An Analysis of Angel Drainer’s Crypto Phishing Group and Their Latest Attack

An Analysis of Angel Drainer’s Crypto Phishing Group and Their Latest Attack

The cryptocurrency industry has become increasingly vulnerable to cyber criminals, and the recent attack by the Angel Drainer phishing group is a testament to this alarming trend. This article will delve into the details of their latest attack, highlighting their modus operandi, the extent of the damage they have caused, and the implications for cybersecurity in the crypto space.

The Attack

On February 12th, 2024, the Angel Drainer group deployed a malicious Safe vault contract (0xbaee148df4bf81abf9854c9087f0d3a0ffd93dbb) to execute their phishing scam. By exploiting Etherscan’s verification tool, they concealed the true nature of the smart contract, deceiving unsuspecting users. The attackers prompted users to sign a Permit2 transaction, which authorized the theft of $403,000 from 128 crypto wallets.

One striking aspect of Angel Drainer’s attack strategy is their deliberate choice of using a Safe vault contract. They capitalized on the false sense of security that Etherscan’s verification flag instills in users. By utilizing a verified contract, the phishing group aimed to manipulate victims into believing that their funds were safe when, in reality, they were walking into a trap.

The Impact

While the attack targeted Safe users, it should be noted that it is not indicative of any inherent vulnerability in the Safe system. Blockaid, the blockchain security firm that discovered and reported the attack, clarified that the user base of Safe had not suffered widespread consequences. However, the theft of over $400,000 from unsuspecting victims is undoubtedly a cause for concern.

The Angel Drainer phishing group has proven to be a formidable threat in the crypto space. In just 12 months, they managed to siphon off more than $25 million from nearly 35,000 wallets. Their success can be attributed to their ability to execute major breaches, such as the 2023 Ledger Connect Kit hack and the recent EigenLayer restake farming attack. This track record highlights the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures within the cryptocurrency industry.

Blockaid has taken swift action to inform Safe about the attack, working closely with them to mitigate any further damage. However, this incident serves as a reminder that greater vigilance and proactive measures are necessary to combat the growing threat of crypto phishing. Stronger verification processes and user education initiatives can help mitigate the risk associated with malicious smart contracts.

The Angel Drainer phishing group’s recent attack underscores the vulnerability of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. By exploiting the false sense of security created by Etherscan’s verification tool, they successfully targeted and stole funds from unsuspecting users. This incident should serve as a wake-up call for the industry, prompting stakeholders to strengthen cybersecurity measures and protect investors from such scams. The battle against cybercrime in the crypto space is far from over, and collective efforts are needed to ensure the safety of digital assets.


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