The popularity of cryptocurrency is continuously going up in 2018 and so does the cybercriminals hunger for cash. This week researchers have observed a rise in cryptocurrency scams, which target users of Ethereum and Bitcoin and typically request that victims send a small amount of the currency in exchange for a much larger payout in the same cryptocurrency.
This type of scams represents an easy way for cybercriminals to prey on the hype around cryptocurrency.
The success of this scam shows that cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to exploit the human factor because people are inclined to fall for scams that can net them hot commodities like cryptocurrencies.
These scams typically start with a tweet or an email, which encourage potential victims to send cryptocurrency to a wallet with the promise that more will be sent back. These tweets look like this: “There’s an ongoing promotion by Ethereum that just started! I also wanted to share this awesome news! I’ve personally received 92 ETH after just sending 9.2 ETH!”
Keep in mind that cybercriminals will always use the social engineering groundwork to develop fake Twitter accounts impersonating exchanges, developers, and celebrities to try to further trick users to click.
Do not believe such tweets! Furthermore, to stay away from any other threats, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running.
If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests; they are essential because an infection that uses malware coin miners is hazardous for every company.
When a user clicks the link or enters the URL from a fake account, they are taken to a landing page prompting them to send a certain amount of cryptocurrency to a payment address.
The fake page attempts to establish legitimacy by showing some counterfeit transactions, falsely suggesting that large amounts of coins are being sent back to those who send small amounts of coins to the scammer’s wallet, researchers said.
The scam is reportedly working. When researchers investigated some of the wallet addresses associated with the fraud, they found that some of them are growing and do not reflect the ‘giveaway’ nature of the intended interaction.
In one case, researchers followed an Ethereum wallet that appeared ten times in their data. The scammer dumped the wallet on May 5, collecting a fairly hefty amount of $21,700 in earnings.
It also appears that the cybercriminals have better luck phishing with Ethereum as opposed to Bitcoin.
We would continue to monitor these scams given the rebounding cryptocurrency values. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for these types of scams.
Most of these scams, seem too reasonable to be true so don’t fall for them! Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running,
If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.