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Greek Court Approves US Extradition of BTC-e Operator In $4 Billion Money Laundering Case

Greek Court Approves US Extradition of BTC-e Operator In $4 Billion Money Laundering Case

October 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A Greek court has approved the U.S. extradition of a 38-year-old Russian national accused of laundering more than $4 billion in bitcoin for culprits involved in hacking attacks, tax fraud and drug trafficking with the help of the now-defunct BTC-e exchange. Alexander Vinnik , an alleged operator of BTC-e—a digital currency exchange service that has been in operation since 2011 but seized by the authorities right after Vinnik's arrest in a beachside village in northern Greece in late July 2016 at the request of US law enforcement authorities. Since his arrest, Moscow has also requested Vinnik be returned home, as it has previously done with other Russian nationals wanted by the United States. However, the Greek court ruled Wednesday (4 October) to extradite Vinnik to the U.S., where he will face trial on the charges with the operation of an unlicensed money service business, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and engaging in unlawful monetary transact
Here’s How Hackers Can Hijack Your Online Bitcoin Wallets

Here's How Hackers Can Hijack Your Online Bitcoin Wallets

September 19, 2017Unknown
Researchers have been warning for years about critical issues with the Signaling System 7 (SS7) that could allow hackers to listen in private phone calls and read text messages on a potentially vast scale, despite the most advanced encryption used by cellular networks. Despite fixes being available for years, the global cellular networks have consistently been ignoring this serious issue, saying that the exploitation of the SS7 weaknesses requires significant technical and financial investment, so is a very low risk for people. However, earlier this year we saw a real-world attacks, hackers utilised this designing flaw in SS7 to drain victims' bank accounts by intercepting two-factor authentication code (one-time passcode, or OTP) sent by banks to their customers and redirecting it to themselves. If that incident wasn't enough for the global telecoms networks to consider fixing the flaws, white hat hackers from Positive Technologies now demonstrated how cybercriminals
China Bans Fundraising Through Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

China Bans Fundraising Through Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

September 04, 2017Swati Khandelwal
China's central bank today announced an immediate ban on all ICO—Initial Coin Offering—fundraising, to prevent fraud and illegal fundraising. ICO is the hottest new thing in the blockchain world, which is an alternative to crowdfunding that lets a firm raise funding from multiple sources. The People's Bank of China (PBoC), the country's central bank and financial regulator, has issued an official notice on Monday, forbidding "all types of currency issuance financing activities" that have "seriously disrupted the economic and financial order." This PBoC's bold move has been backed by many other Chinese government administrators and regulators including the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and China Banking Regulatory Commission. This move marks the end of an era of ICO fundraising in China. The regulator claims that ICOs are being misused for "
Warning: Enigma Hacked; Over $470,000 in Ethereum Stolen So Far

Warning: Enigma Hacked; Over $470,000 in Ethereum Stolen So Far

August 21, 2017Unknown
More Ethereum Stolen! An unknown hacker has so far stolen more than $471,000 worth of Ethereum—one of the most popular and increasingly valuable cryptocurrencies—in yet another Ethereum hack that hit the popular cryptocurrency investment platform, Enigma . According to an announcement made on their official website an hour ago, an "unknown entity" has managed to hack their website, slack account and email newsletter accounts, and uploaded a fake pre-sale page with a fake ETH address to send money. The hackers also spammed their fake address in Enigma's newsletter and slack accounts for pre-sale coins, tricking victims to send their cryptocurrencies to hacker's address. Etherscan, a popular search engine for the Ethereum Blockchain that allows users to look up, confirm and validate transactions easily, has already flagged the address as compromised, but people are still sending ETH to the fake address (given below). 0x29d7d1dd5b6f9c864d9db560d72a247c178ae86
Corrupt Federal Agent, Who Stole Bitcoins From Silk Road, Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering

Corrupt Federal Agent, Who Stole Bitcoins From Silk Road, Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering

