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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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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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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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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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