Josh
Josh Strong
Josh

Josh Strong

@joshystrong101-49fab18

I'm a Content Creator.

Joined January 2023

Port-Harcourt

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Josh
Josh Strong
Jun 15, 2023
Community
How To Keep Your Cryptocurrency Wallet Safe: Best Practices

Cryptocurrency adoption has continued to ride and thrive like a moving train, despite the hurdles that have stood in front of the industry. On a continent that was once believed to be an ancient relic of a primitive time, cryptocurrency has turned out to be of great interest to young Africans. In Nigeria, for instance, there are different perceptions of the industry. Some believe anything that has cryptocurrency in it is a scam, while others believe it is simply a get-rich-quick scheme. Thanks to various organizations and companies that have dedicated their time to organizing events to cure myopia among the African populace, we are getting a better idea of what the industry really is about. Before we get into the topic of the day, let's know what cryptocurrency wallets are.


What Are Cryptocurrency Wallets?


Cryptocurrency wallets are digital wallets used to store digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum securely. According to the Coinbase website, "crypto wallets keep your private keys—the passwords that give you access to your cryptocurrencies—safe and accessible, allowing you to send and receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. They come in many forms, from hardware wallets like Ledger (which looks like a USB stick) to mobile apps like Coinbase Wallet, which makes using crypto as easy as shopping with a credit card online."


 Cryptocurrency wallets are not like traditional wallets. Unlike a physical wallet that can be stolen or lost, a crypto wallet is a digital asset that can be easily accessed by hackers if not secured properly. They are computer or mobile software programs that employ an internet connection to connect to the blockchain network of the cryptocurrency you're making use of. Cryptocurrencies aren't just kept anywhere. They are pieces of data saved in an organized database or ledger. These pieces of information are dispersed throughout the database; nevertheless, the wallet locates all the pieces connected to your public address and adds up the total for you via the app's UI.


Using these applications, sending and receiving cryptocurrency is incredibly simple. Several options are available for sending and receiving cryptocurrency from your wallet. The standard procedure is to enter the wallet address of the receiver, select an amount to transfer, sign the transaction using your private key, add funds to cover the transaction fee, and send it.


There are two types of wallets, custodial wallets and non-custodial wallets. Custodial wallets are hosted by a third party, which might be a company that offers high-level data security technologies used by companies to protect and safeguard their data. Some crypto exchanges offer these services to their customers. Non-custodial wallets are wallets where you are responsible for securing your keys. This is the type of wallet that most cryptocurrency wallets on devices use. There are also two categories of wallets: hot and cold. A hot wallet is one that has an internet connection, while a cold wallet does not.


Now that we have basic knowledge of what crypto wallets are, let's explore some of the best practices to keep your wallet safe.
 
1. Choose a Reputable Wallet Provider: The first step in securing your cryptocurrency wallet is to choose a reputable wallet provider. Do thorough research before selecting one, and find out which providers have a strong history of safe operations. Some popular wallet providers to consider include Trust Wallet, Ledger, Trezor, and MyEtherWallet, while you could also consider saving your funds with crypto exchanges like CoinW and Binance.
 
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your wallet. It requires you to enter a code generated by an app or sent to your phone before accessing your wallet. This can help protect your wallet against hacking attempts.
 
3. Keep Your Private Keys Safe: Your private key is like the password to your cryptocurrency wallet. If someone gets hold of it, they can easily access your funds. Never share or store your private key online. Instead, store it on an offline device like a hardware wallet or a paper wallet.
 
4. Use a Strong Password: A strong password should be complex and contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords like your name or birthdate. Change your password regularly and do not use it on any other online accounts.
 
5. Keep Your Wallet Software Up-To-Date: Keeping your wallet software up-to-date is important because it ensures that any security loopholes are fixed. Developers often release updates to address any vulnerabilities identified in the previous version.
 
6. Backup Your Wallet Regularly: If you lose access to your wallet or forget your password, a backup can save you. It is important to store backups of your wallet on other devices in case your primary device is damaged or lost.
 
7. Be Cautious of Phishing Scams: Phishing scams are common in the cryptocurrency space. Fraudsters often send fake emails and messages asking for your private keys or other sensitive information. Always verify the authenticity of any email or message before responding.
 
In conclusion, securing your cryptocurrency wallet requires a bit of effort, but it is worth it to protect your assets. By following the best practices outlined above, you can help keep your crypto wallet safe from hackers and other types of security breaches.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 21, 2023
Community
Blockchain Security in Africa: Harnessing the Power of Quantum Encryption

As the tentacles of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries spread across Africa, a major concern among users is system security. Despite being hailed as a very secure system, several hacks have made it quite obvious that the blockchain can indeed be compromised. Hence, it has become necessary for researchers and experts to find sustainable security solutions to impede the operations of cyber attackers. As a person who has personally witnessed cryptocurrency exchanges run on blockchain technology decimated by hackers, I could not sit back and wait for the next shrapnel to leave me financially impaled. I spent my time searching for the next big lacuna in the system, and as expected, I found one. Thanks to the presence of quantum computers, it can be pointed out that blockchain systems may once again be vulnerable to security attacks. This is however due to the increased computational capability of these computers, which led me to ask the question.


