Posted on February 9, 2021 at 4:47 AM
The cryptocurrency industry has generated a lot of interest in recent months due to the astronomical rise of several crypto assets. However, while investors continue to ride the Bitcoin (BTC) wave, cybercriminals have also intensified their efforts to launch attacks in the industry.
Regulators are constantly dealing with fraud cases in the crypto industry, while exchanges hit with cyberattacks can lose trader funds.
A recent report has revealed that users of messaging and voice chat service Discord, who are trading cryptocurrencies are targeted by hackers.
Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky posted a warning, saying that some scammers are sending private messages to Discord users appearing to be from new exchanges to deceive them. The message claim they want to support traders in “difficult times”
Scammers lure targets to give up personal details
The scammers claim to be a new or up-coming cryptocurrency exchange, promising free cryptocurrencies to users who complete certain requests.
The format of the scammers is usually to tell the users they are the lucky ones to benefit from their cryptocurrency giveaway as they are trying to launch a new exchange.
According to the researchers, the crypto scammers claim to offer free cryptocurrencies to thousands of users, which looks attractive to them. Each message sent to the user has instructions and a code the user needs to use for accepting the free coin. There is also a link provided for the user to register on the bogus exchange.
Once the user clicks the link, a site resembling a crypto exchange pops up, with exchange rate info, savvy design, and a simple layout.
The site also contains other things like crypto trading history, order books, as well as charts, and every other info that makes it look like a real exchange.
The researchers said the scammers furnished the site to make it look very real and worthy enough to deceive users.
The website also offers “phishing protection” as well as “two-factor authentication” to try and look authentic.
When the target logs to the website and goes through the registration process, they are asked to provide certain details.
They are required to provide contact details, a photo ID, as well as a signature.
These details are similar to the ones provided by other legitimate crypto exchanges. However, the scammer sites can gather all this information to sell to threat actors. These details can be potentially used in identity theft.
After the user has succeeded in filling in the required information, the scammer doesn’t stop there. The users are asked to make a small commitment of either USD, ETH, or Bitcoin to aid them to process the gift. But in the real sense, the user will be sending the amount without getting anything in return.
The cryptocurrency industry becoming more attractive to scammers
Scammers have increased their activities on crypto users. Apart from fronting as an exchange, they can choose to roll out Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) to deceive users and take their money.
Last month, a San Francisco resident was sent to jail for six months after being found guilty of a $20 million fraud from his scheme as an ICO consultant.
The information available on the fake site shows the skimmers are more serious about getting users’ details rather than their funds. It may seem a modest goal, but it could be worse than if users are to part away with their money. The skimmers can sell users’ details to threat actors who may use them for phishing attacks and other types of identity theft.
The unprecedented high price of several cryptocurrencies has made it very attractive to threat actors. Last week, data connected to cryptocurrency wallets like Trezor and Ledger were sold on online investment platform Bnktothefuture, after the Ethreum.org hack.
The hacker claimed to have 3 databases with information of about 10,000 customers, including the name, residential address, phone number, and email address of the customers.
The hacker also claimed he has the databases of 18 virtual currency exchanges and forums he wants to sell.