In recent years, the cryptocurrency market is actively developing. There are new coins, new opportunities for earnings and … new ways of fraud or well forgotten old ones. For example, phishing on cryptocurrency. With the appearance of the cryptocurrency, this type of fraud has not changed its essence, but has received a new, specific sound.
What is cryptocurrency phishing?
Phishing has been around for a long time. With it, fraudsters catch passwords from accounts in social networks, bank cards, corporate databases and so on.
The typical phishing scheme is extremely simple. The fraudster sends the user an e-mail from the so-called brand name (bank director, company representative, Mark Zuckerberg, and so on), which includes a link to the fake website of this brand.
After all, the private key is your assets in the cryptocurrency world. Reporting it to third parties is the same as giving your wallet with cash and bank cards to a passerby.
Obviously, by sending letters to everyone in a row demanding to provide their personal data, the fraudsters will not achieve anything. They always have a clear plan of action.
Obviously, a high-quality phishing attack requires lengthy training and certain technical resources. An attacker needs not only correctly compose a letter, but also correctly identify the distribution audience.
And also create a website with built-in copying or spoofing software and set up filter bypass. Otherwise, its mass mailing will simply go to spam.
Cryptocurrency phishing: the most common schemes
Outlining a list of potential victims, he composes a letter in which he gives a link to the fake website of the purse for storing cryptocurrency. For example, myetherwalet.com (in the original – myetherwallet.com, that is, only one letter “l” is missing).
Then he sends letters on behalf of MyEtherWallet technical support. For example, with a request to go to the site and make changes to the settings to increase the security of your account.
Having received a letter from a representative of the cryptographic wallet on which he actually stores the broadcast, the person is unlikely to close it and enter the site via a search line or bookmarks.
If he believes what he has written, he will immediately follow the link. And there he will have to wait for the standard form to enter the account – login and password. He will enter them, and voila – the fraudster got access to his crypto wallet and the accumulated air.
Similarly, phishers send letters on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges. Many traders are kept on letters of technical support, because they are concerned about the safety of their funds on the exchange account. The scheme is the same link – login – password – access to the account.
Advanced phishers have come up with a trick to fool even the most vigilant users. They invest huge money not only in the creation of a site that is identical to the original, but also in its full-fledged promotion and promotion in search engines.
For example, last year many users received letters from technical support from blocklchain.info (an extra “l”) and myetherwallt.com (one “e” is missing). For a long time, these fake sites were higher than the originals in the top Google ranks.
For example, if you have a 5BTC balance, the user receives 1% of bonus accruals. Or for every 10ETH on the account they give him 0.1ETH. Nobody offers to get a million from scratch. Fraudsters appeal to the credibility of small but pleasant prizes.
The scheme is working, since the accrual of bonus coins (AirDrop) is a common practice among developers who promote their tokens. In the same way, for example, with hard forks of the Bitcoin network, BTC holders received an equivalent amount of BCH, BTG and other tokens of new branches.
For example, last year many users of the Raiden cryptocurrency platform received a letter in which they were offered to receive RDN bonus tokens, provided that there is a certain amount of ETH on the balance sheet. Conventionally, having 10ETH on the account, the user would receive 20RDN for free.
The proposal looked plausible if only because Raiden is a platform built on top of the Ethereum network. That is, the sites are really connected.
The users who received the letter were required to follow the link to the Raiden website, enter the public address of their Ethereum wallet, as well as the current balance of ETH and RDN. Here everything is the same logical. To transfer funds, you need a public address. And the state of balance is necessary in order to calculate the amount of bonus tokens.
There were only two nuances. First, the link led to raiden network.com (originally raiden.network.com). Second, at the end of the procedure, it was necessary to enter the private address of the wallet. The “developers” even added a long explanation of why this is needed.
Cryptocurrency phishing: the scale of the problem
Many users did not even understand what was written and simply entered their private address in order to quickly get free tokens. And, of course, lost their savings on the air.
Many users believe that such a fraud will not affect them. But today phishing on cryptocurrency has become a very urgent and widespread problem.
According to statistics, over the past year more than 200 million users have received phishing emails, and about 60% of emails received by users from the CIS are spam.
Phishing earnings are also impressive. For example, Coinharder, a phishing company exposed last month, stole more than $ 50 million from Bitcoin holders for 3 years.
And this is only one company. And, according to experts, the share of phishing sites in RuNet is 25%. And a significant part of them are fakes that are disguised as well-known cryptocurrency platforms.
How to protect against cryptocurrency phishing?
They still don’t remember the domain names of official sites and don’t know that large cryptocurrency platforms do not send letters about bonus programs or AirDrop, but simply post an advertising on the site and promote the news through authoritative sources.
But we must not forget that the toolkit of fraudsters is constantly updated, and it is precisely human inattention that they exploit.