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Preventing a 5 Dollar Wrench Attack

This is part four of a Crypto Safety Series detailing common and preventable hacks that you need to know!
#cobo vault #hackseries • October 31, 2018

Introduction

What is the most primitive, but effective way of hacking? In this article, we will be exploring the 5 Dollar Wrench Attack, notable past incidents, and how you can safeguard your digital assets with Cobo Vault.

What is a 5 Dollar Wrench Attack?

As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So, what is the weakest link in a hardware wallet? It is none other than us, humans. A robber can simply beat you with a $5 wrench until you give up your private keys.

In 2018, a man known to have a substantial fortune in Ethereum was kidnapped by his friend and his accomplice. He was forced into transferring $1.8 million worth of ether to the kidnappers’ wallet address. Thankfully, the victim managed to escape and sought help from the police. The kidnapper was eventually apprehended but the accomplice was nowhere to be found.¹

Certainly, one moral of the story is: Never disclose how digitally rich you are.

How does Cobo prevent 5 Dollar Wrench Attacks?

Assuming that most hackers do not know how much crypto you initially have, you can simply hide the bulk of your crypto assets in a Hidden Vault or in a “dummy Hidden Vault”. A Hidden Vault is a secret vault that is created by generating a unique Passphrase on Cobo Vault. You can create an unlimited number of Hidden Vaults.

Since hackers are unable to know how many Hidden Vaults you own, you could claim that the main vault represent all the digital assets you own. (In reality, the majority of your digital assets would be stored in the Hidden Vault.) Similarly, you can create a “dummy Hidden Vault” in the event that the hacker knows about Hidden Vaults, you can show the hacker a “dummy Hidden Vault” that holds a small amount of your overall crypto assets.

To create a Hidden Vault you must go through a backdoor entrance described below. This backdoor entrance offers a unique and secure way to create and access your Hidden Vaults.

STEP 1

Go to “Settings — Create / Import Vault”

STEP 1A

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STEP 1B

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STEP 2

Enter your system password and then tap the “I read and agree.” Do not tap “Import Vault” or “Create Vault” instead tap on the top right corner of the screen 6 times to activate the Hidden Vault setup process

STEP 2A

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STEP 2B

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STEP 2C

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STEP 3

Input a Passphrase and tap confirm. The passphrase may not exceed 30 characters, has no minimum length, can contain letters, numbers, and symbols and is case sensitive.

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