The Fatal Pop-Up – Hackers are always on the lookout for stealing cryptocurrency wherever they can. This time, it is users of the Electrum wallet who have been the victim of a fake update window.

2,200 BTC stolen with old technique

What could be more annoying than update pop-ups , the window of which suddenly appears to interrupt you in what you were doing? Unfortunately, not paying attention to the content of these messages – and especially the links to which they send – has cost Bitcoin Future owners (BTC) a fortune using the Electrum wallet .

In an investigation carried out by the ZDNet site, we rediscover a fairly simple, but vicious technique , used by hackers since the end of 2018 .

As they open an old version of their Electrum app (the news patched this flaw), future victims see an unexpected update request pop-up . But when they accept this update, they are actually downloading malware that mimics the appearance of Electrum.

When launching this fake wallet, it will ask the user for a one-time access code (OTP) – normally requested in the official version, but only when sending a transaction. By entering this code, the victim actually authorizes the corrupted wallet to send all these funds to the hacker’s account.

The wallets of hackers using this technique have thus managed to steal a total of 2,182 bitcoins , or approximately $ 25 million.

A careless mistake that would only have taken a few seconds to verify

One Electrum user reported that he lost 1,400 BTC (or nearly $ 16 million ) on his own as a result. However, the messages visibly contained bad internet links, which did not correspond to the official Electrum website. As we can see below: “ electrumsite.com “ instead of “ electrum.org “ .

Malicious pop-up redirecting user to fake site and fake Electrum wallet

Electrum teams have set up a blacklist system against Electrum-X servers used by hackers to send these bogus update messages. Likewise, a patch now prevents servers from displaying pop-ups in HTML format to wallet users.

When you update your cryptocurrency wallets, be sure to do it correctly! It is better to “waste” a few minutes making sure that you are on the official project website than to lose all your precious bitcoins.