Look Alike Accounts Used in Ukraine Donation Scam impersonating Olena Zelenska

Published: 2022-03-14
Last Updated: 2022-03-15 00:55:04 UTC
by Johannes Ullrich (Version: 1)
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Earlier, I saw the following account being flagged on Twitter:

The account attempts to impersonate Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine. Mrs. Zelenska has a legitimate, private account (https://twitter.com/OlenaZelenska34). So what is the difference between:

https://twitter.com/OlenaZelenska34 and
https://twitter.com/OlenaZeIenska34 ?

If you look closely: The fake account uses an upper case I (I) instead of the lower case L (l). The characters are visually identical. So no fancy Unicode is required for this. Luckily, at least the bitcoin address has not yet received any funds. I flagged the fake account, but it appears to be still available so far.

Like the email scam we saw earlier, cryptocurrency donations have been popular even for legitimate causes in this war. Be very careful. For Twitter: Even legitimate and verified accounts have been taken over in the past. You need to be a bit like an excellent old journalist and only trust information that you receive from different independent and trusted sources. It took me a moment to figure out which one was fake in the above example. There are plenty of other look-alike accounts. Some appear to be from people who have similar names. Others consider themselves "Fan Accounts" and clearly state that they are not affiliated with the actual person. The fake account currently shows as #4 if you search for "Olena Zelenska" on Twitter. 




Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D. , Dean of Research, SANS.edu

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