In this article, we'll look into Ledger's security features and answer the ultimate question: Was Ledger ever hacked?
Ledger is one of the most known hardware wallet providers and the go-to solution for many hodlers. Mainly for their excellent security features, compact design, and straightforward functionality.
Currently, there are two models of Ledger hardware wallets on the market. You can read a detailed comparison between them in our detailed Ledger Nano S Plus vs Ledger Nano X comparison.
Let's look into their security features and more details about Ledger hacking attempts.
Ledger Security Features
The private keys are stored in a secure chip locked with a PIN code, EAL5+ certified, verified by the ANSSI, and tamper-resistant.
Both devices use the advanced "Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System," a.k.a. BOLOS, developed by the Ledger team.
Bluetooth connection on Nano X is end-to-end encrypted.
Devices are PIN code protected, with two-factor authentication (U2F) feature, and backed up with the 24-word recovery phrase.
Transactions need to be confirmed with the physical buttons on the devices, meaning no malware can compromise your wallet.
Were Ledger wallets ever hacked?
Ledger's devices or their app Ledger Live was never compromised, meaning there were no recorded successful hacking attacks on their software or hardware.
They did experience a marketing data breach in July 2020, which was quite a hit for Ledger, as they are committed to high-security standards.
The data breach exposed one million email addresses, and that caused a leak of names, mailing addresses, and phone numbers of about 270,000 customers (according to Cointelegraph) that purchased Ledger devices. The leak happened when rogue members of the support team at Shopify, their e-commerce partner, illegally obtained the transactional records and exported them.
While this event is not related to the security of their devices, the assets remained safe, but it did bring up concerns as hackers can use this personal information for phishing attacks.
After the attack, the Ledger team took steps to prevent situations like this in the future. Here are some of the solutions:
- keeping the personal data for as short a time as legally possible and deleting them afterward,
- minimizing the display of personal data in emails,
- moving needed data into a further secured environment after the order is fulfilled,
- creating a secure channel for communicating 1:1 with customers via Ledger Live,
- deleting names, addresses, and phone numbers from confirmation emails,
- no marketing information shared through Ledger Live accounts, and so on.
The Ledger team took the data breach seriously and is working towards adding additional layers of protection to reduce the possibility of this occurring in the future. We believe that it's hard to eliminate it completely.
Verdict: Are Ledger wallets safe to store your Bitcoin?
Ledger is, besides Trezor, one of the most popular hardware wallets for crypto holding and staking. Until today, there are no records of successful hacks on their software, so it's safe to say that Ledger is a great solution for you.
Ledger has high-security measurements, which even increased after the data leak. In addition, they are developing a product that would protect the assets if the user shares their recovery seed in a phishing attack. We are excited about this as this would be a significant step towards better security and preventing successful phishing attacks.
This attack showed that even companies like Ledger couldn't be safe from malicious attacks. So it's essential to take responsibility and safety into your hands. You have to know that no legit crypto or any other company will not ask you for your personal information via your email address or social media. Don't share your private keys with anyone, and keep your wallet in a safe place. No matter what brand of hardware wallet you use.
You can check the alternatives to Ledger in our best crypto hardware wallets article.
What if someone steals my Ledger Nano S?
If your Ledger gets stolen or compromised, that does not mean that you lost your crypto. Your device is protected with a PIN that you should never share with anyone else.
You can access your accounts without any problem with your safely stored recovery phrase at any time. Even though a villain gains access to your hardware wallet, it will be very difficult for them to crack it and get to your funds, especially if you're using a Ledger device.
Is Ledger Live secure?
Yes, all your transactions on Ledger Live are verified and validated by your Ledger hardware wallet. You have to confirm everything that you see on the screen manually. No action is completed with your confirmation on the hardware wallet. Even in the very unlikely event that somebody would hack your Ledger Live account, they would not be able to withdraw any funds without having physical access to your hardware wallet.