August 16, 2017Swati Khandelwal
A former the United States Secret Service agent who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoins during an investigation into then-largest underground marketplace Silk Road has now pleaded guilty to money laundering. Shaun W. Bridges is one of two former US undercover agents who pleaded guilty in 2015 to one count of money laundering and one count of obstruction and was sentenced in December same year to almost six years in prison for stealing over $800,000 in Bitcoin while investigating Silk Road. 35-years-old Bridges, who had been a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service for almost 6 years, along with his partner stole money from Silk Road accounts and framed someone else for the laundering, which even led the Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht to plan a murder. Ulbricht was convicted in February 2015 of running the Silk Road underground black market and is now serving life in prison sentence . According to the Department of Justice, Bridges is believed to
Game of Thrones (Season 7) Episode 5 Script Leaked — Hacker Demands Millions in Ransom

Game of Thrones (Season 7) Episode 5 Script Leaked — Hacker Demands Millions in Ransom

August 08, 2017Wang Wei
The hacking group that recently hacked HBO has just dropped its second trove of documents, including a month emails of one of the company's executives, and a detailed script of the upcoming fifth episode of "Game of Thrones" Season 7, set to be aired on August 13. The latest release is the second leak from the hackers who claimed to have obtained around 1.5 terabytes of information from HBO, following the release of upcoming episodes of "Ballers" and "Room 104," and a script of the fourth episode of "Game of Thrones." With the release of another half-gigabyte sample of its stolen HBO data, the hacking group has finally demanded a ransom worth millions of dollars from the entertainment giant in order to prevent further leaks. The latest HBO data dump includes company's several internal documents, including emails, employment agreements, financial balance sheets, and marketing-strategy PDFs, along with the script of the yet-to-ai
FBI Arrests Researcher Who Found 'Kill-Switch' to Stop Wannacry Ransomware

FBI Arrests Researcher Who Found 'Kill-Switch' to Stop Wannacry Ransomware

August 03, 2017Mohit Kumar
The 22-year-old British security researcher who gained fame for discovering the " kill switch " that stopped the outbreak of the WannaCry ransomware —has been reportedly arrested in the United States after attending the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas. Marcus Hutchins, operates under the alias MalwareTech on Twitter, was detained by the FBI in the state of Nevada, a friend of Hutchins confirmed Motherboard. At the time of writing, it is unclear why the Internet's ' accidental hero ' has been detained by the FBI, but his arrest has sparked an endless debate in the security community. Hutchins became famous over two months ago when the WannaCry ransomware began hitting businesses, organisations and individuals across the world, and he accidentally halted its global spread by registering a domain name hidden in the malware. hxxp://www[.]iuqerfsodp9ifjaposdfjhgosurijfaewrwergwea[.]com The domain as mentioned above was responsible for keeping Wa
How Hackers Cash Out Thousands of Bitcoins Received in Ransomware Attacks

How Hackers Cash Out Thousands of Bitcoins Received in Ransomware Attacks

July 28, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Digital currencies have emerged as a favourite tool for hackers and cyber criminals, as digital currency transactions are nearly anonymous, allowing cyber criminals to use it in underground markets for illegal trading, and to receive thousands of dollars in ransomware attacks— WannaCry , Petya , LeakerLocker , Locky and Cerber to name a few. Also, every other day we hear about some incidents of hacking of crypto currency exchange or digital wallets, in which hackers stole millions of dollars in Bitcoin or Ethereum. The latest back-to-back series of thefts of Ethereum —one of the most popular and increasingly valuable cryptocurrencies—in which around half a billion dollars in total were stolen is the recent example of how much hackers are after crypto currencies. It's obvious that after ripping off hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrencies from exchanges, wallets and ransomware victims, cyber criminals would not hold them in just digital form—the next step is to cash the
Bitcoin Exchange Operator Arrested For $4 Billion Money Laundering Scheme

