NFT God Falls Victim To Google Ads-Delivered Malware

NFT God Falls Victim To Google Ads-Delivered Malware

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Crypto and NFT-influencer NFT God has lost all of his digital assets, described as a “life-changing amount,” after falling victim to a hack on the 14th of January. 

NFT God claims the assets were lost thanks to a sponsored advertisement link that contained malware.  

A “Life Changing Amount” Lost 

An NFT influencer named NFT God claimed that they lost all of their digital assets and NFTs in a hack on the 14th of January. According to the pseudo-anonymous influencer, they lost the NFTs after accidentally downloading malicious software, which they found through a Google Ads search result. NFT God posted a series of tweets describing how his assets came under attack, which included his crypto wallet, which came under attack, along with multiple online accounts. 

“Last night, my entire digital livelihood was violated. Every account connected to me, both personally and professionally, was hacked and used to hurt others. Less importantly, I lost a life-changing amount of my net worth.”

A Sponsored Malware Link? 

According to NFT God’s version of events, they were using Google’s search engine to download an open-source video streaming software, OBS. However, instead of clicking the link for the original website, he ended up clicking on the sponsored advertisement, thinking it would be the same thing. The NFT influencer only realized their folly after a few hours, after several phishing tweets appeared on two Twitter accounts operated by them, and discovered that the sponsored link had led to malware being downloaded, along with the software. 

Crypto Wallet Compromised 

Following this discovery, a message from an acquaintance led to the discovery that hackers also had access to his crypto wallet. 

“I quickly delete the scam tweets the hackers posted. Caught it 2 minutes after the links went live. Phew. If only that were the last chapter of this story. Unfortunately, it was just the first. Then I get the DM I’ve been dreading. “Dude, you WETH’d your ape?” I pop open the Opensea bookmark of my ape, and there it is. A completely different wallet is listed as the owner. I knew at that moment it was all gone. Everything. All my crypto and NFTs ripped from me.”

The following day, the hackers managed to gain access to NFT God’s Substack account and sent out phishing emails to over 16,000 subscribers, eroding what he described as years of trust. 

“The hackers were sending emails from my Substack to my 16,000 subscribers. The hackers sent 2 emails to my 16,000 closest fans with hacked links. Trust I’ve worked over a year to build was gone. Losing a chunk of my net worth is nothing compared to losing the trust of my community.”

According to the available data, 19 ETH, a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT with a floor price of 16 ETH, and a host of other NFTs were siphoned off from the compromised wallet. After stealing the funds, the hacker moved the ETH through multiple wallets, after which they were sent to the FixedFloat decentralized exchange and were swapped for other cryptocurrencies. 

A Critical Mistake 

NFT God stated that he made a crucial mistake while setting up their hardware wallet, setting it up as a hot wallet by entering the seed phrase “in a way that no longer kept it cold,” enabling hackers to access their NFTs and assets with ease. However, since he had no plans to purchase any NFTs soon, he put off purchasing another cold wallet. 

“Not buying a new cold wallet immediately was a deadly mistake. But even with a cold wallet, my entire digital world would still be destroyed. Digital security isn’t just buying a cold wallet. It’s also being careful with EVERYTHING you do on the internet. Everything.”

Malware On Google Ads 

The crypto community has long been trying to bring attention to the problem of malware targetting crypto in Google Ads. A report published by cybersecurity firm Cyble outlined the threat posed by an information-stealing malware, Rhadamanthys Stealer, spreading through Google Ads. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has also highlighted the threat from Google search results, which he stated were promoting phishing and scamming websites. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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