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HomeSecurityCrypto Investor Loses Over $100,000 Despite High-Security Measures: A Cautionary Tale

Crypto Investor Loses Over $100,000 Despite High-Security Measures: A Cautionary Tale


Despite taking rigorous security measures to protect his assets, Matthias Mende, co-founder of the Dubai Blockchain Center and founder of the social verification project Bonuz, recently fell victim to a hacker, resulting in a loss exceeding $100,000. Mende shared his harrowing experience with Cointelegraph, emphasizing the persistent risks in the crypto space and the challenges even experienced investors face.

Funds Mysteriously Drained

On June 25, Mende reported that over $100,000 in crypto assets, along with his Solana Name Service (SNS) domains “mende.sol” and “bonuz.sol,” had been stolen. Mende, who has always adhered to high-security practices and avoided suspicious links, was bewildered by the breach. He stated he never kept his seed phrases digitally and had no prior indications of a security lapse.

Mende detailed how the incident unfolded after participating in a Solana (SOL) token presale. Initially feeling positive about the investment, he discovered a few days later that his wallet had been emptied. The hacker first withdrew 320 SOL tokens, worth approximately $46,000. Realizing additional tokens were in the wallet, the attacker returned some SOL tokens to cover gas fees before fully draining the wallet, bringing the total loss to around $100,000.

“I thought that my heart would stop. I slapped myself in the face just to wake up because I thought maybe I was sleeping and it was a nightmare, but it was absolutely real,” Mende recounted. Despite the devastation, he chose to focus on the present and take actionable steps to address the breach.

Commitment to Web3 Security

Mende’s shock was compounded by his longstanding commitment to Web3 security. In 2023, he launched Bonuz, a blockchain-based solution aimed at combating social identity theft. His use of the Brave browser and adherence to secure practices did not prevent the breach, highlighting the sophisticated methods employed by bad actors in the crypto space.

“I did not click any funny links. I did not connect the wallet with any funny stuff since I’m very secure. I used the Brave browser,” Mende asserted, emphasizing his meticulous approach to online security.

Urgent Appeal and Investigation

In the wake of the theft, Mende promptly reported the incident to Dubai’s cybercrime unit, hoping to freeze the stolen funds once transferred to exchanges. He is also working with forensic experts to track the hacker, although the perpetrator’s identity remains unknown.

“We know exactly where the coins are, and the good thing is that if the cybercrime unit determines that the hackers are in the UAE, they will arrest them directly,” Mende stated. He also issued a public appeal on social media, urging the hacker to return the funds within two days to avoid legal action. “This money will always be traced and will always get back to you. That’s blockchain. Please return the money within two days, and I will forgive you and not take any legal action,” Mende posted on X. Unfortunately, the hacker did not respond.

Lessons and Cautionary Measures

Mende’s experience serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities that persist in the crypto space, even for seasoned investors with robust security measures. The incident underscores the need for continuous vigilance, advanced security practices, and the importance of promptly addressing and reporting breaches to mitigate potential losses. As the crypto industry evolves, so too must the strategies to protect against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats.

Source: Cointelegraph


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