Bitcoin Exchange Operator Arrested For $4 Billion Money Laundering Scheme

July 27, 2017Mohit Kumar
Greek  police have arrested a Russian man who is believed to have been the operator of the popular BTC-e Bitcoin exchange on charges of laundering more than $4 billion in bitcoin for culprits involved in hacking attacks, tax fraud and drug trafficking. A United States jury indicted 38-year-old Alexander Vinnik on Wednesday after his arrest in Greece on Tuesday at the request of US law enforcement authorities. The suspect is one of the operators of BTC-e, a service operational since 2011. Headquartered in Russia, the digital currency exchange has been offline since the arrest of Vinnik, and its homepage says, "Site is under maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.." According to a press release published by the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), BTC-e ignored "know your customer" laws in an effort to serve criminals, and even hosted message boards buzzing with illegal activities. The FinCEN also announced a $110
Hacker Uses A Simple Trick to Steal $7 Million Worth of Ethereum Within 3 Minutes

Hacker Uses A Simple Trick to Steal $7 Million Worth of Ethereum Within 3 Minutes

July 18, 2017Mohit Kumar
All it took was just 3 minutes and ' a simple trick ' for a hacker to steal more than $7 Million worth of Ethereum in a recent blow to the crypto currency market. The heist happened after an Israeli blockchain technology startup project for the trading of Ether, called CoinDash , launched an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), allowing investors to pay with Ethereum and send funds to token sale's smart contact address.. But within three minutes of the ICO launch, an unknown hacker stole more than $7 Million worth of Ether tokens by tricking CoinDash's investors into sending 43438.455 Ether to the wrong address owned by the attacker. How the Hacker did this? CoinDash's ICO posted an Ethereum address on its website for investors to pay with Ethereum and send funds. However, within a few minutes of the launch, CoinDash warned that its website had been hacked and the sending address was replaced by a fraudulent address, asking people not to send Ethereum to the pos
AlphaBay Dark Web Market Goes Down; Users Fear Exit-Scam

AlphaBay Dark Web Market Goes Down; Users Fear Exit-Scam

July 06, 2017Wang Wei
AlphaBay Market, one of the largest Dark Web marketplaces for drugs, guns, and other illegal goods, suddenly disappeared overnight without any explanation from its admins, leaving its customers who have paid large sums in panic. AlphaBay , also known as "the new Silk Road," has been shut down since Tuesday night. The site also came in the news at the beginning of this year when a hacker successfully hacked the AlphaBay site and stole over 200,000 private unencrypted messages from several users. Although the website sometimes goes down for maintenance, customers are speculating that the admins have stolen all their Bitcoins for good measure, when heard no words from the site's admins on the downtime. Some users at Reddit and Twitter are claiming that AlphaBay's admins may have shut down the marketplace to withdraw a huge number of bitcoins from the site's accounts. The withdrawal Bitcoin transactions total 1,479.03904709 Bitcoin (roughly $3.8 Million),
Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacked! Over $1 Million Worth Bitcoin and Ether Stolen

Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange Hacked! Over $1 Million Worth Bitcoin and Ether Stolen

July 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
One of the world's largest Bitcoin and Ether cryptocurrencies exchanges Bithumb has recently been hacked, resulting in loss of more than $1 Million in cryptocurrencies after a number of its user accounts compromised. Bithumb is South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange with 20% of global ether trades, and roughly 10% of the global bitcoin trade is exchanged for South Korea's currency, the Won. Bithumb is currently the fourth largest Bitcoin exchange and the biggest Ethereum exchange in the world. Last week, a cyber attack on the cryptocurrency exchange giant resulted in a number of user accounts being compromised, and billions of South Korean Won were stolen from customers accounts. Around 10 Million Won worth of bitcoins were allegedly stolen from a single victim's account, according to the Kyunghyang Shinmun, a major local newspaper. A survey of users who lost cryptocurrencies in the cyber attack reveals " it is estimated that hundreds of mill
Creator of Bitcoin Mining Schemes faces $12 Million for Ponzi Scam

