Investor Falls Victim To $68 Million Address Poisoning Scam

In a concerning turn of events, an anonymous crypto trader has lost approximately $71 million worth of assets in an address poisoning scam. This incident has roused much tension in the crypto ecosystem, underlining the need for improved safety measures.

Trader Loses 1,155 WBTC To Address Poisoning Attack 

According to multiple reports, an unknown trader fell victim to an address-poisoning scam on Friday in which they lost 1,155 Wrapped BTC (WBTC) valued at $71 million wiping off 97% of the victim’s wallet balance.

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For context, address poisoning occurs when malicious actors deceive unsuspecting and innocent traders into transferring their cryptocurrencies to a fraudulent address. Usually, these fake addresses are designed via address mining to resemble the original intended address.

Back in August 2023, former Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao raised an alert on this type of attack following an attempt to steal $20 million from one of the exchange’s users. CZ explains that these scammers usually commenced an attack by sending our dust transaction and inserting the fake address into the target’s transfer history.

The ex-Binance boss stated that this address manipulation took advantage of the fact that most wallets’ user interface only shows the beginning and end of addresses hiding the middle part. 

In relation to the recent address poisoning incident, Meir Dolev, Founder of blockchain security firm Cyvers, has confirmed that the scammers’ address had the same six characters at the beginning and the end as the original address. 

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He also stated that the attackers have now exchanged the stolen WBTC for 22,956 ETH which has been distributed to 10 different wallets. Meanwhile, the scammers’ main address has been branded as “fake” or “phishing” on the Etherscan Explorer to avoid further attacks.

Crypto Losses Fall To $53 Million In April

According to a report by security firm Immunefi, total crypto losses in April 2024 were estimated at $53 million. Of these figures, about $50 million were lost to hacks, while fraud and scams accounted for only $3.03 million. 

Interestingly, While the reported losses for April 2024 are quite weighty, they represent a decline of 60% from the values recorded in March 2024, and importantly a 46% decrease from April 2023.

Nevertheless, the recent address poisoning attack has indicated the need for constant vigilance from investors alongside continuous innovation in terms of blockchain network security. 

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Author: Semilore Faleti

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