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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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Blogs

Blockchain-Focused ETF Arrives on London Stock Exchange

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The crypto community is still waiting for the US SEC to approve Bitcoin ETFs, with speculation which application might get approval being one of the hottest topics in 2018. However, come 2019, the US government shutdown dragged on, and the Bitcoin ETF request which had the most potential to see a grant got withdrawn by the very companies that submitted the application.

While the question of BTC ETF remains hanging in the air, blockchain-focused ETFs seem to be a different matter entirely. In a recent announcement by an independent investment managed firm called Invesco, the company has stated that it was about to launch the largest blockchain-focused ETF in the world. They managed to go through with this plan, and the ETFs have reached the London Stock Exchange today, March 11th.

The exchange-traded fund includes a portfolio containing as many as 48 different firms which are bringing exposure to the emerging technology. Among them, there is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which is a well-known creator of chips used for crypto mining, as well as the CME Group, which is the first regulated exchange in the US which launched Bitcoin futures. There are many other well-known companies as well, such as Intel, Microsoft, and others.

Chris Mellor, the Invesco’s head of ETF equity product management in Europe, said that blockchain has a huge potential to increase earnings, even though…

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Could Jeff Bezos Turn to Bitcoin to Hide Fortune from Wife?

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has made numerous headlines recently due to his overly-publicized divorce, which shows all signs of being one of the most expensive ones — if not THE most expensive one — in modern history. According to estimates, it might cost him as much as $70 billion, which will make his soon-to-be-ex-wife the richest woman in human history.

However, as the process continues to unfold, many have started wondering if things may have ended up differently for Bezos if he turned to Bitcoin for help.

Bitcoin as a divorce tool?

In the last several years — since Bitcoin and other cryptos hit fame — many have started turning to BTC during their divorce proceedings. In fact, it can even be said that using the largest cryptocurrency in this way has become a new trend. The trend has been gaining so much strength that numerous law companies started including advice on what to do in regards to Bitcoin as part of their websites.

However, while the trend has been picking up in recent years, it is nowhere near as easy as it might seem. For example, if there is even a suspicion of a spouse having undisclosed holdings appears during the divorce process, it might be enough to impact the final decision of the judge. In other words, even if there is a complete lack of evidence, but…

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Three Biggest Things To Know Come Cryptocurrency Tax Season

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In recent years, digital cash systems known as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin have exploded into the public eye. A blend of cash and stocks, their use and value has grown exponentially. In 2017, the IRS decided to focus great effort on taxing them. In theory, this should be as simple as calculating taxes on any other type of property, bond, or other assets. Cryptocurrency, however, presents a unique challenge. The full extent of one person’s crypto activity can stretch across dozens of platforms and take a variety of different forms. This makes it difficult to gather all of this information cohesively, much less begin the seemingly- complicated process of reporting it.

These three tips should help anyone looking to legally report their crypto activity to figure out where to start.

Documentation is key!

There are dozens of different “exchanges” individuals can use to change their cash into crypto. When the flat currency is changed into cryptocurrency at the exchange, you establish your cost basis. This makes this data crucial when you begin the process of reporting.  Those who have used a variety of different exchanges should keep detailed records of everywhere that they made trades. Once tax season arrives, most exchanges will allow users to view their entire trading history with that exchange. This information will be necessary later to complete taxes.

Calculate your total gains

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