Pig Butchering Scams Are Evolving Fast

Pig butchering scams have already stolen hundreds of millions of dollars. And while attackers, mainly crime syndicates in China, have developed scripts and playbooks for carrying out the attacks, new findings from researchers at the security firm Sophos show how pig butchers are tweaking and refining their strategies to try to ensnare more unsuspecting victims.

Researchers found that to stay relevant and deceive more victims in recent months, so-called pig butchering attacks are developing both more compelling narratives to draw targets in and more sophisticated tech to convince victims that there’s big money to be made. Even before these refinements, the scams were big business. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 4,300 submissions related to pig butchering scams in 2021, totaling more than $429 million in losses.

Sean Gallagher, the senior threat researcher at Sophos who led the investigation, followed two scam campaigns that had targeted him on personal accounts and devices. Beginning in October, he engaged with the scammers on Twitter DM and SMS text messaging to see where the rabbit hole would take him.

In full: https://www.wired.com/story/pig-butchering-scams-evolving/

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