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Cryptocurrency Firm Loses $145 Million After CEO Dies With Only Password

Cryptocurrency Firm Loses $145 Million After CEO Dies With Only Password

February 04, 2019Mohit Kumar
QuadrigaCX, the largest bitcoin exchange in Canada, has claimed to have lost CAD 190 million (nearly USD 145 million) worth of cryptocurrency after the exchange lost access to its cold (offline) storage wallets. Reason? Unfortunately, the only person with access to the company's offline wallet, founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, is dead. Following the sudden death of Gerry Cotten , founder and chief executive officer QuadrigaCX, the Canadian exchange this week filed for legal protection from creditors in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court until it locates and secures access to the lost funds. In a sworn affidavit filed by Cotten's widow Jennifer Robertson and obtained by Coindesk , Robertson said QuadrigaCX owes its customers some CAD 260 million (USD 198 Million) in both cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum, as well as fiat money. However, Robertson said the cryptocurrency exchange only has smaller amount in a 'hot wallet' (U
First Hacker Convicted of 'SIM Swapping' Attack Gets 10 Years in Prison

First Hacker Convicted of 'SIM Swapping' Attack Gets 10 Years in Prison

February 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A 20-year-old college student who stole cryptocurrency worth more than $5 million by hijacking victims' phone numbers has pleaded guilty and accepted a sentence of 10 years in prison. Ortiz was arrested last year on charges of siphoning millions of dollars in cryptocurrency from around 40 victims using a method commonly known as " SIM swapping ," which typically involves fraudulently porting of the same number to a new SIM card belonging to the attacker. In SIM swapping, attackers social engineer a victim's mobile phone provider by making a phony call posing as their target and claiming that their SIM card has been lost and that they would like to request a SIM swap. The attackers attempt to convince the target's telecommunications company that they are the actual owner of the phone number they want to swap by providing required personal information on the target, like their SSNs and addresses, eventually tricking the telecoms to port the target's pho
New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets

New Mac Malware Targets Cookies to Steal From Cryptocurrency Wallets

February 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
Mac users need to beware of a newly discovered piece of malware that steals their web browser cookies and credentials in an attempt to withdraw funds from their cryptocurrency exchange accounts. Dubbed CookieMiner due to its capability of stealing cookies-related to cryptocurrency exchanges, the malware has specifically been designed to target Mac users and is believed to be based on DarthMiner, another Mac malware that was detected in December last year. Uncovered by Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 security research team, CookieMiner also covertly installs coin mining software onto the infected Mac machines to secretly mine for additional cryptocurrency by consuming the targeted Mac's system resources. In the case of CookieMiner, the software is apparently geared toward mining "Koto," a lesser-known, privacy-oriented cryptocurrency which is mostly used in Japan. However, the most interesting capabilities of the new Mac malware is to steal: Both Google Chro
Ethereum Classic (ETC) Hit by Double-Spend Attack Worth $1.1 Million

Ethereum Classic (ETC) Hit by Double-Spend Attack Worth $1.1 Million

January 08, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has suspended all transactions of Ethereum Classic (ETC)—the original unforked version of the Ethereum network—on their trading platforms, other products and services after detecting a potential attack on the cryptocurrency network that let someone spend the same digital coins twice. Why is this attack concerning? The heist resulted in the loss of $1.1 million worth of the Ethereum Classic digital currency. The digital currency immediately fell in price after the news came out. Coinbase revealed Monday that it identified "a deep chain reorganization" of the Ethereum Classic blockchain (or 51 percent attack of the network), which means that someone controlling the majority of miners on the network (over 50%) had modified the transaction history. After reorganizing the Ethereum blockchain, the attackers were able to what's called "double spend" about 219,500 ETC by recovering previously spent coins from the rightfu
StatCounter Analytics Code Hijacked to Steal Bitcoins from Cryptocurrency Users

StatCounter Analytics Code Hijacked to Steal Bitcoins from Cryptocurrency Users

November 08, 2018Mohit Kumar
Late last week an unknown hacker or a group of hackers successfully targeted a cryptocurrency exchange with an aim to steal Bitcoins by compromising the web analytics service it was using. ESET malware researcher Matthieu Faou this weekend spotted malicious JavaScript code on up to 700,000 websites that were bundled with the traffic tracking code from the leading web analytics platform StatCounter . However, after analyzing the code, the researchers found that hackers managed to compromise StatCounter and successfully replaced its tracking script with malicious JavaScript code primarily designed to target customers of the Gate.io cryptocurrency exchange. Like Google Analytics, StatCounter is also an old, but popular real-time web analytics platform reportedly being used by more than two million websites and generates stats on over 10 billion page views per month. Here's How Hackers Tried to Steal Bitcoins from Crypto Exchange Though the malicious code was also inject
Hackers Infect Over 200,000 MikroTik Routers With Crypto Mining Malware

