On the Dark Web, a Bitcoin Scammer Proudly Gloats of 200 BTC in Personal Profit via Squatting
Scammers and hackers tend to infiltrate the cryptocurrency industry enough that it has become a common risk of investing. One of the most recent scams has been the impersonation of a real website, ensuring that there is no need to earn customer trust or even implement software. A variation of this is called “typosquatting.”
According to a recent article on The Next Web involving one scammer that used this process, typosquatting is a type of cybersquatting. Basically, the scammer “squatted” on websites that were under another brand, zeroing in on the users that don’t type web addresses correctly. When the user typed the wrong address, they were led to a spoof site. The error in the website can be relatively simple, like typing Faceboook.com instead of Facebook.com.
On some of these websites, the scammer left behind this bold and taunting message:
(Source: Digital Shadows)
The company believed to have discovered the claims of the scammer and analyzed them, Digital Shadows, stated that they cannot verify if the scammer got away with as much as they claimed. The total amount that the scammer claims to have made through these efforts is 200 BTC, which is worth about $760,000 at the moment. The attacker makes mention of a payment processor that he developed for the cybersquatting scam, which he said impacted 800 domains. Digital Shadows was able to find about 500 of the domains attacked.
A strategy and research analyst for Digital Shadows, Harrison Van Riper, said that he first saw the above splash page in November, but he did not realize at the time that this was not the only occurrence. In fact, he started to uncover other pages that had met a similar fate, including 350 unique .onion domains.
At this point, the claims of the scammer have not been validated, but Van Riper commented that this is an excellent case to reflect on for the potential of what these typosquatters could ultimately do. If his claims are true, the analyst said that this is a testament to the profitability of
“brand impersonation and domain squatting.”
Considering how advanced some hackers and scammers are turning out to be in their ventures, companies and individual investors need to find ways to adequately protect their information and funds. For now, this story and similar tales will only add to the unfortunate state of Bitcoin’s public relations to traditional finance.