$100 000 USD

JUNE 2020




"It was only a matter of time before phishers took attacks against the crypto industry a step further by integrating their attacks with the web3 ecosystem. Up until this point, phishers have focused on gaining access to users’ seed phrases, private keys, or usernames and passwords. Today, that changed. A world of DeFi applications, which only interact with a user via their wallet and never require a user to enter credentials, recovery phrases, or passwords into them are now being targeted. These new attacks are beginning to exploit the tools that we use to interface with our crypto."


"Our analysts first became aware of the MakerDAO phish after receiving a community report for makerdao[.]tools on 14 January. The fraudulent website mimicked the process of converting SAI to DAI."


"This domain hosted a simple interface that indicated you would be initiating a 1:1 conversion from Single-Collateral DAI (SAI) to the new DAI — just like the official bridge. However, the transaction you would actually sign would simply send SAI to an address owned by the attackers."


"The malicious Web3 applications "phishing dapps" were discovered in a recent study, they pretend to be legitimate applications or services to steal cryptocurrencies. For example, since MakerDAO officially closed the single-mortgage Sai system, such phishing tools have begun to appear, and they pretended to need a new tool to help users migrate from SAI to DAI. For example, a domain name provides a simple interface to start the migration from SAI to the new DAI at a 1:1 ratio, it seems like an official channel. However, the actual transaction to be signed simply sends the SAI to an address owned by the attacker. SAI, which has been traced to more than US$100,000, was transferred to the attacker's account."


"This iteration of Web3 phishing, at least from the samples we discovered, appears to be run by a group of bad actors. A cluster of them resided on the same infrastructure along with other cryptocurrency scams — This appears to be a shared web hosting server offered by Namecheap, but due to the overlap in content and method of attack, it is safe to assume the campaigns are being run by the same actors."


"Deleted the links. They scammed for 36,166 USD so far already. Is there anything we can do to stop this?" "Please report to Ethereum Scam Database, so it will be blocked by Metamask and hopefully others."


"Crypto is a high value target for criminals and as such we can expect an immense amount of resources to be thrown into developing new attacks to target its users. We can already see the first moves being made by phishers, so it’s important that we stay ahead of the curve. Good UX design, user education, and security-minded development all contribute to this."


"Given the amount of tech and the speed at which it is changing, your average user is going to have a hard time staying on top of how to avoid being phished. In web2.0, we saw this being an issue when for years users were told to look for the green padlock on a site. Then, phishers started using HTTPS and all of a sudden that check failed."

It is incredibly easy for malicious actors to create web applications which look identical to a major smart contract. The URL may be different by a single character, and only the center of the wallet address could be different.


At least $100k USD has been scammed through this method.


With centralized platforms, phishing attacks increase in difficulty significantly. The platform has the ability to seek email confirmation, perform two factor authentication, and institute delays on key activities like withdrawals, all of which would increase the likelihood of the phish being discovered and prevented before completion.


Check Our Framework For Safe Secure Exchange Platforms

Sources And Further Reading

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