Hackers Infect Over 200,000 MikroTik Routers With Crypto Mining Malware

August 03, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have discovered at least three massive malware campaigns exploiting hundreds of thousands of unpatched MikroTik routers to secretly install cryptocurrency miners on computers connected to them. In all, the malware campaigns have compromised more than 210,000 routers from Latvian network hardware provider Mikrotik across the world, with the number still increasing as of writing. The hackers have been exploiting a known vulnerability in the Winbox component of MikroTik routers that was discovered in April this year and patched within a day of its discovery, which once again shows people's carelessness in applying security patches on time. The security flaw can potentially allow an attacker to gain unauthenticated, remote administrative access to any vulnerable MikroTik router. The first campaign, noticed by Trustwave researchers, began with targeting networking devices in Brazil, where a hacker or a group of hackers compromised more than 183,700 Mikro
SamSam Ransomware Attacks Extorted Nearly $6 Million

SamSam Ransomware Attacks Extorted Nearly $6 Million

July 31, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Ransomware has become a multimillion-dollar black market business for cybercriminals, and SamSam being a great example. New research revealed that the SamSam ransomware had extorted nearly $6 million from its victims since December 2015, when the cyber gang behind the ransomware started distributing the malware in the wild. Researchers at Sophos have tracked Bitcoin addresses owned by the attackers mentioned on ransom notes of each SamSam version and found the attackers have received more than $5.9 million from just 233 victims, and their profits are still on the rise, netting around $300,000 per month. "In total, we have now identified 157 unique addresses which have received ransom payments as well as 89 addresses which have been used on ransom notes and sample files but, to date, have not received payments," the new report by Sophos reads. SamSam Ransomware Attacks > What makes SamSam stand out from other forms of ransomware is that SamSam is not distributed
KICKICO Hacked: Cybercriminal Steals $7.7 Million from ICO Platform

KICKICO Hacked: Cybercriminal Steals $7.7 Million from ICO Platform

July 30, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Again some bad news for cryptocurrency users. KICKICO, a blockchain-based initial coin offering (ICO) support platform, has fallen victim to a suspected cyber attack and lost more than 70 million KICK tokens (or KickCoins) worth an estimated $7.7 million. In a statement released on its Medium post on July 26, the company acknowledged the security breach, informing its customers that an unknown attacker managed to gain access to the account of the KICK smart contracts and the tokens of the KICKICO platform on last Thursday at around 9:04 (UTC). KICKICO admitted that the company had no clue about the security breach until and unless several of its customers fell victim and complained about losing KickCoin tokens worth $800,000 from their wallets overnight. However, after investigating, the company found that the total amount of stolen funds was 70,000,000 KickCoin, which, at the current exchange rate, is equivalent to $ 7.7 million. KICKICO reported that suspected attackers
Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Android Apps From the Play Store

Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Android Apps From the Play Store

July 27, 2018Mohit Kumar
Following Apple's lead in banning cryptocurrency mining apps , Google has also updated its Play Store policy this week to ban apps that mine cryptocurrencies on users' devices in the background. However, there are countless cryptocurrency mining apps, including MinerGate, AA Miner, NeoNeonMiner, and Crypto Miner, still available on the Play Store. Cryptocurrency mining is not a new concept, but the technology has recently been abused in the past year after hackers found it a great way to make millions of dollars by hijacking PCs to secretly mine cryptocurrency in the background without their users' knowledge or consent. Due to this practice, cryptocurrency mining has emerged as one of the biggest threats , raising negative sentiments towards this alternative revenue scheme, and big tech giants like Apple and Google took strict measures to put restrictions on such apps. Over a month ago, Apple updated its App Store guidelines to ban cryptocurrency mining apps and
New Virus Decides If Your Computer Good for Mining or Ransomware

New Virus Decides If Your Computer Good for Mining or Ransomware

July 05, 2018Mohit Kumar
Security researchers have discovered an interesting piece of malware that infects systems with either a cryptocurrency miner or ransomware, depending upon their configurations to decide which of the two schemes could be more profitable. While ransomware is a type of malware that locks your computer and prevents you from accessing the encrypted data until you pay a ransom to get the decryption key required to decrypt your files, cryptocurrency miners utilize infected system's CPU power to mine digital currencies . Both ransomware and cryptocurrency mining-based attacks have been the top threats so far this year and share many similarities such as both are non-sophisticated attacks, carried out for money against non-targeted users, and involve digital currency. However, since locking a computer for ransom doesn't always guarantee a payback in case victims have nothing essential to losing, in past months cybercriminals have shifted more towards fraudulent cryptocurrency
CoinHive URL Shortener Abused to Secretly Mine Cryptocurrency Using Hacked Sites

