Over 1.3 Million Crypto Phishing Attacks Foiled in Russia

A silhouette of a hooded hacker with a laptop on a background decorated in the colors of the Russian flag.
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More than 1.3 million crypto-related phishing attacks were stopped in Russia in the first six months of this year, a new report claims.

By more worldCybersecurity vendor Kaspersky Lab claimed its solutions thwarted the attacks, which the company believes are a direct response to the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies in Russia.

Since the outbreak of the war with Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions packages, there has been a sharp increase in cryptocurrency-powered Russian remittances to locations abroad.

Sometimes these use “illegal exchanges” and shady “brokers”.

Russian companies have also turned to cryptocurrency as a payment tool after being shut out of the US dollar-driven international trade market.

And this, Kaspersky claimed, has led to an increase in opportunistic attacks by cybercriminals.

Last year, a report claimed that Russian crypto-related criminal cases increased by 40% year-over-year.

Roman Dedenok, a cybersecurity expert at Kaspersky Lab, was quoted as saying:

“We are seeing an increase in the popularity of cryptocurrencies. We urge crypto wallet holders to remain vigilant and apply strong security measures to protect their digital assets.”

Dedenok warned that attackers are targeting the hot and cold wallets of Russians with bogus offers of free crypto flyers.

The attackers have also been “impersonating known cryptocurrency exchanges” by sending Russian users “fraudulent emails requesting confirmation of transactions.”

Sometimes these fake exchanges claim to ask cryptocurrency holders to upgrade their “wallet security” and ask them to click on links.

These links invariably lead to websites designed to collect login details and passwords from users.

Crypto Phishing Rise: Are Russian Hardware Wallets Threatened Too?

Dedenok said:

“It’s very important [for users] to make sure the links [in emails and messages] they are not directing you to phishing [sites] before clicking on them or entering sensitive information.”

Kaspersky Lab researchers also said they had “uncovered a targeted phishing campaign” that tries to trick users of hardware wallets.

The researchers explained that the campaign organizers are trying to trick wallet holders into thinking they have received mail from Ripple.

These emails contain “an offer to participate in the distribution of XRP tokens.”

If they follow the link in the email, the user is directed to a website that uses a “complex scheme” to lure unsuspecting crypto wallet holders into “connecting their hardware wallet to a fraudulent source.”