ESET Research Podcast: Neanderthals, Mammoths and Telekopye

Cyber Security

ESET Research

ESET researchers discuss the dynamics within and between various groups of scammers who use a Telegram bot called Telekopye to scam people on online marketplaces

ESET Research Podcast: Neanderthals, Mammoths and Telekopye

In this episode of our podcast, ESET malware researchers talk about the dynamics within and between various Neanderthal groups, the techniques that this horde of scammers uses to find and select the best Mammoths for hunting, and especially about Neanderthals teaching each other how to wield Telekopye effectively.

While this might seem like an odd topic for a podcast about cybersecurity, quite the contrary. Telekopye is the name of a highly automated malicious toolkit implemented as a Telegram bot that cybercriminals use to deceive unsuspecting users on online marketplaces.

In the nearly 40 minutes of discussion, ESET Malware Researchers Radek Jizba and Jakub Souček explain to the host and ESET Distinguished Researcher Aryeh Goretsky why they chose the name Telekopye and how it connects with the Neanderthal and Mammoth nomenclature.

ESET experts also dissect specific features offered by Telekopye and the different scam types it facilitates, while uncovering the geographical areas these Neanderthals target and how they select their victims. The researchers also offer the insights they gained by infiltrating Neanderthal groups, revealing their business-like structure complete with strict hierarchies, promotions, training materials, and taxes. Telekopye’s success rate and payout structure is also discussed.

This episode offers invaluable insights on how to spot and mitigate these marketplace scams, so if you want to avoid being scammed during your next online swap, make sure to listen and have your notepad ready.

For more insights on the Telekopye toolkit and other similar cyberthreats, follow ESET research on X (formerly known as Twitter), and check out our latest blogposts and white papers on If you like what you hear, subscribe for more on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or PodBean.

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