How Web 3.0’s Features Impact Phishing
Because of the increased number of cyber-attacks in recent years, the protection of personal data has become a growing concern.
Users are becoming more aware of the ramifications of their data being shared with and employed by businesses, and this awareness is growing.
Meanwhile, the method in which user data is being utilized is being questioned by legislators. The vast majority of the public, on the other hand, continues to underestimate the true value of their data. Despite this, the concern that their data might be misused is quietly but steadily infiltrating the fabric of society via concerns such as polarisation, misinformation, confirmation bias, and other harmful impacts.
Through its decentralized nature, Web 3.0 emerges as one of the most reputable panaceas to the proliferation of data breaches and the prevalent lack of security, by leveraging the innovations brought by encryption mechanisms.
The current landscape of Phishing
For the most part, the e-mail address is the most often used attack vector of phishing against individuals and businesses alike, with an outstanding estimated 96% out of the total phishing attacks.
According to the results of an investigation of more than 55 million e-mails, one out of every 99 e-mails is a phishing assault.
The fact that 25 % of these e-mails make their way into Office 365, one of the most extensively used office suite packages globally with over 60 million business customers, is even more concerning. Furthermore, spear-phishing e-mails are utilized by almost two-thirds (65%) of all known entities that conduct targeted cyber assaults, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2019.
SMS scams have also seen an increase in recent years. Cybercrime targeting mobile devices is on the rise, just as mobile device use is on the rise. With texting being the most popular usage of smartphones, a few additional aspects contribute to making this an especially pernicious security threat.
Notable Data Leaks
Over the past decade, a series of notable data breaches have disrupted the integrity and privacy of internet users. Throughout 2015, hackers impersonated company colleagues inside the Sony corporation, sending fraudulent e-mails carrying malware to unsuspecting workers. Over 100 gigabytes of firm data were ultimately taken, including freshly released files, financial records, and client information. Sony lost more than $100 million as a result of this phishing attempt.
Yahoo disclosed details of a data breach in 2016 that impacted over 3 billion customer accounts. Yahoo revealed that the hack affected sensitive personal information such as names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and encrypted passwords.
Following a similar pattern, in May 2016, users of the social networking site MySpace were alerted that their previous profiles could be offered for sale online caused by a data breach tracing back to 2013. Time Inc., which acquired MySpace in February of that year, alleged a breach of 360 million accounts.
Last year, the personal information of 700 million LinkedIn users, or approximately 93 % of the company’s members, was available for purchase online. The data looked to be current, with 2020 and 2021 samples.
Web 3.0 – reducing the risk of phishing
The most significant innovation of these networks is the establishment of platforms that are not controlled by a single company but that everyone can still rely on. This is since every user and operator of these networks must adhere to the same set of hard-coded rules, which are referred to as consensus protocols. The secondary innovation is that these networks allow for the movement of value or money across accounts on the network.
Moving forward, decentralized applications (dApps) will play a quintessential role in the reduction of phishing activities.
Being able to create and manage an online account without the mandatory use of an email address is a big step forward when it comes to interacting with a dApp.
Take for example OpenSea
OpenSea is one of the innovative dApps that overpass the old, traditional password and username login credentials. Instead, they provide enhanced security by functioning on the basis of connecting a cryptocurrency wallet. Therefore, there is a higher degree of anonymity in contrast with previous platforms, with increased security in the context of data sharing.
Hence, technological innovation is on its way to tackling the issue of phishing. By using Web 3.0 and interacting with various platforms via the blockchain wallet, you may reduce the likelihood that personal information like your e-mail address or phone number would be disclosed in the case of a breach of that platform.
In order to connect yourself on a decentralized platform, a cryptocurrency wallet, such as MetaMask, stores and processes your data and cryptocurrency on the selected platform. You will be provided with a unique wallet address, which you will use to conduct transactions. Given that you’ll be interacting directly with people on the blockchain through platforms such as OpenSea, you’ll want a wallet to convert your browser activities into blockchain transactions. In order to comprehend the novel dynamics facilitated by Web 3.0, let’s explore the underlying steps that need to be taken to connect your wallet to Opensea:
- When you first access opensea.io, go to the top-right profile icon and choose “Profile.”
- After that, you will be requested to link your wallet. You’ll go through a series of questions before reaching the connection screen. You’re nearly done when you notice “Connecting…” OpenSea to your wallet.
- By default, your account will be “Unnamed,” displaying simply your wallet address below.
- You may now personalize your profile by changing your username and bio.
- OpenSea acts as a window into your wallet address, displaying all the interesting NFTs contained therein.
OpenSea does not store your digital assets; it is only a platform for buying, selling, creating, and trading NFTs.
Enhanced Security & Decentralisation
Distributed ledgers and blockchain storage will enable data decentralization and the creation of a transparent and safe environment, thereby replacing Web 2.0’s centralization, surveillance, and exploitative advertising with transparent and secure environments. Individuals will be able to legally control their data as a result of decentralized infrastructure and application platforms, which will replace centralized technology companies.
Many of the benefits of using dApps pertain to the platforms’ capacity to protect the privacy of their users. Users of decentralized applications do not have to disclose their personal information in order to make use of the services offered by the app. Decentralized applications make use of smart contracts to conduct transactions between two anonymous individuals without the need to depend on a central authority to facilitate the transaction.
Web 3.0 is on its way as a natural development of the internet and as a means of combating concerns around user privacy and data breaches. Blockchain will be the fundamental technology that drives this advancement at scale. Ultimately, end-users of decentralized applications will benefit the most from data encryption since it will secure their personal information from being disclosed to others. This fact is mostly facilitated by the replacement of old login credentials with crypto wallets, that upscale the security and anonymity of individuals.
OpenWord.io wishes to follow the same model when it comes to user data management. Click here to read our White Paper.