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The Importance of UI for the Safe Management of Crypto Transactions

Dhanesh Haridas

An attractive user interface draws our attention and persuades us to use it. It will trigger our eagerness or interest to use it at least once. The funny fact is that sometimes, the application may not have any value, it just connects a user with the application with a mesmerizing interface. Unknowingly, we fall for it and due to our bad luck, it’s a malware application. The application will take all our sensitive data and in the worst case, our bank or digital accounts get hacked and we start losing money from our accounts.

29-05-2020 14:04:00  |   Technology
You may be a victim of such an attack, the crypto world is no different. Every industry faces similar issues and even the application made by big guns may run out of security guards. If you’re using a cryptocurrency wallet in any platform, you need to know the possible attacks and how important it is to keep an eye on the user interface.

If you didn’t get the ‘user interface’ as a stress point, you must read on to learn its importance and value. You must know different types of possible security vulnerabilities that may happen to a website or an application.

What is a User Interface (UI) and what are the possible chances of attacks in UI?

The part where humans interact with an application or a website or simply a machine is commonly known as User Interface or UI. In the case of a digital wallet or an exchange, it’s important to keep the UI simple enough to keep easier user-friendliness.

The attack may initiate even from the stage when a user lands on the application or website which is already under malware attack. If the application is a secured state, then it’s safe to continue further. Yet, the one question that remains in our mind is how far is an application safe? Or how consistent an application or platform is, in terms of security measures.

The spoofing threats happen in the UI part when you’re ready to make a transaction or receive one. Let me remind you about one more definition which comes in handy in the next few sections. What is a crypto wallet? A crypto wallet is a digital wallet or software that stores the private key and wallet address of a user.

Your private key and wallet address is required to process a transaction. Suppose you’re going to transact 2 X coins to your seller’s wallet for purchasing a mobile device from their online store. The first thing you’re going to experience is obviously the user interface. You’re going to make a transaction from your wallet and what you see there is because of this UI medium.

Attacking the target wallet address

The seller generates a wallet address and sends it to you. All you have to do is send 2 X coins to that wallet address from your wallet using the private key. Where is the point of attack here? The attacker gets access to the wallet address you received from the seller. The attacker then swaps the address with his/hers. What you’re going to see is just an address and you’re going to send 2 X coins to the wallet address of the attacker.

The seller will never receive 2 X coins, in reality, you just made a transaction to the unknown wallet address of the attacker. How did the attacker manipulate the address? The attacker got access to the least secured user interface and changed the address with spoofing methods.

Moral of the story: Pay attention to the security elements of the application platform. An application with regular updates and security patches is an important notion that the app providers do care about the security aspects.

Multiple attacks on the same wallet address:

18-11-2019 14:58:27  |   Technology
You ring your seller and enquire whether they received the 2 X coins or not. The answer is NO. so, you think it’s just an error. Oops, no transaction history in your app to check the previous transaction. You never cared about it. The only option before you is to send the seller again. Mind one thing, you’re sending to the attacker once again! Did you just lose 4 X coins after the attempt?

Moral of the story: Always go through the platform or an application’s features. Care must be taken for every feature that has a certain value. The best solution for this issue is to ensure if the receiver is “actually” receiving the requested digital asset money. The best solution is to send a small amount to the wallet address that you received from the other end and make sure it finds the right destination. Maybe more trials, I know it’s time-consuming but it’s an option!

Mass attacks

The trading platform under attack scenario, mind it, it’s big. It’s more a tragedy! The above scenario was targeted based on a single address, but this time, it’s not just the throne but the entire kingdom that is under the attack.

The wallet address created and shared in a platform that is affected by malware is a tragedy with all accounts under attack. As a user on such a platform, you won’t be aware of the situation unless you’re being informed or the platform shuts the transactions.

Moral of the story: Choose a platform wisely, dig deep about their history. Check the reviews, past events, and updates. Even the crew behind the platform has to be considered under your study radar before choosing the best and well secured one.

A secure execution environment is much needed in all the above cases. Stress must be given to assure its importance. More attacks are possible unless proper security considerations are strictly followed. The creative option for finding the loopholes is to make a “hack through challenge”. If someone is able to crack your website, it’s a concern. But what if there exist multiple causes of cracking inside? It’s more than a concern, it’s called not being aware of the security compliances.

I know I just mentioned more than the concern of UI, an entire overview of the possible attacking scenario. But most of the above attacks are mostly due to the UI side. A trusted user interface is necessary and makes sure the users are on the trusted UI. The digital assets need to be secured in every means, and that’s important.

About the Author:

Dhanesh Haridas, CTO of Epixel MLM Software, has 12+ years of experience in enterprise software development. He is very keen on experimenting with the latest technological advancements. His areas of interest include artificial intelligence, software development, data science, business intelligence, blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, IoT, and so on.

Image courtesy of Freepik

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