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Coinbase Users Angry With Customer Support After Funds Disappear From Accounts

Coinbase customers are venting again in frustration with the lack of customer support from the $65-billion company. Coinbase Users Angry With Customer Support After Funds Disappear From Accounts

Coinbase is under fire for terrible customer service following reports of users’ accounts being hacked and drained of funds.

According to a Tuesday investigation by CNBC, thousands of customers across the country have lodged complaints against the company.


Meltem Demirors: “Bitcoin Is Not A F*Cking Systemic Hedge If You Hold Your Bitcoin At A Financial Institution”

The outlet stated that it had interviewed numerous Coinbase customers who claimed hackers had drained their accounts, with the issue exacerbated by the exchange not responding to support requests:

“Interviews with Coinbase customers around the country and a review of thousands of complaints reveal a pattern of account takeovers, where users see money suddenly vanish from their account, followed by poor customer service from Coinbase that made those users feel left hanging and angry.”

One Coinbase client, Tanja Vidovic, claimed to have lost nearly all of her $168,000 in cryptocurrency holdings after receiving a number of password change security alerts in April. Attempts to contact Coinbase by phone were fruitless, Vidovic said.

Another customer told the outlet that after logging in to the Coinbase app in March, almost $35,000 in various crypto assets had disappeared from their account. Coinbase’s Regulatory Response Team eventually emailed the victim stating that transactions on the blockchain are irreversible, adding that Coinbase’s insurance policy does not cover theft from individual accounts.

In March, The New York Times ran a piece on a helpless Coinbase customer who eventually sued the company after losing $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

Other Coinbase users have taken to social media to vent their frustrations. For example, popular analyst Kaleo told his 360,000 followers that the company had shown an “absolutely embarrassing display of care for customers.”

My dad has been trying to access his @Coinbase account w/ little to no help from Coinbase Support the past 3 months.

The tweet, which was posted less than a day ago, had already attracted a stream of responses from other Coinbase customers who had similar problems with support or had been hacked. Coinbase did actually respond to this complaint, but one individual pointed out that:

“You will only reply and assist people who have many followers so your reputation will not go down to hell! What about us? 5 months with no help! Locked account!”

Another user on Twitter said, “I haven’t been able to get into my Coinbase account for almost 4 months now. The worst!”

In April, when the company went public, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong somewhat ironically told CNBC, “People no longer need to be scared of it [crypto] like in the early days.”

Coinbase users have filed more than 11,000 complaints against Coinbase with the United States Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2016, and the majority of them are related to customer service.

Updated: 10-1-2021

Coinbase Multi-Factor Authentication Hack Affects At Least 6,000 Customers

A flaw allowed hackers to get customers’ SMS two-factor authentication code and break into their accounts.

A vulnerability that allowed hackers to bypass Coinbase’s multi-factor authentication SMS option has affected at least 6,000 of the exchange’s customers, according to a notification letter sent to affected customers that the company has filed with the California state attorney general offices.

* Between March and May 20, the hacker or hackers used a flaw in Coinbase’s account recovery process to get the SMS two-factor authentication token to break into customers’ accounts and transfer funds out of them.

* The bad actor or actors also had access to the email address, password and phone number associated with each Coinbase account. Coinbase believes that the hacker stole those credentials through a phishing scheme and noted in its letter to the California AG that it has not found evidence of the hacker getting this information from Coinbase itself.

* “We took immediate action to mitigate the impact of the campaign by working with external partners to remove phishing sites as they were identified, as well as notifying the email providers impacted,” a Coinbase spokesperson said via email.

“Unfortunately we believe, although cannot conclusively determine, that some Coinbase customers may have fallen victim to the phishing campaign and turned over their Coinbase credentials and the phone numbers verified in their accounts to attackers.”

* Coinbase said it is compensating customers for the stolen funds, but it’s unclear whether those payments are being made in fiat or crypto.

* The exchange recommended that users switch to a more secure version of multi-factor authentication such as a hardware security key or authentication app.

