Solana Network Woes Exacerbated by NFT Airdrop Malware Threat

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The problems facing the Solana network and investors in its SOL coin are deepening as a new strain of malware has become the latest threat.

Users of Solana’s Phantom wallet have been targeted by malware that attempts to dupe them into installing an update.  

According to recent reports, malicious actors are airdropping NFTs to Solana wallet users that imitate alerts for a new Phantom security update. If installed, the data-stealing malware could result in theft from crypto wallets.

The ongoing attack has been running for weeks with NFTs titled ‘PHANTOMUPDATE.COM’ or ‘UPDATEPHANTOM.COM’ being sent to Solana users. They include a warning that failing to update could result in a compromised system or crypto theft “due to hackers exploiting the Solana network.”

If clicked, malicious files are downloaded and installed on the PC or mobile that attempts to steal passwords, browser information, and crypto security keys. The strain of malware was identified as MarsStealer, which appeared in 2020 on Russian hacker forums.

Solana network outages adding up

It is not the first time Solana wallets have been targeted. In August, the Luca Stealer malware was suspected to be used in the attack that drained more than $4 million from over 9,200 Solana hot wallets due to a vulnerability.

Furthermore, malware is not the only problem to plague Solana, as it continues to suffer network outages and degraded performance. The once touted “Ethereum killer” was killed again earlier this month when an outage for at least 6 hours rendered the network unusable on Oct. 1. This time, the outage was blamed on a misconfigured node that caused an unrecoverable network partition.

At the time of press, Solana’s status dashboard indicates that the mainnet cluster is “currently experiencing degraded performance,” so things are clearly not running smoothly.

Solana has had outages, network instability, or degraded performance in January, April, March, May, June, and October so far this year.

SOL price plunges further

Solana’s native coin has lost 4.6% on the day in a fall to $31.36 at the time of press. SOL prices continue to erode as investors lose confidence in this former crypto darling.

The asset is close to dropping out of the top ten by market cap as it has lost a whopping 88% since its November all-time high of $260. Increased malware threats and multiple network outages are certainly not helping Solana.


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