A threat actor known as Savvy Seahorse has been identified for orchestrating investment scams by impersonating major brands like Meta and Tesla [2], using Facebook ads in multiple languages to lure victims into a fake investing platform [1] [2].


Savvy Seahorse operates a Traffic Distribution System (TDS) that leverages the Domain Name System (DNS) to continuously alter its malicious domains [1] [2], making them resistant to takedowns [1]. The system’s reliance on a single Canonical Name (CNAME) record reveals a potential vulnerability that could disrupt the entire network [2]. Savvy Seahorse’s operation utilizes a TDS with thousands of fluid domains hosted across multiple domain registrars and ISPs [2], all anchored by a single CNAME record [2]. This setup allows for rapid scaling and movement of operations [1], enabling the scam to evade detection and shutdown efforts efficiently [2]. The use of DNS-based TDS distinguishes Savvy Seahorse from other cybercriminal operations [2], showcasing an innovative yet vulnerable approach to conducting online scams [2].


The discovery of Savvy Seahorse’s operation underscores the evolving nature of cyber threats and the need for continuous adaptation in cyber defense mechanisms [2]. By exploiting the inherent features of DNS and leveraging a single CNAME record for operational resilience [2], this scam illustrates the sophisticated tactics employed by modern threat actors [2]. However, the identification of a single point of failure within this complex operation offers hope for more effective countermeasures against such threats [2], emphasizing the potential for strategic targeting in cybersecurity efforts [2].


[1] https://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities-threats/savvy-seahorse-hackers-debut-novel-dns-cname-trick
[2] https://bnnbreaking.com/finance-nav/savvy-seahorse-scam-impersonating-meta-tesla-in-multilingual-facebook-ads