* This appears to be one of the largest breaches to have affected Coinbase. Other notable breaches included a password glitch in August 2019 that stored 3,500 customer passwords in plain text on an internal server log, although outside parties didn’t take advantage of the vulnerability. In the same month, Coinbase revealed the details of a sophisticated attack that was blocked by Coinbase but that resembled what would normally happen in a nation state-sponsored attack.

Updated: 2-11-2022

Coinbase Trading Vulnerability Exposed by White-Hat Hacker

Twitter user @Tree_of_Alpha notified the Coinbase team of the exploit; the exchange giant suspended trading on its new Advanced Trading platform.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was notified of a vulnerability in its trading systems on Friday afternoon by the pseudonymous white hat hacker “Tree of Alpha,” and temporarily suspended trading on its new Advanced Trading platform.

Around 6 p.m. UTC (1 p.m. ET) on Friday, @Tree_of_Alpha caught the attention of Coinbase leadership after tweeting that they found a “potentially market-nuking” exploit and was submitting a HackerOne report.

HackerOne is a platform that runs bug bounty programs for companies, including Coinbase.

“The issue is sensitive and could allow malicious users to send all Coinbase order books to arbitrary prices,” the white-hat hacker told CoinDesk via Twitter.

Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, and its price feeds are also used as inputs for oracles, which determine the true prices of tokens for applications such as DeFi protocols.

After the initial tweet sparked alarm in the crypto community, Tree of Alpha posted a follow-on tweet saying, “No actual Coinbase storages (cold or otherwise) are impacted.”

Within two hours of the Tree of Alpha’s initial tweet, the Coinbase Support Twitter account announced that, due to technical reasons, Coinbase was disabling trading on its new Advanced Trading platform. While the service would still be accessible, users would be able to cancel existing orders but not place new orders. The Advanced Trading service is available only to a limited audience.

Around 11 p.m. UTC (6 p.m. ET), Coinbase tweeted that it had “re-enabled full service for retail advanced trading.”

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong publicly tweeted his appreciation for Tree of Alpha’s assistance, writing, “.@Tree_of_Alpha you’re awesome – a big thank you for working with our team. Love how the crypto community helps each other out!”

This isn’t the first time Tree of Alpha has notified influential crypto companies about vulnerabilities in their codebase.

Last month, Tree of Alpha contacted CoinDesk about an issue surrounding the site’s content management system (CMS). The exploit allowed savvy programmers to view headlines of CoinDesk articles saved as drafts, informing trading decisions based on non-public information. The issue has since been resolved.

Tree of Alpha has also explored electric car maker Tesla’s website, tweeting that the company was ready to handle crypto payments on its site one day before CEO Elon Musk’s official Jan. 14 announcement that Tesla merchandise would be able to be purchased in Dogecoin.

Tree of Alpha experiments with websites, searching for revealing information that could be used for profitable trades. Occasionally, the savvy hacker comes across a major vulnerability to report.

“In general I only leak and work to get alpha closed once it gets too widespread and it becomes advantageous to have it fixed to even out the playing field again,” Tree of Alpha told CoinDesk in a Twitter message, when asked about their motivations for tweeting out alpha.

“[The Coinbase issue] however was no alpha, this was a serious exploit which could have sent the market in disarray,” they said.


Coinbase Resumes Trading Feature After Vulnerability Warning

* Earlier Issue Didn’t Affect Simple Trading On Main Platform
* Advanced Traders Allowed To Interact Directly With Order Book

Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, resumed operations of a recently launched advanced trading feature that was halted earlier when an unverified Twitter user warned of a possible vulnerability.

A Coinbase spokesperson said the company is in touch with the Twitter user to learn more about the issue. Coinbase Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong also replied to the Twitter user, saying that the company would investigate.

Armstrong later tweeted to the Twitter account, “you’re awesome – a big thank you for working with our team.” And just after 6 p.m. New York time, Coinbase tweeted that retail advanced trading had resumed and customers’ funds “remain safe.”

Last November, Coinbase launched the advanced trading functionality on to a small number of customers. The feature is intended for more experienced traders and enables them to interact directly with the order book, according to the company’s website.

Coinbase shares closed down 5% on to $194.53 on Friday, outpacing losses in the S&P 500 index.


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