PAID Academy x Hacken : Security Course

7 min readAug 19, 2022

Last November, we announced our partnership with Hacken, our blockchain security experts and pledged to do our part to help make the blockchain space more secure and accessible for both users and developers alike.

As a security consulting firm, Hacken provides both new and established blockchain projects with a range of services designed to minimize attack surface, improve resilience, and boost user trust. These include blockchain, smart contract, and DApp audits, as well as a powerful bug bounty solution.

One of the most renowned security consultants in the blockchain space, Hacken has proven instrumental in helping some of the industry’s biggest players identify and defend against exploits. In 2021 alone, the firm audited more than 300 different projects, formed partnerships with over 70 ecosystem products, and established the first-of-its-kind whitehat blockchain security community known as Hacken Scout.

Now, we are working alongside Hacken to help improve grassroots awareness in the blockchain industry, helping to make it a safer, more accessible place for all participants. This will expand on this point and provide a comprehensive security resource for participants in this burgeoning landscape.

The Importance of Security

In 2021 alone, hackers stole more than $1.3 billion from DeFi protocols. According to Chainalysis’ 2022 crypto crime report, a staggering $14 billion was stolen from users in total — including $7.8 billion stolen from scams and $2.8 billion stolen through rug pulls.

As an industry that is still largely unregulated, cryptocurrency firms generally have little to no regulatory oversight and are not covered by government-backed deposit insurance schemes. Because of this, the onus is on the users to do their own due diligence and take protective measures to keep their funds safe.

Practically, this means avoiding insecure platforms and taking steps to mitigate residual risks when using secure services. Since most losses are entirely avoidable, pragmatic cryptocurrency holders are rarely caught up in hacks — whereas most losses are instead suffered by inexperienced or uninformed cryptocurrency users.

Fortunately, with a bit of research and due diligence, it is possible to practically eliminate the risk of being caught up in a hack or theft. And with just a couple of simple steps, you can dramatically increase the security of your funds.

Control your private keys

There is a popular saying in the cryptocurrency industry — “not your keys, not your coins”. This refers to control of the private keys, which can be used to authorize and spend assets held in the associated account.

The vast majority of cryptocurrency service providers do not allow their users to control their private keys. Instead, users are required to deposit to addresses that are owned and controlled by the company. As a result, if the company gets hacked or its website goes down for any reason, users cannot access their funds.

Indeed, looking at the terms of service for the recently bankrupted Celsius platform, the platform was free to “use, sell, pledge, and rehypothecate” customer deposits as it sees fit. Likewise, deposits in the Asia-focused cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex were left unable to withdraw their assets after the platform froze withdrawals.

This problem can be easily avoided in future by only using platforms that allow you to retain full custody of your assets, and then storing these assets on an air-gapped cold storage wallet to further reduce the attack surface.

Understand the risks

The cryptocurrency industry is a space of extremes — though there are a huge array of incredible opportunities available, there is always a risk of hacks or thefts. Because of this, it’s important to gauge the security of any platform you use before depositing any funds (in the case of centralized platforms) or authorizing any transfers (in the case of DApps).

The reputation, history, and purpose of the platform should be thoroughly assessed, and adequate precautions taken to minimize the risk of loss. This might include using all available security options (e.g. two-factor authentication, IP address whitelisting, enabling alerts, etc), as well as performing a test transaction.

By getting into the habit of reading audit reports and genuine testimonials, you’ll be able to spot insecure platforms from a mile away, helping you better protect your funds.

This is where Hacken and PAID Academy come in, through our continued partnership we will now be able to provide our community with the tools to understand risks, take more ownership of assets, and keep safe from most of the threats in the seemingly wild west that is web3.

The Current State of Security With Hacken

In 2017, Hacken was created to bring trust, ethics, and transparency to the crypto space as before that, it resembled the Wild West.

The industry not only survived but also grew immensely. Traditional Web2 enterprises from banking and finance to energy and healthcare are beginning to adopt distributed ledger technology. More assets in Web3 means more funds lost to hacks, exploits, and scams — which is something nobody wants.

That’s why the protection of people’s assets has become the priority and security education is a major part of the effort. After all, users equipped with cybersecurity essentials are no longer easy targets for hackers and scammers.

