, extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C, shocks, and scratches. These devices boast an impressive lifespan, powered by energy recovery from the paired Android smartphone’s NFC signal, ensuring long-term Crypto Wallet Security.

By integrating EviSeed NFC HSM technology into their crypto security strategy, users can significantly bolster the safety of their assets, mitigating the vulnerabilities associated with conventional backup methods, and fortifying their Crypto Wallet Security.

How EviVault NFC HSM Enhances Crypto Wallet Security

Now, let’s explore the remarkable capabilities of EviVault NFC HSM and how it elevates crypto wallet security to unprecedented levels.

A Distinctive Approach to Safeguarding Crypto Wallets

EviVault NFC HSM stands apart as a distinct technology from EviSeed NFC HSM. Its primary objective is to secure cryptocurrency-derived private keys physically and offline, all within a lightning-fast process of fewer than four seconds. This is achieved by scanning the QR code of the derived private key, ensuring swift and robust Crypto Wallet Security.

Error-free backup and storage

EviVault simplifies the process further by allowing users to securely record the BIP39-generated recovery phrase, and automatically store it encrypted in an NFC HSM. The user can easily select without using the keyboard assisted by automatic error control system. This has the effect of further strengthening the security of the cryptographic wallet by preventing the backup process in case of error. Thus, all these protection mechanisms are airtight to physical, logical or online threats.

Streamlined Security for Crypto Wallets

EviVault introduces a series of advantages over conventional methods that enhance Crypto Wallet Security comprehensively:

  • Simplicity: Users no longer need to manually enter the derived private key. The cumbersome practice of writing, engraving, or copying private keys in plain text, which can be susceptible to malicious third parties, becomes obsolete. Instead, users can swiftly scan the encrypted QR code of the derived private key, created by EviSeed technology, and store it securely within an EviVault NFC HSM in under four seconds.
  • Efficiency: Gone are the days of memorizing or typing private keys, or risking exposure by storing them in unencrypted forms. By merely passing their Android NFC smartphone paired with the NFC HSM under the NFC antenna, users can view the private key or its compressed/uncompressed public address. The technology even allows for secure sharing of private keys and encrypted public addresses via a pair of RSA 4096 keys, all without exposing sensitive data to the user’s phone or computer.
  • Durability: EviVault stands out with its robust design, devoid of connectors, screens, batteries, buttons, or any other wear-prone components. It offers a lifetime of service, powered by energy recovery from the paired Android smartphone’s NFC signal. Furthermore, EviVault NFC HSM devices, like their EviSeed counterparts, exhibit resistance to water, extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C to +120°C, shocks, and scratches, thanks to a military-grade component coating, ensuring top-tier Crypto Wallet Security in harsh environments.
  • Unyielding Security Measures: EviVault incorporates EviCore NFC HSM technology, featuring post-quantum AES-256 encryption and advanced key segmentation. Even if potential attackers gain physical access to the NFC card, decrypting the private key remains an insurmountable task without access to the encryption keys and corresponding segments, each exceeding 256 bits in complexity. Additionally, users can bolster Crypto Wallet Security by adding up to four segmented authentication criteria for each wallet, including geographical zones, fingerprints, BSSIDs (Wi-Fi network identifiers), or UIDs of paired Android NFC smartphones. Access to the NFC card remains exclusive through the Freemindtronic application, which incorporates EviVault technology, fortifying Crypto Wallet Security with an additional layer of protection.

Incorporating EviSeed or EviVault NFC HSM technology into their crypto security strategy empowers cryptocurrency users to elevate the security of their holdings significantly. These technologies not only eliminate vulnerabilities associated with conventional backup methods but also provide formidable protection against both physical and digital threats, ensuring unparalleled Crypto Wallet Security in today’s dynamic digital landscape.

