Hackers have increasingly targeted NFT projects on social media platform Discord since May, causing $22m in losses.
Research by blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs found more than 100 reports of Discord channel hacks, with phishing attacks linked to NFT mining scams via compromised channels increasing.
Almost a dozen attacks to compromise accounts occurred in the first week of June, with some NFT projects getting hacked more than once.
Hackers use sophisticated phishing and fraudulent accounts to target accounts, as well as exploiting bit vulnerabilities and banning website moderators from interfering in hacks.
“Hackers’ messages to users have routinely attempted to tap into the sense of urgency typically associated with NFT minting events, prompting users to act quickly in order to avoid missing out on a free giveaway or limited inventory,” TRM Labs said.
Hackers intentionally targeted holders of valuable NFTs. Some of the hacking attacks appear to be linked as well, with dozens of account compromises likely related.
TRM Labs said the hackers’ movements of stolen NFTs revealed “a wider network” with the total number of groups involved in these attacks unknown.
“As with traditional scams, once a community of threat actors or Scam-as-a-Service operators understand the basic mechanisms from deception to execution, the community of illicit actors can scale that activity by reusing and iterating on services or practice,” TRM Labs said.
Meanwhile, a severe “crypto winter” has caused the prices of major cryptocurrencies to plunge recently and wiped out billions of dollars from the crypto market. NFT sales dropped to a 12-month low last month amidst the crypto rout, at just over $1bn (£835.7m) from $12.6bn (£10.5bn) in January this year, according to crypto research firm Chainalysis.