Cybercriminals are using bots purchased on Telegram to trick users into giving them access to their crypto-accounts.
according to Transfer From cybersecurity company Intel471, one-time password (OTP) bots are “remarkably easy to use” and relatively inexpensive to operate compared to the amount that can be gained from a successful attack.
The Telegram bot known as ‘BloodOTPbot’ only charges hackers $300 a month to access it. Scammers also have the option to spend an additional $20 to $100 on more phishing tools targeting individual social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, financial services like Paypal and Venmo, and crypto platforms like Coinbase.
OTPs are particularly infamous because they are generally the last step in the hacking process, after all necessary personal information about the victim, known in hacker parlance as “fullz”, has been collected. Hackers use an OTP bot to make a seemingly official phone call, while simultaneously claiming a 2FA token from the user’s crypto platform. Once the normally confused user reveals the code, the hackers gain instant and complete access to the victims’ account.
according to Transfer From CNBC, Maryland obstetrician Dr. Anders Agbar was the victim of such an attack, where an “official phone call” along with a series of banner notices on his phone informed him that his Coinbase account was “at risk.”
Dr. Agbar ended up in a situation where a two-factor authentication (2FA) code was exposed over the phone and immediately afterwards found himself locked out of his Coinbase account which held about $106,000 in Bitcoin (BTC).
These types of attacks from OTP bots are on the rise and are causing huge losses to both institutions and individual investors. The bots have a very high success rate in extracting money.
Related: 4 tips to avoid phishing attacks
Coinbase customer service has been criticized in the past after angry users swipe the platform The lack of response in dealing with intruders. In an effort to improve response times and customer relationships, Coinbase Acquired an Indian Artificial Intelligence Startup And Create a phone line Specifically to deal with account takeovers and related attacks.
A Coinbase spokesperson told CNBC, “Coinbase will never place unsolicited calls to its customers, and we encourage everyone to be careful when providing information over the phone. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a financial institution, do not disclose any of your account details or Your security codes. Instead, hang up and call them back at an official phone number listed on the organization’s website.”