Fake Crypto Ads On Youtube?

News, Opinion | April 3, 2019 By:

News has been circulating the webs that there is a fake advertisement on Youtube that is promoting a particular digital wallet. The wallet in question is Electrum, which does indeed have some type of Youtube campaign, but the scammers hijacked it and used it for their own benefit.

According to a post on Reddit, during mid-rolls or at the end of the video, an advertisement plays promoting the wallet. The advertisement is identical to the one Electrum had commissioned, but has a different link.

According to the user, the ad was promoting the relevant website, called electrum.org, however once clicked, it would transfer the viewer to a completely different website called elecktrum.org. After the transfer, the viewer’s computer would be forced to download a .exe file which was later found out to be a phishing scheme, forcing the computer to lend its computing power for mining and scanning for any wallet credentials or exchange log-ins.

Youtube has already taken measures to solve this issue, but particular viewers can’t help themselves but feel a bit of deja vu with this scheme.

Deja Vu

Citizens of South Africa had a similar scheme in their country not too long ago, about 1 month. The scheme was not very elaborate, but it was effective and more devastating than any other “brute force” break in hack.

The hackers would connect to unsuspecting peoples’ devices and use its computing power for mining cryptocurrencies. People ignored this in the beginning, but over time, once devices started exploding or degrading, it was ousted.

As a matter of fact, in the peak of the phishing scheme, the hackers updated the hack to target only South African traders, by locating relevant apps or software on their devices and connecting to it directly.

A crucial mistake

Fortunately, or even unfortunately, this hack in South Africa was far more elaborate and well thought out compared to the Electrum Phishing scheme.

The malware, after downloading, would message the victims on their email, allegedly asking their Electrum 4.0.0 to be updated. A Reddit user noted the mistake. Electrum had no updates other than 3.3.3