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MetaMask warns of ‘address poisoning’ wallet scam

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MetaMask warns of ‘address poisoning’ wallet scam

MetaMask warns of ‘address poisoning’ wallet scam Samuel Wan · 24 seconds ago · 2 min read

In address poisoning, scammers exploit absentmindedness when copying and pasting wallet addresses.

2 min read

Updated: January 12, 2023 at 4:36 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

MetaMask notified the crypto community of a new type of scam called “address poisoning” in a recent post.

The scam was rated as “rather innocuous compared to other scam types.” However, the company warned that address poisoning still has the potential to dupe unsuspecting users into losing funds.

Address poisoning is an attack vector that, in contrast to other scams — which often use methods that have served many scammers so well, such as unlimited token approvals, phishing for your Secret Recovery Phrase, etc. — relies on user carelessness and haste above all else.”

How “address poisoning” works

Address poisoning centers on wallet addresses being long hexadecimal numbers that are difficult to remember and easy to mistake for other, similar addresses.

Crypto addresses are often shortened to show the first few characters, a blank, and then the last few. Scammers exploit the tendency to trust the familiarity of the first and last few characters.

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When transacting, the usual routine consists of copying and pasting an address. Many wallet providers, including MetaMask, feature a one-click function to copy an address.

Address poisoning exploits users’ inattention at this point in the transaction process. Specifically, scammers observe and track transactions of particular tokens, with stablecoins commonly targeted. Then, using a “vanity” address generator, the scammer will create an address that closely matches the target address, especially the first and last few characters.

The scammer sends a transaction of nominal value from the newly generated address to the target address; at this point, the latter becomes poisoned.

In the future, when wishing to send a transaction, the user may mistakenly copy the wrong address based on the familiarity of the first and last few characters. Once executed, the funds end up with the scammer.

“And since on-chain transactions like this are immutable (cannot be altered once confirmed), the lost funds will be irretrievable.”

MetaMask explains how to stay safe

Unfortunately, the nature of public blockchains means anyone, including scammers, can send transactions to any address if they choose.

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MetaMask reiterated the importance of checking every address character when sending funds, not just the first and last few.

“Develop a habit of thoroughly checking every single character of an address before you send a transaction. This is the only way to be completely sure you’re sending to the right place.”

Other strategies to avoid falling victim to address poisoning include not using transaction history to copy addresses, whitelisting frequently used addresses to avoid copying and pasting altogether, and using test transactions, especially when transferring large sums.

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Hacks

Robinhood confirms Twitter hack that promoted fraudulent crypto token

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Robinhood confirms Twitter hack that promoted fraudulent crypto token

Robinhood confirms Twitter hack that promoted fraudulent crypto token Mike Dalton · 2 hours ago · 1 min read

The company said that the breach extended to Instagram and Facebook.

1 min read

Updated: January 25, 2023 at 9:55 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Robinhood confirmed that several of its social media accounts were breached earlier today in a statement emailed to CryptoSlate on Jan. 25.

A company representative said:

We’re aware of the unauthorized posts from Robinhood Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook profiles, which were all removed within minutes. At this time, based on our ongoing investigation, we believe the source of the incident was via a third party vendor.

The company did not state which vendor may have been responsible.

The unauthorized breach saw Robinhood’s official account promote a Binance Smart Chain-based token called $RBH. Though that token exists on-chain, it has no official relationship with Robinhood and appears to exist solely for use in today’s scam.

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Although $RBH has no value itself, the address that appears to be responsible for the scam holds approximately 25.3 BNB ($7,750). Given that the account was created earlier today, it is likely that this amount was earned entirely through the Robinhood scam.

$RBH’s token contract indicates that just 61 addresses hold the fraudulent token.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao commented on the incident. He said that Binance has locked an account connected to the scam and is investigating the matter.

Robinhood allows users to trade and use cryptocurrency — including through its recently-launched self-custody wallet — but has not issued any crypto token of its own.

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Roubini says 99% of crypto is a scam – ‘you have to stay away’

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Roubini says 99% of crypto is a scam – ‘you have to stay away’

Roubini says 99% of crypto is a scam – ‘you have to stay away’ Samuel Wan · 10 hours ago · 2 min read

Speaking from Davos, Nouriel Roubini renewed his attack on cryptocurrency and considering the events of 2022, even crypto advocates are starting to agree with him.

2 min read

Updated: January 19, 2023 at 11:34 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Nouriel Roubini renewed his objections to crypto, warning people to stay away as 99% of it is a scam.

“FTX, SBF are not an exception; they are a rule. Nearly 99% of crypto is a scam, criminal activity, bubble, Ponzi scheme. It’s going bust.”

Roubini has a long history of voicing negative opinions about digital assets. For example, as reported by CryptoSlate over two years ago, the American Economist blasted Bitcoin’s value proposition, saying it had no place in investment portfolios due to its lack of intrinsic value, the prevalence of market manipulation, and extreme price volatility.

Riding on the recent FTX turmoil, Roubini took the opportunity to restate his negativity towards the cryptocurrency sector. But does he have a point?

Crypto is a scam

Speaking to Yahoo Finance from Davos, Roubini explained that millions of disadvantaged individuals, including “young people, people who have lower incomes, or minorities,” were suckered into buying Bitcoin at the top.

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“Most of them got FOMO in 2021 when it skyrocketed to 20, to 30, to 50, to 69 [thousand dollars], and 99% of them bought well above the current market value. So they lost their shirts.”