What Are Quantum Computers?


Quantum computers are machines that utilize the fundamentals of quantum mechanics to perform transactions and store data. They can perform calculations at an exponential rate when compared to normal computers. This is because, where classical computers encode data in bits of os and 1s, quantum computers use quantum bits (qubit) as the basic unit of memory. Though advantageous on outstanding levels, they could render traditional encryption methods ineffective, and as such, they left a vacuum for another wave of hacks.


Then Came Quantum Encryption


According to a paper written by J. Aditya and P. Shankar Rao titled Quantum Cryptography, quantum encryption rests on two pillars of 20th century quantum mechanics: the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and photon polarization. In order to deliver encrypted data, these photons serve as a one-time pad. To put it another way, quantum encryption is a way to encrypt data utilizing the principles of quantum mechanics. This is currently thought to be unbreakable by users of quantum computers. The cornerstone of this encryption is the idea that a particle's properties are altered by any attempt to measure or observe it. This implies that if two parties use quantum encryption to convey information to one another, the message will be altered, and the parties will be aware of any wiretap attempt.


Key Benefits of Quantum Encryption in Blockchain Security

  • Quantum encryption can render it impossible for hackers with sufficient computational power to decrypt data or fabricate transactions on the blockchain.
  • Quantum encryption makes sure that, should a hacker attempt to monitor communication in a blockchain system, the information will be altered and the recipient informed of the breach.
  • In blockchain systems, quantum encryption offers secure key distribution techniques that enable parties to distribute keys in a way that ensures only those people who are permitted can access the data.
  • Blockchain systems can also benefit from increased scalability, which lowers the amount of computing power required to protect data.


Conclusion


Blockchain security will unquestionably benefit from quantum encryption technology. It provides a level of protection never before seen and is resistant to attacks that may use quantum computing. Acceptance and integration will build a more trust-inspiring crypto ecosystem. With this, I can finally take a much needed breather and enjoy the tropical rains that have already swung in.


How awesome is this? Kindly leave a like or comment below. I write lots of other articles right here on Wazoplus. You can also find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 17, 2023
Community
Techies Oldies: The Story of One of Nigeria’s Cybercriminal Forefathers

Barrister Fred Ajudua, who was supposedly one of the top fraudsters of the millennial years, is certainly unknown to Gen Z kids like me. The initial group of “yahoo boys” from the year 2000 was more interested in mailing phony messages requesting payment in order to claim lottery winnings. The second and third groups of yahoo boys from 2003 to 2007 dealt with online dating scams and preferred to maintain their anonymity over showing off their money like the current group does. The internet scammers we see now are the latest group of yahoo boys from 2010. Some of these youngsters have not only gone into comprising emerging technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency, black magic, charms, and rituals have been added by some of them out of greed and desperation for money. But the man we are discussing today has been termed by the Sahara Reporters as a ‘serial fraudster’. Like the current group of cyber criminals, he took advantage of the technology that was available to him at the time in defrauding people of their money. In examining the existence of cyber crime in Nigeria, let’s trace the fruit back to one of its oldest branches. Say hello to Fred Ajudua, the man, the myth and the legend.


Many allegations of fraud and scamming have been brought against Nigerian barrister Fred Ajudua. Ajudua was born on June 14, 1961, in Oshimili North LGA of Delta State, Nigeria. His father, Chief Victor Ajudua, was a former member of the House of Representatives. In 1985, Ajudua was called to the Nigerian Bar after completing his legal studies at the University of Benin. He began his legal career in Lagos, where he soon established himself as a savvy and accomplished practitioner. Influential businessmen, politicians, and famous personalities were among his clients. But, he quickly got embroiled in a number of fraudulent activities that would damage his reputation and land him in jail multiple times. His most well-known scam was the "Advance Fee Scam," sometimes referred to as the "419 scam," in which he and his accomplices would demand victims pay up-front fees in exchange for a sizable sum of money that didn't exist.


R. Edward, an American businessman, was one of Ajudua's victims. Ajudua duped Edward out of $1.69 million by telling him he was heir to a portion of a $20 million inheritance from a deceased Russian oil merchant. In another scam, he and his accomplices scammed Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, the former Chief of Army Staff, of $8.4 million while pretending to be working to have him released from custody.

