The growing popularity of web3 is attracting lots of people…including scammers. Luckily, there are reliable web3 security solutions helping you repulse malicious activity and stay safe.
Web3 is brimming with innovative and engaging concepts, from non-fungible tokens to the metaverse. Once fully developed, this virtual space promises to radically change the way we use the internet. However, to gain mass adoption, web3 needs to drastically reduce the amount of crypto fraud.
In 2022, web3 scammers and hackers managed to steal $3.9 billion worth of crypto assets.
Which web3 security tools can detect potential risks and protect you when making crypto transactions and exploring websites? Read on to find out.
What are the most common web3 scams?
Web3 scammers are creative in the extreme, coming up with sophisticated fraud schemes designed to catch you off guard and steal your crypto assets. The most common dangers you may face in the web3 space include phishing websites, malicious smart contracts, copymints, and poisoning attacks. Let’s take a closer look at how they work.
- Phishing websites imitate domain names and design of official websites, and lure you into disclosing your wallet credentials. For example, opensun.io or opeensea.io can claim to be opensea.io, one of the top NFT marketplaces.
- Malicious smart contracts carry some kind of dangerous logic, such as the ability to pause and restrict the transaction, delegate calls to other contracts, burn tokens, give the contract creator access to all assets in the user’s wallet, and more. Scammers can exploit vulnerabilities of already existing contracts or create their own malicious smart contracts.
- Malicious messages are used by phishing websites to trick a user into signing a message looking similar to an authentication request or a sign up for a whitelist. In reality, after signing this message it is very much likely that all user’s assets will disappear from the wallet.
- Copymints are plagiarized or fake NFT collections that violate authors’ rights. Such tokens have no collector value and are banned by the marketplaces.
- Poisoning attacks occur when scammers create a wallet address that has similar first and last characters to the user’s wallet. They are designed to trick the user into believing that it is their address and mistakenly send assets to fraudsters.
Learn more about the most interesting web3 use cases
Overview of the top 5 web3 security tools
The most popular web3 security solutions are browser extensions that protect users in real-time. We have prepared an overview of the most robust extensions with a detailed comparison of each tool’s features and capabilities.
Web3 Antivirus, or W3A, is a security extension for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge browsers. W3A allows users to explore the web3 space with confidence by analyzing all transactions and instantly warning users about any threats.
For easy understanding, W3A reports are color-coded, with high risks being indicated by red, medium by yellow, and low by green. Once a user receives a report, they are prompted to decide whether they want to proceed or block the transaction.
The extension presents full transaction details, smart contract data, and risks, if any. Among the risks W3A can spot are malicious code patterns and methods, dangerous signing requests, proxy contracts, poisoning attacks, ice phishing, and more.
Web3 Antivirus not only analyzes the contract a user is interacting with, but also traces all linked contracts to make sure no malicious logic is hidden in the chain of contracts. Additionally, W3A simulates a transaction to show exactly what assets a user will grant access to, give away, and receive.
The extension conducts thorough examination of a token’s characteristics such as its type, creation date, owners, price, and smart contract to determine whether the transaction is safe. In addition, it has a specific module for non-fungible tokens analysis.
Make sure your smart contracts are tamper-proof with our audit services
The TrustCheck web3 security tool guards your crypto transactions. It is a machine learning-powered Chrome plugin that executes transaction simulation and searches for red flags, including malicious logic and compromised permissions.
The extension leverages blocklists and allowlists to streamline the verification of crypto wallets, token collections, URLs, and smart contracts. The scams TrustCheck detects include malicious code patterns, phishing websites, drainers, risky approvals, dangerous signing requests, etc.
Besides, TrustCheck users get a visualization of the transaction they are going to make, with the tokens’ metadata such as names and addresses being presented as human-readable data and accompanied by relevant icons and images.
For users requiring more precise technical details, the tool displays the full decoded function parameters for the pending transaction on the transaction details tab.
