TON ecosystem flooded with phishing attacks, SlowMist warns


Telegram-linked blockchain platform, The Open Network (TON), is facing pressure from increasing phishing attacks on its ecosystem, a blockchain security expert has warned.

According to the founder of the blockchain security firm SlowMist, the TON ecosystem — which features various decentralized applications (DApps) and tokens based on the TON blockchain — has been increasingly targeted by phishing attackers amid its turbulent growth in 2024.

“There are more and more phishing activities in the TON ecosystem,” SlowMist founder Yu Xian wrote in an X post on June 23.

According to Xian, the phishing vulnerabilities on the TON ecosystem are associated with easy access to message groups by scammers, where they post phishing links. The exec stated:

“The Telegram ecosystem is too free, and many phishing links — or bot forms — are spread through message groups, airdrops and other deceptive methods to lure away users’ TON wallets in batches.”

Telegram users with anonymous numbers are more at risk

Phishing risks on the Telegram messenger are higher for users with anonymous numbers, which are used to create Telegram accounts that are not tied to SIM cards, Xian noted.

“If these are phished away, it means that the corresponding Telegram account may also be lost, unless the user has enabled an independent password, or two-step verification,” the security expert wrote.

The option of “anonymous numbers” was introduced on Telegram in late 2022, allowing users to log in on Telegram without using a SIM card.

Instead of relying on a SIM card, users can log in using blockchain-based anonymous numbers available on platforms like Fragment.

TON ecosystem TVL surged 4,500% so far in 2024

The spike of phishing activity on the TON ecosystem comes amid a massive growth of TON-based projects, including TON’s native cryptocurrency, Toncoin (TON), as well as the play-to-earn token Notcoin (NOT).

Clicker games and tokens like Notcoin have emerged as one of the key drivers of TON’s ecosystem in 2024, gaining massive popularity among Telegram users.

Related: Binance integrates USDT on TON, opens transactions

At the time of writing, the TON ecosystem contains 43 tokens with a total market capitalization of $19.2 billion, according to data from BitGet. The total value locked (TVL) on various TON projects currently equals $648 million, up 4,500% since Jan. 1, 2024, according to DefiLlama data.

Total value locked (TVL) on the TON ecosystem since 2023. Source: DefiLlama

Amid the exponential growth of TON in 2024, many security platforms have been warning users against phishing and scam attacks.

In April, security experts from the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned the public against a major scam involving TON ecosystem users. The scam scheme involves tools like unofficial Telegram bots used to steal users’ coins by linking their Wallet, the third-party cryptocurrency wallet on Telegram, to the bot system.

Cointelegraph approached the TON Foundation for a comment regarding the rising number of phishing attacks on the TON ecosystem but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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