MetaMask adds anti-scam function to combat millionaire thefts in Ethereum


Key facts:
  • Alerts in MetaMask were already available, but will now be displayed by default.

  • More than 30 million people use the wallet every month.

MetaMask, one of the most popular wallets among Ethereum users and compatible networks, added by default a function to alert users about possible risky interactions. The objective is to prevent scams associated with cryptocurrencies and web3, which accumulated more than USD 1.7 billion in 2023.

To integrate this feature, MetaMask partnered with Blockaid, a cryptocurrency protocol security company. These types of alerts in the wallet already existed since October of last year, but now They will be shown by default to users of Ethereum, Linea, BNB chain, Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism and Avalanche. “We anticipate that this integration will save hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone,” the official statement says.

Besides, New security feature added “experimentally” to mobile app. Therefore, the MetaMask team recommends Activate it manually in “Settings/Experimental/Blockaid”. In the case of the mobile version, the feature is only available on the Ethereum mainnet.

Specifically, the MetaMask app will show warnings about possible interactions with malicious smart contracts or by granting permissions that could result in the loss of cryptocurrency for the user. “With this function, you will know if a transaction is suspicious BEFORE you sign it,” explains the company in one of its messages on the X social network.

Blockaid Metamask Alert.
“If you accept this request, a third party associated with scams will steal your cryptocurrency,” says Blockaid’s warning on MetaMask. Source: X @niftynaut.

To exemplify the importance of the tool, the statement mentions the Ledger Connect Kit incident, in which many interfaces of decentralized applications (dApps) were compromised, as reported in CriptoNoticias. However, “MetaMask users who activated Blockaid alerts were 100% protected,” they say. The theft of USD 1.15 million in cryptocurrencies was thus prevented.

Finally, MetaMask warns that Blockaid’s intervention to show alerts in the mentioned cases It does not imply sharing with that company data related to the transactions made by its users.

In January 2024, MetaMask approached its all-time high in monthly users, with more than 30 million people using the app, available on mobile and as a browser extension. From September 2023 to January 2024, MetaMask monthly active users increased by 55%, informs the development team. As of January 2022, MetaMask had surpassed 31 million users.

While the growth “is a promising sign of the growing adoption of web3,” the wallet’s developers highlight the need to ensure that users are safe from growing scams. “The attack vectors affecting decentralized finance (DeFi) are sophisticated and diverse, with hackers exploiting vulnerabilities both on-chain and off-chain,” the statement cites. In particular, private key intersection or theft, price manipulation attacks, and smart contract exploitation were responsible for many DeFi hack losses in 2023.

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