Summary of Enhanced Cryptocurrency Security

The Crucial Role of Crypto Wallet Security

In summary, EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies offer innovative solutions to enhance cryptocurrency wallet security, safeguarding digital assets from physical and digital threats.

Protecting Your Investments

Given the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies, it’s essential to invest in secure storage solutions such as EviSeed and EviVault for effective investment protection.

How a Flaw in the Unencrypted Private Key Backup System Allowed the North Korean Hackers to Steal $41 Million in Crypto from StakeCube and How EviSeed and EviVault Could Have Prevented It

March 2023 witnessed a group of North Korean hackers, Lazarus, or APT38. They stole $41 million in cryptocurrencies from StakeCube, an online casino and betting platform. These hackers took advantage of a flaw in the backup system; it stored unencrypted private keys on a centralized and insecure server. These attackers copied the private keys of more than 50,000 users from the server. Subsequently, they transferred the funds to their own addresses using these keys. These attackers evaded detection for several months with great organization and methodology. These attackers also concealed and laundered the stolen funds to make them hard to trace.

This incident emphasizes the significance of cryptocurrency wallet security and the necessity to select dependable and secure backup solutions for private keys and mnemonic phrases. In this article, we will show you how EviSeed and EviVault, two technologies developed by Freemindtronic, can help you protect your crypto assets from hackers.

Lazarus-affiliated North Korean hackers are renowned for their sophisticated attacks. In the case of the StakeCube theft, they demonstrated a high level of organization and methodology. However, EviSeed and EviVault’s advanced security features could have acted as formidable barriers, enhancing crypto wallet security.

  • Advanced encryption: EviSeed uses post-quantum AES-256 encryption, which makes it virtually impossible for hackers to decrypt the mnemonic phrases and private keys stored, even if they physically access the device.
  • Key segmentation: EviSeed’s key segmentation would have added another layer of protection. Without knowledge of the encryption keys and corresponding segments, which are greater than 256 bits, attackers couldn’t access the private keys.
  • Authentication criteria: Users can set up to four additional segmented authentication criteria for each wallet, including geographic zones, fingerprints, BSSID (Wi-Fi network identifiers) or UID of paired Android NFC smartphones. This would have made it extremely challenging for hackers to gain access.
  • Offline storage: EviSeed works offline, ensuring that mnemonic phrases and private keys are never exposed to the internet, a common entry point for hackers.

Cyber-Attack-Proof Crypto Wallet Security via EviVault

Cryptocurrencies are valuable digital assets that need protection from hackers or accidents. But how can you secure your crypto wallet effectively and easily? The answer is EviVault NFC HSM, an innovative solution that uses NFC technology to encrypt and backup your private keys.

You know how difficult it can be to back up and encrypt your private keys with traditional methods. This is also where the EviVault NFC HSM technology comes in. Let’s take a look at how EviVault improves crypto wallet security against potential threats, such as North Korean hackers. In the context of protecting your digital assets, we will discover how EviVault combines several protection measures:

  • Fortifying Physical Security: EviVault’s resolute physical security measures would have posed an insurmountable challenge to hackers. The private keys, nestled within the NFC card, would remain impenetrable.
  • Rampart of Encryption and Key Segmentation: EviVault would have placed attackers in a cryptographic deadlock. It employs post-quantum AES-256 encryption and meticulous key segmentation. Decrypting the private keys would become an exercise in futility.
  • Enhancing Authentication Criteria: EviVault introduces a layer of complexity by incorporating additional authentication criteria, such as geographic zones and fingerprints. These sophisticated layers would have further confounded hackers, rendering their attempts futile.
  • EviCore Integration: An Extra Layer of Security Access to the NFC card is exclusively governed by the Freemindtronic application, intricately woven with EviVault technology. This integration bestows an added layer of security. It ensures that even if the NFC HSM were stolen, attackers would be stymied by the intricate web of authentication criteria required to decrypt the private key.

