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 Q3 2023, web3 scammers and hackers managed to steal $890 million 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.
If you’re interested in learning more about web3 security tools, our informative video guide is just what you need.
In the video, our friendly and professional expert will introduce you to web3 security features as well as essential security tools designed specifically for the web3 ecosystem. So, sit back, relax, and join us on a journey through the top web3 security tools that can strengthen your online presence and provide peace of mind.
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 messages, malicious smart contracts, copymints, rug pulls, poisoning attacks, fake airdrops, and impersonation.
Let’s take a closer look at how these web3 scams 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.
Phishing websites often try 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 their wallet.
Malicious smart contracts
Web3 fraudsters can encode some kind of dangerous logic into their smart contracts, such as the ability to pause and restrict a transaction, delegate calls to other contracts, burn tokens, give the contract creator access to all assets in the user’s wallet, and more.
Plus, scammers can exploit vulnerabilities of already existing contracts such as errors in contracts’ logic, default visibility, or timestamp dependence.
Discover the most common smart contract vulnerabilities to to safeguard your digital assets and investments
Copymints are plagiarized or fake NFT collections that violate authors’ rights. Such tokens have no collector value and are banned by the marketplaces. So if you happen to buy a copymint, you will not be able to sell it on any reputable marketplace.
Rug pull is a scam happening when fraudulent developers create artificial hype around their projects and make them seem very promising and trustworthy. However, once such projects collect the intended amount of investors’ money, all traces that they ever existed disappear.
In a poisoning attack, scammers deceive users into sending their assets to a fraudulent address. They achieve this by creating a deceptive address that closely resembles one the user has previously interacted with. Then fraudsters “poison” the user’s transaction history with this address by sending them a small amount of crypto.
This way scammers hope that next time the user sends assets, they will mistakenly copy the fabricated address instead of the actual one and send funds right to the attackers.
New W3A projects often launch airdrops to attract public interest. Scammers see it as an advantageous opportunity to fool people and create fake airdrops.
Here’s how it typically unfolds: fraudsters send emails or text messages claiming that the user has been randomly selected to receive free tokens and provide a link for claiming them. The link transfers the user to a phishing website that prompts them to connect their wallet. As you’ve already guessed, the next moment this wallet gets drained completely.
Impersonation scams happen when fraudsters pretend to be some crypto celebrity or a team member of a successful web3 project. The goal is to deceive users into revealing their wallet credentials or transferring their assets to the scammers.
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.
W3A also has a Dashboard section which is a control panel where you can monitor your web3 activity, revoke your token approvals to dApps, and check other users’ wallets information, such as portfolio value and wallet health.
Make sure your smart contracts are tamper-proof with our audit services
Fire is a Chome web3 security extension that guards your crypto transactions. To discover potential risks such as phishing contracts and unsanctioned approvals, the solution runs a transaction simulation and presents you the results.
The extension interprets signed messages, displaying the assets that will be transferred in and out of the wallet. It also specifies the type of transaction and the associated gas fees.
In addition, Fire allows you to check your token approvals to dApps. This way, you can identify what projects have access to your assets and revoke undesired approvals directly in the extension.
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.
Blockem can initiate transaction simulation allowing users to see what will happen if they approve the transaction. Plus, the solution can perform contract analysis without transaction initiation, you just need to insert a contract address. This way users can make a carefully considered decision about whether to continue the interaction or not.
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.
Wallet Guard is a Chrome web3 security extension that protects users from various risks, including phishing websites, malicious sign requests, honeypots, and more.
With Wallet Guard’s transaction simulator, users can see what contracts and assets will participate in a transaction, facilitating more informed decision-making.
Furthermore, the extension’s Stormwatcher feature leverages advanced ML algorithms and data analytics to effectively identify wallet drainers. Instead of depending on predefined blocklists, Wallet Guard meticulously scrutinizes the website’s content, structure, and behavior patterns to uncover any malicious code. This method ensures that scammers can no longer evade detection by merely altering the website’s URL, making it a more robust approach.
Plus, Wallet Guard has a Security Dashboard that provides users with a list of granted token approvals and allows them to easily revoke those approvals if needed. The dashboard also provides a comprehensive transaction analysis report and evaluates the wallet version.
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 Qtum wallet — a mobile crypto wallet with multi asset support
4. Do your research
Never invest in a crypto project or a token without a thorough research on its founders, background, and whitepaper. This will help to ensure the credibility and reliability of the project.
5. Use trusted platforms
Opt for well-known and tried-and-true platforms for buying, selling, or exchanging your crypto assets. These platforms maintain strong safety measures since a security breach can greatly damage their reputation and lead to financial losses.
6. 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.
7. Update your software regularly
If you forget to timely update your software, especially your crypto wallet, you may miss
important security enhancements and critical bug fixes. So, remember to make regular revisions of your software to ensure you have the latest versions.
8. 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.
Learn about DeFi security challenges and find out how to overcome them
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.