Best Bitcoin Wallet Security Guide

Learning how to secure your best bitcoin wallet from thieves is no longer an option. That’s because bitcoin wallets are now an obsession among thieves who lurk on the web space. In fact, some reports estimate that there are currently over 140 malware applications that specifically target bitcoin wallets. Fortunately, wallet holders can still apply cautionary steps to help shield them from these attacks.
So if you want to learn about current vulnerabilities and how to protect your bitcoin wallet from potentially being hacked, the following tips will give you a good head start.
What exactly are these thieves aiming at?

Bitcoin thefts usually arise from poor wallet security management practices. On the other hand, thieves are mostly interested in a number of things which include your desktop login details/device pin, wallet password, private keys, online wallet password, access to web wallet servers, as well as vulnerable components used by online services.
And now that we know the specific things which they target, it’s in your best interest to follow the tenets outlined in this best bitcoin wallet security guide.

Best bitcoin wallet security guide – the things you need to do

Bitcoin wallets should be secured
Bitcoin wallets should be secured

Multi-signature wallets are the best bitcoin wallet to use. That’s because they often require both online and offline signatures when signing off transactions. Consequently, they are viewed as the most secure of wallets compared to standard bitcoin wallets. Therefore, if you’re serious about enforcing bitcoin security, use wallets that come with this functionality.
Secondly, if you’re more interested in dealing with long term bitcoin holding, you should use paper wallets or Cold storage.
If you’re using a bitcoin service provider, make sure they have a wallet encryption feature in place. Most of them do have this feature, although you could always invest in third-party encryption as well.
Also, when dealing with bitcoin, you are advised to make regular backups on your hard drive. Always verify your backups to ensure that everything is in place as intended.
Finally, if you use bitcoin for every day transactions, use wallets that can be installed on your PC or mobile device. Make sure that your wallets are distributed into desktop, mobile, and offline versions. This way, you will be safe.

One last thing!

If you have to use web wallets, make sure it is only for purposes of transitory transactions. All other transactions should be restricted to your PC or device.
Beware of cryptographic malware and Trojans when implementing security measures
You need to be very careful so as not to unwittingly install these misrepresented apps into your desktop or mobile device. It is common knowledge that these apps will scour your PC for bitcoin wallets, private keys, passwords, or any other useful information that can be reported back to the cybercriminals or botnet. Believe it or not, there are over 140 active malware and Trojans that target bitcoin wallets in this manner. They are out there in the wild, and you stand a chance of downloading them, oblivious of the fact that they will harm you. Always be careful when downloading things from the web, even if they seem to come from genuine sources.

Security vulnerabilities
Threats don’t always present themselves in form of malware and Trojans. Instead, they can exist in form of security vulnerabilities that can be found in one of the components of a trusted web application.A good example would be the recent OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability. It allowed hackers to collect usernames/passwords among other things whenever unsuspecting users logged into their accounts on the web.

Heartbleed Bug was incredibly dangerous
Heartbleed Bug was incredibly dangerous, especially for any Bitcoin wallet

The vulnerability existed in the Open SSL library that is used by most websites and applications. Consequently, all web servers had to be updated to the fixed Open SSL version. This also prompted users to update their login credentials in line with the changes.

Securing your login credentials
Snoopers love your password because they know that this information can help the access your previous bitcoin regardless of whether the password is for an online wallet, an online exchange account, a PC wallet, or a mobile wallet.
When your PC or mobile device is connected to the web, the attacker can access this information using existing security vulnerabilities which are specific to that particular OS.
Most people use a password formula across a series of logins. If you are one of them, you might consider strengthening your password formula to create stronger passwords.

With this information, you can make it harder for hackers to steal your precious bitcoin. The best bitcoin wallet security measures are not hard to implement, plus your service provider will always have excellent security functionality incorporated into the system to make your job easier. At least they will get most of your worries out of the way.

Attacks on Ethereum Wallet strengthen Ethereum

Transaction spam DDoS attack on Ethereum today

According to the ethereum blog, the Ethereum network was under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack earlier today. It was slowing down the network with transactions that are calling an opcode a huge amount of times. The transaction spam attack does not seem to be as serious as some of the previous attacks Ethereum has faced, and should be fixed quickly.

DDoS Attack on Ethereum today.
DDoS Attack on Ethereum today.

Coinbase CEO praise Ethereum, making some Bitcoin users feel jealous

Meanwhile, users in the Bitcoin subreddit are using this as an opportunity to bash Ethereum as Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced that Ethereum is better at scaling than Bitcoin.

I’m very interested in have digital currency scale, and I agree that Ethereum seems to be doing a much better job at this than bitcoin right now. But the future is still unknown.

-Brian Armstrong

It is incredible how Ethereum went from not even being mentioned, to “doing a much better job […] than bitcoin“. See this tweet from last year:

Tweet from 2015
Old tweet from 2015. The Coinbase CEO has clearly shifted his view since.

Transaction spam fixes planned to come this week

The good news for Ethereum users is that the problem is not causing memory overloads or any type of consensus issues (forks). The developers are already working towards medium-term fixes. To put it in perspective, Vitalik estimated that blocks were taking about 20 to 60 seconds to validate. This slowed down the block creation process by 2-3 times. Developers are encouraging miners to decrease the gas limit, and to increase the cache size as they work on more permanent fixes. Vitalik discusses the next steps towards mitigating this type of attack in the future in his blog post.

Geth Ethereum Wallet DoS bug fixed just days ago

It was only a few days prior where a transaction in the Ether blockchain crashed all the geth nodes on the network, just before DevCon 2. Of course, the developers quickly addressed the issue with the 1.4.12 ‘From Shanghai with Love’ Geth wallet update. The price of Ethereum stayed the same with no noticeable drop. Various denial of service attacks on Ethereum appear to be on the rise these days. Luckily whenever a bug is discovered, it is also quickly fixed by the developers.

These attacks on the digital currency presents itself as an opportunity for its developers to strengthen and fix the coin’s issues and vulnerabilities now, rather than later. It’s important for issues to be discovered as quickly as possible. As a result, small flaws now do not become huge flaws as Ethereum adoption increases.

Attacks on Ethereum Wallets help strengthen the network as Developers immediately fix problems. Ethereum is resilient.

For example, the strangely controversial hard fork which recovered millions of ETH was an absolutely necessary move. Since digital currency and Ethereum especially is still in its beginning stages, it’s vital to fix the broken issues now so that they do not develop into major concerns.

Without these attacks on Ethereum, it is likely that these bugs would be left undiscovered and untouched for a long period of time.

Switch to Parity, please

Parity is a client for Ethereum. Most nodes are running geth ethereum wallet. It’s understandable since the geth client is so easy to setup. But this can potentially cause large scale problems if geth (or any client) faces a bug. Hence, client diversity is a necessary component to securing the Ethereum network. Far too many users are running geth.

To switch, first install parity. Then without geth running, run the command parity –geth.