Just a few months after the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), a cybercrime consortium, released its report on cybercrime trends for the year 2017, a similar report has been recently published by internet security company Kaspersky Lab, which portrays a distressing picture of the rate of cryptocurrency scamming during the second quarter of 2018.
According to Kaspersky Lab’s Spam and Phishing for Q2 2018 report, Kaspersky Labs revealed that cybercriminals earned more than $2.3 million from cryptocurrency during that period, while from April to June 2018, the company’s anti-hacking software had prevented almost 60,000 attempts by internet users from accessing fraudulent web pages that included crypto-wallets and exchanges.
A recurring method cybercriminals fleece unsuspecting victims is through “cyber giveaways,” whereby, cybercriminals entice a victim to willingly send them cryptocurrency. The cybercriminals would use the names of a new ICO projects to collect money from potential investors that are trying to gain early access to new tokens. Sometimes these phishing sites are launched even before official project sites.
What’s more, Kaspersky Labs report made known that Ethereum (ETH) is currently the most popular cryptocurrency with phishers as a result of increase in funds Ethereum ICO’s attracts, the company also estimated that “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 issue of cryptocurrency theft, though not new, is gathering much public awareness. In February 2017, customers of South Korean crypto exchange lost about $1 million in bitcoins to hackers. Later that same year, ICOs CoinDash and Veritaseum reportedly lost about $7 million and $8 million worth of cryptocurrencies to cybercriminals.