According to an article on Reddit published on 26 March, YouTube allegedly ran a malicious ad for Bitcoin (BTC) Wallet Electrum.
Viewers interested in advertising were redirected to a malicious link using a common method of fraud called typosquatting or URL hijacking. The user “mrsxeplatypus” warned the public on Reddit about advertising for a malware version of Electrum and explained how the fraud report works:
“The malicious ad is disguised to look like a real Electrum ad […] It even tells you to go to the right link (electrum.org) in the video, but when you click on the ad, it immediately starts downloading the malicious EXE file. As you can see in the picture, the URL I was forwarded to is elecktrum.org, not electrum.org.”
According to technology news site The Next Web, Google, the owner of YouTube, has taken appropriate measures to combat advertising.
This is not the first time that Electrum has been exploited by fraudsters. The company uses electrum.org as its primary address. A similar-sounding domain name was bought by a fraudster in April last year and used to recreate the company’s services. Ultimately, Electrum confirmed on Twitter that it did not own electrum.com on the grounds that it was probably ‘Bitcoin stealing malware’.
Later, the fraudster’s website (Electrum Pro) was shut down in one scenario, making it look like an exit scam. But Electrum was accused and the reputation of the real company ruined. Unfortunately, phishing scams in crypto currencies are not uncommon.
In December 2017, MyEtherWallet users were again approached by unscrupulous people who placed a fake MyEtherWallet application in the Apple App Store. This fake app was downloaded approximately 3,000 times and charged users $4.99, whereas the actual MyEtherWallet app is free to download. In December 2018, users of the Electrum Bitcoin Wallet were asked to download and install a software update that steals Bitcoins directly from the victim’s digital wallet.