IOTA Alert on Phishing through Seed Generator Perpetrator Identified

Dominik Schiener tweeted:  Wanted to give a huge shoutout to Koen Security. He’s a phenomenal security expert that coordinated closely with the police across the UK and the EU, played a key role in finding the perpetrator and helping to recover the stolen IOTAs. Great to have you in the community.”

IOTA expressed, the accused has been remanded in custody with the next hearing scheduled for 07/05/2021. We will keep you updated as we get new information. If you are a victim, reach out to the SEROCU UK cybercrime unit, or reach out to us via Discord: discord.iota.org


Further stated, we’ve been notified by the UK Cyber Crime Unit that the individual charged with several crimes in relation to phishing through the so-called “IOTA Seed generator” was extradited to the UK last night and appeared before the Oxford Magistrates Court today.

More about the IOTA Seed Generator Scam as is from the website:

“The iotaseed.io website was initially managed by someone using the pseudonym norbertvdberg.

He programmed the site to come first in Google search rankings and with the help of Google Ads, attracted hundreds of users to his malicious IOTA seed generator.  All in all, he stole a whopping $11.4 million from IOTA investors.  For those that aren’t aware, an IOTA seed is an 81 digit code that allows IOTA token owners to access their IOTA wallet.

An earlier version of the wallet did not contain a seed generator, so IOTA users had to generate their seeds in other ways.  A safe solution would have been to generate the seed with the help of a password manager program like KeePass.  However, many users resorted to questionable third-party online generators to create their passwords.”

David Sønstebø, Co-Founder of IOTA previously summarized the whole thing thus:  “What actually happened was a lot of unfortunate users were generating their unique seed (which is what you derive your password from) from a false website, a phishing website. It was meticulously crafted in such a way that it ended up being at the top of a Google search for IOTA seed generator, it was the first thing listed in the ads…So, this malicious actor essentially had people go there, and he/she created a website that looked very legitimate to new users. Therefore, they trusted it, and generated a seed there. That essentially means that they gave away their private key to a thief. It’s equivalent to giving your keys to someone as you go into a store, and then coming back out to find that your car is gone.”

However, now the IOTA community members have rebuilt the website to show newcomers how to safely invest in the IOTA Cryptocurrency without falling for criminal scammers.”

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