Scammers are targeting participants in the government’s Bitcoin auction

The folks at Coindesk are reporting a fascinating phishing attack on leaked list of auction participants for the Silk Road bitcoins. The list, which appeared after a member of the US Marshals failed to use BCC, identified all the parties attempting to bid on the bitcoin seized during a raid on the Silk Road marketplace. It has been a useful tool for scammers. In this case the thieves sent a set of interview questions to the participants while masquerading as Bitfilm Productions. When participants opened the message, it forwarded them to a bogus email login page which captured logins and passwords. One company, Bitcoin Reserve was hardest hit. After logging in to read the document, the hackers used CTO Jim Chen’s email login to forward requests to members of the staff to send bitcoin to a certain wallet. The team sent 100 bitcoin to the wallet before the scam was uncovered.

A scam artist tried to swindle a group of potential bidders in the June auctionof 30,000 bitcoins by the U.S. Marshals Service, and appears to have scored a small win with at least one of them. In mid-June, the Marshals Service accidentally sent a reply-all email to a group of potential bidders for the bitcoins, part of the Silk Road bust. That email was leaked to the press around June 18. A few days later, the scammer started sending a phishing scheme to people on the list. Several people who were on the Marshals’ list confirmed to MoneyBeat that they received the phishing email, and several – including Pantera Capital and Bitcoin Shop – also said they did not receive the email. One recipient reportedly fell for it. This is what happened: Around June 21, several people on the list got an email from somebody calling herself Linda Jackson, who claimed to be from a group called BitFilm Production. Here is the body of the initial email, sent to us by one of the people who received it: “I work for BitFilm Production. We are currently putting together some media for a client regarding the Silk Road seized coin auction by the USMS. I am hoping you could spare five minutes to review my interview questions and see if you would be willing to participate as a source. This media will have strong syndication, and you could have the possibility of being quoted publicly (you can also be an anonymous source if you so wish).”

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Written by Sal McCloskey

Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,

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