Smartphones are ubiquitous devices that we use for everything from staying connected with friends and family to managing our finances. But while smartphones are convenient, they are also vulnerable to attack. This is especially true when it comes to using cryptocurrencies. In a recent interview Ledger CTO Charles Guillemet explained why smartphones will never be fully safe for using crypto. Guillemet pointed to two main concerns: the display and the operating system.
When you make a cryptocurrency transaction on your smartphone, the display shows you the address of the person you are sending the funds to. However, Guillemet explained that there is no guarantee that the address displayed is actually the address you think it is.
“You would say, ‘Okay, I’m sending one Bitcoin to this specific person,’” Guillemet said. “The thing is that you can add malware which will swap the address to which you want to make a transaction with another one, and display to you the address you think you’re about to send to.”
This type of attack is known as a man-in-the-middle attack. It is a common type of attack that can be used to steal cryptocurrency, as well as other types of data.
The operating system
The other concern that Guillemet raised is the operating system itself. Ledger CTO Smartphones typically run on either Android or iOS. Both of these operating systems are vulnerable to malware.
“Malware can be installed on your smartphone without your knowledge,” Guillemet said. “This malware can then be used to steal your cryptocurrency, or to track your activity.”
In addition to malware, smartphones are also vulnerable to physical attacks. If someone steals your smartphone, they could potentially gain access to your cryptocurrency wallet.
What can you do to protect your cryptocurrency?
While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of attack, there are some things you can do to protect your cryptocurrency:
- Use a hardware wallet. A hardware wallet is a dedicated device that stores your cryptocurrency offline. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to steal your funds.
- Be careful about what apps you install on your smartphone. Only install apps from trusted sources.
- Keep your smartphone’s operating system up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect your device from malware.
- Be careful about what links you click on. Phishing attacks are a common way for attackers to steal cryptocurrency. Be suspicious of any unsolicited links, especially if they come from someone you don’t know.
Smartphones are convenient devices, but they are also vulnerable to attack. If you are serious about protecting your cryptocurrency, you should consider using a hardware wallet.
In addition to using a hardware wallet, there are a number of other things you can do to protect your cryptocurrency, such as being careful about what apps you install on your smartphone, keeping your smartphone’s operating system up to date, and being careful about what links you click on.