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These Hackers Love Ripple So Much That They Demanded $1 Million in XRP as Ransom

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The activity of hackers breaching the core networks of institutions and demanding cryptocurrency as payment is not new. Back in early December, hackers demanded 2 Bitcoins (BTC) from a bank in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, in exchange for access to computer files in a ransomware attack. This type of attack usually freezes files on a computer network that can only be unlocked using a code that is held by the creator of the ransomware. Once the cryptocurrency has been sent, the hackers usually provide the key to open the files.

In the most recent case of hackers demanding cryptocurrencies as ransom in Canada, the files were not locked but stolen completely. Two Canadian banks were the victims this time around: the Bank of Montreal and Simplii Financial. These files contained sensitive personal information of more than 90,000 customers of the banks including names, passwords, account numbers, security questions and their corresponding answers, account balances and social insurance numbers. As part of the only demand from the hackers in exchange for the files, was $1 Million in XRP.

This critical information was to be dumped online by the hackers if their demands were not met. The hackers would send their threats via an email and had this to say:

“We warned BMO and Simplii that we would share their customers informations if they don’t cooperate. These … profile will be leaked on fraud forum and fraud community as well as the 90,000 left if we don’t get the payment before May 28 2018 11:59PM.”

Initial investigations concluded that the email might have originated from Russia and the hackers explained proudly, how it was easy to penetrate the security system of both banks. They did this by implementing an algorithm that generated account numbers then posing as customers who had forgotten their passwords. The email explained that:

“They were giving too much permission to half-authenticated account which enabled us to grab all these information. The system was not checking if a password was valid until the security question were input correctly.”

Doing the math using the current XRP value of $0.676 gives the ransom a value of $676,000. A 3 – 4 year experienced software programmer, would earn that in approximately 10 years in the United States. This is if we do not consider taxes imposed by the federal government, state government and local government. These type of hackers want a shortcut to riches rather than doing it the old fashioned honest way.

By the time of the news was being reported, the banks had not paid the ransom and neither had the hackers followed through on their threats to broadcast the customer information. Such a hack can then be used to justify the use of peer-to-peer transactions from personal encrypted cryptocurrency wallets, rather than having your information and cash stored by your local bank. In the case of the personal crypto wallets, the individual has the sole access to his/her own private keys and passwords. No one else can access this information. Unless of course the owner is careless or kidnapped as has happened before.

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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.

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Altcoins

KaratGold Proves Its Business Model By Providing Official Documents

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There has been a lot of renewed enthusiasm in the cryptocurrency market thanks mainly to Bitcoin’s strong move about 10,000.  Although Bitcoin continues to show its dominance, the altcoin market has yet to benefit from that rally.  A few of the largest altcoins remain popular but the rest of the market continues to lag behind.  In 2018, there was a lot of talk regarding a possible altcoin apocalypse where only the strong would survive.  That prediction appears to be playing out as expected.  Going forward, only the best projects that have a real world need will survive.  Crypto traders will have to spend a lot of their time doing proper research in order to find the best opportunities, just like in all financial markets.  One promising project that appears to have the makings of a future winner is KaratGold Coin.

KaratGold Background

KaratGold Coin is a cryptocurrency developed by the reputable German company Karatbars International, which maintains a leading position in the market of small gold items and investments. The project is part of a larger ecosystem, which involves several blockchain solutions that can be used for transactions, communication, investing and other tasks. During the past few weeks, however, the KaratGold ecosystem has been a target of unsavory scam allegations.  

Karatbars International and GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation…

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ICTE May Bring About Sweeping Changes for Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm during the last few years. An entirely new financial market was created almost overnight which has captured the imagination of all its participants. Cryptocurrency is even starting to attract institutional money from investment banks, hedge funds, and other proprietary trading firms. Despite the rapid growth, traders remain extremely frustrated by having to deal with the fragmented nature of centralized crypto exchanges.

A Change is Needed

When cryptocurrency first began, there weren’t many participants and the trading volume was relatively insignificant. But, over time, that has radically changed. Some tokens now have a capitalization in the billions and are being traded 24-7 by institutions all over the world. Despite the volume, significant problems exist with the current way that exchanges work. Some of those problems include the following:

  • Constant fear of hackers
  • Exchange manipulation
  • Fragmented liquidity
  • Risk of identity theft

One of the biggest issues regarding centralized exchanges is the risk of being hacked. These hack stories seem to always be circulating around the internet. While experienced traders may have the tools to avoid becoming a victim, potential new traders have zero interest in dealing with this. And it’s not just the small exchanges that are at risk. Even large exchanges, such as Mt. Gox and Binance, are subject to being hacked.

Another huge risk is having to deal with…

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SonicX and Dash Could Challenge Facebook’s Libra for Global Payments Market Share

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When Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled Bitcoin to the world, the dream was always for Bitcoin to serve as a new universal currency.  It would be free from the bureaucracy of governments.  And free from the tyranny of the old-world financial cartels.  Although the dream hasn’t yet materialized, it comes closer and closer with each passing day.

One of the biggest roadblocks for Bitcoin has been scalability.  At a speed of approximately 7 transactions per second, Bitcoin lags behind other cryptocurrencies like Ripple and global payment processors like Visa.  Many expect the lightning network to have a positive impact on Bitcoin’s TPS but until that comes to fruition, mass adoption will likely need another significant development.

Libra Currency Announcement

One development that could help pave the way toward mass adoption is the launch of the Libra currency.  Libra is expected to go live during the first half of 2020 according to Facebook’s June announcement.  According to Facebook, Libra will make sending money online cheaper and faster.  It will also have a hand in improving access to financial services, especially for the unbanked.  Given Facebook’s global reach, including many third world countries, providing financial access to the unbanked could provide a huge spark to global economies.  Additionally, it could provide the growth spark that cryptocurrency needs.

Facebook’s most popular messenger, WhatsApp, has approximately 1.5 billion monthly users.  This application is…

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