Renowned billionaire and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban has become the second high-profile person to fall victim to a crypto phishing scam, resulting in a loss of nearly one million dollars.
This incident took place shortly after a similar occurrence in early September, where the founder of Ethereum fell victim to a hacking incident involving the X account, leading to the theft of $691,000 from users who had inadvertently engaged with a deceptive phishing link.
Cuban disclosed to DL News that his cryptocurrency wallet was subjected to a security breach, resulting in the unauthorized transfer of more than $860,000 worth of tokens and NFTs. This unfortunate incident unfolded following a phishing attack that occurred late in the previous evening. These details were corroborated by blockchain data and verified by news outlet DL News.
The phishing news comes two years after Cuban reported that he lost money trading a DeFi token called TITAN that crashed from $60 to zero within a mere 24-hour period.
According to DL News, the irregular activities within a specific wallet, identified on the blockchain explorer EtherScan as “Mark Cuban 2,” were initially detected by a pseudonymous investigator known as WazzCrypto. When approached by DL News, Cuban wasn’t aware of these wallet movements, later stating, “Someone got me for 5 eth.”
Cuban later told DL News that he recently accessed his MetaMask account after a prolonged hiatus, and he suspects that his activities might have drawn attention from malicious actors. “I went on MetaMask for the first time in months. They must have been watching,” he said.
However, the extent of his losses exceeded 5 Ether, which is equivalent to approximately $9,000 at the present market rates. In total, he incurred losses amounting to roughly $870,000, spanning across a portfolio of ten different cryptocurrencies. Among the assets affected were several stablecoins and a variety of tokens, including Lido-staked Ether, SuperRare, and Ethereum Name Service.
Cuban told DL News that he suspected he inadvertently downloaded a MetaMask version compromised with malicious software. He clarified that he had been searching for information related to Circle, not MetaMask when the incident occurred.
“I’m pretty sure I downloaded a version of MetaMask with some shit in it,” Cuban said. He added that he had searched for Circle on Google, not MetaMask.
He explained the incident happened when he went to his account to clean it up on his mobile phone. Cuban explained, “MetaMask crashed a couple of times. I just stopped. Then you emailed me. So I locked my NFTs on OpenSea. Transferred all my Polygon in the account.”
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that many scammers create counterfeit MetaMask extensions or applications, luring users into revealing their private keys or seed phrases. Once these unauthorized individuals gain access, they can swiftly drain the cryptocurrency wallets of their victims.
Cuban pointed out that since he had only been dealing with the hacked account, none of his other accounts were compromised. He successfully transferred his remaining assets to Coinbase, employing the dongle that Coinbase utilizes for authentication purposes. He said: “Since I was only working with the account that got hacked, none of my others gave up anything.” He later added that he managed to transfer the remaining assets to Coinbase with “the dongle that Coinbase uses to authentication.”
Cuban’s recent loss serves as another stark reminder of the prevailing risk landscape within the realm of cryptocurrency, marked by an increasing frequency of malicious attacks and scams.