SlowMist, a firm in crypto security analytics, has recently unveiled a new phishing scam targeting cryptocurrency enthusiasts. This scheme, masterminded by a group of Chinese hackers, ingeniously leverages China’s ban on several international applications. This prohibition has led many in mainland China to search for these apps on third-party platforms, presenting a perfect opportunity for scammers.
The hackers’ strategy focused on popular social media apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, and Skype, which are highly sought after by Chinese internet users. They devised a counterfeit version of Skype, skillfully designed to trap victims and steal their cryptocurrency holdings.
Fake Skype App’s Mechanics
The counterfeit Skype app, falsely claiming to be version 184.108.40.2063, stood in contrast to the latest version, 220.127.116.11. The first report of its malicious nature came from a user who lost significant money. Further analysis revealed that the app’s signature had been altered to include malware targeting cryptocurrency wallets.
Central to the scam was manipulating okhttp3, an Android network framework commonly used. The hackers modified this framework to covertly monitor and upload various data types from the victim’s device, including images, user IDs, and phone numbers. More importantly, it targeted information related to cryptocurrency wallets.
The app was programmed to identify and replace crypto wallet addresses found in images and messages with addresses owned by the scammers. This move enabled them to redirect funds for legitimate transactions to their wallets.
Countermeasures and User Safety
The investigation led by SlowMist uncovered over 100 wallet addresses linked to this phishing operation. These addresses were involved in transactions amounting to around 192,856 USDT on the TRON chain and 7,800 USDT on the ETH chain. These addresses have now been blacklisted to prevent further fraudulent activities.
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.