As millions of dollars in assets have been lost due to phishing attacks following the signing of malicious authorizations, The risk of losing crypto assets due to dubious links is very real. When these are combined with platforms that allow hidden links, users face a different level of risk.
On September 4th, Web3 security provider Pocket Universe shared how to do this Scammers can hide wallet drain links in any text on the instant messaging platform Discord. While some users report that the feature was only available to capable Discord users, the ability to embed links into any text has been available for some time on many different social platforms.
Scammers can now hide links in any discord text ☠️
Watch out for hidden wallet drainer links
e.g. 👇 pic.twitter.com/mgqG18sOF9
— Pocket Universe 🟣 (@PocketUniverseZ) September 4, 2023
Cointelegraph reached out to several cybersecurity experts to learn more about how users can protect themselves from these attempts and how platforms can improve their security so users do not suffer from such attacks.
This was said by Christian Seifert, who works as a resident researcher at the security company Web3 Forta Network This type of attack has been the bread and butter of hackers since the advent of the Internet.. This is how he explains it:
“No matter what a platform creates, there will be a hacker ready to find a way to hack it. Text hyperlinks are a supported feature as part of HTML and have been a source of phishing attacks since the early days of the Internet.”
According to Soaprt, security requires a defense-in-depth approach. “Both platforms and users need to work to protect themselves,” he says. On behalf of users, the security expert emphasized that there are plugins that they can use to protect themselves from such scams.
As for Discord, Seifert noted that the platform provides information about the true destination of the URL after the user clicks on it. However, the platform also allows users to “trust” a domain in the future. According to Seifert, fraudsters can abuse this opportunity. He explains it like this:
“Let’s imagine a domain like foo. bar that the user trusts. A scammer can create a potentially malicious link that acts on that domain, such as an “Oauth” request to the scammer, e.g. E.g. foo. bar/oauth/ impostor account”.
This is what the cybersecurity expert said A problem with the current implementation of the platform is that links and text can be misleading and do not meet user expectations. “If a text link resembles a domain or URL and does not match the actual destination URL, Discord should disavow such links,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hugh Brooks, director of security operations at blockchain security firm CertiK, echoed some of Seifert’s observations. According to Brooks, Users and platforms share a responsibility to keep an eye on malicious actors. He explained that It is important that platforms continually review and ref their security features and that users remain vigilant and informe..
Speaking of Brooks said users should be proactive and cautious when it comes to links, especially when asked for signatures and permissions. The executive urged users to verify the authenticity of the website address before granting it access to cryptocurrency walreal-timeoks shared the following:
“A good practice is to compare web addresses against recognized phishing watchlists. PhishTank, Google Safe Browsing, and OpenPhish are valuable resources in this regard, along with browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere and ad blockers like uBlock.”
Brooks explained These tools can alert users in real time when they are about to visit known phishing or malicious websites. “In addition, simply hovering over a URL link displays the actual web address, allowing users to confirm its legitimacy before proceeding,” he added.
The cybersecurity expert announced this from the platformsome measures cann be implemented, such as the ability to only receive messages from trusted contacts. Brooks said a good example of this is Meta’s “Facebook Protect,” which allows users enhanced security features for their accounts.
“As the saying goes, the only constant is change.” Platforms owe it to their users and their continued relevance to prioritize security. This doesn’t just mean Update security measures but also promote a culture of monitoring and user awareness”, he added.