Creator of Bitcoin Mining Schemes faces $12 Million for Ponzi Scam

June 06, 2017Wang Wei
Every time a new topic trends on the Internet, scammers take advantage of it. You must have heard of Bitcoin and how in recent days it has made some early investors millionaire overnight. Yes, the Bitcoin boom is back, and it's real — a digital currency that has just crossed a new milestone today. The current price of 1 BTC or 1 Bitcoin = US$2,850. An American con man took advantage of this boom in Bitcoin market to run bogus bitcoin mining schemes and earn millions of dollars. But the bogus schemes ended as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has won a legal battle against two bogus, but now defunct, Bitcoin companies operated by Homero Joshua Garza — GAW Miners and ZenMiner. Garza is now facing a $12 Million (£9.2 Million) penalty for running the bogus schemes – what lawmakers have certified was a "Ponzi scheme." According to the SEC, Garza used the "lure of quick riches" in order to get people to invest in the bitcoin mi
Ransomware Hijacks Hotel Smart Keys to Lock Guests Out of their Rooms

Ransomware Hijacks Hotel Smart Keys to Lock Guests Out of their Rooms

January 29, 2017Mohit Kumar
What's the worst that could happen when a Ransomware hits a Hotel? Recently, hundreds of guests of a luxurious hotel in Austria were locked in or out of their rooms when ransomware hit the hotel's IT system, and the hotel had no choice left except paying the attackers. Today, we are living in a digital age that is creating a digital headache for people and organizations around the world with cyber attacks and data breaches on the rise. Ransomware is one of them. The threat has been around for a few years, but during 2016, it has turned into a noxious game of Hackers to get paid effortlessly by targeting hospitals, Universities, private businesses and even police departments and making hundreds of millions of dollars. Now, the Romantik Seehotel Jäegerwirt 4-Star Superior Hotel has admitted it paid €1,500 (£1,275/$1,600) in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to break into their network and hack their electronic key card system that prevented its guests f
Bitcoin Price Jumps Above $1150 — Highest in last 3 Years

Bitcoin Price Jumps Above $1150 — Highest in last 3 Years

January 04, 2017Mohit Kumar
What a good start of the New Year for those holding Bitcoins! Web-based digital currency Bitcoin has passed $1,110 for the first time on the Bitstamp Price Index (BPI) since early November 2013. Bitcoin broke the barrier on 1 January and now is trading above $1,150 mark at the time of writing, marking a bright beginning to 2017 for the digital currency. At the time of writing, 1 Bitcoin = $1158.99. Bitcoin is a revolutionary virtual currency that has no central authority; instead, it relies on thousands of computers worldwide that validate transactions and add new Bitcoins to the system. The world's first and most famous cryptocurrency is developed around Blockchain, which is a complex cryptographic protocol and a global computer's network that oversees and verifies which Bitcoins have been spent by whom. The identity of the people spending Bitcoins is extremely difficult to trace because of its anonymous nature. Therefore, the currency is very popular among criminal
FBI is Investigating Theft of $1.3 Million in Bitcoin from a Massachusetts Man

FBI is Investigating Theft of $1.3 Million in Bitcoin from a Massachusetts Man

October 15, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Over two months ago, the world's third largest Bitcoin Exchange Bitfinex lost around $72 Million worth of Bitcoins in a major hack. Shortly after the company encountered a $72,000,000 Bitcoin theft, an unnamed Bitfinex user from Cambridge, Massachusetts, filed a police report in September, alleging that $1.3 Million of funds were stolen from his account. Since then the Cambridge police have handed the case over to the FBI, which is working with the Bitcoin exchange as well as European authorities to recover funds stolen from the Bitfinex user, Coindesk reports . The individual claimed that he held $3.4 Million in Bitcoin in his personal wallet hosted by the Bitfinex Bitcoin exchange. But following the August's Bitfinex breach, he was left with $2.1 Million in his account. Bitfinex then notified the individual of his initial loss of approximately $1.3 Million in Bitcoin, but after the company issued IOU tokens as an emergency measure to keep the exchange operating, the l
Unknown Bidder Buys 2,700 Bitcoins (worth $1.6 million) at US Government Auction

