Savings Archives -
Dear Liz: I am married and six months away from my full retirement age, which is 66. I have not filed yet. My wife started collecting Social Security at 62 but does not get very much. We are both in excellent health and have longevity in the genes. We don’t own a home. I have around $ 960,000 in…
A growing number of companies plan to use some of the savings they expect to realize from the tax overhaul to boost their contributions to employees’ 401(k) retirement-savings accounts.
WSJ.com: US Business
The GOP tax overhaul saved Wells Fargo & Co. more than $ 3 billion in the fourth quarter, but the bank also set aside more than $ 3 billion to cover costs related to ongoing problems with its consumer businesses, the company reported Friday.
In its earnings release for the fourth quarter and full…
Hardware wallets are regarded as one of the safest means of storing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Each device grants the holder possession of their private keys and adds a PIN code plus other tamer-proof tech for enhanced security. Hardware wallets are not impregnable, however, as one British man found to his peril after purchasing the device on Ebay.
Man in the Middle
Redditor moodyrocket is coming to terms with having his “life savings” wiped out this week, after $ 34,000 of crypto was stolen from his newly acquired Nano Ledger hardware wallet. The device was compromised, not due to any flaws in its design, but thanks to a man in the middle attack that saw the reseller insert their own recovery seed. The buyer then unwittingly began using the wallet, unaware that the default seed they were using had not been randomly assigned by the manufacturer. He explained:
I have not used my Ledger in a week, today I decide to check the value of my XRP, Litecoin and Dash only to discover that all of them showed up as zero and had been transferred somewhere else yesterday all around the same time at 7:30pm. I am not sure how this is possible as I have not access my Ledger in a week.
The victim was initially confused as to how the attack could have been successfully pulled off, before eventually twigging that the Ebay seller must have tampered with the device. After sharing his story on Reddit, Ledger reached out to moodyrocket and encouraged him to report the crime to “bring the eBay seller to justice”.
An Elaborate Hoax
The odds of the British-based victim getting his cryptocurrency back are remote, but his loss can at least be the community’s gain. The widespread attention the tale has received serves to highlight the dangers to anyone considering purchasing a hardware wallet from a third party. Auction sites, unaffiliated vendors, and merchants who have no formal partnership with wallet manufacturers should all be avoided.
The vast majority of resellers stocking wallets such as Ledgers and Trezors have no intention of meddling with the devices. But it only takes one unscrupulous entity to interfere with a wallet and pass it on to the unsuspecting buyer. The Ebay seller who duped moodyrocket had gone to great lengths to orchestrate the scam. The seed is meant to be generated by the device, but this purchase came with “scratch off” paper that revealed the seed.
Despite the security of hardware devices themselves, the weakest link is always the people using them. Even a raft of anti-theft tech can’t atone for human error. Had the victim reset the device and created a new seed he would have been fine. When presented with convincingly forged documentation, though, he naturally felt safe in sticking with the default seed. Purchasing hardware wallets directly from the manufacturer may take longer and cost more, but the alternatives just aren’t worth it.
Would you feel comfortable buying a hardware wallet from a third party? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Reddit.
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Dear Liz: I am 82, and my husband is 85. We are retired military, so we have a middling pension and some Social Security. Our monthly income of about $ 5,000 covers our monthly expenses. We rent in an independent living senior community. We have excellent health benefits via Tricare for Life. We…
Dear Liz: The wife and I are both 65. We both work, with a combined income of $ 125,000, of which we spend almost all. We have $ 550,000 in IRAs and $ 1 million in other investments, plus home equity of about $ 500,000. We’ll get $ 3,800 from Social Security if we start next year but plan to work until…
It was a slick con. In Brooklyn’s Chinatown, a small group of Chinese women working as a crew found their victim in another Chinese woman, this one a 61-year-old immigrant destined to lose her life savings in a “blessing scam.” A story by Jiayang Fan in the New Yorker lays…
It’s hard to know for sure, but President Trump may save a pretty penny if his administration’s “once in a generation” tax proposal goes into effect, despite Trump insisting earlier this week the plan is “not good for me.” The New York Times put Trump’s estimated net worth of $ 2….
Walt Disney Co. plans to shut down its vacation savings program because of low participation.
The Disney Vacation Account program, which started in 2013, allowed travelers to store money in an account to save up for a Disney vacation. Disney granted users a $ 20 bonus for every $ 1,000 stored in…