Probably some new Bitcoin users are wondering how to safely hold more crypto in times when the risk of someone hacking into the system is so high. This will not be a step-by-step guide to how to secure your wallet, but what can happen and what can we do to prevent it.
If someone is determined to take any steps, he or she will also find detailed instructions on how to follow them. There are many different solutions, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The more we want to be sure of the security of the measures, the more complicated the procedure has to be performed.
So let’s start gradually, we have a wallet on the computer’s hard drive, however, if someone gets into it they can steal bitcoins, so we set a password that will protect the private keys by encryption. If someone steals the password, he will take over the power over the funds, so to avoid the losses that would be caused by a keylogger or trojan, we create one more affluent offline wallet and the other only power the necessary funds. It may happen that the keylogger would still write down the keys and send them on the occasion of the first Internet connection. To remedy this, a new system should be uploaded to the disc or flash drive – I would recommend Tails, because it already has a wallet of Electrum. When we create such a wallet offline, on a fresh system running from a flash drive and other drives will not be active, we can feel quite safe.
Some people will decide to go one step further, what if we are the victims of man-in-the-middle attack? Maybe the version of Tails that we downloaded only looks like the original one, but it is actually substituted? Then cryptography comes to our aid again, the creators of Tails sign files with their private key and we can check if the file was modified or not, importing the public key and verifying the signature.
Can you be sure then that everything is all right? Well, let’s go even further with security and let’s assume that the public key owned by us, Tails creators, does not belong to them at all and could also be substituted. The key we have at our disposal can be checked using the web of trust, which is a method of authentication of people where trust is the sum of signatures of other participants in the network. If Alice confirms Bob and Bob confirms Charlie, then Alice can trust the files signed by Charlie to belong to him. This way, after checking other sources, or preferably another device, you can make sure that the keys we have are the correct ones.
After you have created your wallet and turned off your computer, you can always disconnect all power sources and remove the battery for a while – after all, in the computer’s memory, some data remains shortly after the shutdown (cold boot attack).
If you thought this was it, think about it, what about the hardware keylogger? Well, then we can either buy new hardware to do all the steps or, having the appropriate knowledge, make sure we don’t have a keylogger.
Of course, this is only one of the proposed procedures and it can be further improved, I also omitted the level of password complexity, considering it clear that “bitcoin1” will not protect your wallet.
The question is, how far are you able to go to make sure no one gets into your wallet?