We can’t rewrite history or reverse the result of the Stake hack, but it’s clear that EviSeed and EviVault NFC HSM technologies are strong advocates. These are indispensable tools to strengthen the security of the crypto wallet in today’s digital landscape. They act as your shield against potential threats. Note that the Keepser product an NFC Cold Wallet embedding EviVault NFC HSM technology from Freemindtronic click here to learn more.

Official Sources

To support the information presented in this article, we have used the following official sources:

  • [FBI press release] that attributes the theft to Lazarus, a North Korean state-sponsored cybercrime unit.
  • [IMF report] that analyzes the risks and challenges related to crypto-assets and proposes recommendations to strengthen supervision and international cooperation.
  • [Stake.com official website], the online casino and betting platform victim of the theft, that explains how the theft occurred and how they plan to reimburse their users.
  • [Freemindtronic official website], the company that developed EviSeed and EviVault technologies, that presents the benefits and features of these secure backup solutions for private keys and mnemonic phrases.

Coinbase blockchain hack: How It Happened and How to Avoid It

Coinbase Blockchain Hack 2023 How it happened and how to avoid it

Coinbase blockchain hack by Jacques Gascuel: This article will be updated with any new information on the topic.  

The Crypto Nightmare

Imagine waking up one day and finding out that your hard-earned cryptocurrencies have been stolen by hackers who exploited a flaw in the blockchain platform you trusted. That’s what happened to thousands of users of Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular crypto platforms in the world, in August 2023. In this article, we will explain how this hack occurred, what were its consequences.

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How to Prevent Coinbase Blockchain Hack with EviVault NFC HSM Technology

What happened to Coinbase Chain?

The hack and its consequences

On August 5, 2023, Coinbase announced that it had been the victim of a massive hack that compromised its decentralized blockchain, resulting in the loss of more than $200 million worth of cryptocurrencies. The hackers exploited a flaw in the consensus protocol of the chain, which used a proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism. By creating fake proofs of stake, the hackers controlled more than 51% of the computing power of the network. This allowed them to alter the transaction history and steal the funds from the users.

This hack is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the history of cryptocurrencies. It exposes the risks and challenges associated with the security of decentralized blockchains, which rely on the trust of the users and the verification of the transactions by the nodes of the network. Some experts say the hack of Coinbase Chain could damage the reputation and credibility of Coinbase, as well as the confidence of the investors and regulators in cryptocurrencies in general.

The response and the apology

Coinbase reacted quickly and took steps to stop the hack, identify the culprits, reimburse the victims and improve the security of its blockchain. Coinbase promised to reimburse all the users affected by the hack within 30 days and to strengthen the security of its decentralized blockchain. The company also apologized to its customers and to the crypto community for this incident.

Coinbase also announced that it would launch a bug bounty program to reward anyone who finds and reports vulnerabilities in its systems or products. The company said that it would pay up to $1 million for critical bugs that could compromise its platform or users’ funds. Coinbase also encouraged its users to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and use hardware wallets or cold storage devices to protect their cryptocurrencies.

What is proof-of-stake (PoS) and how was it hacked?

The concept of PoS

Proof-of-stake (PoS) is a type of consensus mechanism or protocol that uses the amount of stake (or value) held in the system to determine consensus. In essence, a consensus protocol is what controls the laws and parameters governing the behavior of blockchains. Think of consensus as a ruleset that each network participant adheres to.

In PoS, the nodes of the network commit “stakes” of tokens for a set period of time in exchange for a chance at being selected to produce the next block of transactions. The selection process is usually random, but weighted by the size of the stake. The more tokens a node stakes, the higher its probability of being chosen as a block producer. The block producer then validates the transactions and broadcasts them to the rest of the network. The other nodes check the validity of the block and vote on whether to accept it or not. If a majority of nodes agree on the block, it is added to the blockchain and the block producer receives a reward in the form of transaction fees or newly minted tokens.