CoinHive URL Shortener Abused to Secretly Mine Cryptocurrency Using Hacked Sites

July 04, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have been warning about a new malicious campaign that leverages an alternative scheme to mine cryptocurrencies without directly injecting the infamous CoinHive JavaScript into thousands of hacked websites. Coinhive is a popular browser-based service that offers website owners to embed JavaScript code that utilizes their website visitors' CPUs power in order to mine the Monero cryptocurrency for monetization. However, since its inception, mid-2017, cybercriminals have been abusing the service to illegally make money by injecting their own version of CoinHive JavaScript code to a large number of hacked websites, eventually tricking their millions of visitors into unknowingly mine Monero coins. Since a lot of web application security firms and antivirus companies have now updated their products to detect unauthorized injection of CoinHive JavaScript, cybercriminals have now started abusing a different service from CoinHive to achieve the same. Hackers
TRON Cryptocurrency Founder Buys BitTorrent, µTorrent for $140 Million

TRON Cryptocurrency Founder Buys BitTorrent, µTorrent for $140 Million

June 19, 2018Mohit Kumar
BitTorrent, the company which owns the popular file-sharing client uTorrent, has quietly been sold for $140 million in cash to Justin Sun, the founder of blockchain-focused startup TRON. TRON is a decentralized entertainment and content-sharing platform that uses blockchain and distributed storage technology. It allows users to publish content without having to use third-party platforms such as YouTube or Facebook, and trades in Tronix (TRX) cryptocurrency. Since BitTorrent is one of the most recognizable brands in the world for decentralized computing and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking, and TRON aims to establish a truly decentralized Internet, BitTorrent would be of great use for Sun to help achieve that goal. There were reports that the two were in negotiations for at least a month, and just yesterday, Variety reported that BitTorrent Inc. was sold to Sun last week, but the report did not disclose the deal price. Now, TechCrunch is reporting that TRON's founder has
Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps From Its App Stores

Apple Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Apps From Its App Stores

June 12, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Due to the surge in cryptocurrency prices, not only hackers but also legitimate websites and mobile apps are increasingly using cryptocurrency miners to monetize by levying the CPU power of your PC and phones to mine cryptocurrencies. However, Apple wants to protect your Mac and iPhone battery from shady cryptocurrency mining apps, and therefore, the company has put restrictions on such apps by disallowing them in its official App Store. The company has updated the Hardware Compatibility section of its App Store guidelines, which now explicitly restrict iOS and Mac apps and ads from mining cryptocurrency in the background. "Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed with them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining," the updated guidelines read. The update reportedly occurred last week, possibly in response to popular Mac app Calendar 2 that bundled a Monero (XMR) miner in with its premium upgrade that unlocked &
Hackers Stole Over $20 Million in Ethereum from Insecurely Configured Clients

Hackers Stole Over $20 Million in Ethereum from Insecurely Configured Clients

June 11, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have been warning about cybercriminals who have made over 20 million dollars in just past few months by hijacking insecurely configured Ethereum nodes exposed on the Internet. Qihoo 360 Netlab in March tweeted about a group of cybercriminals who were scanning the Internet for port 8545 to find insecure geth clients running Ethereum nodes and, at that time, stole 3.96234 units of Ethereum cryptocurrency (Ether). However, researchers now noticed that another cybercriminal group have managed to steal a total 38,642 Ether, worth more than $20,500,000 at the time of writing, in past few months by hijacking Ethereum wallets of users who had opened their JSON-RPC port 8545 to the outside world. Geth is one of the most popular clients for running Ethereum node and enabling JSON-RPC interface on it allows users to remotely access the Ethereum blockchain and node functionalities, including the ability to send transactions from any account which has been unlocked b
Critical RCE Flaw Discovered in Blockchain-Based EOS Smart Contract System

Critical RCE Flaw Discovered in Blockchain-Based EOS Smart Contract System

May 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a series of new vulnerabilities in EOS blockchain platform, one of which could allow remote hackers to take complete control over the node servers running the critical blockchain-based applications. EOS is an open source smart contract platform, known as 'Blockchain 3.0,' that allows developers to build decentralized applications over blockchain infrastructure, just like Ethereum. Discovered by Chinese security researchers at Qihoo 360 —Yuki Chen of Vulcan team and Zhiniang Peng of Core security team—the vulnerability is a buffer out-of-bounds write issue which resides in the function used by nodes server to parse contracts. To achieve remote code execution on a targeted node, all an attacker needs to do is upload a maliciously crafted WASM file (a smart contract) written in WebAssembly to the server. As soon as the vulnerable process parser reads the WASM file, the malicious payload gets executed on the node, which could then al
Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions From Chrome Web Store

