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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Bitcoin

CoinVault Ransomware Authors Sentenced to 240 Hours of Community Service

CoinVault Ransomware Authors Sentenced to 240 Hours of Community Service
July 26, 2018Mohit Kumar
Almost three years after the arrest of two young Dutch brothers, who pleaded guilty to their involvement in creating and distributing CoinVault ransomware malware , a district court in Rotterdam today sentenced them to 240 hours of community service. In 2015, the two suspects — Melvin (25-year-old) and Dennis van den B. (21-year-old) — were arrested from Amersfoort on suspicion of involvement in CoinVault ransomware attacks. The duo was arrested by law enforcement with the help of researchers from Kaspersky Labs , who reverse-engineered the malware and found the full name of one of the suspects and their IP address left accidentally on the command and control server. CoinVault ransomware campaign that began in May 2014 was one of the most successful file-encrypting ransomware program of its time that encrypted over 14,000 Windows computers worldwide, primarily the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Germany, and France. Just like other ransomware attacks, the sole intent of CoinVau

Hackers Exploiting 'Bitmessage' Zero-Day to Steal Bitcoin Wallet Keys

Hackers Exploiting 'Bitmessage' Zero-Day to Steal Bitcoin Wallet Keys
February 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Bitmessage developers have warned of a critical 'remotely executable' zero-day vulnerability in the PyBitmessage application that was being exploited in the wild. Bitmessage is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to users. Since it is decentralized and trustless communications, one need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities. Those who unaware, PyBitmessage is the official client for Bitmessage messaging service. According to Bitmessage developers, a critical zero-day remote code execution vulnerability, described as a message encoding flaw, affects PyBitmessage version 0.6.2 for Linux, Mac, and Windows and has been exploited against some of their users. "The exploit is triggered by a malicious message if you are the recipient (including joined chans). The attacker ran an automated script but also opened, or tried to open, a remote reverse shell," Bitmessage core developer Peter Šurda ex

CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine

CEO of Major UK-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange Kidnapped in Ukraine
December 28, 2017Mohit Kumar
Pavel Lerner , a prominent Russian blockchain expert and known managing director of one of the major crypto-exchanges EXMO, has allegedly been kidnapped by "unknown" criminals in the Ukranian capital of Kiev. According to Ukraine-based web publication Strana , Lerner, 40-year-old citizen of Russia, was kidnapped on December 26 when he was leaving his office in the center of town (located on the Stepan Bandera Avenue). Unknown kidnappers in dark clothes and balaclavas dragged Lerner in their black Mercedes-Benz Vito brand (state number AA 2063 MT) car and drove away in an unknown direction. The information comes from an anonymous source in Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, though multiple investigations are currently underway to find out why and by whom Lerner was kidnapped. Lerner is a recognized IT specialist in Ukraine who led a number of startups related to blockchain technology development and mining operations. Lerner is also the managing director of EXMO

Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Hacked; Over $70 Million in Bitcoin Stolen

Largest Crypto-Mining Exchange Hacked; Over $70 Million in Bitcoin Stolen
December 07, 2017Mohit Kumar
Bitcoin is breaking every record—after gaining 20% jump last week, Bitcoin price just crossed the $14,800 mark in less than 24 hours—and there can be no better reason for hackers to put all of their efforts to steal skyrocketing cryptocurrency. NiceHash, the largest Bitcoin mining marketplace, has been hacked, which resulted in the theft of more than 4,700 Bitcoins worth over $57 million (at the time of breach). And guess what? You'll be surprised to know that the stolen BTC now worth over $70 million—in less than 24 hours. Founded in 2014, NiceHash is a cloud-based crypto-mining marketplace that connects people from all over the world to rent out their spare computing power to other in order to create new coins. On Wednesday, several NiceHash users reported that their BTC wallets had been emptied, which was later confirmed by NiceHash after its service went offline claiming to be undergoing maintenance. At the time of writing, the NiceHash service is still offline wi

Learn Ethereum Development – Build Decentralized Blockchain Apps

Learn Ethereum Development – Build Decentralized Blockchain Apps
November 06, 2017The Hacker News
As of today — 1 Bitcoin = $7300 USD (Approx 471,000 INR) At the beginning of this year, 1 Bitcoin was approximately equal to $1000, and now it has surged to a new height, marking its market capitalization at over $124 billion. Is it really too late to invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum? For those wondering if they have missed the money-making boat, the answer is—NO, it's never too late to invest. In case you are new to cryptocurrency trading, we have a simple step-by-step guide on our deal store that explains how to invest in cryptocurrencies . However, the blockchain, the revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin and other digital currencies, is not always about cryptocurrencies. Though it is a decentralized public database which ensures that all transactions are properly conducted and recorded, Blockchains can be used for a wide variety of applications, such as for digital identity management, smart assets, digital voting, distributed cloud sto

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
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