Continuing, he said, “that’s just Bitcoin alone,” and that altcoins had fared much worse during the bear cycle, with some losing “95%” in value. Further, of the “20,000 ICOs,” “officially, 80% were a scam, and another 17% have gone to zero,” and the people behind them belong in jail.

When pressed on the value of blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) over cryptocurrency, Roubini said he remained skeptical because it is overhyped technology that cannot deliver on its promise of trustlessness without some centralized and accredited input.

Giving the example of using DLT to verify organic tomatoes, Roubini said that the process still needs people to verify the farms are using organic cultivation methods and further verification that the products in the store are the same as what was verified on the farm.

“After you’ve tested it and you’ve made sure the tomatoes are organic, you can put it on a centralized database that is as good and cheaper than DLT. So the idea that DLT can create trust is impossible because, in reality, you always need some credible institution that validates transactions.”

Is Roubini right?

The accuracy of Roubini’s percentage data is questionable, as is his lax use of the term “ICOs,” which faded away in 2019 due to the term’s association with rug pulls.

However, considering the events of 2022, even the most diehard crypto supporters would concede he has a point.

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The most upvoted comment in a cryptocurrency Reddit post discussing the interview agreed with Roubini’s general premise on the prevalence of scams.

“Basically yes. With 100-1000 tokens released every day and rugged a few minutes – hours after it could be more than 90%.”

Most other comments echoed that view, with one saying a 99% scam rate is a conservative estimate.

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@Darkdotfail

Darknet Forum Dread To Relaunch After Month-Long Downtime Due To DDOS Attack

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Darknet Forum Dread To Relaunch After Month-Long Downtime Due To DDOS Attack

According to web portal darkdot.com and anonymous journalist Darkdotfail, the popular darknet forum Dread has been down for a month. The well-known forum, which was a place for darknet market (DNM) patrons to discuss operations security, rate specific vendors, and talk about stealth delivery ideas, has been absent for 30 days. However, the forum’s founder, “Hugbunter,” has stated that it will relaunch in the near future.

Dread Forum Founder Announces Plans to Relaunch

In the underground world of darknet markets (DNMs), the forum Dread was known for being a go-to source of information. According to a Jan. 1, 2023 update hosted on darkdot.com, the forum has been down for a month. “Dread is a critical source of truth in an anonymous community proliferated with scams,” the update notes. “The popular Tor freedom of speech forum went offline on Nov. 30, 2022, and has yet to return.” The update adds that while the Dread admin team typically posts status updates on Reddit at /r/dreadalert, communication has been sparse.

The anonymous journalist known as Darkdotfail has written about the issue on Twitter and their website, dark.fail, also indicates that Dread is currently offline. According to a Jan. 5, 2023 update on the website, Dread is offline due to a DDOS attack and readers should follow /r/dreadalert for updates. On Jan. 2, 2023, the DNM and Tor researcher wrote that Dread’s founder, Hugbunter, had privately confirmed that the forum will return. “Dread’s now been offline for a month, Hugbunter privately confirmed to us that it will return,” Darkdotfail wrote. Two days later, Darkdotfail shared an update from the Reddit forum /r/dreadalert.

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The privacy advocate and anonymous journalist said:

Hugbunter posted an update regarding Dread’s downtime to /r/dreadalert. Meanwhile, the team behind Incognito Market opportunistically coded and launched a competing forum, Libre, during Dread’s downtime. Never boring around here.

The message from Hugbunter, which includes the founder’s PGP signature, explains that the team has been “working extremely hard to restore service.” In the message, the Dread founder estimates that the team is about a week away from a solid estimated time of arrival (ETA).

“As of right now, we’re about a week out from being able to give a solid ETA on a return of Dread, but I will say we’re hopeful of it being next week,” Hugbunter detailed. “This depends on there being no further issues as we finalize everything on the server side and also if I manage to work through some rewrites of the codebase in a timely manner, however, it is not an easy or small task — So no further pressure please.”

This is not the first time Dread has experienced a significantly long downtime. On Sept. 30, 2019, Bitcoin.com News reported on the forum’s first major outage. At that time, Hugbunter’s dead man’s switch was triggered, resulting in a temporary loss of control over the forum. However, Hugbunter returned shortly after and validated the forum owner’s identity through the PGP keys associated with the Dread founder. The forum remained active, with some exceptions due to DDOS attacks, until Nov. 2022. In addition to Dread’s outage from DDOS attacks, the Tor Project reported that the Tor network itself has slowed by close to 50%.

In the Jan. 3 message, Hugbunter, the founder of Dread, detailed that the forum’s DDOS issues would be solved by the time it returns and “any other service who needs assistance.” Hugbunter promised that Dread will relaunch with a revamped user experience and proper DDOS protection, saying “the plans I have with the relaunch and also for the near future are going to allow all of us to move forward significantly and we will continue to innovate this space. We are not going anywhere and I still have much to provide and share.”

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Tags in this story

@Darkdotfail, 2023, anonymous journalist, critical source of truth, darkdot.com, darknet, darknet market, DNM, downtime, Dread, Dread Forum, Dread forum down, Forum, Freedom of Speech, Hugbunter, Jan. 1, Offline, operations security, Paris, Scams, specific vendors, stealth delivery, Tor, update

What do you think about Dread’s current downtime and Hugbunter explaining that the forum will return soon? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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