Home Crypto drainer hidden in social media and browser ads steals $58 million

Crypto drainer hidden in social media and browser ads steals $58 million

Over $58 million has been stolen via fraudulent Google and X ads in nine months.

The wallet draining service is named ‘Ms Drainer.’ Scammers use Google Ads to present fake versions of popular cryptocurrency sites like Zapper, Lido, Stargate, Defillama, Orbiter Finance, and Radiant.

These Decentralized finance (DeFi) sites allow for peer-to-peer transactions without the need for an intermediary like a banking partner for fund transfer.

The fake ads exploit the token approval process to transfer funds without the account holder’s consent.

How did Scammers go about this wallet drain?

ScamSniffer flagged the malicious crypto-stealing scam:


Users were led to sites that mimicked officially advertised platforms—hiding the links to the scam pages inside the promoted ads on Google Ads and X.

Both Google Ads and X should have robust policies of defending against these types of scams, however the scammers have managed to get around these safeguards.

MS Drainer was active on 10,072 fake sites, according to ScamSniffer, and impacted 63,000 victims.

The malicious draining tool was also active on X, presenting itself as a limited edition NFT collection called ‘Ordinals Bubbles’.

ScamSniffer said in a recent post, “It’s critical for ad platforms to strengthen checks and for users to approach ads with caution, verifying authenticity to avoid phishing traps. Stay vigilant!”


Other Crypto scams and exploits

Last month, Inferno Drainer stole over $70 million from victims before shutting down, as reported by Coin Telegraph. The scammers posted a final message to a Telegram group saying, “We hope you can remember us as the best drainer that has ever existed and that we succeeded in helping you in the quest of making money.”

Millions of crypto wallets were found to be at risk in November due to an overlooked code flaw in BitcoinJS. The flaw stemmed from insufficiently random key generation for crypto wallets. Those most at risk were users who created a crypto account before 2012.

Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Brian-Damien Morgan
Features Writer

Brian-Damien Morgan is an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014,…

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.