South Korean authorities are intensifying their monitoring of phishing activity related to cryptocurrencies. The government has identified a record number of websites trying to obtain login details from crypto exchange users. Over 30 sites have been taken down in just three months this year.
Seoul Strengthens Monitoring of Crypto Phishing Scams
Rising market prices have led to an increased number of phishing attempts targeting investors and users of cryptocurrency in South Korea. The government in Seoul announced it’s strengthening its monitoring system to quickly detect such threats. It will also work closely with the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) to prevent fraud.
The Korean Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology said it’s receiving an increasing number of reports of phishing attempts. Attacks are often conducted via text messages convincing crypto traders to enter their exchange usernames and passwords on fake websites. The perpetrators can then access their accounts and steal their holdings.
The department has found and blocked 32 phishing websites only in the past three months, Yonhap News Agency reported. That compares to a total of 41 sites identified during the whole 2020. Fake web pages often have domain names that look similar to those of real platforms. One of them is called Bithnub, a misspelled version of the name of one of the largest Korean exchanges, Bithumb. The monitoring system operated by the ICT ministry works around the clock to block such websites as soon as possible.
Police Agency Investigates 21 Cases of Breached Crypto Accounts
Meanwhile, the National Police Agency has opened its own front against crypto fraud since early March this year, the Korean Herald revealed in an article. KNPA is now investigating 21 cases in which accounts of cryptocurrency users have been breached and emptied of assets. The agency recently prohibited its own investigators from acquiring cryptocurrencies and obliged them to disclose any coins purchased before the ban.
A recent report revealed that South Koreans have access to more trading platforms and types of digital currencies than other nations such as Japan and the U.S. In April, the price of the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization, BTC, reached 80 million won per coin in Korea (around $72,000). The high market prices have led to a spike in other illegal activities involving digital assets.
This week, the Korean police raided the offices of a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange suspected of defrauding customers through a multi-level marketing scheme. Korean financial regulators have announced an offensive against crypto-related money laundering and fraud which will continue until June.
What do you think about the announced crackdown on phishing attacks against crypto users in South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.