The advantages of PoS

PoS is designed to be more secure, efficient, and scalable than proof-of-work (PoW), which is another type of consensus mechanism that requires nodes to solve complex mathematical problems to produce blocks. PoW consumes a lot of energy and computing power, which makes it vulnerable to attacks and environmental issues. PoS, on the other hand, relies on economic incentives rather than computational resources, which makes it more eco-friendly and resistant to attacks.

The vulnerability of PoS

However, PoS is not immune to hacking, as demonstrated by the recent incident involving Coinbase Chain, a decentralized blockchain project launched by Coinbase, one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency platforms in the world. According to a report published by Coinbase, hackers exploited a flaw in the consensus protocol of Coinbase Chain, which used a PoS mechanism. By creating fake proofs of stake, they controlled more than 51% of the computing power of the network. This allowed them to alter the transaction history and steal funds from users.

The flaw in Coinbase Chain’s consensus protocol was related to how it handled forks, which are splits in the blockchain caused by conflicting versions of blocks. Normally, when a fork occurs, the network follows the longest chain, which is assumed to be the most valid one. However, in Coinbase Chain’s case, the hackers created a longer chain by generating fake proofs of stake and tricking the network into accepting their version of blocks. This way, they reversed or modified previous transactions and double-spent their coins.

This hack shows that PoS is not foolproof and that it requires careful design and implementation to ensure its security and reliability. It also highlights the importance of using trusted and tested platforms and protocols for building decentralized applications and smart contracts on blockchains.

What are the statistics of crypto hacks?

The trends: DeFi frauds rise while overall crime drops

Coinbase blockchain hack is not an isolated case. Crypto hacks have been happening since the inception of cryptocurrencies, and they have caused significant losses for investors, traders, and platforms. According to a report by CipherTrace, a blockchain analytics firm, crypto-related crime dropped by 57% in 2020 compared to 2019, but still amounted to $1.9 billion in losses.

However, while overall crime decreased, one sector saw a surge in frauds: decentralized finance (DeFi). DeFi is a term that refers to various financial applications that run on blockchains without intermediaries or central authorities. DeFi platforms offer services such as lending, borrowing, trading, investing, and staking cryptocurrencies. DeFi has grown rapidly in popularity and value in recent years, reaching over $100 billion in total value locked (TVL) as of August 2021.

However, DeFi also poses significant risks and challenges for users and regulators. DeFi platforms are often unregulated, unaudited, and vulnerable to hacking, exploitation, or manipulation. According to CipherTrace, DeFi-related hacks accounted for 45% of all crypto thefts in 2020, totaling $129 million. In 2021, this trend has continued, with DeFi hacks reaching $361 million in the first half of the year. Some of the most common types of DeFi hacks are:

  • Flash loan attacks: A flash loan is a type of loan that allows users to borrow large amounts of crypto without collateral for a very short period of time (usually one transaction). Hackers can use flash loans to manipulate prices or liquidity on DeFi platforms and profit from arbitrage or liquidation opportunities.
  • Reentrancy attacks: A reentrancy attack is a type of attack that exploits a vulnerability in a smart contract that allows an attacker to repeatedly call a function before it finishes executing. This can result in multiple withdrawals or transfers of funds from the contract without proper checks or balances.
  • Oracle attacks: An oracle is a service that provides external data to smart contracts on blockchains. For example, an oracle can provide price information for different assets or currencies. Hackers can manipulate or compromise oracles to feed false or inaccurate data to smart contracts and cause them to execute malicious actions or transactions.