Unknown Bidder Buys 2,700 Bitcoins (worth $1.6 million) at US Government Auction

August 23, 2016Swati Khandelwal
A winning anonymous bidder bought 2,700 Bitcoins ( worth roughly $1.6 Million ) in an auction held by the United States Marshals Service ( USMS ) on Monday. The US government announced at the beginning of this month its plans to auction 2,719 Bitcoins that were seized during several criminal, civil and administrative cases like Silk Road. The US Marshals confirmed to CoinDesk that four bids were received in the auction that took place between 13:00 and 19:00 UTC on August 22. The majority of the Bitcoins in the auction were stemmed from investigations of the Silk Road online black marketplace. Included 2,719 Bitcoins in the auction were: Around 1,300 Bitcoins seized from a civil case related to Matthew Gillum, a Silk Road drug dealer, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2015. Only 2.8 Bitcoins directly came from Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht , who was found guilty of operating Silk Road for illegal goods and handed two life sentences . Some 65 Bitcoins came
Warning — Bitcoin Users Could Be Targeted by State-Sponsored Hackers

Warning — Bitcoin Users Could Be Targeted by State-Sponsored Hackers

August 19, 2016Mohit Kumar
Another day, another bad news for Bitcoin users. A leading Bitcoin information site is warning users that an upcoming version of the Blockchain consolidation software and Bitcoin wallets could most likely be targeted by "state-sponsored attackers." Recently, one of the world's most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitfinex, suffered a major hack that resulted in a loss of around $72 Million worth of Bitcoins . Now, Bitcoin.org, the website that hosts downloads for Bitcoin Core, posted a message on its website on Wednesday warning users that the next version of the Bitcoin Core wallet, one of the most popular bitcoin wallets used to store bitcoins, might be replaced with a malicious version of the software offered by government-backed hackers. Specifically, Chinese bitcoin users and services are encouraged to be vigilant " due to the origin of the attackers. " Bitcoin.org doesn't believe it has sufficient resources to defend against the attack.
Bitcoin Exchange Offers $3.5 Million Reward for Information of Stolen Bitcoins

Bitcoin Exchange Offers $3.5 Million Reward for Information of Stolen Bitcoins

August 14, 2016Mohit Kumar
Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange 'Bitfinex' that lost around $72 Million worth of its customers' Bitcoins last week is now offering a reward of $3.5 Million to anyone who can provide information that leads to the recovery of the stolen Bitcoins. Bitfinex revealed on August 2 that the cryptocurrency exchange had suffered a major security breach, which resulted in the loss of nearly 120,000 BTC. The hack led to a 36 percent loss for each Bitfinex customer, who will be issued tokens to be redeemed as the company is able to reimburse the losses. Now, the exchange is willing to offer 5% of the lost funds ( nearly 6,000 BTC ) as a reward for the recovery of the stolen bitcoins. The news came after a Reddit user, using alias someguy916, inquired about a reward Bitfinex would be willing to offer for the stolen bitcoins. In response to the question, Bitfinex community director Zane Tackett stated that a bounty would be awarded to anyone who has information that would hel
Bitcoin Price Drops 20% After $72 Million in Bitcoin Stolen from Bitfinex Exchange

Bitcoin Price Drops 20% After $72 Million in Bitcoin Stolen from Bitfinex Exchange

August 03, 2016Mohit Kumar
Yet another blow to Bitcoin: One of the world's most popular exchanges of the cryptocurrency has suffered a major hack, leading to a loss of around $72 Million worth of Bitcoins. Hong Kong-based Bitcoin exchange ' Bitfinex ' has posted a note on their website announcing the shutdown of its operation after discovering a security breach that allowed an attacker to steal some user funds. While the company did not mention a total amount lost in the breach, one of their employees — Bitfinex community director Zane Tackett — confirmed on Reddit that the total amount stolen was 119,756 bitcoins — worth up to $72 Million in cash. The cause of the security breach and the hacker behind the incident is still unclear, but the attackers appear to have mysteriously bypassed Bitfinex's mandated limits on withdrawals. "The theft is being reported to — and we are co-operating with — law enforcement," Bitfinex statement reads. "We will look at various options to
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