Intel 471 analysts discovered that at the end of April this year, a competition was announced on an unnamed Russian-speaking hacker forum for the best new hacking methods related to cryptocurrencies.
The administration of the resource encouraged everyone to publish articles on unusual ways of stealing private keys and wallets, software for mining cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, NFT and much more.
The entries were accepted within 30 days, and the administration promised that the winners would share $ 100,000. Shortly thereafter, one of the forum participants added another $15,000 to the prize pool.
The promise of good money worked: users began to share articles on a wide variety of topics. For example, researchers write that one of the articles is devoted to manipulating the APIs of popular cryptocurrency services or the technology of decentralized files in order to obtain private keys from cryptocurrency wallets. Another user detailed how to create a phishing site to steal keys and associated seed-phrases.
Intel 471 notes that similar contests have been held in criminal forums in the past, and hacker groups have tried to gain new knowledge that could help them in attacks. These contests covered a wide variety of topics, from botnets and ATM and PoS fraud to GPS signal spoofing. Everyone who submitted their article to the competition was promised $50, while the “best research” was paid up to $10,000. Also, similar contests are sometimes arranged by the creators of ransomware (for example, REvil and LockBit).
Let me remind you that I also reported that Hacker XSS Forum Banned Ransomware Ads.