Nearly 250 Bitcoin have been lost over a recent phishing attack targeting Electrum wallet users, according to a number of reports published late December by commentators on social media.
The reports have been subsequently verified by Electrum, detailing the attack which, according to the Bitcoin wallet provider, mainly involved making a counterfeit wallet in an attempt to lure users into entering their password information.
As one Reddit user explained, “the hacker set up a whole bunch of malicious servers,” adding that:
“If someone’s Electrum Wallet connected to one of those servers, and tried to send a BTC transaction, they would see an official-looking message telling them to update their Electrum Wallet, along with a scam URL.”
Users who were duped into providing their account passwords reported attempting to log in to their wallets and failing after undergoing a two-factor authentication code, a feature that is not present in the authentic Electrum login interface. Consequently, hackers are then able to access the users’ accounts, allowing them to empty the users’ wallet balance.
As one victim recounted:
“[W]hen I logged on it immediately asked me for my 2 factor code which I thought was a little strange as well as Electrum usually only asks for that when you attempt to send.”
Another Reddit user went on adding:
“I kept trying to send and kept getting an error code ‘max fee exceeded no more than 50 sat/B [satoshis per byte]’ I then restored my wallet on a separate pc and found that my balance had been transferred out in full[.]”
A single main holding address holding 245 Bitcoin is leeching off several addresses, according to the Reddit user.
On December 27, Electrum took to Twitter explaining the incident, stating that “[t]here is an ongoing phishing attack against Electrum users,” and urged users to verify the authenticity of the resource from which they were logging in.
As indicated in the tweet:
“Our official website is https://electrum.org[.] Do not download Electrum from any other source.”
While there have been a number of hacking attacks targeting wallet users, the frequency of such incidents are significantly lower compared to crypto heists stemming from crypto exchange hacks, the most notorious of which includes that involving Coincheck which has resulted in the loss of over $500 million in 2018.