A research report by Digital Shadows, a data security company has revealed that “cryptothieves” have launched over 100 phony websites to impersonate Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency and Calibra, Libra’s digital wallet, in a bid to defraud gullible and unsuspecting victims reports Independent on July 1, 2019.
Facebook’s Launch of Libra’s Whitepaper Attracts Cybercriminals
As reported by BTCManager, the social media heavyweight released Libra’s whitepaper on June 18, 2019, and revealed that the digital currency is backed by a consortium of highly reputed companies like PayPal and others.
However, on June 19, 2019, a day after Libra’s whitepaper release, cybercrime actors had already registered over 100 website domain names whose URLs are similar to the official Libra website and a dozen other look-alikes to the Calibra website.
These domains have been disguised to look like the official URLs of Facebook’s crypto platforms with the use of Greek, Cyrillic, and other alphabets to replace the Roman alphabets that are used in English.
For instance, a malicious URL could adopt the Cyrillic lowercase letter ‘a’ which is similar to ‘a’ in the Roman alphabet. Digital Shadows was able to point out at least six websites which had created something very similar to Libra’s domain using this homographic technique.
Phishing for Cryptos
What’s also intriguing is the sole aim of perpetrators to make a profit from the current media hype and rave about Libra cryptocurrency which has also gotten the attention of the world.
A good number of these actors are hoping that someday, they can resell their domains to Facebook at a more expensive price while others are using these domains to orchestrate bitcoin-linked crimes.
The researchers have revealed that these actors can be divided into two groups: The first are those claiming to be the legitimate Libra or Calibra websites whilst the second group are operating scam schemes in order to shame the name of the asset.
For the first group, Alex Guirakhoo, a strategic intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows opined that these set of people are not taking advantage of the hype created about Libra on media pages. Rather, they are claiming to be the official site itself which increases the chances of users dropping their financial data.
“For the most convincing of sites, it can be nigh-impossible to determine which is legitimate and which is fake,”
One of the sites, for instance, claims to sell Libra tokens in exchange for ether (ETH), with a 25 percent bonus for early investors. Despite the unending turbulence and criticisms, Mark Zuckerberg and his team remain determined to revolutionize the “internet of money.”
On June 25, 2019, BTCManager informed that Facebook was looking to hire a cryptocurrency wallet data engineer and regulatory policy expert to make Project Libra a huge success.