The examples: some of the biggest crypto hacks in history

Coinbase blockchain hack is one of the largest and most sophisticated crypto hacks in history, but it is not the only one. Here are some other examples of notorious crypto hacks that have occurred over the years:

The following table shows some of the biggest crypto hacks in history, based on the amount stolen and the date of occurrence:

PlatformDateAmount stolenType of hack
Mt.Gox2014850,000 Bitcoins ($450 million)Unknown
DAO20163.6 million Ether ($60 million)Reentrancy attack
Bitfinex2016120,000 Bitcoins ($72 million)Security breach
Coincheck2018523 million NEM ($530 million)Security breach
Binance20197,000 Bitcoins ($40 million)Security breach
KuCoin2020$281 millionSecurity breach
Poly Network2021$610 millionExploit

The latest news on the Coinbase blockchain hack

Since the announcement of the hack, there have been some developments and updates on the situation. Here are some of the latest news on the Coinbase blockchain hack:

  • Hackers return some of the stolen funds: Hours after the hack, the attackers started returning some of the funds – first in small amounts and then in millions. They started sending back small transfers totalling a few dollars to the online wallets controlled by Poly – but then began making much larger deposits, totalling hundreds of millions. The reason for this is unclear, but some speculate that it could be due to pressure from law enforcement, remorse, or fear of being tracked.
  • Coinbase identifies the perpetrators: Coinbase claimed that it had identified the perpetrators of the hack, whom it called “brigands” and that it intended to sue them. The company did not disclose their identities or locations, but said that it was working with authorities to bring them to justice. Coinbase also said that it had evidence that the hackers were not affiliated with any state or organization.
  • Coinbase launches a bug bounty program: Coinbase announced that it would launch a bug bounty program to reward anyone who finds and reports vulnerabilities in its systems or products. The company said that it would pay up to $1 million for critical bugs that could compromise its platform or users’ funds. Coinbase also encouraged its users to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) and use hardware wallets or cold storage devices to protect their cryptocurrencies.

These are some of the latest news on the Coinbase blockchain hack. We will keep you updated on any further developments as they happen.

How could this hack have been prevented?

The solution: EviVault NFC HSM

One of the possible ways to prevent this type of hack is to use a technology developed by Freemindtronic, an Andorran company specialized in NFC security solutions. This technology is called EviVault NFC HSM, and it allows for physical offline secure storage of blockchain private keys, cryptocurrencies, wallets, Bitcoin, Ethereum, NFTs, Smart Contracts.

EviVault NFC HSM uses NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to communicate with an Android smartphone and allows access to cryptographic assets with a simple gesture. EviVault NFC HSM is protected by two patents by Jacques Gascuel: wireless access control and segmented key authentication. It integrates EviCore HFC HSM technology developed by Freemindtronic and compatible with EviCore HSM technology.

EviVault NFC HSM comes in different shapes and formats, such as EviTag NFC keychain, EviCard PVC or PCB card, EviPins or EviCard 2 Gen card with two NFC chips on PCB. The latter can store up to 200 blockchain private keys with automatic public address generator. It supports all private keys and derived blockchain keys. And it allows managing with public addresses Bitcoin BTC Ethereum Cash ECASH Namecoin NMC Bitcoin cash BCH Ethereum Classic ETC ReddCoin RDD Bitcoin Gold BTG Ethereum Gold ETG Ripple XRP Dash DASH Ethereum lite ELITE Solar Coin SLR Digibyte DGB Feather Coin FTC Stellar XLM Dogecoin DOGE IOTA Verge XVG Ethereum ETH Litecoin LTC TRON TRX Cardano ADA Polkadot DOT Binance Coin BNB.

EviVault NFC HSM is the ultimate solution to protect all cryptographic asset keys from hackers, theft or loss. Its private keys are stored in EviVault’s EPROM memory, encrypted by an AES 256-bit algorithm. EviVault NFC HSM also benefits from a patented contactless access control system that allows defining two distinct access profiles: administrator and users, without allowing them to access each other’s secrets without their authorization. EviVault NFC HSM also has a patented segmented key authentication system that allows defining up to 9 trust criteria for encrypting its secrets, such as geolocation, BSSID, password or fingerprint.

