Security analyst defends his crypto scam franchise

When crypto investor Ronald Mol clicked on an airdrop link shared by a trusted moderator in a Discord channel, little did he know the account had been taken over by a scammer equipped with the notorious Pink Drainer kit. 

“I felt like a real dumbass. How could I have been so stupid to fall for this?” Mol tells Magazine.

In draining kits, a developer or a team provides cybercriminals with a script alongside a tutorial on how to use it in exchange for a fee.

“Sometimes, they have someone available that can build the ‘customer’ a website if they have no skills in that area themselves, and in return, they get 20% to 30%,” Plum, a pseudonymous blockchain security researcher, tells Magazine.

Mol considers himself fortunate for not having many tokens in that particular wallet. 

However, not all victims share the same luck. Pseudonymous investor Trout tells Magazine that another malicious airdrop link led to the loss of $210,000 worth of crypto.

“I wanted to die,” Trout says.

The Pink Drainer kit assisted illicit actors in stealing at least $18 million [update, Pink contacted Magazine to ask for a correction and says it’s actually $53 million, confirmed by Scam Sniffer] in crypto assets from over 9,000 victims last year, including a $4.4 million theft from one investor alone.

Crypto scams: Social engineering, hacking and phishing

The developer of this drainer, who operates under the pseudonym Pink, doesn’t use the term “victims,” preferring to call those affected by the scam “participants.”

“Most people getting ‘drained’ are Chinese nationals who aren’t really supposed to be doing this whole DeFi thing in the first place, [and] some westerners get caught in the crossfire,” Pink tells Magazine.

Pink, whose Telegram profile features an animated cat, frequently shared cat memes when talking with Magazine. (Pink on Telegram)

Pink’s clients often use social engineering tactics, including hacking the social media accounts of influential figures.

In late February, MicroStrategy’s compromised X account shared a now-deleted…



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