Hmmm... this wasn't he post that I was expecting to write today, but it is pretty damn important!
Today, I had received a pretty weird email from what appeared to be the hardware wallet provider. Ledger. I have a couple of devices from Ledger as my cold storage wallets (speaking of which, I should really get my review of the X out!) and I stand by them as great implementations of a secure hardware wallet. Of course, everyone would have their own opinions on what the best hardware wallet provider is... with Ledger and Trezor heading the list of possible contenders.
Earlier in the year, it appears that Ledger had suffered a leak of email data on it's shop page. So, basically emails of customers or possibly email subscribers were taken. Now, this is a horrific situation for any company... and even worse for a crypto hardware wallet provider as it means that all the emails are now pretty targets for a highly targeted and personalised phishing campaign. Even worse, if you are targeting people who have purchased a Ledger, then you know that they have at least a non-zero holding of crypto!
So, what is quite interesting about this phishing email is the fact that it is quite well written, in a similar format to the Ledger marketing emails that pop up occasionally in my inbox. Everything really looks legitimate about it... and like all phishing emails it has a dire warning and "ACT FAST" quality about the subject matter. After, panic and emotion will get the better of rational though... and that is what scammers (and politicians) will use to con people!
They are quite professional about the appearance of the email. Generally, mispellings and poor grammar will give the game away... or the weird domain names and odd email addresses. However, this was from domain "legder.com" (instead of "ledger.com"). Check the email address of the sender, it is really quite hard to spot even if you know you are looking at it! Other people have reported having variations on ledger (with puntjes on the or something like that...) or from ledger with a different top level domain ending.
What is quite disturbing is the fact that it is a direct email with my personal name on it as well! So, straight around the spam filters and into my own inbox. What is even MORE disturbing, is the fact that this email was a dump email created for one single purpose... purchasing the Ledger hardware wallet! So.... really not good...
As far as the scam goes... it is quite clever as well. It doesn't directly ask for seeds or PINs or anything like that. It just mentions that there may have been a data breach on Ledger's servers (yes... they have had one... just not this one!) and that the Ledger Live software servers had been compromised. They suggest downloading a new version of Ledger Live and following instructions to reset the PIN.
Now, this is a red flag to anyone who knows a little bit about crypto. Ledger has no ability to access our crypto, as the keys are stored on device and not at Ledger HQ. So, Ledger could go kaput and the keys would still be safe... although, I do wonder if it would be a problem if the firmware update was compromised... anyway, digressing... Ledger Live is the software that handles the parsing of transactions, but it isn't the part that SIGNS the transactions. I guess it would be a problem if that was compromised, but the Ledger hardware (Nano S/X) also displays the transaction that is being presented to it, which should match the transaction being presented by the software (Ledger Live).
Long story short, Ledger's servers for Live would have no impact on any cryptocurrencies being "stored" on Nano hardware. It just doesn't work that way... however, I could see how people who are more used to the username/password idea of securing things could be tricked.
Anyway, just a long winded post... there are emails going out that are well-crafted and personalised from a possible Ledger data leak of customer data. These emails are phishing, but REALLY GOOD ONES! Stay alert!... and NEVER NEVER NEVER download from a link in an email. Go to the website yourself, via a saved bookmark or typing it in yourself!
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