Yet another phishing attempt has made the news after six scammers were able to steal $28 million worth of bitcoin cryptocurrency. While the suspects were caught, thanks in part to digital storage detection dogs, cryptocurrency schemes continue to be a problem in the world of online coinage.
How the Scammers Tricked Blockchain Users
The six people who committed fraud created look-alike sites for the blockchain.com cryptocurrency exchange. This type of fraud makes the original web address look similar to the original with subtle differences like .co within the address, or an added word between www. and the original blockchain.com. While these appear legitimate at first glance, they can cause lethal damage to your device and in this case, virtual bank account. This is known as typosquatting.
Users were reaching this site by either mistyping the web address and being taken to the fraudulent site or were enticed to visit the site through clicking on a URL through Google AdWords. This online advertising platform allows advertisers to pay in order to show brief ads, products, videos, and more to web users.
At this time, the UK South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit says there are over 4,000 victims in at least 12 countries, and as the investigation continues, the number is expected to grow.
Dogs Dig for Digital Devices
The six suspects were arrested on charges of committing money laundering and computer misuse. Evidence was found after a search of their homes for devices that related to their crimes. The searches were fruitful because of the newest form of cybersecurity: digital storage detection police dogs.
The idea of “cyber dogs” originated a few years back to aid the cyber crimes division of police departments worldwide. These dogs are trained to sniff out triphenylphosphone oxide, a chemical in electronic devices that prevents a device from overheating. They can sniff out devices including:
A digital detection dog was able to find a device containing evidence of child pornography in the case of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. In this most recent case, devices found in the suspects’ homes held bitcoin and may reveal that there are other domains aside from blockchain that were affected.
Cryptocurrency Schemes Still on the Rise
There have already been several virtual currency scams just this year. The large amount of money on the web paired with the blockchain network makes it nearly impossible to find where the cash went. Some scams include:
While these crimes continue to grow, so do the preventative measures against them. Our Secure Forensics team can detect fraud and identify the perpetrators involved to provide you with court-admissible evidence to get your assets back.
Additionally, the best way to store your cryptocurrency is in cold storage, safe from online predators. The SecureDrive product line consists of hardware encrypted external hard drives and flash drives that keep your digital files secure. The devices are FIPS compliant and can only be unlocked through PIN entry or app on a mobile device. For more information on any of our products or services, call 1-800-388-1266.