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Bitcoin Halving 2024: increasing danger from phishing emails

The dg Group Detection Lab is currently registering more and more cases of crypto phishing. Although Bitcoin phishing is generally an important topic in email security, the current incidence is above average.

One reason for this is the high Bitcoin price (€ 48,578.97 as of February 19). Secondly, an important event in the crypto world is imminent that will further promote this upward trend: The Bitcoin Halving, which takes place approximately every four years and has a strong impact on the Bitcoin market. But why does the event attract so many cyber criminals? And how can you protect yourself as a Bitcoin owner?

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What is Bitcoin Halving?

Bitcoin halving is an event that takes place at regular intervals in the Bitcoin blockchain and halves the reward for mining new Bitcoins. This happens approximately every 210,000 blocks, which normally corresponds to a period of four years.

The background: Block rewards are rewards that miners receive for making their computing capacities available and which are also paid out in bitcoins. For miners, halving means that their rewards are halved. This can lead to less profitable miners ceasing their activities, which reduces supply in the long term. The supply shortage in turn results in an increase in the price of Bitcoin.

 

When is the Bitcoin Halving 2024?

The Bitcoin Halving Countdown is currently underway, as the next event is coming soon. Here you can see the history of previous Halvings:

  • 2012: Halving of the block reward to 25 bitcoins
  • 2016: Halving of the block reward to 12.5 bitcoins
  • 2020: Halving of the block reward to 6.25 bitcoins

The fourth Bitcoin halving will take place in 2024. The expected date is

Sunday, April 21, 2024,

dated. This time there is a reduction to 3.125 Bitcoin. However, the date can only be estimated, as the halving does not take place after a certain period of time, but always after the creation of 210,000 new Bitcoin blocks.

Bitcoin Halving

What is crypto phishing?

With crypto phishing, cyber criminals are after the private keys to your online wallets. This is how they want to gain access to your cryptocurrency.

As with conventional phishing, you will usually receive an email asking you to verify your account (or wallet). In this case, crypto-phishing requests your private key for the wallet. If you make the mistake of disclosing this information, the criminals gain immediate access to the cryptocurrency in the wallet.

Here you can see a typical crypto-phishing email captured by our Detection Lab:

Bitcoin price

Phishing emails often look authentic and use large company names, such as TrustWallet in this case. Customers of the companies in question are quickly tempted to follow up on the request, as they fear the consequences (e.g. account blocking) and the authentic appearance of the email makes it look legitimate. In addition, the request is often presented as urgent, which puts recipients under pressure to verify their account “within 24 hours”, for example.

 

Why is the risk for Bitcoin owners currently increasing?

There are currently two reasons why we consider the risk of crypto phishing to be particularly high for Bitcoin owners and why it could increase further:

  • The Bitcoin price is currently at a high level anyway (as at 19.02.: € 48,578.97).
  • The price will continue to rise as a result of the upcoming Bitcoin Halving 2024.

Crypto phishing therefore promises cyber criminals a high payout if the scam is successful. You should now act all the more cautiously if you own cryptocurrency.

 

How to protect yourself from crypto phishing

In general, you should be suspicious if you receive emails requesting information about your online wallets.

It is important to keep control of your private keys. Store your cryptocurrencies in secure wallets and never pass on your private keys to third parties. If you follow this advice, you will greatly reduce the risk of falling for crypto phishing.

To be on the safe side and protect yourself against all other forms of phishing, you should use a professional email security solution such as eXpurgate. This gives you reliable protection for your e-mail communication and your online wallets. Dangerous emails, such as crypto phishing, are blocked before they can reach your inbox.

 

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