Online scams exploiting the war between Russia and Ukraine: beware

Attenti alle cyber truffe che sfruttano il conflitto tra Russia e Ucraina thumbnail

According to a report by Check Point Research, the war between Russia and Ukraine has set in motion numerous scams that present themselves as donations for the Ukrainian people.

Cybercriminals exploit war between Russia and Ukraine: fundraising or scams?

While the Western world gathers around the Ukrainian people by sending relief and solidarity, fraudulent campaigns are being born online. The war between Russia and Ukraine has in fact opened new frontiers for cybercrime, which would now exploit the emotions of those who want to donate for the Ukrainian people. This is explained to us by Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence division of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. It is the leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally.

According to reports, on the darkweb, there are numerous announcements requesting donations to Ukraine. While some of these ads are legitimate, others are fraudulent, requiring donations through cryptocurrencies. CPR points them out to us through two examples

  • EXAMPLE 1– CPR discovered the announcement requesting donations for a Ukrainian woman named Marina. In a short description it is stated that “Marina” and her children are trying to escape from Ukraine and are asking for a cryptocurrency donation. The appeal underlines that “every coin helps”. Although the attached QR codes are cryptocurrency wallet addresses, a quick check shows that the main image on the site appears to come from a service from a German international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW). No other information is provided and this raises questions about the authenticity and legitimacy of the page in general.
  • EXAMPLE 2 – Some of the sites mentioned actually point to reputable sites. What stands out is a website that asks people to “Help the Ukrainian army and its wounded, along with the families and children involved in the conflict.” It also refers to the “Defend Ukraine” Twitter account. The domain was registered on February 16, a week before the conflict in Ukraine broke out. The site is very simple and contains a list of different associations and NGOs in Ukraine, as well as cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT).