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Who is behind the latest Elon Musk scam? (April 30, 2020)

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Ferhat Dikbiyik

On April 30, you are going to have stumble upon the Elon Musk’s (?) tweets talking a few crypto occasion. Here’s not the precious time a cybercriminal use Elon Musk’s determine on such scams, however this one is terribly inspiring in the sense that it involves compromising a verified (blue tick) Twitter tale, replies to President Trump, impersonating medium page, and BTC/ETH transfers. I researched who might maybe well be in the reduction of this immediate-lived scam and the procedure in which great cash that cybercriminals stole.

I turn into on Twitter looking for the realm leaders’ tweets on Covid-19 on April 30. There, I realized that Elon Musk replying to folks that touch upon President Trump’s shares on Twitter. Interested on Musk’s supportive shares on re-opening the financial system, I believed he might maybe well be replying to folks that oppose Trump’s gaze on the topic. But one thing turn into clearly unheard of about these replies. They all had the identical screenshot. Beneath are some examples of such replies.

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False Elon Musk’s respond below President Trump’s shares

Cautious eyes can without problems heed that this tale would not in actuality belong to Elon Musk. Particularly the story determine (calebgrimm) supplies it away. Nonetheless, the combination of the profile pic and the verified stamp is terribly convincing. Interested on that the selection of likes and RTs it gets is terribly high (bigger than 800 decrease than an hour), many assume that it’s miles de facto Elon Musk. It turn into not superior the profile pic and verified stamp that pleased folks, however it surely turn into also the image connected to the posts.

The support of the use of an image in a Twitter scam

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The image outdated in the scam

There a few advantages the use of an image love this for Twitter scams. Some for increasing illusion and some for overcoming Twitter controls towards scams.

First of all, inserting an image of a tweet in a tweet appears to be love retweeting a tweet with a quote. Second, which that you just might maybe well likely manipulate the image and produce it gaze love a worthwhile tweet. In this one, check out the story determine (elonmusk), which is the long-established Twitter tale determine of Musk. You might maybe set up aside as many likes and RTs as you want. There might maybe be no such thing as a date on the image as neatly (superior the time). All these are deliberate choices designed by cybercriminals.

Final however not the least, inserting the phishing URL internal the image will overcome hyperlink-controls of Twitter. The phishing space is www[.]spacex[.]sh. If this URL turn into internal the tweet as a clickable hyperlink, then Twitter will have tagged it as a suspicious hyperlink (on tale of of crowdsourcing). It is not seemingly to dwell so for the links in the photographs.

Here, cybercriminals inquire of people to kind the URL on their browser and visit the phishing space. The URL appears to be legit in the precious gaze. It contains SpaceX, an organization based mostly by Elon Musk, and it’s miles followed by a TLD (.sh). This country-level TLS isn’t neatly identified. It is far for Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (British In a international country Territories). I will present more facts about this phishing space in a moment. But first, let’s retract a gaze whose Twitter tale that is.

Whose Twitter tale is that this?

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Twitter tale hacked to share scam posts

When I clicked on the Twitter tale that sending scam posts, I will have considered that it belongs to Caleb Grimm, a musician from Nashville. He is in actuality one more sufferer of this scam. The attackers target Grimm on tale of he has a verified tale. They compromised his tale, changed the profile pic and username to impersonate Musk. Grimm will have clicked a hyperlink that he shouldn’t have clicked in an e-mail (or in a DM) or he’ll have outdated a third-occasion app that requires permission to use his Twitter tale. No topic the explanation, cybercriminals on the total targets verified Twitter accounts.

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The Twitter profile changed reduction to its long-established in a day

Grimm turn into able to explain reduction his tale in a day, however it surely turn into ample time for criminals to lure folks to their traps. Presumably on tale of of Grimm’s immediate action, scam lasted for a transient time. It started and ended on the identical day.

When I visit the URL given in the image, I realized that it turn into a multi-layered scam and the Twitter part turn into correct the precious layer. The URL directs you to a web space impersonating the Medium page (love the one which that you just might maybe well likely be currently reading).

Second layer: Medium page

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Medium gaze-a-love page for the 2d step

You might maybe gaze how this page is beautifully designed. Even so, there are a few things that hint that it’s not an proper Medium page. More than likely the most buttons are not clickable:

  • The clap button on the left — however, hey, the clap button on this article is surely clickable, so please hit that button whenever you experience reading this :D.
  • The Elon Musk determine — I don’t assume Musk has an advantageous Medium tale.
  • The Follow button

However the rest is clickable and they order you to the advantageous and advantageous pages. To illustrate, the Signal-in button takes you to the Medium’s proper Signal-in page.

