Since the inception of cryptocurrencies, hackers have devised several methods to steal tokens from unsuspecting investors and traders. The latest technique deployed by these nefarious players in the crypto industry is the use of fake Bitcoin QR code generators to swap a receiver’s BTC wallet address with theirs illegally.
According to a recent study reported by ZDNet, a total of nine websites which engage in the service of helping cryptocurrency users convert their wallet address into QR codes, have used this technique to steal BTC worth $45,000 from unsuspecting users in one month.
How It’s Done
In trying to eliminate any form of mistake while inputting crypto wallet addresses, most crypto users convert this lengthy address into QR codes image, so that it can be easily scanned with a Bitcoin wallet app on smartphones or PC whenever the need arises.
ZDNet noted that Harry Denley, Director of Security at MyCrypto platform, conducted an investigation on one of the BTC wallet address QR codes generator website and discovered something suspicious.
In his investigation, the platform does not convert users’ inputted BTC address into its QR code equivalent as expected but rather links the QR code to five different BTC wallet address owned by the scammer(s), which had so far received funds totaling more than 7 BTC ($45,000) from unsuspecting users.
The implication of this is that all payments made through the generated QR code will be sent to the scammer’s BTC address instead of the users’.
Further investigation revealed that the scammer(s) also created eight other BTC QR code generator websites bringing the total to nine.
The websites include bitcoin-barcode-generator.com, bitcoinaddresstoqrcode.com, bitcoins-qr-code.com, btc-to-qr.com, create-bitcoin-qr-code.com, free-bitcoin-qr-codes.com, freebitcoinqrcodes.com, qr-code-bitcoin.com, and qrcodebtc.com.
Denley stated that when he used PassiveTotal – a threat intelligence platform from RiskIQ, he discovered that the websites are being hosted on three web servers such as 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168.
These web servers also provide a host to more than 450 suspicious websites. Even though most of the sites were inactive at the time of the investigation, the websites displayed ads for crypto gambling platforms.
Bitcoin zzzzzzAccelerator Scam
Further discovery indicated that the web servers also host four different “Bitcoin transaction accelerators,” such as bitcoin-transaction-accelerator.com, transaction-accelerator.com, bitcoin-tx-transaction-accelerator.com, viabtc-transaction-accelerator.com.
Users of these accelerating platforms are tricked to provide the ID of a Bitcoin transaction, in order to hasten the transaction process and are charged 0.001 BTC ($6.5) fee per transaction.
Denley added that the BTC address where the fees are received has so far gotten a staggering 17.6 BTC ($117,000).
Meanwhile, Coinfomania reported this month that a malicious Google Chrome Browser extension on Ledger Live was deployed by hackers to steal users’ crypto passphrase.
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