Casa Blog - Bitcoin Security Made Easy

Securing your computers and mobile devices can have a significant impact on the security of your bitcoin, ether, and other digital assets. 

As a hacker and Head of Security, I'm always on the lookout for weak points in a system. Recently, I've noticed a surge in Apple ID breaches largely attributed to password reuse. In this article, I’ll touch on why your Apple ID matters for securing your assets with some steps you can take to protect yours.

Why you should secure your Apple ID

A major part of the Apple ecosystem is the ability to sync content and features across multiple devices. If you use the included apps on a Mac and iPhone properly, you can enjoy some convenience in your digital life, such as cloud storage.

But that convenience comes with a tradeoff. Much of the functionality on Apple devices is gated through an Apple ID, a single account you need to download apps from the App Store and use iCloud, amongst other features. Your Apple ID can affect how you use wallet apps as well. Casa vaults typically come with a mobile key which is encrypted and stored on iCloud for iOS devices.

The Apple ID is a smooth, elegant solution for facilitating syncs across Apple products, but it can be a single point of failure if you don’t manage it correctly. If you're an iOS user, your Apple ID is a goldmine as it can grant access to your media, local keystore, and even digital private key backups.

If a malicious actor is able to commandeer your Apple ID, they can use the access to infiltrate your devices and iCloud. If you’re using a single-key hot wallet on your phone, a hacker can access your key and drain your assets. In one case, the victim of a phishing attack had $650,000 in assets stolen when the hacker accessed his iCloud account. 

These cases are scary but the good news is you can take several proactive steps to lock down your Apple ID and prevent yourself from being targeted.

Complex passwords are a crucial part of protecting your Apple ID from unauthorized access.

Use complex passwords 

Apple pushes for complex passwords, demanding a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters and at least one number. Sharing your Apple ID password, verification codes, or other security details is a big no. Reusing your Apple ID password on other accounts is equally disastrous. A password manager can be your best friend here — helping create and manage robust, unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Most Apple ID breaches I've personally seen came from password reuse or predictable password systems (like cycling from Chevy57! to Chevy58!). These patterns give hackers an easy in. If a site you have an account with is breached, the leaked customer info, including passwords, can be used to compromise your other accounts no matter how well-secured they are.

Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a potent ally in keeping your Apple ID secure. It adds an extra security layer by requiring a verification code from your trusted devices when accessing your account from a new one.

Consider using Recovery Keys

Recovery Keys can be set up and used to reset your password and regain access to your Apple ID in the instance of a compromise. This is an optional security feature a user must set up as a preventative measure. Note this turns off Apple’s Standard Recovery process and will require access to a trusted device or the recovery key itself. While this can give you more control in the reset process, it can lock you out permanently if you don’t store and backup your Recovery Key properly.

Avoid Apple ID sharing

Letting others use your Apple ID can lead to misuse of your personal content, files, and backups. If someone else had a hand in setting up your Apple ID, change your password as soon as you can. Use features like Family Sharing or iCloud Photo Sharing for sharing purchases, photos, and calendars.

Monitor for breaches

Keeping track of all your online accounts for potential breaches can be an uphill task. Tools like "Have I Been Pwned?" can do the heavy lifting for you. By entering your email address or username, you can check if your account data has been compromised. Regular checks can give you a head start against cyber threats. If a breach occurs, update your credentials and end all active user sessions immediately. Staying alert can be your best defense.

Apple will alert you through email, text, or on-device notifications about any changes such as new device log-ins or password alterations. If you notice anything odd, change your password immediately and make sure your account info is current.

Consider additional protection measures including multisig

A device passcode or password combined with Face ID or Touch ID offers enhanced security. Regularly updating your device software ensures you're protected by Apple's latest security features. Be cautious with your personal info and avoid falling for scams – if a deal sounds too good, it most likely is.

Above all, if you’re securing a large amount of digital assets, it’s prudent to use cold storage and multiple keys, such as a Casa vault. This strategy prevents one stolen key from jeopardizing your assets. And if you follow best-in-class support from our advisors, you won’t be left to your own devices.

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