A $500,000 NFT theft committed thanks to a simple JPEG image

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How to lose the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of euros in a few seconds? Obviously, it’s quite simple in the world of cryptocurrencies. This April 5, a user nicknamed s27 allegedly got scammed while trying to exchange NFTs for others that turned out to be fake.

To understand the root of the problem, we must first go back to what NFTs are. These initials are the abbreviation of “Non Fungible Token”, or “non-fungible tokens” in French. These intangible titles have gained momentum in the field of art from 2017. They are a kind of “digital signature”, a title deed that is associated with a work. It aims to guarantee its authenticity.

NFTs therefore make it possible to extend the concept of “original work” to digital works, and with that all the commerce, even the speculation that results from it. Just like a painting that can be stolen from a museum, or counterfeited, NFTs are however prone to theft and scams.

In terms of security, the security of NFTs is based on what is called the “blockchain”. The definition given by the French government is as follows: a register, a large database, which has the particularity of being shared simultaneously with all its users, all also holders of this register, and who also all have the capacity to enter data in it, according to specific rules set by a very secure computer protocol thanks to cryptography “.

This particular protocol must guarantee the authenticity of the works stamped “unique”. In reality, however, it does not seem so simple, since stories of NFT thefts are flourishing. This time it’s a certain Quit, presented by the media Futuristic as an expert in the field, who reported a major scam.

Drawings of monkeys worth millions

This user explained in a Twitter thread how this type of scam can take place. “ Today Bored Ape holder ‘s27’ lost his bubble gum monkey and matching ‘mutants’ in an instant “.

The “Bored Ape”, which could be translated as “bored monkeys”, are a collection of NFTs that have taken a very high value on the market. These little images of jaded-looking monkeys are indeed brewing billions of dollars.

After digging a bit, Quit discovered that the scam had taken place on an NFT exchange site, SwapKiwi. The method was quite childish, but it worked wonderfully. On this site, a small validation tick appears at the bottom right of the image sold to certify its validity.

The seller only directly added a similar JPEG image on copied Bored Ape images. s27 didn’t see the difference, so it traded a high-value image for wind. “ Also, there is no immediately apparent way to click through to view the asset or asset contract, making asset verification unnecessarily cumbersome. “Says Quit. He therefore advises users to exercise the greatest vigilance and to carry out as many checks as possible before any exchange or purchase.

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A $500,000 NFT theft committed thanks to a simple JPEG image

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