Wallets and Exchangers: A Shelter for Cybercriminals?

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Unfortunately it is well known that Bitcoin has enjoyed immense popularity in the underground crime markets due to the anonymity associated with financial transactions. Despite becoming the mainstream for traditional businesses and daily consumer trade, the nefarious use of crypto-currencies remains strong, with ransomware and other criminal actors shamelessly trying to extort payment on bitcoin and underground markets now using a variety of Cryptones.

The incorporation of Bitcoin in particular, together with integrated mechanisms to ensure a reasonable degree of scarcity, has dramatically boosted the value of the currency. Not surprisingly, recent digital threat actors are looking for new ways to steal bitcoins, even through sophisticated phishing scams.

Recent discoveries by Cryptotoxicity Risk Mitigation Firm Proofpoint have revealed a greater rise in phishing schemes that now target wallets and online exchanges like bitcoin. These attacks are extremely sophisticated and often mimic similar attacks seen for a range of services such as online banking, Dropbox, Google, etc. However, this orientation of bitcoin portfolios offers new opportunities for cybercriminals since these forms of transactions are even more difficult to detect.

Proofpoint observed a series of phishing templates and e-mail lures that mimic online wallets such as Blockchain.com and exchanges of crypto-currencies like Poloniex.

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These templates attempt to steal portfolio identifiers and credentials that allow players to engage in fraudulent transactions with third parties or withdraw funds directly. Although these portfolios have sophisticated encryption methods and security protocols for their users, it is always important to prevent any possibility of being a victim of cybercrime. With Bitcoin’s rapid growth, this trend indicates how much of a great cyber-crime opportunity there is. Checking the security steps, the legitimacy of the URL of the portfolio among other measures, are a good start to prevent.

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