Back in January, the security team at BLUE noticed an irregularity with MyEtherWallet.com’s DNS configuration. In particular we saw that some users were being sent to a fake version of the site that was stealing their private keys and using this to funnel out MEW user’s funds during a very short timeframe. After this occurred the DNS settings were changed back and as far as anyone could tell the site was operating as per usual. MEW claimed there was never an issue in the first place, and asserted that MEW was safe to use.
We notified our community and the MEW team of this vulnerability, to which MEW responded with a CoinTelegraph article, calling us “stupid liars”.[https://cointelegraph.com/news/exclusive-myetherwallet-confirms-hacking-rumors-are-stupid-lie] We were not contacted to comment on this by the journalist involved. The MEW team also sent us legal threats via email, refuting that there was ever a problem. This was their approach, as opposed to simply discussing the issue to prevent future DNS issues. It would appear that the MEW team has continued to have the same lacking security of their DNS, and today the issue happened once again. CoinTelegraph has responded with a follow-up acknowledging it’s role in the misleading statements made by MEW [https://cointelegraph.com/news/myetherwallet-warns-that-a-couple-of-its-dns-servers-have-been-hacked]
The issue has to do with the way domain names resolve to a specific web server. The normal server controlled by MyEtherWallet was never touched, however a new duplicate server was created by a hacker that looked and behaved exactly like the MyEtherWallet official site. This site had one critical difference: Instead of performing your transactions after authorizing the site with a private key, it would simply use this private key to funnel all of the user’s funds to a hackers wallet.
The hacker’s wallet was identified today as having stolen at least 215 ETH, or $150,547 at the time of this writing. The hackers wallet address: 0x1d50588C0aa11959A5c28831ce3DC5F1D3120d29
This issue is related to a DNS registry problem with the public Google DNS server located at 220.127.116.11, used by many around the world for reliable DNS access, as many ISPs have frequent problems and Google is trusted to manage this service properly.
Our advice to our community to secure their funds is of course to use the BLUE Wallet Chrome extension, but if you must use MyEtherWallet, absolutely download a local copy for yourself and access it with a hardware wallet such as a Trezor or Ledger. To be clear, if you have previously used MEW to send and receive funds, we do NOT advise logging in and attempting to move your funds out at this time. Your funds should be safe, but logging in to check your balance or send out your funds may lead to the phishing server, and we can not recommend performing this action at this time. We will update the community on our official twitter, @Blue_Protocol when it is safe to transfer your funds away from the service.
UPDATE: MyEtherWallet released an official statement on the issue, acknowledging that it’s DNS servers were manipulated.
It is our understanding that a couple of Domain Name System registration servers were hijacked at 12PM 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 Cloudfare 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