Even notorious gangsters like Jesse James and Al Capone, compared to cyber criminals of the digital age, now look less scary today. Arsen Lupen, the clever thief of the white screen, or the films of the ocean’s gang, who commit big robberies with mind games, have become ordinary scenarios in the face of today’s digital fraud stories. Even more striking and dangerous scenarios are coming soon.
Cryptocurrency and deepfake determine future of cyber fraud
In the last two articles, we have discussed possible financial crime scenarios targeting individuals and companies using artificial intelligence (ai) technology. Until yesterday, cyber financial attacks were largely organized and carried out through the banking or capital markets system. The new economy’s cryptocurrency revolution has opened up new horizons for cyber financial crimes.
“Digital fraud scenarios” that will overshadow Oscar-winning movies are now easier and more profitable than Bitcoin, the most powerful representative of cryptocurrency. Cyber fraudsters have had no trouble finding crowds for the past two years who believe every time Elon Musk distributes bitcoin through Twitter. Deepfake, the star of synthetic media, will undoubtedly play the lead role in future insidious scenarios of this digital fraud series, which is certain to be grossing a lot today. By producing deepfake audio and video, Bitcoin scammers will be able to make any identity they want even more believable, especially Elon Musk. How are tech geeks ready to take the bait, then, to stop themselves from getting caught up in millions more?
Deepfake announces its voice early with voice phishing
Fraudsters who trick phishing victims with people or institutions they have long identified with using the oldest and most common method of cybercrime known, Phishing scenarios, set them up with various traps. The best-known examples are fake bill payment and wire transfer instructions sent from the corporate email account of company CEOs to employees in the company’s finance department. Deepfake offers criminals new scenarios for phishing, perhaps the devil even will not think of.
Thanks to voice synthesis, the use of the voice of the CEO of a company in 2019 and the fake payment instruction transmitted by phone, costing a quarter of a million dollars, was almost like an early warning about voice phishing (vishing). The fact that this incident was recorded on the judicial record as the first case of deepfake cyber fraud has taken concerns one step further. Thanks to this, deepfake made its voice heard in this area about two years ago.
Twitter is the digital scene of Bitcoin fraudsters
Fraudsters with conventional phishing and fishing methods have started using Twitter, one of the most powerful social media platforms, as a movie plateau for their own scripts over the past few years. Attackers hack and hijack verified twitter accounts of famous and important people. Or, without any hassle, they hack into any other verified twitter account and change the account name to the name of the famous or important person they will subject to their scenario. And then they fake tweets from that account and retweet and spread it with other accounts they hacked. So the fake corporate email is replaced by a tweet. They’re angling tech geeks who think they’re awake with fake tweets. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, allows the digital fraud network to operate faster and easier without being stuck on the security thresholds of the banking system.
They would put $ 1 and get $ 10 from Elon Musk’s Bitcoins
In late 2018, for example, cyber attackers managed to collect and pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars by impersonating world-famous futuristic tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. The attackers, who hacked the account of American publisher Pantheon Books along with many other approved tweeter accounts, changed the account name to Elon Musk. And then, Musk tweeted, “I’m leaving my position at Tesla. Thank you for your support. I decided to give the biggest cryptocurrency gift in history to my followers. I’m distributing 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC) ($64 million) to the entire community. To verify your BTC account, send between 0.1 BTC and 2 BTC to the following address, and get in return between 1 BTC and 20 BTC.”
Fake Elon Musk was promising his followers a 1-to-10 gain. More than 400 people were hooked. There were those who sent 0.5, 0.75 and even 0.99995 BTC (about $ 6,000). Cyber fraudsters collected exactly $ 180,000 this way.
Interesting Elon Musk, ai, deepfake and Bitcoin coincidences
First, let’s note that the incident in 2018 was not the last Bitcoin fraud carried out on Twitter under name of Elon Musk. The similar ones continued until early 2021. Before we mention any of this, it’s worth a little attention to the name Elon Musk. Because interesting coincidences intersect on this name.
