Crypto Phishing Surge: A Rising Menace

Martin Walker
Oct 15, 2023 at 09:20 am

Phishing attacks exploiting novel zero-transfer techniques continue to be a persistent issue within the cryptocurrency domain, leading to significant thefts of digital assets from unsuspecting victims.

According to recent data from Bitrace, a prominent blockchain analytics platform, the scale of damage caused by these sophisticated scams has grown alarmingly. Market participants on the Tron network have unfortunately suffered substantial losses, with the total surpassing a staggering 451 million Tether (USDT).

Victims Lose a Whopping $451M USDT due to Phishing on Tron

The zero-transfer phishing technique represents a relatively new and deceptive fraudulent tactic, enabling malicious actors to exploit a victim's transaction history by confirming transactions of zero value from the user's wallet. Astonishingly, these attackers do not require the user's private key. Instead, they skillfully execute transactions of no value, resulting in their addresses prominently appearing in the user's transaction history.

Scammers frequently employ addresses that bear a striking resemblance to those to which the victim has previously sent tokens. These craftily constructed addresses strategically start and end with identical sets of characters. Regrettably, crypto users who fall prey to this cunning scam inadvertently copy and paste the attacker's address from their transaction history, designating them as the intended transfer recipient and, unknowingly, transferring their valuable assets to them.

In addition to the massive 451 million USDT lost on the Tron network, distressing reports continue to surface regarding substantial losses incurred due to phishing scams across various blockchain networks. Merely last month, a user of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange's wallet suffered a significant loss of 4.46 million USDT when they, unfortunately, fell victim to a phishing attack. This unfortunate incident transpired on the Ethereum blockchain.

Further Losses due to Pervasive Phishing Scams

A day prior to the 4.46 million USDT theft, a popular crypto trading tool, None, was tragically compelled to halt its operations after succumbing to a relentless phishing attack. The deployer of None found themselves at a loss, relinquishing a total of 41.52 ether (ETH) and 11,7000 NONE tokens, collectively valued at a substantial $76,500, to a deceitful phishing address.

Likewise, a distinguished crypto whale experienced a distressing loss of $24.23 million in liquid-staked Ethereum, all vanishing into the clutches of cunning phishing scammers. This incident has been characterized as one of the most notable and significant crypto phishing attacks witnessed in recent times.

Meanwhile, Tether, the reputable entity responsible for issuing USDT, encountered an unfortunate situation in the past. They were compelled to freeze a staggering $20 million USDT, which an unwitting user had inadvertently sent to a phishing scammer during the month of August. The prevalence of such incidents underscores the critical need for heightened vigilance and robust security measures within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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