Ajudua was initially detained in 2003 for his part in the 419 fraud and then released on bail. He was imprisoned for four years before being found not guilty in 2009 by the Lagos High Court. He was detained once more in 2013 and faced a 28-count charge that included forgery, impersonation, and conspiracy to obtain money under false pretenses. In what was known as the "Bamaiyi fraud case," he was accused of defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff of $1.69 million. In 2015, after being imprisoned once more, he was released on bond. The investigation is underway.


Barrister Fred Ajudua’s legal battles have been a source of controversy in Nigeria, with some arguing that he has been unfairly persecuted and denied justice. Others, however, see him as a symbol of the corrupt practices that have plagued Nigeria for many years. You may argue that he isn't a cybercriminal, but since he exploited the technology that was available at the time to defraud people, I believe that this classification is accurate.


Did you know Fred Ajudua before now? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.  I write lots of other articles right here on Wazoplus. You can also find me on Twitteror LinkedIn

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 14, 2023
Community
My NFT Story: From Eww to Ahh

Aren’t you just tired of the blockchain space? Every time you wake up in the morning, your sleepy eyes catch sight of an oddly popularized phenomenon. In early 2022, I awoke to the smell of my mother’s homemade melon soup sizzling in a pot. It was not the only thing boiling under heat, as the blockchain world was agog over something new – at least the extension of the industry in my neighborhood. They called it NFT. At first, I called it “neft” until I found out the correct pronunciation is “en eff tee.” Upon further inquiry, I found out that NFTs are actually non-fungible tokens which according to Rakesh Sharma’s Investopedia article are cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other.


In other words, NFTs are digital assets that can neither be replaced nor interchanged. This is because each NFT has unique properties, so if you were to trade an NFT it would become a completely different asset once you have traded it whereas if you trade a fungible asset like bitcoin, you’ll have exactly the same thing. It’s like trading a Rolex Submariner and getting an Omega Seamaster without the obvious downgrade. BBC.com gave an exciting illustration on how artwork can be tokenized by using NFTs and I quote,


“Traditional works of art such as paintings are valuable precisely because they are one of a kind. But digital files can be easily and endlessly duplicated. With NFTs, artwork can be ‘tokenized’ to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.”


THINGS TO NOTE


• NFTs are uniquely identifiable digitally; no two NFTs are the same.


• NFTs work with everything designed using Ethereum.


• Authors can retain ownership of their creations and directly claim resale proceeds.


• Content creators have access to a worldwide market and are able to sell their products anywhere.


NFTs are a more sophisticated variant of the original cryptocurrency concept. Ownership is the first notable benefit of NFTs. Rejalut's research on the TOP 30 NFT Use Cases for Enterprises states that:


“The key benefit of non-fungible tokens is the ability to prove ownership. NFTs can make it easier to designate property to a certain fund because they operate on a blockchain network”.


NFTs can also create open ownership structures, which do away with the requirement for a third party to verify ownership and are also immutable once recorded because they are stored on a blockchain.


NFTs also have other advantages, such as their decentralized nature, security, fungibility, and ease of transferability.


NFTs have several applications for both individuals and businesses across all industries, thus it's critical that more people use them.


I spoke with Devjeet Choudhury, an NFT consultant and Web 3 project manager. He is the founder of Stellar8 Labs, a futuristic creative development agency that collaborates with leading brands and cutting-edge companies and projects to boost their online visibility.


Here’s What He Had to Say


1. How did you start your journey with NFTs?


Devjeet: I started off my journey first of all by working on an NFT project as a 3D designer. I researched and increased my skill sets on designing and marketing to now working as an advisor and consultant for projects.


Wow! That is exceptional!


Devjeet: smiles


2. Why should more and more people adopt NFTs in your opinion?


Devjeet: NFTs are a better alternative to many things. In the last 2 decades, everyone shifted to digital media and goods. NFTs are here to enhance the experience with digital assets. NFTs will even help businesses to improve their product experience as well as customer agreement.


3. What will the implications of a total NFT adoption be on the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry?


Devjeet: As more people become interested in buying, selling, and trading NFTs, the demand for blockchain technology will likely increase. This could lead to more investment in blockchain projects and the development of new blockchain platforms.


4. What is your biggest regret since adopting NFTs?


Devjeet: I lost some money in rug pull projects. In fact, I got to know everyone has lost some money in such NFT projects.


5. So in order for us to avoid such projects, what are your favorite NFT platforms?


Devjeet: Foundation and MagicEden are my favorites.


6. What piece of advice would you give to a newbie in the world of NFTs?


Devjeet: As a collector, do your own research. As a builder, don’t make this as your only source of income.


Thank you very much for your time Devjeet, it was truly a pleasure.


Devjeet: I’m glad I could help. Good luck!


