TL;DR- Yes, your MetaMask wallet can be hacked. While a hacker can gain access to your account, it’s preventable. If safety is your top priority (and should be), you must get a hardware wallet like a Ledger.
Crime is everywhere in crypto, and Metamask is no exception, unfortunately.
Metamask is one of the most popular wallets out there. It’s free, easy to download, and compatible with most browsers like Google Chrome. It’s a great platform to send funds between exchanges and DeFi platforms that pay out interest.
If you want to be profitable in cryptocurrency, you’ve got to maintain healthy privacy practices.
What is Metamask wallet?
Metamask is a software wallet or ‘hot wallet.’ Your Metamask wallet holds a private key, which It uses to sign transactions on the blockchain digitally. When you create a new Metamask wallet, Metamask gives you a seed phrase or secret recovery phrase. Most people take this seed phrase and physically write it down and keep it someplace safe at home.
Other types of crypto wallets
The two other types of wallets that can hold crypto are:
Hardware wallets (cold wallets or cold storage): These are USB-drive-like devices that store your private keys.
Exchange wallets: These are wallets held for you by crypto exchanges. They’re not really yours. All you have when you purchase cryptocurrency from an exchange is an “I owe you” for that crypto.
How to protect yourself from a hack
If you have a newly created account, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from all the fuckwad hackers and scammers:
- Never, ever give your seed phrase to anyone. Treat your seed phrase like private information. Hackers will issue fake emails asking for your seed phrase because there’s an update and you’ll lose your crypto if you don’t give it to them.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). This way anytime someone tries to log in to your wallet, they have to get approval from your mobile device.
- Double and triple-check the cryptocurrency addresses to which you’re sending your funds.
- Be very careful whenever asking for help on Reddit, Twitter, or any other social platform, since scammers patrol these pages to look for their next victims.
How could someone hack a Metamask wallet?
Phishing scams are, by and large, the most common type of attack. All an attacker needs are for you to click a link, and he takes control of your computer. If you’re already signed in to Metamask on your computer, the hacker would go onto your Metamask and send your crypto funds to his wallet.
With a phishing scam, attackers don’t even need your secret recovery phrase. There are also many malicious phishing websites populated with several links to hijack your computer.
There are loads of suspicious phishing websites out there- an excellent way to tell if a website is secure is by looking for the lock icon in the top left of your browser.
There are several ways to tell if your computer has been compromised.
If you ended up giving away your seed phrase to anyone, you should consider yours a compromised account. If someone else knows your seed phrase, move your funds off your account and make a new account.
First, you’ll see crypto transactions that are unauthorized/that you don’t recognize. This Is someone stealing your funds.
Stealing your secret recovery phrase
Hackers and scammers will do everything possible to get your recovery phrase. If a hacker has your secret recovery phrase, they don’t need access to your computer- they can log into your account on their computer.
Hackers can use brute force methods to guess your secret recovery phrase, but doing so is tricky.
Fake metamask extension
Hackers have created a fake metamask extension- that is, you download this extension and send or buy crypto with it, and the hackers take it. Make sure that when you download MetaMask, you only get it from metamask.io. It has to be from the actual site when you install Metamask.
Hackers are good at making the software look like the real metamask. They could hack your machine via a phishing attack, install a fake Metamask extension, and ask you to enter your secret recovery phrase- and then take it.
What If I have trouble logging into my metamask?
First, clear your browser history. This can be quickly done on Google chrome. Then try signing into your MetaMask account.
If you’re still having trouble, you can contact Metamask support. Metamask support can’t help with stolen funds or get stolen funds restored, but they can help you with login issues. MetaMask has a community forum where loads of other users like you have had trouble and gotten help.
Be very careful when asking for help from a community, and make sure anyone you’re talking to Is a verified customer support agent at MetaMask.
What it I’ve been hacked?
There’s not much that can be done. It’s unlikely you’ll get your funds restored. You could try contacting Metamask support, but they don’t refund you anything or get your crypto back. This is an unfortunate downside to not having an exchange wallet like on Coinbase, where at least there’s a chance you’ll get your crypto refunded.
If you’re missing funds, there are a few possible reasons. One could be that you made a transaction and forgot about it. You can go to Etherscan to see which wallet the transaction went to. If you see a bunch of unauthorized transactions, chances are you’ve got a compromised account. Those transactions are likely going to the hacker’s wallet. You can report hacker wallets to the FBI or whatever federal police body exists within your country.
If you forgot your Metamask seed phrase, here’s how to quickly find it.
Your wallet doesn’t actually hold your crypto
All your wallet does, whether it’s a Metamask wallet, a hardware wallet, or an exchange wallet, is store your secret/private keys. Your crypto exists on the blockchain– that is, somewhere in the immutable ledger, it says, “this is chad’s wallet, its public address is XYZ, it’s the private key that it used to sign the transaction are ABC, and this account holds 4.3 Ethereum” (wouldn’t that be nice?)
None of this is financial advice, and I’m not a financial advisor! Be very, VERY careful out there with crypto. Guard your crypto assets and your Metamask account with your life. Do your research before investing in ANYTHING.