Mt. Gox victims hounded by hackers looking to cash in

If the collapse of Mt. Gox wasn't enough, users are now at risk of losing their investments a second, and final, time.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Image: stock photo

Investors from the failed Mt. Gox platform are being targeted by scammers on the tail of a new exchange being launched to help with the recovery of lost Bitcoin.

As reported by The Register, security solutions provider Cyren has recently spotted a new phishing campaign specifically tailored for use against former investors on the Mt. Gox Bitcoin trading post.

In 2014, Mt. Gox collapsed without warning, claiming that the company's virtual currency stock and investor funds -- amounting to 650,000 Bitcoin -- had been stolen by cyberattackers.

Certain parts of the story did not add up, and after submitting the company to bankruptcy proceedings in Japan and the US, the firm's former CEO Mark Karpeles is now under investigation for fraud and embezzlement.

Over two years later, the launch of a new platform by Kraken and trustee Nobuaki Kobayashi will help investors recover at least a portion of their missing cryptocurrency. However, a fresh phishing campaign could also place this into jeopardy.

The new phishing attack has former Mt. Gox investors in mind. The campaign sends out fraudulent emails which pretend to have an update on filed claims and redirect victims to a Google Docs page.

The document, as you may expect, is malicious -- and hosts an executable file, W32/Trojan5.NRB, which then downloads, executes and scans to look for any local Bitcoin wallets linked to the victim's PC.

If virtual currency stores are discovered, then the malware plunders the cache and sends along the proceeds to the operators.

See also: Many Mt. Gox investors now have no hope to recover their cash

As is always the case with phishing campaigns, you should always avoid opening suspicious emails -- and never download or click attachments which do not seem reputable.

The investigation into Mt. Gox is still ongoing, but now the firm's trustee has determined which refund claims are valid, $91 million in reclaimed assets from the bankrupt company is due to be returned to investors.

This amount in itself is only a fraction of the amount lost in 2014, but after such a long wait and no certainty of gaining anything back at all, it is likely that investors will appreciate clawing at least some of their funds back. Assuming, of course, they do not fall prey to the latest round of phishing attacks.

The total amount of loss claims amounted to $2,411,412,137,427 submitted by 24,750 creditors.

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