With Bitcoin Prices Always Going Up, Phishing Schemes Are on the Rise Too

Bitcoin prices are going through the roof, even hitting $17,500 (update price at time of publishing) at one point, so, naturally, cybercriminals are seeking to score some loot by directing phishing campaigns at wallet owners.

The main cryptocurrency of the world has seen a lot of milestones in a short timespan, hitting $11,000 on a Monday and $17,500 the next weekend, with prices fluctuating ever since. There seems to be no end in sight for how much Bitcoin can grow, so many criminals are looking to make a quick buck.

According to CheckPhish, a service that allows people to see the latest phishing campaigns involving big brands, there are five new phishing domains targeting the wallet service Blockchain, which is the largest on the market right now.

The domains identified by CheckPhish aren’t the only ones of the kind, of course, as security researchers have filled Twitter with other sites they’ve found, including some that are in Russian, and more, even some using HTTPS, which is supposed to signal a secure connection.

Researchers further discovered Blockchain wasn’t the only wallet service targeted but also LocalBitcoins, and others. If just a handful of people fall for the scheme, the cybercriminals can clean them out in just a few minutes of what can be tens of thousands of dollars or more. With a single Bitcoin going for as much as it is right now, even a small wallet with a few coins can be a huge payout for the scammers.

The growing Bitcoin target

This type of campaign targeting Bitcoin users isn’t new in any way, but they are more prevalent during times when the cryptocurrency’s price goes up more steeply. For instance, such a high number of campaigns was noticed about a year ago too, when Bitcoin prices started going up steadily in what has become a year-long price surge.

As always, people need to make sure they don’t just follow links they are sent via email, no matter how real the pages look, especially if they require you to input your credentials. Always type out the password yourself to access important accounts and triple check all the details are correct before moving forward. Phishing campaigns are nothing new in the online world, but it’s clear Bitcoin users have a lot to lose if they fall victim to these schemes.

Regular phishing schemes target people’s data more often than not. By gaining access to their credentials for email accounts, for instance, they can learn more about the targets, gain access to other types of accounts, before leveraging that data to extort money, for instance, but we’re generally not talking about the same sums the Bitcoin phishing schemes can generate.

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