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Cybercriminals Swindle $55 Million from 40,000 Victims in January, Data Reveals

Overview: According to analysts at Scam Sniffer, cybercriminals siphoned off $55 million from approximately 40,000 victims through various scams in January alone. The surge in phishing attacks coincided with heightened activity in crypto communities following a series of airdrops in the previous month.

Details of Scam Operations: In a recent disclosure, Scam Sniffer highlighted a concerning trend observed in January, with over 11,400 phishing websites created by scammers impersonating well-known crypto projects such as Manta Network, Frame, SatoshiVM, and others. The data indicates that these malicious actors successfully stole funds across various Ethereum-based networks, with the top seven victims collectively losing $17 million.

Methods Employed by Hackers: One common tactic employed by hackers involved exploiting the ERC-20 Permit function to deceive users into transferring funds from their non-custodial wallets under the guise of legitimate operations. Additionally, perpetrators utilized the increaseAllowance function to manipulate token allowances granted to malicious smart contracts. The presence of fake comments on crypto forums further contributed to the success of these scams, with cybercriminals impersonating legitimate projects like Optimism and zkSync.

Insights and Analysis: Scam Sniffer’s data underscores the persistent threat posed by fraudulent online activities within the crypto space. Despite efforts to combat scams, the sophistication and prevalence of such schemes remain a significant concern for investors and participants in the crypto ecosystem. This latest surge in phishing attacks highlights the need for enhanced security measures and increased awareness among users to mitigate the risk of falling victim to such scams.

Continued Challenges in Crypto Crime Mitigation: As reported previously, illicit crypto addresses received over $24 billion worth of crypto in 2023, indicating a significant challenge in combating crypto-related crimes. Chainalysis data suggests a transition in the types of assets involved in crypto crime, with stablecoins now constituting the majority of illicit transaction volume. This shift underscores the evolving nature of cyber threats and the need for continuous adaptation and innovation in security protocols within the crypto industry.

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