Over the past few months, the Solana ecosystem has seen tremendous growth. The total value locked in DeFi protocols has climbed to $10B, the market capitalization of NFTs has reached $1B, and of course, Phantom has far surpassed half a million weekly active users. Promisingly, a large portion of these users are new to crypto and are interacting with blockchain based applications for the very first time.
While the growth in the ecosystem has made it an awesome place to explore, it has also attracted its fair share of malicious actors that try to scam users out of their hard-earned assets. Sometimes these attacks involve tricking a user into signing a malicious transaction and other times they take the form of phishing attacks.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a cybercrime in which a malicious actor will try to trick a target to share sensitive data such as their Secret Recovery Phrase. In practice, a malicious actor might:
- Host a copy-cat NFT drop at a domain that is spelled similarly to the original, but instead of minting you an NFT, will drain your wallet of all its funds.
- Pretend to be a support representative in a Discord or Telegram channel and get you to copy your Secret Recovery Phrase into a form, so that they have access to all your accounts, and all your assets.
- Create a fake wallet application, perhaps named similarly to a popular one (such as Phantom), and take all your assets once you've "restored" your wallet using your Secret Recovery Phrase.
Safety improvements in v0.12.0
User education can only go so far in preventing such attacks – especially when considering how many of the users being targeted are new to crypto. For this reason, we are rolling out improvements to the product that will make Solana safer for everyone.
First, we have removed the "auto-approve" toggle from the connection request pop-up. Many scammers are encouraging users to enable this feature so that they can approve many transactions at once, and drain wallets more easily. While it is no longer available upon connection, it can be toggled on in settings for users that know what they're doing.
Friendly transaction details
We now display more helpful information about a transaction before you approve it. By simulating the transaction, we are able to show you what assets may move in and out of your wallet as a result of submitting the transaction. We are also able to show you whether the transaction will fail, or whether it will have other dangerous consequences such as allowing others to spend your tokens.
This feature works on every application on Solana by default. While the simulation does not provide a guarantee, it should help users make more informed decisions about the transaction they are about to approve.
Over the coming weeks we will be rolling out even more solutions to block phishing sites that may attempt to steal your Secret Recovery Phrase. Phantom will block websites that are considered malicious, and redirect users to a warning page. The list of blocked sites is open source and maintained by the Solana ecosystem.
We are also working closely with the anti-phishing specialists at PhishFort to make sure phishing sites and fake apps are shut down as quickly as possible.
Better, safer support
In order to offer better and safer support for our users, we have decided to retire Discord and Twitter as support channels. Public channels like these have become a breeding ground for scammers to take advantage of users looking for help. Instead, we now have a dedicated Help Center which is the one and only channel you should engage with Phantom support through.
Remember: Phantom representatives will never contact you on Twitter, Discord, Telegram or any other chat application – only through the help center.
With these changes we hope to keep our users safe while still allowing them to explore the expanding Solana ecosystem. If you have any feedback, ideas or questions, please reach out to us through the Help Center.