An NFT influencer known as “NFT God” has reported losing a significant portion of their net worth in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency due to a malware attack through a sponsored Google Ad. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of being cautious when clicking on sponsored ads and the need for improved security measures to protect against crypto-stealing malware.

According to the influencer, they were searching for OBS, an open-source video streaming software, on Google’s search engine and clicked on a sponsored ad that they believed was for the same thing. However, it was later discovered that malware was also downloaded from the ad, which led to the compromise of their crypto wallet and multiple online accounts.

The influencer believes that the “critical mistake” that allowed the wallet hack was setting up their hardware wallet as a hot wallet, by entering its seed phrase “in a way that no longer kept it cold,” or offline, which allowed the hackers to gain control of their crypto and NFTs.

This is not the first time that the crypto community has dealt with crypto-stealing malware in Google Ads. A recent report from cybersecurity firm Cyble warned of an information-stealing malware called “Rhadamanthys Stealer” spreading through Google Ads on “highly convincing phishing webpage[s].” In October, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao also warned that Google search results were promoting crypto phishing and scamming websites.

Google has stated that it “actively works with trusted advertisers and partners to help prevent malware in ads” and uses “proprietary technology and malware detection tools” to regularly scan Google Ads. However, it is important for individuals to also take responsibility for their own security measures, such as being cautious when clicking on sponsored ads, and securing their digital assets properly.

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