Following my conversation with Mr. Devjeet, I went on a stroll through Twitter and stumbled upon a fascinating tweet posted by a user @wealthhhhhh. It read:


“What regrets do you have from the nft space?”


This attracted my attention because I personally enjoy conducting my research by including public discourse. After all, because it considers several viewpoints, it appears to be the most accurate source of information. 


As I scrolled through the comments, I felt more confident in Mr. Devjeet's knowledge. The reason is because after emphasizing the need for NFT collectors to conduct their own research before investing, the same possible issues that Mr. Devjeet mentioned during our conversation unexpectedly appeared on my screen.


@ThompsonZolo replied, “Believing fake founders but it has also taught me a lot”


@0xMaestro replied, “Getting drained while minting”


Harrison Bordeaux commented, “Not joining as soon”


As you can see, the majority of responses came from those who stated they had no regrets about entering the NFT space and wished they had done so sooner. It should go without saying that one can learn about the NFT space and enjoy themselves. You might like to watch a comedy video I saw on Youtube by Stevie Emerson titled When You Get Scammed by an NFT Crypto Project - YouTube . You can't read all the boring stuff and miss this, I assure you. You will like it.


So there you have it! That’s my NFT story so far. Writing this article is still a part of my journey through this amazing concept and I sincerely hope it is worth my while. Have you ever bought an NFT? How was your experience? What is your NFT story?

I write lots of other articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology right here on Wazoplus. You can also find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 5, 2023
Community
5 Cybersecurity Tips For Every African Internet User

The internet has developed into a place filled with viruses and harmful links. Some users are more susceptible than ever as system compromises increase in frequency. Since scammers aggressively scour the internet in search of people to dupe, these are some of the darkest days. This is particularly common in Africa, a continent known for imitating the negative aspects of the world before embracing its beneficial features. We need tips that can help us stay safe and secure online. Here five useful cyber security tips.


1. Use Strong Passwords


Using the same password for all of your accounts increases the risk of you being hacked. Each of your accounts is supposed to have a different password. By doing this, your account details will not be used on other sites even if the one where you have an account was breached.


2. Avoid Using Debit Cards Online


Online payments are one of the most popular ways you can get hacked. Try to avoid using debit cards or any payment method that is directly linked to your bank account while performing transactions. Instead, use services that provide your accounts with extra security.


3. Research About Phishing Attacks


During phishing attacks, hackers take on false identities to deceive you into giving them your login details or clicking on a harmful link, or opening files that might infect your device with malware. You can utilize some advice to stop this from happening and steer clear of falling victim to a phishing scam, such as:


• Avoid opening emails from sources or persons you don't know.


• Look for any form of suspicion in the sender's ID before clicking any links. If the link seems risky, do not click it.


4. Back Up Data Often


To avoid painful loss of information, back up your data often. You'll stand the best chance of recovering data when hacked if you have a safe storage space.


5. Use a Password Manager Tool


When you have accounts on different platforms, it's expected that you have different passwords for each of them and it might be challenging to remember all. So, make use of a password manager that can help you keep track of all your passwords. With a single master key password, you will be able to access all of your passwords. This will assist you in keeping your credentials safe and stop you from writing down your passwords, one of the riskiest ways to keep track of them.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 4, 2023
Community
4 Reasons Why Cyber Security Is Crucial In Africa

Anyone who uses the internet needs to be aware of the importance of cyber security. While some rural areas still lack internet connectivity, the number of people who have it is rising daily. The world is changing quickly, and everything is moving quickly online. Even the physical market is being gradually supplanted by online marketplaces, as documents that were once kept in file cabinets are now saved on Google Drive, mail that was once delivered by the postman is now just a simple message on WhatsApp, and so on. Because of its sustainable solutions, technology is resolving an increasing number of human issues. While technology does help with some issues, it also comes with its own set of disadvantages. Before when information was kept in filing cabinets, it was exceedingly difficult to leak or steal it; however, hackers can take data with the press of a button. Cybercriminals are becoming a threat not just to Africa but to the entire world.


Hackers have recently stolen billions of dollars, and as a result, numerous businesses are stepping up their efforts to keep us safe when using the internet.
In order to stop the actions of a notorious hacker, the security team at Huobi, a cryptocurrency exchange, collaborated with the security team at cryptocurrency behemoth Binance in January of this year. Huobi had a security breach, according to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao's Twitter post. According to him, the hacker had attempted to hack Binance in the past, but his accounts had been frozen. This time, the viper was defeated by the security team at Binance working with Huobi, and 124 bitcoins were successfully recovered. The Harmony One hacker, according to the crypto billionaire, was responsible for this attack. 


