MyEtherWallet service back to normal after phishing attack

Earlier today MyEtherWallet.com’s Google Domain Name System registration servers were hijacked at roughly 12 PM UTC so that users were redirected to a phishing site. The redirecting of DNS servers is a long used hacking technique that aims to undermine the internet’s routing system.

Kevin Beaumont of DoublePulsar noted, “The attackers used BGP — a key protocol used for routing internet traffic around the world — to reroute traffic to Amazon’s Route 53 service, the largest commercial cloud provider who count major websites such as Twitter.com as customers. They re-routed DNS traffic using a man in the middle attack using a server at Equinix in Chicago. From there, they served traffic for over two hours.”

“So far the only known website to have traffic redirected was to MyEtherWallet.com, a cryptocurrency website. This traffic was redirected to a server hosted in Russia, which served the website using a fake certificate — they also stole the crypto coins of customers. The attacks only gained a relatively small amount of currency from MyEtherWallet.com — however, their wallets in total already contained over £20m of currency. Whoever the attackers were are not poor.”

MyEtherWallet’s Official statement regarding DNS spoofing of domain

It is our understanding that a couple of Domain Name System registration servers were hijacked at 12 PM UTC to redirect myetherwallet[dot]com users to a phishing site.

This redirecting of DNS servers is a decade-old hacking technique that aims to undermine the Internet’s routing system. It can happen to any organization, including large banks. This is not due to a lack of security on the @myetherwallet platform. It is due to hackers finding vulnerabilities in public-facing DNS servers.

A majority of the affected users were using Google DNS servers. We recommend all our users to switch to Cloudflare DNS servers in the meantime.

Affected users are likely those who have clicked the “ignore” button on an SSL warning that pops up when they visited a malicious version of the MEW website.

We are currently in the process of verifying which servers were targeted to help resolve this issue as soon possible.

A message to our MEW community:

Users, PLEASE ENSURE there is a green bar SSL certificate that says “MyEtherWallet Inc” before using MEW.

We advise users to run a local (offline) copy of the MEW (MyEtherwallet).

We urge users to use hardware wallets to store their cryptocurrencies.

In the meantime, we urge users to ignore any tweets, Reddit posts, or messages of any kind which claim to be giving away or reimbursing ETH on behalf of MEW.

Your security and privacy is ALWAYS our priority. We do not collect or own any user data.

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to fight against this criminal phishing attack.

To keep up this fight against phishing, we need our amazing community to support

Ken Hodler, the chief engineer of hardware wallet company KeepKey, commented on the hack ordeal:

“Hardware wallets are of paramount importance to securing your cryptocurrencies and tokens. Competitors would have been subjected to the hack, due to MEW integration, but KeepKey remains the only hardware solution that supports ERC-20 tokens natively. This recent exploit hammers home the point that cryptocurrency users can no longer continue to expose their private keys to such attack vectors, and that, as breaches like these are only set to increase in frequency over time, every user should invest in an HSM solution to keep their funds safe.”