Address Poisoning attacks-themetaeconomist

What do you know about Address Poisoning attacks?

15 May 2024

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Address poisoning is a type of attack aimed at holders of cryptocurrencies. It's a kind of attack where someone watches a blockchain for transactions, then sends a small amount of crypto to an address that looks very similar to the original one.

Address poisoning can indeed be a significant concern in the crypto space. It's a form of phishing attack where attackers try to trick users into sending funds to a fraudulent address by creating one that looks very similar to a legitimate one. This is often done by making slight modifications to the characters or using visually similar characters.

For example, they might change a lowercase "L" to an uppercase "i" or add an extra character that's hard to notice at a glance. Unsuspecting users might not notice the difference and end up sending their funds to the attacker's address instead of the intended recipient.

To mitigate the risk of falling victim to address poisoning, users should always double-check the addresses they are sending funds to, preferably by using copy-and-paste rather than typing them manually. Additionally, using hardware wallets or wallets with built-in address verification mechanisms can provide an extra layer of security. It's also essential for crypto users to stay informed about common phishing tactics and remain vigilant when conducting transactions.

How to protect yourself from "Address Poisoning":

Address poisoning is quite a tricky issue in the crypto space. This attack involves the creation of a crypto address that looks like the original one by attackers, with the aim of deceiving the owner of the original address, inducing him to make a transaction to the wrong address.
Address poisoning takes advantage of the fact that many cryptocurrency transactions and wallets have long strings of characters that are difficult to verify at a glance.
In fact, attackers changes only a few characters in the middle. The goal is to deceive the user, pushing him to send funds to the wrong address during copy and paste.

Pratice advices to protect yourself from Address Poisoning

To protect your wallet from Address Poisoning there are several good practices to follow:

  • Always check the addresses: after pasting an address, always verify the entire crypto address. This is especially crucial if you are sending a large amount of #cryptocurrency.
  • Use the withelist features. Most reputable wallets offer an address book feature where you can save and label commonly used addresses, and activate the whitelist. By using this feature, you can AVOID having to manually enter the address every time, reducing the risk of errors or tampering. Thanks to the whitelist you will only be able to send crypto to the addresses you have previously enabled.
  • Use a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets offer an additional layer of security by allowing you to verify addresses on the hardware device itself, rather than relying on the security of your computer or smartphone.
  • Update your devices regularly. Keeping your software updated can prevent malware that could alter the contents of your clipboard, and which is often a vector for address poisoning attacks.
  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest security threats and common phishing tactics in the crypto community. Being aware of potential risks can help you recognize suspicious activity and take appropriate precautions.
  • Utilize multi-signature wallets: Consider using wallets that require multiple signatures to authorize a transaction. This adds an extra layer of security by ensuring that more than one party must approve any outgoing transfers.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA): Protect your accounts with two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access. This adds an additional layer of security beyond just using a password.
  • Never copy-pasted a wallet address and sent crypto without thinking twice about it!

Final Considerations


By taking proactive measures to protect your transactions and informing yourself in advance about potential risks, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such attacks. By adopting these proactive measures and staying vigilant, individuals can better safeguard their crypto transactions against address poisoning and other malicious activities.

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