Hackers have installed password-stealing malware on the devices of multiple Worldcoin Orb operators, TechCrunch has learned, giving them full access to the Worldcoin operator dashboard.
Worldcoin, founded by Sam Altman, says it is creating a “collectively owned global currency that will be distributed fairly to as many people as possible,” according to the company’s website. The company does this by giving away tokens. Those interested in joining the financial network must first hand over their biometric data in exchange for those tokens.
A person’s biometrics are captured by the Worldcoin Orb, a spherical “Black Mirror”-esque imaging device that captures users’ irises and high-resolution images of their bodies and face, according to Worldcoin. Those interested must first visit an “Orb operator,” who are recruited and contracted by Worldcoin, and earn money for every person they sign up.
These operators have access to an online portal and an app, where they can track information, such as earnings, uptime, sign-ups, operator ratings and other metrics.
TechCrunch has learned that several Worldcoin operators had their personal devices compromised by password-stealing malware, such as the RedLine information stealer, to steal all of the credentials saved in their browser — including login details for the operator app.
Requesting anonymity, a security researcher told TechCrunch that the credentials of at least seven Orb operators had been listed on the dark web in the past six months. These include credentials that give hackers full access to the Worldcoin Orb operator dashboard, which TechCrunch has learned does not require any form of two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
The security researcher told TechCrunch that it’s unlikely that the operators were specifically targeted. Rather, the researcher said, it was instead likely the result of downloading bad software on their computers while having sensitive credentials saved in their browsers.
Orb dashboards contain data including onboarding and training documents, and support requests filed by other Orb operators, according to screenshots seen by TechCrunch, though it’s unclear exactly to what extent user data is accessible by the operator. Past reporting found that information collected by operators includes email addresses, phone numbers, and scans of national ID cards in some regions.
Worldcoin spokesperson Jannick Preiwisch told TechCrunch that an internal investigation concluded that “no sensitive or personal user data” was accessed or compromised. Preiwisch added that no sensitive data is ever accessible to the Orb operator and that any biometric data capture is encrypted both at-rest and in-transit.
“We take any and all claims regarding the security and integrity of our systems seriously and immediately conducted an investigation upon receiving an inquiry from TechCrunch on such matters.” Preiwisch added that the company had reset all logins for Worldcoin operators out of an “abundance of caution,” and has accelerated the rollout of 2FA for the Worldcoin operator app.
According to its own data, Worldcoin has surpassed one million sign-ups and has between 100 and 200 Orbs operational at any given time.
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