Such triumphs, despite their success, are uncommon. Some well-known people's Twitter accounts were hacked in 2020 with false get rich quick Bitcoin tweets. Former President Barack Obama and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were among the victims. In order to double their followers' money, hackers sent out phony tweets from these accounts, claiming things such as "I am giving back to my community due to COVID-19!" and urging people to transfer Bitcoin to an anonymous website. Elliptic reports that the scammers made over $121,000 from over 400 Bitcoin payments. Occurrences like these show just how unsafe it can be if cyber criminals rule the day. As the rate of such scams is greatly increasing, it is important for us to understand why cyber security is crucial in Africa.


4 Reasons Why Cyber Security Is Crucial In Africa

• Since important data leaks can be utilized by terrorists or foreign governments to wreak havoc, cybercrime poses a threat to national security.


• Because of how dependent we are becoming on the internet, cyber security precautions must be taken to protect our data.


• Cybercrime has an economic impact on Africa. As was evident during the FTX attack, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide lost a significant amount of money.


• Because cybercrime is becoming more popular among younger generations and the rate of hacks on the continent is higher than the rate globally, Africa has been dubbed the most cyber attacked continent .


In other words, cybercrime is a field that focuses on protecting all important online data. It is crucial because if we don't take action, all we've ever achieved could vanish in an instant. I can only speak from my own experience.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 3, 2023
Community
Nigeria’s ‘Yahoo Boys’: Conmen Or Misplaced Potential?

If you do not know who ‘yahoo boys’ are, then either you do not live in Nigeria or you are pretending. They derived their name from the popular internet company Yahoo!, whose e-mail accounts are sometimes used by fraudsters. Apart from being a national cause for concern, internet fraud is also widely seen as the only way to make money among young Nigerians. Cybercrime is glorified in many songs, memes, and movies as an effective way to ascend past the shackles of poverty. Most times, a young boy is depicted as having lived in abject poverty until a bad friend introduces him to internet fraud. Once he abandons his morals, he becomes an instant success financially, and if he faces consequences—which they seldom do—it would be simply an arrest or madness. If you are sane, you would be asking, "What’s simple about arrest?" You see, these criminals hardly spend up to a month in jail because in real life they are bailed out by a more senior player in the game. For individuals who know this, their fear of lawful repercussions dissipates.


Yahoo boys also have their sayings that act as motivational quotes for them. Here are a few:


"No throway your garri say your neighbor dey cook rice. Him gas fit finish"


"Na person who work for night go chop for morning"


"Rain wey beat us today go wash our Benz tomorrow. Aje!"


"Hot water wey dey make egg strong dey make yam soft. Be humble"


"Trust the process. Even traffic lights go red before green go show"


Despite being seen as a bad group by many, some individuals see them as a technological labor force for the African giant. One of such people is the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who stated during a campaign rally that he would create technology hubs for the Yahoo boys if elected. He vowed:


"I will convert Yahoo boys and make them useful by converting their talents and intellects to produce chips for industries."


My topic is not based on whether he meant it or not, but rather on the content of his statement. You cannot deny that the adoption of more technology solutions is a welcome development, but with the number of Yahoo boys around, we should understand that where there is technological advancement, preparation should be made for more intelligent forms of fraud. If these criminals can be rehabilitated and trained effectively, Nigeria can be a technological force in the league of India, China, and the United States. Yahoo boys have cast a shadow on every young Nigerian male with a laptop. The police have also been accused of framing and arresting young Nigerians for internet fraud wrongfully in order to appear hard-working. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts are also seen as scammers because they make money without needing to carry a file around. 


As a young child, I grew accustomed to the sound of gunshots and having to run at unexpected moments because of the militants in my neighborhood. Many of these individuals, who caused the deaths of hundreds, are now beneficiaries of amnesty programs. The question is, can there be an amnesty program for Yahoo boys too? Or is that too unimportant an issue to address?


The declension of this young generation is facilitated by the popularity cybercrime has gained. No matter what the baby boomers say, the need to gain wealth by any means necessary will remain a desire for many. The steps we take in securing our nation and preparing for the future depend on the decisions we make concerning our young people. Are they simply criminals that need to be punished, or a misguided work force for technological advancement? Give it a thought.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 2, 2023
Community
What Makes African Hackers Hack?

It is no secret that, as more young people engage in it, cybercrime is one of the main vices wreaking havoc on the African continent. With around 207 million children under the age of four and about 650 million people in total who are 17 years old or younger, Africa has the biggest youth population in the world. As of 2021, there were only about 48 million people who were 65 years of age or older. Africa is the youngest continent in the world, but rather than its young people creating a strong labor force, it is frequently described as a ticking time bomb. This is a result of both the widespread participation in criminal activity and the high unemployment rate.


