The day I lost a million dollars.

Before I start , can you calculate this for me 1,842 BTC,13,929 DASH, 619,190 BCH, 264,992 NEM, 7,643,993 BURST, 2,329,436 OmiseGo, 117,602 LTC. Got the total? Convert it into your local currency. Keep that in mind, this will make your ears burn.

I feel obligated to tell you this SAD, but true story. It happened to someone and if I do not tell it to you, I would not forgive myself for not doing so. So here is yours as well as a chance to teach myself how to never again fall in the same pit thrice. I say thrice in bad breath since those are episodes that I would rather forget, however, I can’t, about that later.

Okay, having said that, it is understandably exciting when you win a lottery especially when the total sum is over $1000000 you know itis a feeling that everyone would want to one day experience, if ever. The joy, the atmosphere, you know it’s cool to express yourself with a super high degree of emotions, good emotions !. Feels like you have reached the utmost limits of the sky.

That’s why they say once in a Million, it’s that rare.

I purposefully evoked the winning emotions, because my story has the opposite feeling. Especially when you have held the winnings not in days, not for months but for years. And in a few minutes, you lose everything in front of your very own eyes.  As my hero in this story says

I was not away – they did it very quickly and I could literally see how they drained my wallets.

I wonder if it happened that way, however I can for sure tell you, it was fast. When this happens to you, it’s sad, demeaning and desperate. I mean the worst of feelings.

I am into programming, but most of these dare, heartless beast baffles me.

Before I come back to my hero’s TRUE sad story, my sad encounter is nonetheless sad as is intriguing. Unlike my hero, I do not lose a million dollars, I, however, did pay a price.

My 1st and the worst encounter was when I bought and then downloaded a crypto trading bot. So I thought why do I have to keep awake all night, you know best deals as I noticed happens when you are asleep, Some of the popular exchanges and DEX still do not have margin or stop-loss trading options. Someone must be online and active to change or move a trading position, otherwise, you miss out super money making opportunities. Anyway, that is still the bottleneck in most of such exchanges, you wake up in the morning and a coin has 1000x, too bad. Therefore, kind of, decided why not automate the process, you can imagine the gains. So I  gave it a  try. I did have my doubts, so I created a sudo account with a few dollars in it and only one coin, BTC. Notice, I never installed any program, I NEVER LOGGED  into my other accounts.  All my accounts had 2FA enabled, different password, different exchanges etc. The trading bot was a portable program and needed only the trading api keys to my sudo trading account, with some few other configurations, all was done in few munites, and bot did super well, FIRST and SECOND day. On the third day, I was kind of sitting nearby and happened to notice, the PC screen come up white and then rebooted. So I thought, maybe windows had updates, no! I had configured windows to never reboot or update without my knowledge, ruled that one out and decided to look at the blue screen, no errors there as well. Remember, I have super antivirus software and malwerebyte up and running. There were no alarm bells at all. Brushed this incident off,  but out of curiosity I decided to look into my sudo trading account to see where the bot progress had reached before the ‘white flash’. I was shocked to see the withdrawal api keys had been created and activated, I never did that. On logging and looking into my other accounts in a different exchange, the same thing, never had but now have api keys are green and ready to auto withdrawal. Panic sets in, what to do next. Easy, I told myself, ‘just move coins to a different account or local wallet on another computer’. Well, that was worse of choice, why. Here is why, another shocker, they have taken over copy paste functions of my PC , every address I copy, it pasted a different address.

Basically, I was helpless, but with only one option to quickly change exchanges passwords and disable api keys , bad since there was no way I could delete all api keys. It was my only hope that with PW change all will be well, thank God it was. Thought that day I did not lose any money, my presence and quick move saved me. However this was the worst experience since in less than a minute I had to kill all internet change IP, DOD wipe my HD and initiate a clean installation.