Google Bans Cryptocurrency Mining Extensions From Chrome Web Store

April 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
In an effort to prevent cryptojacking by extensions that maliciously mine digital currencies without users' awareness, Google has implemented a new Web Store policy that bans any Chrome extension submitted to the Web Store that mines cryptocurrency. Over the past few months, we have seen a sudden rise in malicious extensions that appear to offer useful functionality, while embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without the user's knowledge. Last month, cryptocurrency miners were even found in a Russian nuclear weapons lab and on thousands of government websites . In January, cryptocurrency mining malware also infected more than half-million PCs . Until now, only those cryptocurrency mining extensions were allowed on the Chrome Web Store that are solely intended for mining, and explicitly informed users about its working and revenue model. If the company finds any mining extension developers submitted was not in compliance and secre
Mac Software Mines Cryptocurrency in Exchange for Free Access to Premium Account

Mac Software Mines Cryptocurrency in Exchange for Free Access to Premium Account

March 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
Nothing comes for free, especially online. Would you be okay with allowing a few paid services to mine cryptocurrencies using your system instead of paying the subscription fee? Most free websites and services often rely on advertising revenue to survive, but now there is a new way to make money—using customers' computer to generate virtual currencies. It was found that a scheduling app, dubbed Calendar 2, was embracing cryptocurrency mining in exchange for free access to its app premium features, but the developer has to take it down from the Apple App Store following reports that it's not working as intended. Cryptocurrency mining is not a new concept, but the technology has recently exploded after hackers found it a great way to make millions of dollars by hijacking computers to secretly perform cryptocurrency mining in the background without users' knowledge or consent. Due to this cryptocurrency mining has emerged as one of the biggest threats in recent mon
Hackers Exploit 'Telegram Messenger' Zero-Day Flaw to Spread Malware

Hackers Exploit 'Telegram Messenger' Zero-Day Flaw to Spread Malware

February 13, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A zero-day vulnerability has been discovered in the desktop version for end-to-end encrypted Telegram messaging app that was being exploited in the wild in order to spread malware that mines cryptocurrencies such as Monero and ZCash. The Telegram vulnerability was uncovered by security researcher Alexey Firsh from Kaspersky Lab last October and affects only the Windows client of Telegram messaging software. The flaw has actively been exploited in the wild since at least March 2017 by attackers who tricked victims into downloading malicious software onto their PCs that used their CPU power to mine cryptocurrencies or serve as a backdoor for attackers to remotely control the affected machine, according to a blogpost on Securelist. Here's How Telegram Vulnerability Works The vulnerability resides in the way Telegram Windows client handles the RLO (right-to-left override) Unicode character (U+202E), which is used for coding languages that are written from right to left, li
Thousands of Government Websites Hacked to Mine Cryptocurrencies

Thousands of Government Websites Hacked to Mine Cryptocurrencies

February 12, 2018Mohit Kumar
There was a time when hackers simply defaced websites to get attention, then they started hijacking them to spread banking trojan and ransomware, and now the trend has shifted towards injecting scripts into sites to mine cryptocurrencies. Thousands of government websites around the world have been found infected with a specific script that secretly forces visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency for attackers. The cryptocurrency mining script injection found on over 4,000 websites, including those belonging to UK's National Health Service (NHS), the Student Loan Company, and data protection watchdog Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Queensland legislation, as well as the US government's court system. Users who visited the hacked websites immediately had their computers' processing power hijacked, also known as cryptojacking, to mine cryptocurrency without their knowledge, potentially generating profits for the unknown hacker or group of hackers.
Russian Scientists Arrested for Using Nuclear Weapon Facility to Mine Bitcoins

Russian Scientists Arrested for Using Nuclear Weapon Facility to Mine Bitcoins

February 10, 2018Wang Wei
Two days ago when infosec bods claimed to have uncovered what's believed to be the first case of a SCADA network (a water utility) infected with cryptocurrency-mining malware, a batch of journalists accused other authors of making fear-mongering headlines, taunting that the next headline could be about cryptocurrency-miner detected in a nuclear plant. It seems that now they have to run a story themselves with such headlines on their website because Russian Interfax News Agency yesterday reported that several scientists at Russia's top nuclear research facility had been arrested for mining cryptocurrency with "office computing resources." The suspects work as engineers at the Russian Federation Nuclear Center facility—also known as the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics—which works on developing nuclear weapons. The center is located in Sarov, Sarov is still a restricted area with high security. It is also the birthplace of the Soviet Uni
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