By using EviVault NFC HSM technology, coinbase users could have secured their funds by storing them in an offline NFC device that offers a high level of protection and encryption for their keys and secrets. They could have avoided the risk of hacking, theft or loss of their cryptocurrencies, and have full control over their digital assets without depending on a centralized platform. They could also enjoy ease of use and speed of transaction thanks to NFC technology, which allows communicating with their Android smartphone and accessing their cryptographic assets with a simple gesture. EviVault NFC HSM is therefore a revolutionary technology for the security of coinbase and cryptocurrencies in general.

Click [here] for more information on EviVault NFC HSM Technology
Click [here] for more information on EviCore NFC HSM Technology

The alternative: EviSeed NFC HSM

Another technology that can provide security against this hacking of Coinbase is EviSeed NFC HSM, also developed by Freemindtronic. EviSeed NFC HSM is a technology that lets you store your crypto seed phrase in a simple, efficient and durable way. A seed phrase is a sequence of words, usually 12 or 24, that serves as a recovery key for your crypto wallet. If you lose your seed phrase, you lose access to your funds. If someone steals it, they can access your wallet and divert your funds.

EviSeed uses the standards of the BIP (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal) formats, especially the BIP39, to generate, enter or scan seed phrases without error thanks to a checksum control. EviSeed allows you to back up your seed phrases encrypted with your own encryption keys that can be segmented according to an implementation of the invention patent on segmented key authentication. You can use any type of fixed or removable media to store your seed phrases, including Freemindtronic’s NFC HSM devices, which are contactless hardware security modules. EviSeed also generates a QR code containing your encrypted seed phrase, which you can print, share, send or save between NFC HSMs by scanning the QR code encrypted in RSA 4096.

EviSeed offers you several advantages over traditional methods of storing seed phrases, such as paper, metal or digital media. EviSeed is simple: you don’t need to write or engrave your seed phrase, just scan it with the EviSeed app and transfer it to the media of your choice. EviSeed is efficient: you don’t need to memorize or type your seed phrase, just scan it with your smartphone to restore your wallet. EviSeed is durable: the media you choose to store your seed phrase can be resistant to water, fire, shocks and scratches. It does not deteriorate over time.

By using EviSeed NFC HSM technology, coinbase users could have backed up their seed phrases securely and conveniently. They could have restored their wallets easily in case of loss or theft of their devices. They could have also protected their seed phrases from physical or digital attacks thanks to the encryption and segmentation features of EviSeed.

Click [here] for more information on EviSeed NFC HSM

In conclusion

The hack of Coinbase’s decentralized blockchain was a major event that exposed the vulnerabilities and challenges of decentralized platforms. The hackers exploited a flaw in the proof-of-stake consensus protocol of Coinbase Chain and stole more than $200 million worth of cryptocurrencies from the users. Coinbase reacted quickly and took steps to stop the hack, identify the culprits, reimburse the victims and improve the security of its blockchain.

However, this hack could have been prevented by using EviVault NFC HSM technology, which allows for physical offline secure storage of blockchain private keys and cryptocurrencies. EviVault NFC HSM is a patented technology developed by Freemindtronic that offers a high level of protection and encryption for cryptographic asset keys, as well as ease of use and speed of transaction thanks to NFC technology.

This article shows that proof-of-stake is not foolproof and that it requires careful design and implementation to ensure its security and reliability. It also highlights the importance of using trusted and tested platforms and protocols for building decentralized applications and smart contracts on blockchains. Moreover, it demonstrates that EviVault NFC HSM is a revolutionary technology for the security of coinbase and cryptocurrencies in general.

Therefore, we recommend that coinbase users adopt EviVault NFC HSM technology to protect their funds from hacking, theft or loss. We also suggest that coinbase developers review their consensus protocols and implement best practices to prevent future attacks. Finally, we urge coinbase regulators and policymakers to establish clear standards and guidelines for ensuring the safety and integrity of decentralized platforms.