The other two experiences are by far of no comparison and I was 100% incompetent and foolish. I personally sent out my coins to some fake exchanges and in total lost about 150$. It was a testing experience and I learned the worst way,   ‘never trust unknown exchange even if they promised millions’. One exchange was a covert BTC to Eth or cash, the rate was exciting, so I felt for that. The other one looked legit and would ask you for a minimum deposit so you could withdraw all of you mega airdrops. Yes ‘it was fake too’.

Therefore not 2FA or mega super antivirus can protect you, only you can, as one commenter in response to my hero’s story says

 “nothing will save you from a smart virus, it can even recover files from a cleaned recycle bin, so only cold storage is necessary”

Ok back to my hero ‘see footnote for hero’ This gentleman got it coming, and it landed hard!!

Just recently December 4th,  that chilly morning, as the world was steaming with emotions of a New Year celebrations and many other festivities, this gentleman lost a lot of different coins. I would not say he lost all of his coins since he looks packed. With only airdrops and forks, he was a millionaire, already and none of those fork /AD coins are mentioned in his list of sad DEAR DEPARTED ONES ( 1,842 BTC,13,929 DASH, 619,190 BCH, 264,992 NEM, 7,643,993 BURST, 2,329,436 OmiseGo, 117,602 LTC). It was systematic and quick, as someone noted it could have been perpetrated via Remote Desktop Services. Another backdoor could have been a fake portable wallet, also hacked  GMAIL played a major part in this operation. I mean this gentleman got it coming, and it landed hard!!. He got these coins drained from all over from  Exodus wallet, Simplewallet, Electron wallets, Binance, Kraken etc. All totaling over a million dollars.

As he says:
Basically, it was a stupid combination of failures. I use Windows 10 and tried to claim BTCP and BCD. Both with the Electrum version for their blockchains.

Am sure you got the totals from the intro paragraph, I wanted to illustrate the dumbness of sitting on investment this huge, worst still having it in a LAPTOP, that you browse with!! OMG!!!

You know what? that’s enough!! Am saddened !!

Hear what he had to says here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5080741.0

Secure your investments. My take!

Apart from installing several super antivirus software, you should never-ever open any URL on a PC holding your crypto wallets. Simply, never install any browser there. Yap! Why should you, wallets are standalone installations some even have swap functions, so your coins will never leave your wallet, kind of. Again, most exchanges especially DEX have standalone clients. In that regard, you will never have to use a browser for anything crypto related. And if need be do that elsewhere. Also of importance use different passwords.  Not like my hero who says:

I used the same long password for different things.

Most of all don’t be mean, 

My hero ays : ……If anybody has a good idea how to track down the thief the reward will be 10% of the recovered sum or a minimum of 10,000 USD in case of success.

 

Think EOS.

Do you know what EOS unlike those dearly departed coins listed above, has a super mechanism, that protects you for whatever reason, dumbness or laziness included. It is simply called STAKING. There is a process to unstake your coins I think 72 hours. So even if you were careless, there could be a way to halt the process and regain or block your account. Imagine if this gentleman had his coins and wealth staked in EOS. Could it have disappeared as it did? I would say NEVER!!. EOS is able to BLOCK and FREEZE an account. So trade continuously and chose the best.

Footnote:

Hero: I am using it to refer to my story’s main character.

EOS: Learn more about staking to secure your investments.

https://www.eoscanada.com/en/what-does-staking-and-unstaking-eos-tokens-mean

Reference to this sad story: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5080741.0

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Responses

  1. James Diegel

    Sad story … and the way that you told it leaves an impact that will be in the back of my mind for a very long time… Thanks for the cautionary tale of epic proportions Ruth… It’s an important reminder to not get too lax with our assets for sure …

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    1. Ruth Post author

      Yap! security is key. Crypto need better security- as of now only EOS and few other coins that have ‘unstake’ mature period, those 72hrs are GOLDEN.
      It’s sobering, to imagine that you could lose everything in a few minutes. EVEN a house does not burn that quick!!

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