While investigations are underway, the ongoing attack on various crypto platforms may be connected to the compromise of Coinzilla, an advertising and marketing agency.
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Popular crypto analytics platforms Etherscan and CoinGecko have parallelly issued an alert against an ongoing phishing attack on their platforms. The firms began investigating the attack after numerous users reported unusual MetaMask pop-ups prompting users to connect their crypto wallets to the website.
Based on the information disclosed by the analytics firms, the latest phishing attack attempts to gain access to users’ funds by requesting to integrate their crypto wallets via MetaMask once they access the official websites.
Security Alert: If you are on the CoinGecko website and you are being prompted by your Metamask to connect to this site, this is a SCAM. Don’t connect it. We are investigating the root cause of this issue. pic.twitter.com/7vPfTAjtiU
— CoinGecko (@coingecko) May 13, 2022
Etherscan further revealed that the attackers have managed to display phishing pop-ups via third-party integration and advised investors to refrain from confirming any transactions requested by MetaMask.
We’ve received reports of phishing popups via a 3rd party integration and are currently investigating.
Please be careful not to confirm any transactions that pop up on the website.
— Etherscan (@etherscan) May 13, 2022
Pointing toward the possible cause of the attack, @Noedel19, a member of Crypto Twitter, connected the ongoing phishing attacks to the compromise of Coinzilla, an advertising and marketing agency, stating that “Any website that makes use of Coinzilla Ads are compromised.”
The screenshots shared below show the automated pop-up from MetaMask asking to connect with the link falsely portraying as Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) offering.
On May 4, Cointelegraph further warned readers about the rise in Ape-themed airdrop phishing scams, which is further cemented by the latest warnings issued by Etherscan and CoinGecko.
While an official confirmation from Coinzilla is still underway, @Noedel19 suspects that all companies that have ad integration with Coinzilla remain at risk of similar attacks wherein their users get pop-ups for MetaMask integration.
As a primary means of damage control, Etherscan has disabled the compromised third-party integration on its website.
Within hours of the above development, Coinzilla revealed to Cointelegraph that the issue was identified and resolved, and clarified that the services were not compromised:
“A single campaign containing a piece of malicious code has managed to pass our automated security checks. It ran for less than an hour before our team stopped it and locked the account.”
While highlighting that no advertiser or publisher was at fault, Coinzilla revealed plans of going on the offensive, stating:
“An ad code was inserted from an external source via an HTML5 banner. We will be closely working with our publishers to offer support to affected users, identify the person that was behind the attack, and act accordingly.
The team behind BAYC recently warned investors about an attack after hackers were found to breach their official Instagram account.
There is no mint going on today. It looks like BAYC Instagram was hacked. Do not mint anything, click links, or link your wallet to anything.
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) April 25, 2022
As Cointelegraph reported on April 25, hackers were able to gain access to BAYC’s official Instagram account. The hackers then contacted BAYC’s Instagram followers and shared links to fake airdrops.
Users who connected their MetaMask wallets to the scam website were subsequently drained of their Ape NFTs. Unconfirmed reports suggest that approximately 100 NFTs were stolen during the phishing attack.