Here, scammers want you to click on the links on the backside of the page with a transient convincing introduction. The explain is free BTC and ETH cash. Who doesn’t want it, correct? But there might maybe be no “free lunch” in the realm.

Before we dive into these links, retract a gaze on the URL on the take care of bar. You might maybe gaze the padlock icon. Padlock icon represents that the ranking space is stable and it’s miles certified. Getting an SSL certificates becomes less difficult in time not correct for the public however also for the hackers. That’s why we now have got began to gaze more and more more phishing sites with a padlock icon.

Third layer: cryptocoin giveaway pages

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BTC giveaway page

When I clicked on the precious hyperlink on the page it directed me to a webpage the build there turn into a fee take care of. Wait a 2d! If that is a giveaway, why I in actuality would like to pay one thing. The attackers set up aside a convincing sentence up there asserting that they must compare your BTC take care of. So, it be crucial to pay 0.05 BTC to ranking 5 BTC or 0.1 BTC to ranking 10 BTC. That is interesting for victims of these assaults pondering some e-commerce sites also work in the identical procedure to compare your checking tale.

The Etherium giveaway page turn into also the identical with the exception of the verification portions. Scammers quiz for 1 ETH to ranking 100 ETH. In the occasion you send 2 ETH, the reward(!) will double.

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ETH giveaway page

In the occasion you check the URL of these pages, which that you just might maybe well likely without problems behold that we are aloof in the identical domain (spacex[.]sh). The padlock icon is aloof smiling us and giving the fake sense of security.

The development bar on the backside reveals how many BTC/ETH left in this crypto occasion. The source code of the page reveals that the numbers on the bar are surely static and they by no manner replace. The bar serves a physiological reason to skedaddle the victims to retract action in declare that they might maybe not behold it’s a scam before it’s miles honest too leisurely. Before I present the outcomes that hints the actors in the reduction of this arrangement, let me discuss how great cash attackers salvage from this immediate-lived scam.

The proprietor of the BTC and ETH accounts are not visible to the public world so it’s miles terribly stylish among cybercriminals. Nonetheless, it’s miles seemingly to gaze the balance of a BTC/ETH take care of for a length of time by the use of certain OSINT sites.

For BTC, I’ve checked the balance of the given BTC take care of. Here which that you just might maybe well likely gaze that the selection of transactions is five and the date of the precious transaction is April 30, 2020, which is the date of the tweets. The page reveals the selection of total BTC obtained as 0.2 BTC and the selection of output transactions is one. The original balance is zero. That manner that hackers emptied the story on Can even honest 3, 2020 (date of the closing transaction). On Can even honest 3, 0.2 BTC turn into equal to $1,781. It will most likely well not be cheap to assume that attackers would use superior one BTC tale. There might maybe well be any other BTC accounts outdated at varied instances for diverse scams.

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The attackers appear to be luckier in ETH. When I checked the balance on ETH tale, I will gaze that the attackers were the use of this ETH tale for a whereas. This tale turn into emptied on Can even honest 4. The total amount before then payment $4,396.

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Balance of ETH take care of

I wrote a extremely detailed article about what is also realized from a phishing domain. The very first step in this form of study is to examine the whois files. In most cases these files are hidden or present minute files, each as soon as in a while it in the present day addresses who registered this domain. I turn into also fortunate in whois search.

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Whois file of the phishing domain

Whois files present that the phishing domain is created on April 30, 2020 (the date of the scam). It offers a determine for the registrant and also and take care of (city and country). I wouldn’t explicitly express that this determine is in the reduction of the scam or that is a scam performed by Russian hackers. The solutions on whois files might maybe well not continuously assume the upright files however it surely continuously supplies hints.

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The IP take care of of the phishing domain

The IP take care of outdated for the phishing domain is in the reduction of CloudFlare and it helps shared-IP web web hosting, i.e., more than one sites outdated the identical IP take care of. In step with SecurityTrails, there are bigger than 1,300 web sites currently hosted on this IP take care of.

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Web sites hosted on 104.27.128.35

Though the phishing domain spacex[.]sh returns living code 404 (Now not Came upon) on the present time, it would aloof be outdated later for a identical scam.

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Most modern living of the phishing domain

Here’s not the precious time attackers hijack verified accounts to raise out an Elon Musk scam. Nonetheless, we are able to gaze that attackers produce bigger their talents to govern folks with cascaded and more sophisticated assaults. The scam articulated listed here is a correct instance of the scammers’ methodologies. In this one, they hijacked a verified tale, lured folks to a phishing domain with an image in a tweet, impersonated a Medium page with a phishing domain that is certified (https — padlock icon), and requested for a diminutive selection of cryptocoins for verification.

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