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A Case of Malware Mining Monero (XRM) with Egyptian Telecom Service Provider

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Monero
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There was a real pandemonium unleashed on the Middle Eastern internet users when it was discovered that an Egyptian telecom service provider, which is also one of the biggest telecom companies in Egypt, was taking advantage of their users by forcing them into unknowingly joining a coin hub where their computer power was being used for mining Monero without their knowledge or approval. This case is everything but ethical, and Monero is surely nor enjoying being linked to a malware mining, especially now when it is only one day far from getting a hard fork.

Monero: What exactly happened?

The malware mining case was discovered by the Citizen Lab from the University of Toronto, and they have stated that the Egyptian government is directly involved in this horribly unethical scenario.

More than 5000 users were taken advantage of in order to provide a power source for the Egyptian government that was working with one of Egypt’s largest telecom service providers. The users have been taken advantage of for mining Monero without even knowing, and as you know you get profit for getting involved in mining, so the Egyptian government was apparently trying to get rich by tricking internet users who weren’t suspecting anything.

Apparently, the telecom giant that was involved in this scam has been using a malware called AdHose. AdHose works by redirecting the internet users who gave their trust to this Egyptian telecom service provider to a virtual hub called Coinhive. Through the Coinhive, the users’ computer power and CPU were being used without them knowing for mining Monero, or alternatively for displaying adds. That way the service provider and the Egyptian government could have managed to collect a pretty flattering profit until they were discovered and traced by the Citizen Lab of Toronto.

The malware called AdHose apparently as discovered has two working modes. One of the modes is called “spray mode” and in this mode, if a user affected by this malware tries to reach any website, his or her attempt would result in having the user redirected either to a mining network called Coinhive or alternatively to an ad network.

It was discovered that back in January 2018, as discovered by a scan, that over 90% of users, which resulted in number 5700, was affected by this malware.

The second mode known to AdHose is “trickle mode”. In this mode, certain web addresses would lead affected users to two different websites as set up by the telecom service provider. One of the sites is copticpope.org, which was previously a website belonging to the pope of Coptic Orthodox Church seated in Alexandria. The other site the affected users were being directed to is Babylon-x.com, which was previously a porn site.

This malware is also said to be used for surveillance that Syria and Turkey governments performed over their citizens, that way prohibiting access to media such as Al-Jazeera, also prohibiting access to non-government organizations.

This was all made possible “thanks” to the device provided and manufactured by the company called Sandvine PocketLogic.

Sandvine, however, denies that they have the technology that would enable such operations, as well as that the report provided by Citizen Lab of Toronto, are not to be trusted as a reliable source.

Sandvine further claims that their technology has never been in contact with malware operations as well as that their product doesn’t allow the implementation of suspicious malware that would allow the Egyptian telecom service to redirect their users to the Coinhive. Although they claim that their devices do have the options of HTTP redirection, moreover they added that this feature is enabled and present in many different similar products.

Regardless of Sandvine’s claim, this technology was used for implementing spyware as indicated by Syrian and Turkey government, while it was also used from the side of the Egyptian government for unauthorized use of computer power for mining Monero.

How is Monero Doing at the Current Moment?

As Monero was expecting the launching of its hard fork that should occur tomorrow on March 14th, XMR had a pretty turbulent couple of weeks.

While Monero is said to be switched with MoneroV, where all Monero tokens would be switched with 10 MoneroV tokens, this currency had some amazing rises in its price, going over to trading around 350$ per one unit at the end of February and the beginning of March.

Things changed more than a bit, so Monero seems to be suffering from severe drops. The latest changed in price was marked by a drop of -11.06% against the dollar, which was a pretty defeating outcome for this currency.

Monero can now be bought at 251.43$ per one unit and is trading in the red. This doesn’t need to be a bad thing as this price enables investors to get their XRM at lower prices.

The things should hopefully get going upwards for Monero after the hard fork, as it usually the case that currencies get more on its monetary value after a change has been made like it is the case with hard forking.

We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest on XMR, sign up below!

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Global Coin Report and/or its affiliates, employees, writers, and subcontractors are cryptocurrency investors and from time to time may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency and read our full disclaimer.

Image courtesy of Dennis Jarvis via Flickr

Bitcoin

Investors Beware: Another Large Bitcoin Crash Might Be Coming

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The crypto prices have surged quite high in the last few months. Of course, their progress is nowhere near the one seen in 2017, but they appear to be getting there, one day at the time. However, things might not be as simple as that, and according to recent performance — it is more than possible that a major Bitcoin crash is incoming.

The fact is that cryptos saw a massive amount of growth in a very short period. Bitcoin itself more than doubled its price in only two months. Now, the rally is starting to crash in on itself, and the coin is already about $1,000 lower than last week. If such development does come to pass, a lot of people will experience quite large losses, although experienced investors might find some opportunities, and leverage in order to enhance their holdings’ long-term value.

For example, Bitcoin dominance is expected to crash very quickly, which will work in favor of quite a lot of altcoins. While this does not seem to be the best time to invest in BTC, altcoins are another story, and diversifying a portfolio now might end up being very profitable in days to come.

Bitcoin behavior mirrors the pre-bear market situation

The crash that analysts are predicting right now comes as a direct consequence of all the hype that has been building up in…

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Altcoins

Top 3 Coins to Buy Before They Go Big

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coins
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Crypto bulls are back, that much is clear. The long-lasting, harsh crypto winter is gone, and the new era in digital currency sector opens up some rather interesting opportunities. With many more bull runs expected to come in months ahead, a lot of coins are likely to blow up and maybe even hit new all-time highs, although that still remains purely theoretical.

On the other hand, the fact is that numerous coins are seeing prices that were not achieved since early 2018, and the overall momentum remains bullish. With that in mind, even if new records do not come for a very long time — chances are that many of the coins will blow up enough for investors to see some serious gains in months to come. As a result, investing in some of these coins now might be a very profitable decision, for those who have the patience to wait a few months. Here are some of the projects believed to have the greatest potential to go big in the second half of 2019 and beyond.

1. TRON (TRX)

Putting TRON on the list should not really surprise anyone, as the project constantly comes up with new project updates, partnerships, and alike. It also constantly breaks records, as is becoming one of the biggest players in the dApp and smart contract development sector.

In the past few…

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Blogs

Can Crypto Credit Cards Disrupt the Fight Against Financial Crime?

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crypto credit cards
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It is commonly known that the world of finances has the biggest problem with the crime of all existing industries around the world. It has been so throughout history. While the financial world has evolved, so did the criminal activities, and they continue to be an issue. With the arrival of cryptocurrencies, many were hoping that financial crime might be disrupted. However, for now, at least, it appears that cryptos themselves cannot find a way to resolve issues such as international money laundering.

In fact, when it comes to money laundering, the crypto sector appears to be the weakest link, especially because of the nature of digital currencies. The anonymity that cryptos are being praised for means that anyone can get a payment from an unknown source from anywhere in the world. This method can then be used for financing drug trafficking, cyberattacks, terrorists, and more.

Until recently, it was not easy for bad actors to make use of cryptocurrencies obtained for illegal purposes. The number of merchants willing to accept the coins was low, and criminals were forced to find a way to exchange crypto into fiat currencies. However, this came with a set of issues, such as taking foreign exchange risks and then sending the money through wallets and exchanges to a banking system that would allow withdrawal. The banking account was the biggest obstacle here,…

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