Phishing scammer Monkey Drainer has pilfered as much as $1M in Ethereum

An alleged phishing scammer going by the pseudonym “Monkey Drainer” has reportedly swiped around $1 million worth of Ether (ETH) via dubious copycat NFT minting websites this week. 

Well-known blockchain sleuth ZachXBT was one of the first to track and highlight the activity, outlining on Oct. 26 that:

“Over the past 24 hrs ~700 ETH ($1m) has been stolen by the phishing scammer known as Monkey Drainer. They recently surpassed 7300 transactions from their drainer wallet after being around for only a few months.”

“The two largest victims over the past day include 0x02a & 0x626 who collectively lost $370k from signing transactions on malicious phishing sites,” ZachXBT added.

The blockchain scam investigator also went on to assert that longer term, Monkey Drainer has allegedly stolen more than $3.5 million from their schemes, with “that number rapidly increasing by each day.”

Phishing scams often involve criminals sharing links to websites impersonating real projects or companies designed to dupe victims into handing over private credentials by offering an exciting buying opportunity or free promotion.

Four addresses, in particular, have been flagged relating to Monkey Drainer, including the monkey-drainer.eth address.

Upon searching these addresses on blockchain community-driven Web3 security network Chainabuse, it currently shows a long list of reports relating to airdrop scams, NFT scams, and phishing attacks.

The reported incidents include airdrop scams via the Astrobot Society discord channel, a Fake Wolf Game and Bored Ape Yacht Club marketplace, and a fake Aptos Airdrop to name a few.

Web3 security community Wallet Guard also responded to ZachXBT’s Twitter thread and stated that it had “spotted several other mint sites recently created” that had Monkey Drainer on the backend, including a fake Garbage Friends whitelist link that was a phishing website.

Related: FTX to give a ‘one-time’ $6M compensation to phishing victims

ZachXBT has become a respected independent blockchain investigator over the past couple of years, bringing to light a lot of nefarious behavior in the space.

Earlier this month, the deputy chief of France’s national cyber unit Christophe Durand even cited ZachXBT’s work for helping officials track phishing scams of five people suspected of stealing $2.5 million worth of NFTs.