Young Africans, notably those in Nigeria, who previously prowled the streets at strange hours turned to their computers with the introduction of the web and devised clever ways to con people out of their money. As a result, the government and the rest of the world perceive the youth living on the continent as volatile members of society, which has damaged their perception of themselves. But it is not sufficient to categorically dismiss these people; instead, we should make an educated guess as to what drives the high occurrence of cybercrime in our community.


It is unambiguous that the need for money is the major motivation of cybercrime when one traces the origins of this issue. But after giving it a much closer look, I came to see that it goes well beyond the presence or absence of money. Every hacker has a unique motivation. It might be a personal vendetta, or it might just be for fun and enjoyment. I was once hacked by a person I know, and I am very certain he did not make a penny from me. So, the question remains: why?


I carried out an interview of young male Nigerians between the ages of 17 and 25, and I found that several of them were leaning toward cybercrime. A certain gentleman could fool anyone with his neat appearance and regular wear of a sharp suit. This is because government officials usually identify young men wearing indecent clothing as cybercriminals. He claimed that periodically, due to financial difficulties and to spy on his girlfriend, he had committed cybercrime. He stated:


"I have done Yahoo before, but not as a full time thing. One day, when I was very hungry, I met up with a friend of mine, and we ran an operation for little cash. But I regularly hack my girlfriend’s Facebook account to make sure she’s not cheating on me. I don’t count that as cybercrime though."


When I told my pal over here that he was a black hat hacker, he did not believe me. White hat hackers are the generally good ones, while gray-hat hackers are on the fence. Black-hat hackers are, in essence, terrible hackers.


Why do hackers hack? 


1. Money

Most cybercriminals went into it because they wanted to make money. It can be said that the reason most people learn about cyber security is because they want to safeguard their money. Hackers could hack businesses and demand ransoms or simply hack private accounts to take advantage of activities that involve financial transactions.


2. Personal Grudge

As I said earlier, I was once hacked by someone I knew personally. Apparently I did something he did not like, and instead of talking to me about it, he hacked into my social media accounts and started posting misleading content. He may have put up the content to trick people into clicking on it, but he hacked my account because he had a personal vendetta against me.


3. Steal Information

One of the most common motives for hackers is the intent to steal or leak information. This is usually done by hackers looking to gain a lot of attention and not to make money. These hackers do it because they think it’s fun and enjoyable.


Do you know any more reasons hackers hack? Share them in the comment section below.

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Josh
Josh Strong
Mar 1, 2023
Community
What Every African Crypto Enthusiast Must Know About Blockchain In Cyber Security


 Right from the birth of cryptocurrencies in the late 80s up until the advent of bitcoin in 2009, user education has been an integral part of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology ecosystems, and that doesn’t appear to change at any point in time. On January 2nd, the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, emphasized the importance of education for crypto users in his tweet about the New Year and its dos and don'ts. He tweeted:


“Will try to keep 2023 simple. Spend more time on less things. Dos and Don’ts.

1. Education

2. Compliance

3. Product & Service

4. Ignore FUD, fake news, attacks, etc.

In the future, would appreciate if you can link to this post when I tweet “4” ”


User education is so important that crypto exchanges spend millions of dollars hosting physical and online awareness campaigns and meetups. In the light of that relevance, we will examine how blockchain security works and how to scale past hackers.


How Does Blockchain Security Work?


It is no secret that blockchain has recently been demystified and brutally unmasked as a technology that is not impenetrable to hackers. Most of its praise came from the exploits of its built-in security features, which make it difficult for hackers to penetrate. While it is possible for a cryptocurrency hacker to steal tokens from wallets and exchanges, it is also possible for a blockchain to be taken over by attackers through 51% attacks. Despite the success of some culprits, the truth remains that blockchain technology is extremely difficult and nearly impossible to hack. Why?

Recognize that the security of cryptocurrencies is improved by the use of advanced encryption and consensus mechanisms. This implies that numerous users, known as miners, must independently validate each transaction before it can be deemed trustworthy. Proof-of-work (PoW) and proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus procedures enable members to validate transactions without the need for external assistance. All transactions on networks like Bitcoin are made publicly accessible. This lowers the frequency of harmful behaviors like transmitting transactions that are invalid or twisted.


Although it is possible to hack a blockchain, this is unlikely to happen on major networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum due to the security precautions in place. Due to the high cost of a 51% attack, many cryptocurrency hackers turn their attention to crypto wallets. Hackers were able to successfully empty Solana-based wallets in 2022 because of a bug in Slope wallets. Furthermore in 2022, FTX saw one of the worst hacks in recent memory when attackers emptied wallets on its exchange. Hackers can obtain personal user information through "phishing" attacks in addition to targeting cryptocurrency wallets. These notifications frequently appear and ask for the user's wallet's private key so that hackers can access the funds.

