ICOs have always been the target of hackers and have sometimes succeeded in causing real havoc even at the most unexpected times. Hackers and scammers seem to immediately gear up for ICOs immediately companies announce them or launch. It has become obvious that the marketing efforts of ICO teams end up attracting some unwanted guests whose intent is to ruin or cause loss to the crowdsale.
Most malevolent among these are hackers who have developed different strategies with which they could wreck an ICO. This is why every team must be wary of this threat and take proper precautionary measures to counter it.
The Jibrel Network’s encounter with phishing sites is a classic example of how ICOs lose money to scammers. Jibrel, which launched their ICO weeks ago is a decentralized platform for financial services. Before the ICO launch, the startup team announced that they would be securing their assets using Hacken, a decentralized marketplace that is tokenized. Hacken gives their clients access to whitehat hackers who work at combating the activities of malevolent hackers. That turned out to be one of the best decisions of the Jibrel team.
Ten minutes to the launch of the Initial Coin Offering, four phishing sites came online. These were sites that looked exactly like or similar to the Jubrel website, but with different Ethereum addresses belonging to the scammers who hoped that investors searching for the original roject would be fooled into making payments to those Ethereum addresses thinking they paid to the authentic Jibrel wallet.
Luckily for Jibrel, the team noticed the phishing sites early enough before much damage was done and called in Hacken whose team worked at containment of the threat.
It was a team member’s girlfriend that first noticed the sites that were using Google AdWords to drive traffic. On being alerted, Hacken went into action and it took a few minutes to pull down one of the sites. The other three went down in three hours leaving the Jibrel team wondering how much damage had been done to their ICO.
What they had going for them is that investors are better informed about ICOs today than they were six months ago and that the Hacken team was on the ground to contain the threat, saving Jibrel thousands of dollars in potential damages.
Mr. Tabbaa, a Jibrel team member whose girlfriend was the first to notice the phishing sites said, “Imagine working hard for months to get your ICO launched only to have scammers reap profits”. This sure is a lesson to all companies planning ICO launch.
The rise in popularity of crypocurrencies is accompanied with an ever-present threat from hackers, scammers, and other bad elements. It is essential therefore that adequate preparations are made to counter these threats.
ICO teams have to understand that adequate security, as well as marketing, are the pivots of a successful campaign. It is very easy to forget that there are malicious threats out there with the euphoria of ICO launch and success.
Whenever companies launch their Initial Coin Offering, they should understand that there’s going to be hackers ready and willing to try causing upsets and should be well prepared with every conceivable security measure to ensure that their data and that of the investors are kept safe. More, the lure of cryptocurrency theft for cybercriminals is real and companies that have not put appropriate measures in place should have no business soliciting for crowdfunding.