Hackers compromised Bitcoin.org in a “double your money” scheme, tricking people into sending bitcoin to a crypto wallet with the promise of seeing it double immediately.
People who actually own bitcoin and presumably know how the system operates can apparently still fall prey to simple schemes that would fail the most basic of tests: if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.
“Double your money” frauds have been around forever, but criminals have found a new type of victims in the form of Bitcoin owners, some of whom seem extremely gullible. According to a Bleeping Computer report, attackers compromised the Bitcoin.org website and posted a simple announcement, promising to double any money sent their way.
“The Bitcoin Foundation is giving back to the community! We want to support our users who have helped us along the years. Send Bitcoin to this address, and we will send double the amount in return!”
Of course, only the “first” 10,000 users would double their money. Moreover, the attackers promised to double any sum sent their way. The site was quickly taken down, but it remained online long enough to hook a few victims.
Since they asked for money in a Bitcoin wallet, it’s easy to check the balance online. By the time the attack was over, criminals amassed 0.40571238 BTC (around $17,684). Of course, the same amount was quickly sent to another wallet, and another, and another, and so on. The initial wallet is empty, but the transparent nature of Bitcoin allows easy tracking of the funds.
Of course, attackers know they can turn these funds into real money using cryptocurrency exchanges that look the other way. Last week, the US Treasury Department levied its first sanctions against a cryptocurrency exchange criminals used to change money obtained from cybercrime.