Cybercriminals always follow the money, and it’s no wonder that Bitcoin’s skyrocketing popularity has made it a massive target for malicious hackers. These criminals are stalking and hunting Bitcoin wallet owners in many devious ways, and one of the most popular tactics is phishing. If a hacker succeeds in gaining access to a target’s Bitcoin wallet, they can steal all of the victim’s cryptocurrency in seconds, and the easiest way to get a victim to give away their credentials is to trick him or her with a fake email and website.
Recently, specialists of the Comodo Threat Research Labs stopped one of these cunning attacks. The attackers used tricky, multi-step technology to deceive the victim. Let’s take a closer look at this fraud chain.
It began when one of Comodo’s clients received this email:
The subject line reads “Security Upgrade” and says:
Your Blockchain wallet has to be upgraded immediately due to an important security update. Blockchain has confirmed your 1-step Blockchain wallet verification. In order to validate and update your Blockchain wallet, please access your Blockchain wallet by clicking on below link and enter your Blockchain wallet ID for verification.”
The email looks like a valid message from Blockchain, one of the most popular sites Bitcoin owners use to operate their accounts. If you look at the “From” field, you find the real email address of the Blockchain site: firstname.lastname@example.org.
But if you click on the “Verify Your Wallet” button, here is where the black magic begins. First, you will be redirected to this page:
At first sight, everything seems to be okay, doesn’t it? Click on the “Log In” button, and a new pop-up appears with “email” and “password” boxes.
Now, all you have left to do is to put in your credentials, and the problem is corrected, right?
Stop! Before you click “Verify,” look carefully at the address bar: this site is not blockhain.info. It’s blockcnailn.org.
Yes, you are quite right. It’s a phishing site belonging to cybercriminals. Had you given away your credentials, your Blockchain wallet would be cleared out in seconds.
How can this be possible? Indeed, the email was sent from the real email@example.com address. Unfortunately, most users don’t suspect that any email address can be impersonated or spoofed through very common and easy methods. Thus, after checking the address and ensuring it’s valid, a person hardly notices that one-letter difference in the site’s URL. This is why many users become victims of phishing.
The attack above was aimed at one distinct person, and the phishing email was sent from one IP address 22.214.171.124 in Seoul, South Korea. The domain blockchailn.org is registered in China.
“We were faced with a rather high-level phishing attack here,” said Fatih Orhan, the head of Comodo Threat Research Labs. “When stakes are extremely high, like in the case of the spear-phishing attack on Bitcoin wallets, cybercriminals perform their dark jobs very carefully and inventively. For effective protection from sophisticated attacks of this kind, individuals and companies need a strong combination of technical and human forces. Our client was protected by Comodo technologies, for example, so cybercriminals were powerless, unable to access their Bitcoin wallet.”
Live secure with Comodo!