According to new research by Kaspersky Labs, Ethereum is the favoured coin for cryptocurrency scammers worldwide. As the most notorious cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, Ethereum is the obvious choice for a scammer, built on a huge network but with little mainstream attention, it allows scammers to remain hidden, yet still able to access a huge network filled with the potential to commit fraud. It’s almost like the Ethereum blockchain is a sewer for hackers and cyber criminals, a breeding ground for those who want to illicit crypto out of their victims.In their quarterly report, Kaspersky Labs have written a number of comments about cryptocurrencies, all of which focus on Ethereum as a currency that is well utilised by hackers and criminals. You can see the full report for yourself, here. According to Kaspersky:
“Ethereum (ETH) is currently the most popular cryptocurrency with phishers. The popularity of Ethereum with cybercriminals increases as more funds are attracted by ICOs on the Ethereum platform. According to our very rough estimate (based on data received from over a thousand ETH wallets used by malefactors), over the Q2 2018, cybercriminals exploiting ICOs managed to make $2,329,317 (end-of-July-2018 exchange rate), traditional phishing not included.”
The report also focuses on how Ethereum is used on social networks within scams set up to appear as Ethereum giveaways, authorised by major players in the crypto world, though as many know, these ‘celebrity’ accounts are often fake and run by bad actors and even scam bots:
“The most popular cover used by cybercriminals is cryptocurrency giveaways on behalf of celebrities. The user is asked to transfer a small amount of cryptocurrency to a certain wallet to get double or triple coins back. To enhance trust, the wallet may be located on a separate website, which also contains a list of fake transactions that the victim can see “updating” in real time, which confirms that any person who transfers money to the fake wallet gets back several times the amount transferred. Of course, the victim does not receive anything. Despite the simplicity of this scheme, it makes cybercriminals millions of dollars. This quarter, cybercriminals favoured the names of Elon Musk, Pavel Durov, and Vitalik Buterin in their schemes.”
Of course, Ethereum isn’t built for this purpose, it’s just unfortunate that scammers seem to fancy Ethereum within their scams. It obviously works for them and therefore we don’t expect things to change. Therefore, in order to ensure the integrity of the Ethereum blockchain, we all need to be cautious when dealing with Ethereum transactions online. Here’s a simple rule to get you started - don’t partake in Ethereum giveaways!