Elon Musk, for example, is spearheading a kind of reverse engineering that will improve artificial intelligence steps while tampering with the human brain to unravel its secrets with the Neuralink project. Considered the most dangerous product of artificial intelligence, deepfake was first introduced in 1997 on reddit.com it by an unidentified user called Deepfakes. Elon Musk has been the subject of the first real-time deepfake initiative at Zoom, which has become one of the cornerstones of digital life that has gained momentum with the pandemic. Musk organized those who will join the famous GameStop operation, which challenges financial institutions that are short-selling on the stock market on reddit.com. Bitcoin is the determinant of the cryptocurrency market, which is estimated to reach $ 1 trillion with a market volume of more than $ 700 billion. Tesla, the US electric car maker whose name is used many times in Bitcoin scams to trick victims, is leading the bitcoin market, while Elon Musk is the CEO. Tesla announced last month that it had bought $ 1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, making BTC on the rise in the pandemic. So every digital curtain somehow comes out of Elon Musk.
Elon Musk also gave advice to the Game of Thrones star
Business and finance website Benzinga.com announced a cryptocurrency fraud initiative using the name Elon Musk again in the middle of November last year. On Twitter, the hacked account, which offered advice by posing as Elon Musk and trying to lure viewers to a website, belonged to Swedish award-winning programmer Daniel Stenberg (@bagder). The account had a verified blue check mark, but the account name had been changed to “Elon Musk.”
In those days, Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams asked her 2.7 million followers on Twitter for advice on whether to buy Bitcoin. Funny thing is that the famous star got advice from Elon Musk, both real and fake. Although the real Elon Musk may have confused the legendary series starring Williams with The Witcher on Netflix, he did recommended. The fake Musk Twitter account, in response to Williams, shared a fake website and a YouTube link that is no longer active.
If Bitcoin scams continue to occur so frequently, Twitter could lose the trust of its celebrity users. Because tweets sent from a fake Musk account with a link to a website designed to steal cryptocurrencies remained active for two days.
Twitter catches joke, misses scammers
However, Twitter’s rules state that impersonating another person for the purpose of deceiving its users is a violation of its terms of service, which would result in the account being suspended. Even more ironic was that Elon Musk had tweeted warnings from his own account of “Bitcoin scams” throughout 2018. After the event in 2018, Elon Musk joked “Would you like to buy some bitcoin?” in his tweet and Twitter suspended his real account.
Elon Musk name made Bitcoin scammers to gain $ 580 thousand a week, $ 2million in 2 months
In news published on Finance.yahoo.com on 15th January, it is reported that according to security research firm MalwareHunterTeam, the number of victims of cryptocurrency scams on Twitter in the name of Elon Musk is increasing. The method is simple; scammers hack verified Twitter accounts, then change their name to “Elon Musk” and ask people to send cryptocurrencies in exchange for getting a larger amount back. And people believe it every time. According to data compiled by Bleeping Computer and MetaMask, in the second week of the year, fraudsters collected about $587,000 worth of Bitcoin this way.
Twitter has been dealing with the issue of cryptocurrency gift fraud for a long time. Data compiled by cybersecurity firm Adaptiv in June 2020 shows that Bitcoin fraudsters made $ 2 million in profits over a two-month period using Musk’s name.
As technology improves, so do the methods of cyberattacks. Voice synthesis and face swapping are laying the groundwork for new and larger attacks on finance. This year, cyber-attacks are expected to increase in many areas, especially in cryptocurrency markets, and deepfake is expected to strike the most convincing blow in phishing scenarios.
Millions will be blown up with the promise to make money from the air
Danger is at the door, because its client is ready. It is not hard to imagine. From the company account of the CEO of a large company, an email goes to employees. When the link is clicked, the employees look at it, and the company announces that it will distribute Bitcoin to its employees this month. Even in the video posted on the page, the CEO personally describes this gesture to his employees. All employees have to do is send 1 bitcoin to the reported account, for example. Their company has prepared such a gift for them, for example, to adapt to digital life and get acquainted with cryptocurrency. Every 1 BTC sender will return as 2 BTC to employees. What will a vulnerable employee do if they don’t trust their CEO’s word? Moreover, it is a 100% profitable purchase, so it will make money from the air…
It’s only a matter of time before cyber hackers start using deepfake to attack phishing victims. There’s no way they can ignore this big hit opportunity. Also, every time you believe the same tweet and are so eager to collect cryptocurrencies from the air…