Malware delivered in Google Ads is said to have drained an influencer's entire cryptocurrency wallet, thousands of dollars in crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The ad, a sponsored link in Google Search, hid malware.
The anonymous influencer known on Twitter as “NFT God,” or Alex, posted a series of tweets this past weekend that describes how his “entire digital livelihood” came under attack including a compromise of his crypto wallet and multiple online accounts. The event initially was reported by Cointelegraph.
Alex tweeted that “Every account connected to me both personally and professionally was hacked and used to hurt others. Less importantly, I lost a life changing amount of my net worth.”
He wrote that all accounts tied to his name across Google, Twitter, and other social media, as well as wallets, and Substack, which helps to set up a blog and newsletter, were hacked and are used to send malicious links.
It turns out that Alex used Google Search to download OBS, an open-source video streaming software. Instead of clicking on the official website, he clicked the sponsored advertisement by mistake.
Hours later, after a series of phishing tweets posted by attackers on two Twitter accounts that Alex operates, he realized that click downloaded malware. Following a message from an acquaintance, he noticed his crypto wallet was also compromised. The next day, attackers breached his Substack account and sent phishing emails to his 16,000 subscribers.
“Blockchain data shows that about 19 Ether worth nearly $27,000 at the time, a Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) NFT with a current floor price of 16 ETH ($25,000), and multiple other NFTs were siphoned from Alex’s wallet,” reported Cointelegraph.
Alex, incredibly positive given the circumstances, explained what he thought to be the mistake. A month ago, he bought a “dream computer.” A top-of-the-line desktop that can handle all the video editing and gaming. He setup the Ledger, but made one critical mistake. He set it up as a hot wallet instead of a cold wallet. Hot wallets are connected to the internet through a computer or phone, while cold wallets are hardware devices that can keep your data offline.
“These last 24 hours haven't been fun, but I'm already well along moving past this,” he tweeted. “There's something about getting your livelihood stolen in this way that brings closure. There's no recourse. It's not fixable. You can't revert blockchain transactions.”