Fake YouTube ad for Electrum leads to malware site

Even when you think you’re safe, visiting the walled gardens of the safest, biggest websites on the web, you could be wrong. Shockingly, users have found ads for a virus, pretending to be an Electrum wallet, on YouTube, TheNextWeb reports.

The ad pretends to be for electrum.org, the Bitcoin Core (BTC) wallet. However, if users click the link for the site, it leads them to an elektrum URL, and immediately starts downloading a malicious file.

A Reddit user originally discovered the scam, which is using a popular scamming technique amongst hackers called typosquatting. It’s a fairly simple approach to fooling end users, slightly changing the spelling of a URL and hoping to find users who lack the necessary attention to detail to notice the difference, or those who are prone to typos.

A representative of YouTube has already addressed the issue, saying, “Our teams have taken appropriate action against the ad you reported.”

This is an important lesson for YouTube users that even advertisements posted on the beloved platform are often not vetted as much as they need to be. This isn’t the first time the platform has been caught off guard by its own content either. In June 2018, recognized as Pride month in the LGBTQ community, homophobic ads started appearing on LGBTQ channels, outraging many users.

Google, which owns Youtube, has also had problems with its Chrome browser in the past. On March 20, we reported a Chrome browser extension called NoCoin – Block Coin Miners, was tricking users into giving up the entire contents of their crypto wallets. An expert at the time noted that you really need to be careful what software you trust, because hackers depend on your trust to take advantage and profit.

It’s also not the first scam centered around Electrum. In December, hackers messaged Electrum users urging them to download an update for their wallets, which turned out to be another scam to steal BTC. The hackers got away with 243 BTC worth $750,000 at the time.

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