Blockem is a Chrome extension that conducts real-time transaction validation to prevent fraudulent activity.
The tool performs an in-depth analysis of the Ethereum network to validate whether the address a user interacts with is trustworthy. Users can also get a detailed overview of the address’ activity such as information about its first and last transactions, and the number of tokens it holds.
Blockem can initiate transaction simulation to allow users to see what will happen if they approve the transaction so that they can make a carefully considered decision about whether to proceed or not. Plus, users can view transaction simulation even without initiating the transaction itself, just by inserting an address.
Pocket Universe is a browser extension that monitors web3 transactions and alerts users if some suspicious activity is found. Supported browsers include Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.
To detect the risks, Pocket Universe runs a transaction on a forked copy of the blockchain and checks the outcome. Then a user gets a notification with transaction details and an overview of what could go wrong if they sign the transaction. Besides, the extension shows transaction visualization and highlights the protocol a user is interacting with.
Pocket Universe can detect scams such as fake collections, wallet drainers, phishing websites, and honeypot schemes.
Stelo is an anti-scam web3 plugin for Chrome and Brave browsers. It checks crypto transactions against potential threats and sends users a comprehensive report, including transaction details and detected risks, in a readable format.
To check the transaction, Stelo pauses it for a couple of seconds to run through all the parameters and conclude whether it is safe. The solution has custom allowlists and blacklists of websites and addresses which help conduct transaction examination faster. After receiving the report, a user can decide to continue or cancel the transaction.
PixelPlex web3 safety tips
Over the time spent working on numerous web3 projects, our team has gained invaluable insights on how to stay safe in the web3 space. Based on that experience, we have prepared a list of the key safety measures you should take to feel protected while exploring web3.
1. Never share your private key and seed phrase
Take care to store your private key and seed phrase in a highly reliable and confidential way and never share them with anyone. Once you disclose these credentials, your wallet and all assets in it are compromised.
The best option is to write them down on a piece of paper and hide it in a safe place. We do not recommend keeping private keys and seed phrases on your computer or phone as they can be hacked.
2. Choose a non-custodial wallet
The crucial advantage of non-custodial wallets over custodial ones is that the user is entirely responsible for the safety of keys. Some of the most popular non-custodial wallets include MetaMask, Ledger Nano X, Exodus, and Coinbase Wallet.
For increased security, choose a hardware wallet/cold wallet, rather than a software-based hot one. These wallets keep your tokens disconnected from the internet entirely for an additional layer of safety. The list of best cold wallets include Trezor, Atomic Wallet, and SafePal S1.
3. Use several wallets
It is highly advisable to have several crypto wallets. So, for example, you can have a wallet holding your most valuable assets and a wallet that you use to make transactions and connect to dApps. This way, you can store precisely the amount and type of tokens you need for a particular transaction without exposing all your assets to risks.
Check out Qutum wallet — a mobile crypto wallet with multi asset support
4. Stay focused
Be very attentive when signing a message or a transaction, and double-check all details, including sender and recipient address, the list of tokens involved in the transaction, etc.
Also, pay great attention to the links you follow, since phishing websites often mimic reputable ones.
5. Install a robust web3 security tool
Once again we highlight the importance of getting a reliable web3 anti-scam solution. Even well-versed tech specialists sometimes get tricked by the elaborate schemes fraudsters use, so it is always a good idea to have a full-fledged web3 security assistant.
Web3 is a space of endless opportunities, attracting people with its innovative financial, business, and entertainment solutions. Yet all prosperous endeavors are also magnets for fraudsters, and even though everyone knows how important it is to stay alert when exploring and interacting in web3, we make careless mistakes.
That’s why having a robust web3 security tool is a must to enjoy the full web3 experience without fear of being caught off guard.
Need a more detailed consultation on what security solution suits your needs best? Drop us a line and our experienced blockchain consultants will gladly provide you with all possible assistance.