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Sophos researchers win Virus Bulletin technical research award

We’re thrilled to announce that Sophos Senior Threat Researchers Jagadeesh Chandraiah and Xinran Wu have been presented with the prestigious Péter Szőr Award by Virus Bulletin.

The award recognizes the best technical research of the year and is voted on by the Virus Bulletin Advisory Board and team members.

Chandraiah and Wu took home the 2022 award for their work on CryptoRom Bitcoin fraud, a multi-part series that culminated with the paper CryptoRom Bitcoin swindlers continue to target vulnerable iPhone and Android users.

CryptoRom Bitcoin swindlers continue to target vulnerable iPhone and Android users

The paper details the abuse of the iOS TestFlight app and the iOS WebClip feature, along with devious social engineering and lookalike finance apps – all of which combined for repeated theft from unsuspecting victims.

According to the paper:

This style of cyber-fraud, known as sha zhu pan (杀猪盘)—literally “pig butchering plate”—is a well-organized, syndicated scam operation that uses a combination of often romance-centered social engineering and fraudulent financial applications and websites to ensnare victims and steal their savings after gaining their confidence.

Congratulations to Jagadeesh and Xinran for their excellent work! You can read the paper here and learn more about the Péter Szőr Award here.

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