Mark Cuban Loses Nearly $900,000 in MetaMask Fake Wallet Hack
Billionaire and "Shark Tank" star Mark Cuban re-entered the crypto space over the weekend, only to face an unfortunate hack that resulted in losses of approximately $870,000 across various cryptocurrencies.
The incident came to light when on-chain analysts noticed unusual activity draining Cuban's crypto wallet, leading to immediate alerts and the prevention of further losses.
A user known as WazzCrypto was the first to raise concerns about the suspicious transfers, drawing attention to them late on Friday.
After becoming aware of the apparent attack, Mark Cuban promptly transferred $2 million worth of USDC to Coinbase as a precautionary measure.
In response to inquiries from DL News, Cuban confirmed the hack, stating that "someone got me for 5 ETH."
Cuban suspected that someone had been tracking his activity, revealing that he had recently used MetaMask for the first time in months. He believed that he inadvertently downloaded a counterfeit version of MetaMask, a widely-used browser extension for cryptocurrency wallets.
The hack occurred while he was attempting to tidy up his account using his mobile phone. He explained that MetaMask had crashed a couple of times, leading him to stop using it, but then he received an email alerting him to the suspicious activity.
Cuban clarified that only the specific account that was hacked incurred losses, while his other accounts remained unaffected.
Mark Cuban has previously expressed keen interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, displaying a mix of enthusiasm and caution. In 2019, he made headlines by announcing that his NBA team would accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets and merchandise, a significant step towards mainstream crypto adoption.
The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of practicing proper self-custody of crypto assets. When downloading any browser extension, especially a wallet, it's essential to verify the publisher's information for authenticity. Genuine extensions typically have millions of downloads.
In the case of MetaMask, the official extension is published by "metamask.io" and boasts over 10 million downloads. To fall victim to a hack like this, one would typically have to import a seed phrase into a counterfeit extension, thereby exposing their private key to scammers.
The incident underscores the importance of exercising caution when importing a seed phrase and only doing so when absolutely necessary and confident about the application's legitimacy. Using a hardware wallet compatible with MetaMask can also provide added security, as there is no seed phrase to import, making it clear if an extension is counterfeit when it requests one.