Our security fundamentals course gives a whole-picture perspective on blockchain technology. Before diving into the best practices in cybersecurity, Hacken explains how and why projects have particular security implementations. You will look at systems from an attacker’s point of view, helping you avoid and mitigate weaknesses before it’s too late.

“The rapid growth of the blockchain and Web3 ecosystems has led to somewhat lax security among many participants — on both the developer and user side. Hacken acts as a crucial safety net used to identify and buffer against risks, but we cannot cover everything. For this reason, education can be a useful tool to empower users to maximize their own security.” Dyma Budorin, Hacken CEO.

It already seems that Web3 is everywhere. With thousands of cryptocurrencies, the blockchain offers countless opportunities to earn money through a myriad of trading and staking options. The opportunities are truly limitless, but the risks are high. You have reasonable expectations that your money will be safe, but even projects worth billions can fall to nothing after flash loan attacks or exploits.

In this environment, the most practical value of this course is learning how to secure your personal funds. Next, you will gain solid knowledge from the best instructors. You do not need a college degree for professional growth in crypto, but you do need knowledge. With enough skill, experience, and expertise, you can build the most rewarding career as a cybersecurity specialist.

Web3 offers a huge array of opportunities for financial and professional growth, but sustainable gains are impossible without the best security practices. This is what we will arm you with in the course.

Upgrade Your Security

Unfortunately, many new cryptocurrency holders and users are not adequately informed about the unique risks associated with cryptocurrencies, nor do they have a firm grasp of how to properly keep their assets secure in the face of a changing digital landscape.

To help address this, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with Hacken to provide an in-depth security resource that caters to both novice and experienced cryptocurrency users — including builders, traders, investors, and general enthusiasts.

“Security is paramount to the sustainability and growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. For the applications that leverage these technologies to truly disrupt traditional financial incumbents, users need to be confident in the integrity and security of their assets. Practically, this means hardening decentralized services against attacks and improving awareness about cybersecurity hygiene.” — Kyle Chassé, PAID Network Co-Founder and CEO.

With PAID Academy’s security course with Hacken, you can seize the unique opportunities that cryptocurrencies can bring without falling victim to hacks. Protect yourself and grow your knowledge visit PAID Academy!

About Hacken

Hacken is a cybersecurity auditor born in 2017 with a vision of transforming Web3 into a more ethical place. With 5+ years of experience, hundreds of blockchain partners, and thousands of secured crypto projects, Hacken protects technological businesses and crypto communities worldwide with the most competitive suite of professional cybersecurity services.

Hacken in figures:

  • 1,070+ clients, including THORSTARTER, ConstitutionDAO, XTblock, Paribus, to name a few
  • 180+ partners including Avalanche, Polkastarter, CoinMarketCap, Weld Money, CoinGecko, Solana Foundation, Simplex, to name a few
  • 23/50 top crypto exchanges are Hacken clients
  • $10B in users’ assets saved from being stolen by hackers

Strategic goal: get a 20% share in the Web 3.0 cybersecurity market by 2024.

Twitter: @HackenClub

Discord: Hacken

Telegram: Hacken Club

About PAID Academy

PAID Academy is PAID Network’s one stop guide to all things blockchain and crypto. It is an expert-driven collaborative knowledge base between PAID Network, its ecosystem and institutional partners. The aim is to build up a knowledgeable PAID Community and an ecosystem that is confident in making informed industry decisions.

PAID Academy provides the building-blocks needed for a future that is built around blockchain, Web3, and the metaverse. Its straightforward, easy-to-understand format is intended to accelerate understanding and discovery, in order to facilitate technological innovation, as well as the adoption and acceptance of blockchain technology globally.

PAID Academy is shaping today’s learners to become tomorrow’s innovators.

About PAID Network

PAID Network is a suite of products which operate on Ethereum and Polkadot ecosystems. The network helps propel your project to success through its community and business network. Debut your projects with PAID Network launchpads, make backend operations a breeze with the PAID Markets, or make your applications future-proof with an interoperable layer-1 solution.

PAID Network is building the future by providing the infrastructure for the mass adoption of decentralized technology — a future reality where communities and economies are formed by games, enterprises and companies building interconnected applications and worlds. PAID Network imagines a world that is fair, accessible, and where everyone can #getPAID.

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