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Hackers stole passwords from Worldcoin Orb operators


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.

Founded by Sam Altman, Worldcoin 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 biometrics in exchange for those tokens.

A person’s biometric data is recorded by the Worldcoin Orb, a spherical “Black Mirror”-like imaging device that captures users’ irises and high-resolution images of their body and face, according to Worldcoin. Those interested must first visit an “Orb Operator”, who is recruited and contracted by Worldcoin, and earn money for each person they sign up.

These operators have access to an online portal and app, where they can track information such as revenue, uptime, signups, 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 credentials stored in their browsers, including operator app credentials.

A security researcher requested anonymity and 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 it is unlikely that the operators were specifically targeted. Rather, according to the researcher, it was more likely the result of bad software being downloaded onto their computers while sensitive credentials were stored in their browsers.

Orb dashboards contain data, including onboarding and training documents, and support requests submitted by other Orb operators, according to screenshots seen by TechCrunch, though it’s unclear exactly how much user data is accessible to the operator. Past reporting found that in some regions, the information collected by operators includes email addresses, phone numbers, and national ID card scans.

Worldcoin spokesperson Jannick Preiwisch told TechCrunch that an internal investigation has concluded that “no sensitive or personal user data” has been accessed or compromised. Preiwisch added that sensitive data is never accessible to the Orb operator and that any biometric data collection is encrypted both at rest and in transit.

“We take all claims regarding the security and integrity of our systems seriously and have initiated an immediate investigation upon receipt of an investigation from TechCrunch regarding such matters.” Preiwisch added that the company had reset all Worldcoin operator signups out of “abundance of caution” and has accelerated the rollout of 2FA for the Worldcoin operator app.

According to its own dataWorldcoin has over a million signups and has between 100 and 200 Orbs operational at any given time.

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