If you’ve imagined a typical crypto scammer as a hooded thug with a menacing look, you may want to revise your stereotypes. Allegedly, NFT thefts are commonly performed by school kids looking to make money and spend them on Roblox. The popular metaverse platform boasts over 200 million monthly active users and offers plenty of goodies for sale that attract especially younger audience.
A popular method of acquiring illegal funds are NFT drainer attacks leveraging tools like Inferno or Venom. The malicious software allows criminals to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in crypto assets daily.
According to Plum, a pseudonymous security researcher quoted by TheBlock.co, 95% of phishing attack perpetrators “are kids below the age of 18” who are still in high school. “I personally have talked to quite a few of them and know they’re still in school. I’ve seen pictures and videos of various of them from their schools. They talk about their teachers, how they’re failing their classes or how they need to do homework,” Plum explained.
Youngsters purchase drainers from developers on the black market and share a 20–30% “commission” on proceeds from theft with the code author. The drainer code is integrated into websites to enable tricking users into disclosing sensitive data and stealing NFTs.
Exploiters frequently conduct their attacks through Discord servers and Twitter accounts. The most recent example is an attack on Orbiter Finance’s Discord server. A scammer posing as a journalist contacted one of Discord moderators, asking them to fill in a form. The code was rigged to enable thieves to take control of the platform’s server. They used it to post an announcement about a fake airdrop and lure victims to a phishing website designed to steal their NFTs. Scammers got away with approximately a million dollars’ worth of NFTs.