Hacker steals $150,000 by faking cryptocurrency pre-sale

San Francisco: A hacker has stolen nearly $150,000 by tricking people to participate in a cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offering (ICO) pre-sale and guiding their payments to a fraudulent wallet address, media reported.

The cyberattacker targeted ICO, also known as a token sale, designed to raise funds for a “Skype-like voice and video application” which could also take secure payments through the blockchain, news portal Beeping Computer reported on Tuesday.

Users who had signed up for information regarding the ICO sale of Experty started receiving emails with a pre-ICO sale announcement of Experty (EXY) tokens.

EXY is an upcoming blockchain-based application that encourages the adoption of cryptocurrency on a global scale.

The users were asked to send money to an Ethereum (a type of cryptocurrency) wallet if they wanted to buy “EXY” tokens and be part of the ICO.

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The email was fake because the actual Experty ICO was scheduled for January 31. The report claimed that the email was sent by a hacker.

The phishing mails contained spelling and grammatical errors and contained an offer of extra tokens if buyers made their purchase within 12 hours.

The trick worked and users transferred 74 Ethereum funds (presently valued at over $150,000 in total) to the fraudulent wallet address mentioned in the mail.

Earlier this month, hackers broke into the digital wallet provider BlackWallet and stole its “Stellar” cryptocurrency worth $400,000.

In yet another hacking in December, Slovenian Cryptocurrency mining market NiceHash lost over $60 million in a Bitcoin hack.