Ethereum Is The Most Popular Cryptocurrency With Phishers, Says Kaspersky Lab

Crime, News | August 15, 2018 By:

Cybercriminals pocketed more than $2.3 million from cryptocurrency phishing scams in the second quarter of the year, according to international software security group Kaspersky Lab.

In its ‘Spam and Phishing in Q2 2018’ report, Kaspersky claimed that from April to June 2018, its antiphishing system prevented 58,000 user attempts to connect to phishing websites masquerading as popular cryptocurrency wallets and markets. Malefactors reportedly used the names of new initial coin offering (ICO) projects to collect money from potential investors that are trying to gain early access to new tokens.

“The most popular cover used by cybercriminals is cryptocurrency giveaways on behalf of celebrities,” Kaspersky said. “The user is asked to transfer a small amount of cryptocurrency to a certain wallet to get double or triple coins back. To enhance trust, the wallet may be located on a separate website, which also contains a list of fake transactions that the victim can see “updating” in real time, which confirms that any person who transfers money to the fake wallet gets back several times the amount transferred. Of course, the victim does not receive anything. Despite the simplicity of this scheme, it makes cybercriminals millions of dollars.”

According to the report, ethereum is currently the most popular cryptocurrency with phishers. Kaspersky said the popularity of ethereum with cybercriminals increases as more funds are attracted by ICOs on the ethereum platform.

“According to our very rough estimate (based on data received from over a thousand ETH wallets used by malefactors), over the Q2 2018, cybercriminals exploiting ICOs managed to make $2,329,317 (end-of-July-2018 exchange rate), traditional phishing not included.”

The second quarter of 2018 flustered users of financial services, with nearly a quarter (21.1%) of attacks featuring banks, followed by e-shops (8.17%) and payment systems (6.43%). Brazil remained the country with the largest share of users attacked by phishers in the second quarter of 2018 (15.51%). This was followed by China (14.44%), Georgia (14.44%), Kirghizstan (13.6%) and Russia (13.27%).

Nadezhda Demidova, lead web content analyst, Kaspersky Lab, said the permanence of attacks targeting financial organizations reflects the fact that more and more people are using electronic money.

“Still, not all of them are sufficiently aware of the possible risks, so intruders are actively trying to steal sensitive information through phishing,” Demidova said.