Cryptocurrency users are often a target for hackers which was proven true once again. This time, Ethereum users have become a target, and are constantly abused by Russian hackers. Their methods have become so sophisticated, that in only six days, hackers managed to steal over $700,000.
The cryptocurrency communities have started often using messaging software called Slack for having their discussions concerning different subjects. Since this software has many channels, wallet developers can use different ones for having private conversations. At the same time, they are able to use public channels for answering questions and discussing general topics with other users.
However, these communities are now in danger, especially since hackers figured out how to trick them. They do this by impersonating a chatbot called Slackbot. They would then send fake custom messages to all of the Slack team members.
These phishing messages have already hit over 100 Slack communities, which resulted in tens of thousands of users being at risk. The message that these users receive is about MyEtherWallet being under a hacking attack. It advises users to log into the account and check their finances.
The message also provides a link that is supposed to lead to a wallet login page. However, it is, in fact, a malicious website that only looks like a login page. It is designed to trick those unaware of what is going on into attempting to log in. That way, the users would uncover their login credentials to hackers who would then rob them of their money.
Slack has seen a lot of these attacks in a recent period, especially between July 7 and now. However, it is not the only one, and Reddit has had an infestation of phishing attacks of its own. Multiple malicious private messages have started appearing in users’ inboxes, claiming to be the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin.
Ethereum users have been a target for phishing attacks ever since last year, but the currency’s recent price spike has led to a rise in the attacks. When Ethereum started off, it was very cheap, as usual for a new cryptocurrency. However, in January of 2017, it went from $8.24 to $203.30. The price continued to rise, and at the end of June, its cost was $400. These days, the price has dropped down to around $209.39.
The truth is that MyEtherWallet was never in any danger of a breach, which is why these scammers were soon uncovered. The core developers have officially stated that there is no hacking attack, and everyone’s money is safe, while the personal info of the users is not even stored on the wallet.
Still, it is understandable that so many have hurried to check if their money is ok. It is not easy to think clearly in such situations.
As for MyEtherWallet, it is an open source wallet system that is completely free to use. Its design makes it easy for users to interact with their Ethereum cryptocurrency. The service’s official website is MyEtherWallet.com, while the scammers are using Russian domains for tricking people into giving away their credentials.
The only way to stop these attacks is to find a Russian lawyer that will block the fake domain. However, Ethereum community has warriors of its own, and 200 of them are currently spamming hackers’ servers.
Because of this, hackers can’t tell which of the login credentials are actually harvested from tricked users, and which are part of a spam. This gives time to Ethereum users to discover the fraud and changes their credentials, even if they lost them to hackers.
Slack channels are now also closely monitored, while the Ethereum users on slack are warned about the attack.
These kinds of attacks are usually used against older users who aren’t aware of the dangers. However, it would seem that the rise of cryptocurrencies has motivated hackers to try them out wherever they can.