Cross-chain bridges were initially created to convey tokens from one blockchain to another but have now become regular platforms for cryptocurrency hacks. In October 2022, Binance was hacked to the tune of $570 million. According to Investopedia, a cross-chain bridge, the BSC Token Hub, was exploited by hackers, resulting in the creation of extra Binance Coins (BNB) and the withdrawal of 2 million BNB tokens.


Blockchain Security Tips

  • To add a second step to the sign-in process, use two factor authentication with an app like Google Authenticator.
  • Never share your wallet’s private keys, as they give anyone access to the funds in your wallet.
  • Do your research and beware of small and unknown crypto projects because they are easy targets for hackers.
  • Use hardware crypto wallets, as they have a lower risk of hacks because they store private keys offline.


Conclusion


It is critical for African crypto users to stay informed about the risks and concerns associated with blockchain technology, as well as cyber security best practices. Join me on my journey into the world of cybercrime as I dissect and evaluate some of crypto’s most scandalous hacks and network compromises. I remain your most excellent discussant, Josh Armstrong. You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Josh Strong
Feb 28, 2023
Community
51% Attacks: What Africans Need To Know

A 51% attack is when one or more miners control more than half of the network's mining activity and launch an attack against a blockchain. When this occurs, the miners can make a copy of the blockchain that omits specific transactions and mark it as the original version. They will be able to double spend coins after reversing transactions due to this.


Understanding the details


A blockchain is a network of interlinked blocks used to store data in a digital ledger. By a process of verification, the blockchain network comes to a consensus about transactions, and the blocks containing the data are then sealed. When one organization holds more than half of the network's hashing power, the 51% attack takes place. Then, because the attackers control the majority of the blockchain, these group of hackers add a deviant blockchain to the network at a very specific point in the blockchain.


Despite acquiring a sizable portion of the blockchain, the hackers will have a very difficult time changing blocks that were locked prior to the attack. It is more difficult to modify transactions that are deeper in the past. Another problem is the excessively high cost of carrying out 51% attacks. An attack of this kind is challenging on a big network with lots of users. Before out-hashing the mainnet, the group of attackers would need to possess the required 51% of the market and have built an alternative blockchain. The main barrier preventing more frequent occurrence of 51% attacks is the expense involved.


Who is at risk?


Because certain mining networks are more secure than others, the kind of mining equipment being used is also important. Smaller networks are typically targets for 51% attackers since it is simpler to take control of the majority in such networks, while larger networks like Bitcoin are less likely to be attacked. Since June 2019, more than 40 51% attacks on Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin, and other minor cryptocurrencies have been discovered or reported to the Michigan Institute for Technology's Digital Currency Project.


Conclusion


The frequency of blockchain hacks is rising, giving the technology the appearance of being very unstable. This is because the industry's weaknesses in offering sufficient security to its clients have been made public. Hackers have stolen more than $2 billion since 2017, and the number of occurrences does not appear to be decreasing. This has made it quite clear that hacking blockchain technology is not impossible, and users should exercise caution or suffer costly repercussions.

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Josh Strong
Feb 27, 2023
Community
ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA: IS CYBERCRIME THE HINDRANCE TO BLOCKCHAIN ADOPTION IN AFRICA?

It is impossible to deny that if blockchain technology had been used to conduct the general elections in Nigeria, things would have gone much more smoothly. We have completed the voting process for the president, the senate, and the House of Representatives seats, and we are now beginning the collation process, which is anticipated to run until midweek. Due to the historical significance of this specific poll, all residents of one of Africa's giants are hooked to their electronic devices, radios, and television sets as the results are announced state-by-state.


 The use of technology solutions to organize free, fair, and credible elections is a subject that frequently comes up in conversations among election observers. Despite tremendous government advancement toward electronic voting, there will always be loopholes that allow for rigging. One of these advancements is the new bimodal voter accreditation system, which verifiably accredits every voter intending to cast their ballot at a polling unit. The vices that have consistently plagued Nigerian elections—thugs, ballot box snatching, and general electoral violence—have hampered its progress. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu recently revealed that thugs raided two distinct polling units in two states in Nigeria, stealing at least eight BVAS machines, according to the Premium Times. It is now clear that INEC must use technology to develop a fully electronic voting system if we are to have free, fair, and credible elections. Blockchain technology is one of these remedies.


A blockchain is a network of blocks used to record data in a digital ledger. It is difficult to tamper with any of the information in the blocks because they are connected by unique keys. The information in the block cannot be changed without great difficulty. All users who are accessible to the network are able to use it. Although blockchain technology is already used to exchange digital currency, it has also been used in elections before. Prior to its state primary elections in March 2018, West Virginia, a state of the United States of America, used blockchain technology successfully. After being confirmed using biometric methods, voters could cast their ballots using secure tokens on a mobile device using the Voatz app.


