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Over 23,000 Phishing Mails Sent During Recent Data Breach
By Mattia Mezzetti profile image Mattia Mezzetti
3 min read

Over 23,000 Phishing Mails Sent During Recent Data Breach

CoinGecko reports a data breach that will certainly not make its users happy: the data of almost 2 million of them were stolen.

Exactly as was predicted by some computer security experts, during this first half of 2024,the new phishing frontier is in the cryptocurrency sector. We saw proof of this last 5 June, when the GetResponse platform suffered a disruptive hacker attack. Confirmation of the attack came from CoinGecko, the well-known crypto data aggregator, which officially announced the data breach and the resulting data leak of 1.9 million users of its services.

What is Phishing?

The term phishing is one of the most commonly used terms these days when we talk about online malicious behaviour. It is a very frequent scam. In various ways, an attempt is made to fool the victim into giving up their personal or financial data or access codes to private areas. Typically, one pretends to be a trustworthy entity and explains that these credentials are used to carry out identity checks or account maintenance. The term is a variant of the word fishing, which means fishing. However, the fraudster does not go fishing for food, but for personal data.

Data Compromised

The data compromised and fished, to maintain the same pun just explained, by GetResponse, would include confidential email accounts, users' usernames, IP addresses, and a long list of additional metadata, including sign-up dates, subscription plans, and email opening locations. To use the same terms CoinGecko used, in its press release:

"An attacker compromised the account of a GetResponse employee, causing a data leak. On 6 June 2024, at 11.58 UTC, the GetResponse team confirmed that this was a data breach."

CoinGecko immediately emphasised that the usernames and passwords of those using their services remained safe, as they benefit from a second layer of security. Who knows whether this statement will be enough to reassure customers.

Sent more than 23 thousand emails of phishing

The fact that CoinGecko was able to protect its customers' identities behind computer shields does not mean that nothing happened. The attacker in fact still managed to send as many as 23,723 phishing e-mails. This is particularly significant within the world of cryptocurrencies because, in this case, in addition to forcing passwords and accounts, the aim is to acquire wallet keys. This operation, which is rather complex since the security of e-wallets is high, is sometimes replaced by what is called address poisoning.

In this malapractice users are lured into well-conceived traps. Posing as a known address, with whom one has recently interacted, one demands funds and other benefits or secrets.

CoinGecko users who have checked the authenticity of the e-mail received will probably have realised its suspicious origin. The operation was of impressive dimensions but the missives received were banal and generic. It was not impossible to realise what was going on, and savvy users will certainly have picked up on the scam intent.

"The attacker exported 1,916,596 contacts from CoinGecko's GetResponse account and sent phishing emails to 23.723 emails from another user's account that he had taken over (alj.associates)."

How to Defend Against Phishing

Protecting yourself from phishing attempts is certainly not impossible. It is sufficient to take care to protect yourself, before sharing data on the network. The latter is not only an ocean of possibilities, but also a very fishy sea for those wishing to defraud. The most important measure is to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on every crypto platform one uses. This will exponentially increase the difficulty of access, making it in almost all cases impossible, since each login will require an authorisation from our mobile phone or personal device, preventing the exchange of persons.

Secondly, always check the authenticity of received mails. This is not as complex as it might seem: simply read the content of the letter carefully and watch out for non-original logos, formatting, spelling and grammar of the text.

The Web3 world is full of opportunities, but has just as many risks. SpazioCrypto reminds all readers to always be very careful on exchanges and in managing your wallet. Indeed, you never know how cleverly we might be attacked. Let us not take security measures lightly, they could save our savings.


By Mattia Mezzetti profile image Mattia Mezzetti
Updated on
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