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

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Monero

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

Altcoins

XNO Token of Xeno NFT Hub listed on Bithumb Korea Exchange

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 25th January, 2021, // ChainWire //

Xeno Holdings Limited (xno.live ), a blockchain solutions company based in Hong Kong, has announced the listing of its ecosystem utility token XNO on the ‘Bithumb Korea’ cryptocurrency exchange on January 21st 2021.

Xeno NFT Hub (market.xno.live ), developed by Xeno Holdings, enables easy minting of digital items into NFTs while also providing a marketplace where anyone can securely trade NFTs.

The Xeno NFT Hub project team includes former members of the technology project Yosemite X based in San Francisco and professionals such as Gabby Dizon who is a games industry expert and NFT space influencer based in Southeast Asia.

NFT(Non-Fungible Token) technology has recently gained huge focus in the blockchain arena and beyond, making waves in the online gaming sector, the art world, and the digital copyrights industry in recent years. The strongest feature of NFTs is that “NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be replaced or forged”. Unlike fungible tokens such as Bitcoin or Ether, NFTs are not interchangeable for other tokens of the same type but instead each NFT has a unique value and specific information that cannot be replaced. This fact makes NFTs the perfect solution to record and prove ownership of digital and real-world items like works of art, game items, limited-edition collectibles, and more.

NFTs are already being actively traded in markets globally. For…

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Altcoins

Should Crypto Projects Devote Resources to Community Growth and Marketing?

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2020 has been an incredible year for crypto as investors have generated windfall profits and crypto projects have seen their businesses gain the spotlight they’ve been looking for.  While Bitcoin has received most of the attention after major institutional investors announced they were accumulating the increasingly scarce asset, many altcoins have also seen their fair share of glory.  When looking at all the big winners of the past year, the first project that probably comes to mind is Chainlink, having appreciated by more than 550% YTD and now valued at over $4.5 billion.  But, the actual biggest winner of the year is HEX with a YTD return of over 5,000%.

I mention both of the above projects as they have each taken slightly different paths to achieve greatness.  Chainlink has devoted resources toward building a fundamentally sound business with many strategic partnerships while HEX has spent vast sums of money on marketing and promotion.  Both approaches are valid, but one thing is certain, it is absolutely imperative for crypto projects to let the crypto community know what makes them special.  Of course, one of the reasons that makes crypto so valuable is the powerful blockchain technology that most projects are utilizing.

Cryptocurrency vs. Blockchain Technology

It’s important to make a distinction between blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.  Although they are often used interchangeably, they are different.  Blockchain technology and crypto were both created after the 2008 financial crisis, but cryptocurrency…

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Altcoins

XENO starts VIP NFT trading service and collaborates with contemporary artist Hiro Yamagata

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Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 24th December, 2020, // ChainWire //

The XENO NFT Hub (https://xno.live) will provide a crypto-powered digital items and collectables trading platform allowing users to create, buy, and sell NFTs. Additionally it will support auction based listings, governance and voting mechanisms, trade history tracking, user rating and other advanced features.

As a first step towards its fully comprehensive service, XENO NFT Hub launched a recent VIP service to select users and early adopters in December 2020 with plans for a full Public Beta to open in June 2021. 

“NFTs are extremely flexible in their usage, from digital event tickets to artwork, and while NFTs have a very wide spectrum of uses and categories XENO will initially focus its partnership efforts and its own item curation on three primary areas: gaming, sports & entertainment, and collectibles.”, said XENO NFT Hub president Anthony Di Franco.

He also added “This does not mean we will prohibit other types of NFTs from our ecosystem However, it simply means that XENO’s efforts as a company will be targeted into these verticals initially as a cohesive business approach.”

Development and Procurement Lead, Gabby Dizon explained, “Despite our initial focus, we found ourselves with a unique opportunity to host some of the works of Mr. Hiro Yamagata. We are collaborating with Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata to enshrine some of his artwork into NFTs.”

Mr. Yamagata has been…

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