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Many former customers of Silicon Valley Bank have come close to falling victim to crypto scams. The cyberthieves seek to garner the victims’ bank account information, which includes their computer data. From there, they target their systems with malware as a means of mining crypto from their computers or stealing whatever digital assets they’ve put away.
Silicon Valley Bank Customers Should Watch Out
Silicon Valley Bank was one of three banks to be shut down in the past few weeks, the others being Silvergate and Signature (makes you wonder if banks that start with “S” are cursed). The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation was responsible for the shuttering of Silicon Valley after it became clear the institution wouldn’t raise enough capital to remain afloat.
Since this time, several phony websites allegedly pertaining to the bank’s collapse have popped up on the internet. Those looking for information about its closure visit these sites not knowing they have been infected with malware. Once they click on the site and scroll through it, the malware is downloaded onto their computers and it begins using their electricity and battery power to mine digital assets.
Cyble Research and Intelligence Labs (CRIL) was the first company to notice these scam sites and have since put out several warnings telling web browsers about the dangers they present. In a statement, the cybersecurity firm stated:
However, despite being a relief for affected depositors, threat actors have started using this announcement to launch their malicious campaigns.
Johannes B. Ullrich – dean of research at SANS.edu – explained also that there’s a sense of urgency surrounding the situation. He mentioned:
Many companies and individuals employed by companies have questions about how to pay urgent bills. Will my employer be able to make payroll? Is there anything I need to do right now? For many, it isn’t clear how to communicate with SVB, what website to use, or what emails to expect (or where they will come from).
Don’t Accept the Free USDC!
In a separate report, CRIL also mentioned that crypto theft and additional problems will stem not just from malware, but from phishing scams that the attackers have implemented into their malicious protocols. The document says this usually comes in the form of free USDC offerings:
They aim to steal cryptocurrency from the victim’s account by offering them free USDC… The user is instructed to scan the QR code using any cryptocurrency wallet, such as Trust, MetaMask, or Exodus. However, scanning the code will result in the compromise of the user’s wallet account… Given the recent buzz surrounding the collapse of SVB, which will have long-lasting effects on affected organizations, these entities are likely to become targets for TAs (threat actors) who may employ malware and phishing attacks to victimize them.