How to Protect Your Crypto From Evil Twin Attacks

2023/07/12 13:25:04

While holding crypto in your portfolio can make you feel liberated, it also carries a couple of responsibilities with it — one of them being protecting yourself from crypto scams. Before you connect to a free public Wi-Fi network again, you should know what an Evil Twin attack is, as well as how to prevent it.

Here at KuCoin, we place top priority on user security, which is why we've started the #ThinkBeforeYouInvest campaign — your one-stop shop for crypto security education.

Stay tuned to learn about Evil Twin attacks, how they work, how to spot them, and what you can do to protect yourself. Let’s get started!

What Is an Evil Twin Attack?

An Evil Twin attack is a type of cybersecurity exploit that's typically associated with Wi-Fi networks. In this scenario, a malicious actor sets up a fraudulent Wi-Fi access point that looks exactly like the original — hence the name “Evil Twin.” This network appears identical to the real access point, making the users unable to distinguish between the two.

When users connect to the malicious access point, the attacker can then intercept the users' data, including login details, credit card numbers, or crypto private keys.

In a broader context, an “Evil Twin” can also refer to any attempt of copying the original in order to extract data from victims. This may include fake websites or applications that look like the real ones. However, the exact term is used for fake Wi-Fi networks in most cases.

The Danger of Evil Twin Attacks in Crypto

Imagine coming to your favorite internet cafe for a morning latte and bringing your laptop to do some work while enjoying the ambient. You get your coffee, sit in a nice spot, and look for the cafe’s high-speed internet connection.

You are now connected, and everything works great. However, the internet connection fails after some time. You think nothing of it and try to reconnect. It doesn’t work. However, you spot another Wi-Fi access point with the same name — it must be some kind of a glitch, right?

You successfully connect to it and continue with your day, not knowing that this is the Evil Twin Wi-Fi connection. The attacker collects your data as you continue using your laptop, and eventually stumbles across your crypto exchange username and password, or (even better) crypto wallet private keys, and empties your wallet.

The main aim of an Evil Twin attack is to trick users into revealing sensitive information using the internet like they always do. The reason why these attacks are so dangerous is because they are incredibly hard to spot if you don’t pay attention to details and are already aware of how it works.

How to Spot an Evil Twin Attack

Here are some of the main red flags you can spot in order to avoid an Evil Twin Wi-Fi network:

  • Two similar networks: If you see two Wi-Fi networks with nearly identical or identical names, be suspicious. One could be an Evil Twin. Genuine networks rarely have two access points with names that are nearly or exactly the same. If you want to connect to a public network and are unsure which one is the real one, you could always ask the staff if they could point you to the right one.
  • Unsecured networks: Always be wary of networks that don't require a password, as they may be set up by attackers. Legitimate businesses typically secure their networks with a password of sorts.
  • Unusual sign-in requests: If you're asked to sign into a network you're already familiar with and have used before, this could be a sign of an Evil Twin network trying to gain access to your information and crypto holdings.
  • Suspicious Landing Page: If you are immediately redirected to a specific page or asked to install specific software upon connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, you should be wary of it being an Evil Twin.
  • Slow Network Performance: If your Wi-Fi connection is suspiciously slow, this could be a good indicator that someone is intercepting and analyzing your data.

As mentioned in the previous section, the reason Evil Twin attacks are so dangerous is because they are so hard to spot. You should always exercise caution when it comes to public Wi-Fi networks — especially if you are connecting form a device that has access to sensitive information such as your wallet private keys or crypto exchange login credentials. It's better to avoid connecting to a network if you're unsure of its legitimacy.

Protective Measures Against Evil Twin Attacks

Here are some strategies to protect yourself against Evil Twin attacks:

  • Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts all your data, making it harder for attackers to decipher even if they manage to intercept it.
  • HTTPS Everywhere: Install and use the HTTPS Everywhere (or a similar) extension on your browser. This will force it to use HTTPS-only websites, providing an extra layer of security.
  • Turn off auto-connect: Disable automatic connection to open Wi-Fi networks on your devices. This drastically reduces the chance of unknowingly connecting to malicious networks.
  • Confirm network identity: If you're in a public place, ask staff for the correct name of their Wi-Fi network and any password required.
  • Network sharing settings: Turn off file and printer sharing and network discovery for public networks.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for all of your critical accounts. This provides an extra layer of security in case someone does obtain your login credentials. Additionally, enable other account protection security features such as anti-phishing code.
  • Use a personal hotspot: If possible, use your phone's data instead of public Wi-Fi. This is a more secure way of accessing the internet than a public network.
  • Use cold wallets: If you have large amounts of crypto, place it in a secure cold wallet such as a hardware wallet. This way, the wallet won’t have access to the internet, and even if the attackers gain access to your laptop, they won’t be able to reach your crypto holdings.

Remember, the key to protection against Evil Twin attacks is maintaining good cybersecurity hygiene.

What to Do If You Fall Victim to an Evil Twin Attack

If you’ve noticed that something feels wrong, disconnect from the suspicious network immediately to prevent any further data from leaking. Additionally, change passwords to accounts that contain sensitive information immediately. Your last immediate step will be to enable two-factor authentication and any other security measure available as soon as possible.

Your next steps would be to monitor your accounts and see if anything has changed. This includes monitoring your email, bank accounts, credit cards, exchange accounts, and crypto wallets. Additionally, you can use a reliable antivirus program to run a complete scan of your device for any potential malware or viruses that may have been installed.

If the damage has already been done and your crypto funds are gone, contact the crypto wallet or exchange support team to see if there’s anything they can do. Additionally, contact your local cybersecurity unit and report the data breach.

While the recovery process after an Evil Twin attack may take some time, these steps can help mitigate potential damage and prevent future attacks. Once again, the key to not losing funds to Evil Twin attacks is to create a strong cybersecurity hygiene routine that will prevent you from ever connecting to a malicious network, rather than mitigating the damage once it is done.


Crypto’s rise in popularity brought with it an array of security threats, including Evil Twin attacks. These malicious attacks, while daunting, can be combated effectively with the right knowledge and tools at your disposal.

At the end of the day, navigating the world of cryptocurrencies should not only be about capitalizing on its opportunities, but also about understanding and mitigating its risks. We hope that this article has empowered you with the knowledge to not only spot and avoid Evil Twin attacks, but also to take swift action if necessary. Stay safe and secure in your digital journey, and always #ThinkBeforeYouInvest.

Further Reading

  1. Top 3 API Key Security Tips You Should Know for Crypto Trading
  2. How to Bulletproof Your Crypto Holdings From Ransomware Attacks
  3. What Are Angler Phishing Attacks? Definition, Risks, and Prevention
  4. KYC in Crypto User Information Security-Why It Matters
  5. What is the Safest Way to Store Cryptocurrencies?
  6. The Difference Between Custodial and Non-Custodial Crypto Wallets
  7. How to Protect Your Mobile Device From Crypto Scams
  8. Phishing Attacks: How to Recognize and Avoid Crypto Scams
  9. How to Protect Your Crypto Funds From E-mail Phishing Scams

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