It is true that implementing this technology in the Nigerian elections will increase transparency, voter turnout, and entirely decentralize the voting process, but it also remains true that "where there is a will, there's a way." The same people who planned the theft of BVAS and ballot boxes will attempt to rig the election by exploiting vulnerabilities in blockchain technology. It goes without saying that the industry has had some of the worst cyberattacks in recent memory. Blockchain, according to Epiq Angle, has three significant security flaws that can be exploited: 51 percent attacks, creation errors, and inadequate security. 51 percent attacks refer to an event where one or more hackers gain control over half of the mining process by taking part in the verification process, where miners review transactions for credibility. When this happens, the hackers can create a second version of the blockchain where certain transactions are omitted.


Despite widespread hoopla around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, the inclusion of these technologies in the Nigerian elections would result in fewer problems than they pose. First of all, unlike a traditional ballot box, the technology cannot be snatched. In addition, voters can monitor the process from the convenience of their homes. Finally, since voters wouldn't need to show up to cast their votes; the problem of electoral violence would be resolved. It's possible that a new set of vices may emerge, such as the manipulation of the mobile data network by dishonest internet service provider staff and the facilitation of vote buying for avaricious candidates. Nonetheless, blockchain technology has shown to be largely resilient against hackers in the area of being compromised.


Despite this, it might be argued that it is unwise to entrust a crucial process to a technology that is still in its growing stage unless sufficient precautions are put in place to combat cybercrime. It can be speculated that Nigeria has one of the highest concentrations of cybercriminals in the world, hacking of the blockchain technology used during elections appears likely. However, would it support INEC's efforts to hold credible, free, and open elections?

I write lots of other articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology on my Medium. You can also find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Josh Strong
Jan 12, 2023
Community
THE BIGGEST CRYPTO HACKS IN RECENT HISTORY

THE BIGGEST CRYPTO HACKS IN RECENT HISTORY

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Blockchain projects are very secure and cannot be hacked, is that true? That assertion would be heavily contested by recent events, as there have been back-to-back large-scale attacks on various cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms. Has this contributed to the general mistrust in making investments in the market? Without a doubt, sure. But did our technological elders not argue that these projects were safe? That misconception, however, has been debunked. According to Chainanalysis, by November 2022, over $1.6 billion had already been stolen from users through hacks. This has been a persistent source of worry for African crypto users, as every few months, a new hack makes the news. To add fuel to that fire, let’s look at some of the biggest crypto hacking scandals that have shown the system’s vulnerabilities in efficiently securing digital assets.


1. THE MT. GOX HACK

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It is impossible to begin this list without going down memory lane to the earlier and simpler days in the crypto world. How back are we going? As far back as 2011, when the first major crypto hack took place, A total of 25,000 bitcoins, worth approximately $400,000, were lost by Mt. Gox. Once again in 2014, the exchange lost 750,000 bitcoins worth around $473 million.

At first, there was no clear reason for the hacks, but upon further investigation, it was revealed that the coins were stolen from the company's hot wallet, which is a live cryptocurrency wallet and not as secure as a cold offline wallet.


2. THE COINCHECK HACK

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Coincheck once held the honor of being the biggest digital currency theft victim in history. In 2018, it announced that an estimated $534 million worth of NEM coins had been stolen from its hot wallet. As expected, the value of NEM dropped by 20% once word got out, but the Japanese exchange survived the hack and continued to operate. A Japanese financial services company by the name of Monex Group bought Coincheck some months later.


3. THE BINANCE HACK

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In October 2022, crypto’s overlords were hacked to the tune of $570 million. According to Investopedia, a cross-chain bridge, the BSC Token Hub, was exploited by hackers, resulting in the creation of extra Binance Coins (BNB) and the withdrawal of 2 million BNB tokens. It should be noted that BNB is the native token of the crypto exchange.


4. THE FTX HACK

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In November 2022, FTX declared bankruptcy. Prior to that time, FTX was one of the most powerful exchanges in the crypto industry, but once they declared bankruptcy, it all came crashing down. More than $600 million was stolen from its crypto wallets. The exchange confirmed the hack on its Telegram channel, and its General Counsel Ryne Miller tried to diffuse the situation by assuring customers that the exchange was making every effort to secure all stolen assets.


5. THE RONIN NETWORK HACK

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The current holder of the title of "largest cryptocurrency hack" is the Ronin Network. In March 2022, hackers breached the network and stole around $625 million worth of USDC stablecoin and Ethereum. US officials speculated that a North Korean state-backed hacking collective, the Lazarus Group, was responsible for the hack.


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It is important for crypto users to remain vigilant, as beloved exchanges and networks can be compromised at any time. 


Education about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is essential to preventing a repeat of the aforementioned hacking scandals.


Have you been a victim of a crypto hack before? You can share your personal experiences in the comment section.

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