My Online Security, a UK-based cybersecurity website has discovered a spoofing attack which masquerades as the BBC‘s website, and redirects users to an affiliate bitcoin generation page and phishing platform, Security Intelligence reports on January 15.
Email Scamming For Bitcoin
Reportedly, an email scam is on the loose, and it was brought to light by My Online Security a few days ago after a user of its platform notified the administrators of the message they had just received.
However, on scrutinizing the email, it was found to be a malicious attack whose content includes a “Display Message” button on certain Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and Operating Systems (OS).
In the case of the Windows OS, once the button is clicked, it accesses the URL: https://business-news.bbc-1.site/landers/bbc-business-news/#forward (now blocked), which is a clone of BBC’s website.
Security Intelligence also revealed that most of the site’s content is related to cryptocurrency and when the link is launched, it sends a visitor to an affiliate webpage that generates bitcoin for the owners of the platform based on the number of page views it receives.
Others such as Mac OS and email platform Outlook, on the other hand, behave differently when the link is accessed.
Mac, for instance, reroutes to an illegitimate website that requests for the user’s password instead of a spoofed BBC page. The same is said about Outlook which may not display the message entirely.
Alternatively, the email received in some cases could be an impersonation of a firm as reports have stated. An occurrence is the case of a roofing company whose identity was stolen to send fake invoices.
As per reports, a cybercrime of this nature either appends the original site’s name in the URL by misspelling it or adding additional characters.
Cloudflare, a U.S. based delivery network services company which the webpage is hosted on was notified of the menace, and the company’s course of action was to flag the platform and warn visitors of a potential threat.
Although this cybercrime is a serious threat that could result in loss of huge amount of funds, an individual or organization can still protect their funds from potential attacks in future by making verifications, turning on spam filters, and tracing IP addresses.
Similarly, in the traditional finance system, crypto-criminals are getting more sophisticated with each passing day, and are devising various means to steal peoples’ digital assets.
On December 29, 2018, BTCManager reported of a phishing attack on the Electrum wallet which led to the transfer of 240 bitcoins (valued at $1 million at the time) from the customer’s wallets.