Crypto Scammers Infiltrate Online Messaging System Slack: Aragon Responds
Scores of Slack users, many of whom use the online communications open forum for their cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects have recently been subjected to an onslaught of phishing scams and attacks. Now one blockchain startup is leading a mass migration away from the site due to the prevalence of this nefarious activity.
Aragon, a decentralized management platform for companies, this week announced that it is discontinuing its use of the messaging platform Slack as a result of increased phishing scams and hacks within this popular online network. Growing numbers in the crypto community have become disillusioned with Slack for this reason, and as a result, Aragon is raising awareness to encourage a shared solution for a problem affecting the entire blockchain space.
On the heels of this news, Indorse, Cofound.it, OmiseGO, Streamr, Santiment, FOAM, Auctus, Golem, and Decentraland are among a group of prominent projects that have elected to follow suit and migrate away from Slack as well.
Built on Ethereum, Aragon was created specifically to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of organizations all around the world. Aragon offers a new, more efficient model for organizations to operate and a way to deploy company-like structures anywhere the Internet exists.
When asked about the company’s decision to cease ties with Slack, Luis Cuende, Co-founder and Project Lead of Aragon had this to say:
“We started the proposal for the migration to an open-source messaging platform after realizing that the current situation was unsustainable. Slack was designed for the internal use of projects. Unfortunately, Slack lacks the tools necessary to run public-facing communities, including the fundamental features required for projects in the blockchain space. Migration to an open-source platform will help us manage and govern our communities more efficiently and securely.”
Cuende notes that the situation has worsened considerably with recent Slack updates that remove unique usernames, allowing scammers to easily pose as project members and leaving users with no way of distinguishing fake accounts.
He says that Aragon is, therefore, collaborating with other decentralized projects which support the migration to select a platform which will better suit the needs of the blockchain community. Rocket.Chat, has been identified as a preferred option, one that the Aragon team believes is well suited to the needs of projects within the crypto community. Interesingly, many other blockchain projects, such as Lisk, have used Rocket.Chat (or a variant of it) since their inception.
Many leaders at many of the world’s most visible projects share Aragon’s concern.
“Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly pervasive in Slack. It is time for open-source projects to migrate towards open-source messaging platforms to ensure long-term control over our security,” said Ari Meilich, Project Lead at Decentraland.
Another blockchain project looking to migrate away from Slack is Cofound.it, a leading platform for training the world’s most promising blockchain startups. Says Jan Isakovic, CEO at Cofound.it:
“Crypto communities are very specific. The level of control over the messaging, spam and scams is crucial. Existing tools just do not fit our specific use case. That’s why the project started by Aragon has full support by Cofound.it. We believe that it will be a foundation for a safe and controlled communications channel for all the crypto communities.”
Other projects such as Golem, a platform building a decentralized sharing economy for computers, are already using Rocket.Chat for internal communications.
“We are already using Rocket.Chat for our internal comms, and it proved its usability. Now, it’s a good time to also use it externally for the good of the large community of over 10,000 Golem supporters,” said Marek Osiecimski, CCO, Golem.
The problems associated with Slack have recently reached a fever pitch, with phishing scams resulting in over $225 million worth of ether maliciously taken from prospective ICO participants. In total ten projects are following Aragon’s abandonment of the messaging platform, bringing with them at least 45,000 active users.
“We can’t have scam messages be the first thing a new member sees when entering our community platforms. That is unacceptable. We need to unite behind an open-source platform which can provide safety and positive first experiences to our communities. Streamr is fully onboard the initiative started by the Aragon team,” said Henri Pihkala, CEO, Streamr, a project enabling a new way for machines and people to trade data, powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
Concludes Aragon’s Cuende:
“The abandoning of Slack from so many disparate communities within the blockchain ecosystem shows a consensus has been achieved; safety breaches will not be tolerated.”