Phishing for Zeroes – A Social Engineering Attack

Crypto Finance analysts recently observed a potential social engineering attack on the Ethereum blockchain, in which victims are tricked into misdirecting funds to malicious addresses. The attacker triggers zero token transfers to addresses that match addresses of the victim’s counterparties in the first 2 and last 6 digits but are owned by the attacker. By doing this, the attacker inserts those malicious addresses into the transfer-history of the victim. This is done in hope that victims might accidentally pick the wrong address from their transfer-history and credit the attacker instead of repeating a transfer to the true counterparty. The funds that are targeted by this attack are ERC-20 tokens. This attack has also been seen on other EVM-compatible (Ethereum Virtual Machine) blockchains like Binance, Avalanche and Polygon. Crypto Finance prevents such form of attacks by applying a naming convention to known addresses.

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