It is shocking as an NFT influencer laments having lost a “mind blowing amount” of their assets in cryptos and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) when they mistakenly downloaded malicious software discovered from a Google search engine result.
NFT influencer loses crypto wallet
A malicious software was attached and hidden in a sponsored advertising link on Google that drained the influencer’s wallet of thousands of dollars’ worth of crypto and NFTs.
Last night my entire digital livelihood was violated.
Every account connected to me both personally and professionally was hacked and used to hurt others.
Less importantly, I lost a life changing amount of my net worth
— NFT God (@NFT_GOD) January 15, 2023
The NFT influencer, who is known on Twitter as “NFT God,” narrated through a series of tweets on Sunday, January 14, how all his “digital livelihood was violated” and how “every account connected to him personally and professionally” was violated as well in the last 24 hours.
The NFT Influencer, who is also identified by the name “Alex,” noted that he downloaded “OBS,” an open-source video streaming software, into his personal desktop computer with the Google search engine a day before. But then he unknowingly clicked on the sponsored ad instead of clicking the official website, thinking it was the same thing.
He noted that after the download he tried to install and nothing happened, although he was excited to finally livestream “some video games for the first time” in his life, but it wasn’t working.
“O well, maybe streaming wasn’t for me. “I’ll attempt to become Brycent 2.0 another time.”
Alex went off to play some games for some hours before going off to pick up his significant other.
NFT Influencer’s substack account hijacked
Alex had no idea that the malware had been downloaded from the sponsored advertisement along with the software he needed to download until some hours later, after a series of fraudulent tweets were broadcasted by the attackers on two Twitter accounts that Alex manages.
He tweeted: “Every channel I have with my community, friends, and family was compromised over the last 24 hours.” “My Twitter, Substack, Gmail, Discord, and wallets were all invaded and taken over by bad actors…”
His Substack account was hacked the following day, and his 16,000 subscribers received fraudulent emails. Through the notification of an acquaintance, Alex discovered his cryptocurrency wallet and Twitter had been hijacked.
Then I get the DM I've been dreading. "Dude you WETH'd your ape?"
I pop open the Opensea bookmark of my ape and there it is. A completely different wallet listed as the owner.
I knew at that moment it was all gone. Everything. All my crypto and NFTs ripped from me
— NFT God (@NFT_GOD) January 15, 2023
Alex’s wallet was robbed of at least 19 ether (ETH), which at the time was worth close to $27,000, a Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFT, which has a floor price of 16 ETH ($25,000) right now, as well as numerous other NFTs were stolen from the wallet, according to blockchain statistics.
Before moving the majority of the ETH to a decentralized exchange (DEX) named FixedFloat, from where the stolen crypto was exchanged for unidentified coins, the attacker transferred it through several wallets.
Alex stated, “I entered my seed phrase in a way that no longer kept it cold” or offline, and “I knew I made a critical mistake,” and he feels this facilitated the wallet attack and gave the hackers access to his NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
Crypto theft in the crypto community through Google advert malware
Stealing cryptocurrencies using Google Advert malware is regrettably not unique. The crypto industry has had to cope with malware that steals cryptocurrency using Google Ads before, as was the case with Alex. Cybersecurity company Cyble notified the public on January 12 of “Rhadamanthys Stealer,” a malware that steals personal information circulating via Google ads through very compelling fraudulent webpages.
Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance, also issued a warning in October about Google search results that promoted cryptocurrency phishing and scam websites. Google, on the other hand, noted in its help site that it “actively works with reputable advertisers and partners to help avoid malware in advertising.”
It further states that Google ads are routinely scanned using “proprietary technologies and malware detection tools.”