Fraudulent Google Chrome Extension Stole As Much 1.4 Million XRP From Users This Month
Fraudulent Google Chrome Extension Stole As Much 1.4 Million XRP From Users This Month
March 26, 2020
Fraudulent Google Chrome Extension Stole As Much 1.4 Million XRP From Users This Month
Fraudulent Google Chrome Extension Stole As Much 1.4 Million XRP From Users This Month
March 26, 2020

A fraudulent Google Chrome extension has allegedly stolen as much 1.4 million XRP from users this month alone.

On March 24, it has been reported that the research team “xrplorer forensics” claimed that fake Ledger Live extensions are being used to collect user backup passphrases:

“They are advertised in Google searches and use Google Docs for collecting data. Accounts are being emptied and we have seen more than 200K XRP being stolen the past month alone.”

However, revising this initial figure, xrplorer forensics later amended its estimate to “close to 1.4M.”

According to the researchers, most of the stolen XRP appears to still be held in accounts, with a proportion cashed out via the crypto exchange HitBTC.

By sharing a screenshot of a post request from the alleged scam, xrplorer forensics warned the community against downloading tools for their hardware wallets from any developer other than the vendor directly, in this case, french crypto hardware wallet manufacturer, Ledger. 

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As of press time, two “Ledger Live” extensions appear on the Google Store for the Chrome browser, both of which include multiple user reviews that appear to corroborate xrplorer forensics’ warnings against the scam.

Likewise, in a series of parallel tweets between March 20 and March 25, xrplorer forensics claimed that close to 300 million XRP currently residing in XRP accounts is flagged as fraudulent.

They claim that the vast majority of it comes from the PlusToken exit scam. 13 million XRP is derived from other thefts and scams in their estimation.

In a tweet yesterday (March 25), addressed to crypto exchange, the researchers asked why AML (anti-money-laundering) alerts were not observed for a series of large and allegedly suspicious transactions. They contend that one-third of all XRP bithunter has received is from suspect accounts on their advisory list.

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As of March 20, the researchers said that they had been noticing a “consolidation of funds from various scams happening right now,” appealing to exchanges to stay alert to the nature of incoming payments.

At the start of this month, Ledger had itself cautioned its users against the fake Ledger Live extension, first discovered by Harry Denley, the Director of security at the blockchain interface platform MyCrypto.

Thus, Denley, like xrplorer forensics, had identified that the fake extension was being propagated by a GoogleAds campaign.

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Ishita Bora

Ishita Bora is a Senior Content Creator at Digital Notice Media Labs with an experience of 1 year. She has completed her Master's Degree in Language and Linguistics in 2019 from Gauhati University, India. Her interest lies in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency space. She loves writing about blockchain and other blockchain-related articles.