The bitcoin phishing scammer who was responsible for some of the most notorious and expensive Web3 thefts claims to have closed shop and is “going on to something better.”
The con artist using the alias Monkey Drainer said on March 1 that they will “be shutting down immediately,” that all “files, servers, and devices” connected to the drainer “would be deleted instantly,” and that it “will not return.”
Even worse, the con artist offered guidance to aspiring “young cyber criminals,” warning them not to “lose oneself in the quest of easy money” and stating that only those “with the greatest degree of devotion” could run a “big scale cybercrime” organization. Even more, Monkey Drainer linked to a Venom Drainer Telegram account that had just been established the day before Monkey’s statement and promoted the service as a “flawless” substitute for the one they had previously provided.
On March 1, the blockchain security company PeckShield tweeted that Monkey Drainer’s wallet had just made an effort to conceal their cash by depositing almost 200 Ether, or $330,000, into the cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash. They still had 840 ETH in their main wallet, which was worth $1.4 million.
The cryptocurrency wallet-draining kit that they provided is expected to extract a 30% “commission” on cash taken from others’ usage of the program, according to blockchain security company CertiK, which also posted Monkey’s warning on a tweet on March 1.
Several sellers have created wallet-draining kits based on the concept, and CertiK claimed that other suppliers have already seen an increase in demand since Monkey Drainer announced its closure.
Since it began operating in late 2022, Monkey Drainer is said to have stolen up to $13 million worth of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies. Much more has been taken by other copycat phishing scams and wallet-draining tools. According to a Web3 bug bounty platform Immunefi study, hackers, fraud, scams, and rug pulls cost the cryptocurrency industry $3.9 billion in 2022.
The assault on Kevin Rose, the co-founder of the Moonbirds NFT collection, in January was perhaps one of the most high-profile and high-value thefts by a wallet drainer in recent memory. Once Rose authorized a bad signature on a phishing website that sent more than $1.1 million worth of his personal NFTs to the attacker, his wallet was stolen.