Over the course of the last few years, hackers have been abusing bitcoin investors, cleaning out their cryptocurrency wallets over time. Well, thankfully, Cisco has finally brought to light the crooks responsible for numerous hacker attacks.
What the hackers did.
Supposedly, a group of Ukrainian hackers, going by the cover of COINHOARDER, managed to steal over 50 million USD from Blockchain.info users. Now, the hackers were able to steal these funds quite easily. They simply bought up advertisements pertaining to hot search words and linked them up with phishing websites.
Unaware users would input their data into these phishing sites and the hackers would steal it. Thus, gaining access to their bitcoin wallets.
In the defense of the victims, phishing sites are quite difficult to distinguish from authentic ones. For example, we can replace the letter “i” in Blockchain.info with an “l”, and get Blockchaln.info.
Additionally, they would frequently displace official sites on search engines. Once user data was acquired, stealing their money was an easy task.
Talos, which is Cisco’s threat intelligence team stated in their report that COINHOARDER was buying up Google Adwords in order to establish a stable flow of victims. In February of 2017, COINHOARDERS fake sites were queried over 200,000 times per hour.
Additionally, Cisco has provided evidence claiming that COINHOARDER has been running bitcoin their phishing scheme since around 2015. It is assumed that the culprits have amassed a fortune of over 50 million over their 3-year run.
But, what is most important is that the individuals behind COINHOARDER are still at large.
Be careful with your bitcoins.
Scammers are on the rise, and they are becoming way more sophisticated in their abuse attempts. Currently, phishing through the use of Google Adwords is on the rise.
It is critical for cryptocurrency investors to be extremely careful with the websites they visit and the information that they share.
It can be assumed that such scam attempts will continue to rise in their frequency. However, international law enforcement agencies and organizations such as Cisco will continue on monitoring the field in hopes of preventing users from being fooled.