Ledger Wallet Releases Statement: User Funds Not at Risk
A few days ago, headlines started to appear on cryptocurrency sites referring to a possible security flaw in Ledger hardware wallets, which could cause users to inadvertently send funds to an attacker’s wallet. These attacks, known as ‘Man in the Middle’, are designed to infiltrate a user’s computer and change the wallets’ receive address displayed on the Chrome app that displays your wallet information. However, his means the hardware wallets themselves don’t have security flaws, but rather the PC that is connected to them could be vulnerable to malware.
The thing is, this is not a new threat. Actually, it is the very reason why Ledger and companies like it have developed hardware wallets, particularly those with dedicated displays on the device itself. Hardware wallets provide a layer of protection between your funds and a computer that may or may not be compromised by a virus that tracks everything displayed on the screen. Researchers for Ledger actually published a proof of concept attack designed to test the success of such a virus in a real-world scenario. It was made to download onto a victim’s computer and actively change the receive address in the Ledger Chrome application to a different address, effectively redirecting funds into the attacker’s wallet without the person having any idea until it was too late.
Ledger’s statement went on to explain how this particular phishing tactic has never actually fooled a Ledger user before and only serves as a controlled demonstration of how the process would work.
“The only thing users can completely trust is what is displayed on the screen of their Ledger hardware wallet. The Ledger Wallet Bitcoin Chrome application also has a dedicated icon) allowing the user to display the receiving address on their Ledger device. When the user clicks on this icon, the correct address is generated by the wallet and displayed on the Ledger hardware wallet’s screen. This is the only information you can trust.”
Since the device has a display that essentially separates the potentially infected computer from any coins on the wallet, the company urges people to always double check that their address matches the one displayed on the device itself.
Image via: Medium