Cryptocurrency Phishing Attacks Rise by 40% Year-on-Year in 2022

Cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks have seen bad actors shift their focus from traditional financial threats to phishing. Kaspersky has revealed a 40% year-on-year increase in cryptocurrency phishing attacks in 2022, with 5,040,520 attacks detected compared to 3,596,437 in 2021. Phishing attacks involve reaching out to investors through fake websites and communication channels that mimic official companies, and prompting users to share personal information such as private keys, which ultimately provides attackers unwarranted access to crypto wallets and assets.

While Kaspersky could not predict if the trend of cryptocurrency phishing attacks would increase in 2023, phishing attacks continue to gain momentum in 2023. In a survey conducted by Kaspersky, one out of seven respondents admitted to being affected by cryptocurrency phishing.

Phishing attacks predominantly involve giveaway scams or fake wallet phishing pages, but attackers continue to evolve their strategies. Kaspersky has noted that “crypto still remains a symbol of getting rich quick with minimal effort,” which attracts scammers to innovate their techniques and stories to lure in unwary crypto investors.

Recently, hardware cryptocurrency wallet provider Trezor issued a warning against attempts to steal users’ crypto by tricking investors into entering their recovery phrase on a fake Trezor site. This highlights the importance of being vigilant and taking necessary precautions to protect one’s crypto assets.

In a recent incident, Arbitrum investors were exposed to a phishing link via its official Discord server. A hacker reportedly hacked into the Discord account of one of Arbitrum’s developers, which was then used to share a fake announcement with a phishing link. This shows that attackers are constantly finding new ways to trick investors into sharing their personal information, and highlights the need for increased security measures to protect against cryptocurrency phishing attacks.

In conclusion, cryptocurrency phishing attacks continue to rise, with attackers evolving their strategies to lure unwary crypto investors. It is crucial for investors to be vigilant and take necessary precautions, such as avoiding clicking on suspicious links, verifying the authenticity of websites and communication channels, and using hardware wallets to store their crypto assets. Additionally, companies must prioritize security measures and educate their users to help prevent and mitigate the effects of cryptocurrency phishing attacks.


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Scammers adapt to survive during crypto winter

In a recent crypto crime webinar, Eric Jardine from Chainalysis revealed how scammers adapt their strategies to changes in market situations. While overall crypto scam revenue dropped in 2022, Jardine noted that not all scams behaved similarly. By sub-classing scams into types, he found that scammers were adapting to market conditions and turning to other strategies, such as giveaway and romantic scams, to prey on people’s emotions.

Jardine’s data revealed that as investment scams become less effective, romance and giveaway scams become more prevalent, indicating that scammers are not simply using the same script over and over again. They can adapt and change depending on market conditions. Additionally, Jardine highlighted that a multilevel marketing scam called hyperverse took a massive chunk out of the $5.9 billion lost to scams in 2022, racking up around $1.3 billion, which accounts for roughly 22% of scam revenue in that year.

The rise of romance and giveaway scams during the crypto winter is not surprising as scammers often prey on people’s emotions during difficult times. These scams are designed to target people who are feeling vulnerable and in need of support. Giveaway scams often promise free tokens or coins in exchange for personal information, while romance scams involve scammers posing as potential partners to gain access to victims’ personal information or money.

It’s important to note that these scams are not exclusive to the crypto world and have been used by scammers for years. However, the crypto world provides scammers with a new platform to reach a wider audience and target people who are investing in digital currencies. As the market conditions change, scammers will continue to adapt and find new ways to deceive people.

Investors and consumers must remain vigilant and educate themselves on the latest scams and tactics used by scammers. Platforms and exchanges can also play a significant role in detecting and preventing scams by implementing robust security measures and educating their users. By working together, we can help to mitigate the risks posed by scammers and protect the integrity of the crypto industry.


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