Google Ads Hosting Malicious Phishing Campaigns
ScamSniffer, a Web3 anti-scam service provider, reports an increase in malicious adverts on Google ads searches, leading to phishing websites that compromise users’ wallet addresses. Several DeFi protocols, websites, and brands have been targeted by these scams.
Advertisers Bypassing Google’s Ad Review Process
The scammers behind these phishing websites are using a variety of techniques to bypass Google’s ad review process. This includes manipulating the Google Click ID parameter and employing anti-debugging methods to redirect users with developer tools enabled.
Over $4 Million Stolen in a Month
Blockchain analytics show that over $4 million has been stolen from more than 3,000 users in the past month. These funds have been traced to various exchange and mixing services, such as SimpleSwap, Tornado Cash, KuCoin, and Binance.
Lucrative Return on Investment for Scammers
Based on advertising analysis platforms, ScamSniffer estimates that scammers have spent around $15,000 on advertising and have seen a return of 276%. The average cost per click for associated keywords is between $1 to $2.
Crypto-Related Phishing Attacks on the Rise
A report from Kaspersky, a Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, indicates a 40% year-on-year increase in crypto-related phishing attacks, with over 5 million phishing attacks identified in 2022 alone.
A Call for Heightened Vigilance and Improved Security Measures
The recent surge in crypto-related phishing scams through Google Ads highlights the need for heightened vigilance and improved security measures from both users and the platforms hosting such advertisements. As scammers become more sophisticated in bypassing security checks, it is essential for users to double-check URLs and exercise caution when dealing with cryptocurrency transactions. Additionally, tech giants like Google must continue to refine and enhance their ad review process to identify and block malicious campaigns, ensuring a safer environment for users in the evolving digital landscape.