MetaMask and Blockaid have collaborated to launch a new security feature aimed at protecting users from phishing attacks. MetaMask desktop users can opt-in to the feature by enabling the MetaMask experimental setting and adding the Privacy Preserving Offline Module (PPOM). PPOM, developed by MetaMask, acts as an offline security engine that verifies transactions and signatures before signing them. It achieves this by using node RPC communication requests to a configured node provider, ensuring that no sensitive data is sent to external servers. Blockaid's dApp scanning solution plays a vital role in the feature by simulating user interactions within decentralized applications (dApps) and determining if they are malicious. During the initial stage, users who opt-in will receive alerts if a transaction appears suspicious. MetaMask plans to introduce the feature on its mobile app in November and aims to make it available to all users by the first quarter of 2024. The staggered rollout is designed to prevent false positives and protect legitimate operations. Addressing privacy concerns, the module eliminates the need to share transaction and signature requests with external parties, as the simulation and validation take place within the user's device. Phishing attacks and scams are persistent issues in the crypto industry, with around 10% of existing dApps estimated to be malicious. A recent survey found that "too many scams" are a significant barrier to entering the crypto ecosystem. In Q3 2023, there were 76 hacks on crypto and Web3 projects, resulting in approximately $332 million in losses. Fake wallet applications and fraudulent downloads from search engines are leading causes of crypto asset loss.
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