The recently launched social crypto platform Friend.tech is encountering early scams and hacks, according to user reports. Multiple victims have come forward, detailing phishing schemes and SIM swap attacks targeting Friend accounts. The incidents mirror issues plaguing traditional social media, now carrying even higher stakes with crypto wallets linked.
Several users disclosed losing significant ether holdings after SIM swap attacks granted scammers access to drain their Friend.tech wallets. One victim claimed over 20 ETH were stolen, along with additional funds held in other wallets.
One account lost 22 ETH after scammers SIM swapped their numbers linked to a doxxed Twitter handle. The thieves sold off the victim’s 34 owned keys, rugging followers in the process, and drained remaining funds.
The hack occurred despite Verizon sending an account breach alert that the user missed amidst spam calls intended as a distraction. By exploiting public information ties between accounts, the attackers swiftly accessed and emptied the victim’s Friend.tech wallet before they could react. The harrowing experience underscores the need to minimize exposure by separating on-chain and social media identities.
Attackers reportedly gathered personal information from linked social media accounts to execute identity theft and intercept login authentication messages. Victims admitted that linking exposed Twitter handles enabled scammers to orchestrate the phone-porting fraud.
Industry experts have warned that freely available personal data on social media equips hackers with tools to bypass security mechanisms. Lax safeguards around phone numbers linked to handles make SIM swapping straightforward to perpetrate.
The recent attacks also involved phishing schemes and sold access keys, according to some reports. Scammers leveraged stolen keys to rug followers who believed they had purchased exclusive access to accounts.
While hardly unique to decentralized apps, the incidents highlight the risks of Friend’s pseudo-anonymous structure. Attaching real-world identities to crypto activity via social media leaves users highly vulnerable.
The emerging platform now faces growing pains familiar to entrenched giants like Twitter. But Friend’s integral crypto features significantly raise hacking stakes as thieves target linked wallets.
To thrive long-term, the platform will need to balance Web3 ideals with pragmatic protections. Bolstering account security and implementing measures like mandatory two-factor authentication could help counter early scourges.
Of course, increased anonymity measures would clash with Friend’s mission around paid access and transparency. Still, the company may need to temper ideological convictions with hard lessons around cyber risks.
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