Earlier this week, Monero, a digital currency, announced that its digital wallet was compromised by malicious actors.
The actors placed coin stealing malware into the software that would allow them to steal the digital currency out of the wallets of the unsuspecting persons who installed the compromised software.
The compromise was discovered when several persons contacted Monero to let them know that the downloaded software did not match the hash signature on the site.
The hash is a mathematical function that takes the software code as an input and translates it to a fixed size text code. If one bit of the software code is changed, the entire hashed output is changed. This hash is often used to verify that the downloaded software is correct and has not been corrupted.
I’ve always checked the hash of any software I download where a hash signature was available. It allows me to verify that what I’ve received is authentic.
But we live in an age where we don’t bother to check anything we get from the Internet, from downloaded software to information.
Fake news. Chain letters. Snake oil. Misappropriated news articles.
So much false information out there, and are oftentimes shared without even checking if there is any truth to it. Then people would say, "This was forwarded to me, so I take no responsibility for the information."
No! You should take responsibility for sharing nonsense.
But what is missing most in critical thinking and just some common sense. Mush of these things could be verified easily with a few clicks and from the many sites around that checks facts, like Snopes. And if not, just use your brain a little. If you can’t verify, then don’t share.
Misinformation is far more dangerous than no information. Do your best to only pass on the truth. And when you get information forwarded to you, always check the hash.