As many are already aware of, technological advancements are starting to speed up, and new technologies are being developed each and every day. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an increase of hacks as well. Whenever there is a positive improvement, there are always those willing to try to use it for their own purposes, often in a fraudulent and illegal way.
Phishing Attacks Focusing on Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are an excellent example of the recent technological development, and the rampant advancements made with crypto has shocked the world. In fact, they have grown so large in the last year, that they even managed to take the first real steps toward adoption. However, the increase in hacking attacks has affected crypto users en-masse. Phishing attacks, in particular, have seen a massive spike in popularity, and many new investors have lost their funds to mischievous scammers.
Of course, this has been recognized as a serious problem a long time ago, and numerous anti-phishing systems have been developed since. However, the scammers are still finding ways around these systems. They often try to create phishing websites that would look like popular crypto markets and wallets. The goal of such websites is to trick the victim that they are the real ones and to garner sensitive user data.
With the proper login information of an individual, the scammer can then access the real account and steal funds, private keys, and the like. Despite the fact that this method has been relatively successful, cybercriminals still prefer to trick their victims into sending them their digital currencies willingly.
To achieve this, the scammers often use fake ICOs and digital coin giveaways. With innovative ICO projects appearing all the time, often unbeknownst to a majority of investors, investors are eager to gain early access to new coins. This results in a pretty intense race, with many investors rushing in without checking the project out, and determining its legitimacy. Taking your time leads to making a safe investment, but it also means that you might be late for the party. This is why so many people choose reaction time before safety, and they end up scammed out of their money.
Phishers & Ethereum — The Perfect Combo
Ethereum is one of the most utilized coins when its come to scammy operations. Its platform is among the most popular when it comes to issuing ICOs, and the presence of more ICOs means more investors. With more investors, the bigger amounts of money are circulating the Ethereum network and all that scammers need to do is take their pick of naive investors.
According to rough estimates, in Q2 of this year alone, scammers managed to exploit ICOs so much that garnered over $2.3 million in investor funds. And this is from ICO exploits alone, with traditional methods of scamming, hacking or swindling not being included in the aforementioned figure.
As for the giveaways, the scammers often use stolen celebrity profiles on Twitter or create fake profiles under celebrities’ names. When it comes to stolen profiles, the window of opportunity is relatively short, as celebrities report the theft of their accounts pretty quickly. However, the scammers still manage to trick people into sending certain amounts of cryptocurrencies with a promise of exorbitant returns.
Naturally, the victims never receive anything in return, and by the time they realized what has transpired, the scammers are already long gone with the stolen crypto. The scheme may be simple, but it is so effective that the scammers can make millions per month, and thousands each and every day.
Obviously, dealing in cryptos can be extremely profitable, and many have been known to make fortunes by making a right investment. However, this also makes it incredibly dangerous due to numerous scams and phishing attacks. The best that the investors can do is remain cautious, and not rush into things without proper research first. Otherwise, the attack numbers will only go up, and the attackers will keep making money off of naive enthusiasts.