Pyongyang Changed The Plan: North Korean Hackers Attack Individual Crypto Assets

Recently, there have been new sanctions from the West on the North Korea due to the illicit nuclear weapon program. In this connection, to grow the country’s capital reserves, Pyongyang changed his target: from now on North Korean hackers aimed at individual crypto investors, according to South China Morning Post.

The founder of IssueMakersLab, a cyber warfare research group, Simon Choi, commented on the situation:

“Previously, hackers directly attacked exchanges, they targeted staff at the exchanges, but now they are attacking cryptocurrency users directly.”

The scheme is in the following way: hacker sends an email with infected file attachments. Once the victim downloads them, a malicious script takes the full control of the computer causing serious damage to it.

The victims are mostly wealthy South Koreans such as company CEOs, there have been more than 30 hacker attacks since April 30. However, the CEO of South Korean cybersecurity firm Cuvepia, Kwon Seok-chul, claimed that the number may even reach 100.

We remind you

North Korean Hackers Got Hold of More $500 Million in Crypto

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The Most Dangerous Crypto Crimes: What About SIM Swappers?

Cyber attack and crypto crimes in every shape and form are quite abundant on the market of digital assets right now. They all have different goals and different levels of harm. The careful and thorough analysis of such attacks will make it possible to predict them and protect sites, platforms and companies from breaches and money losses.

However, there is a weird tendency going on among the analytical reports, which we will try to explain down below.

Two major cyber security companies Chainalysis and CipherTrace released their analytical statements at the end of last year. Both reports contained statistics on hacker attacks and crypto crimes and an outline of current trends.

The main focus of CipherTrace was different money laundering techniques, cryptocurrencies that are the easiest targets for crypto criminals that choose this path, AML regulations and other related info.

Whereas Chainalysis told its readers on the scale and profitability of such Ethereum scams as phishing and various Ponzi schemes.

Surprisingly, there seems to be nothing about the infamous SIM-swapping.

Just to remind you, SIM-swapping is a kind of a cyber attack aimed at money theft. Simply speaking, a hacker convinces the phone provider to “swap” the number of a victim to a new device. In such way, criminals get full access to the personal information of their victims, still their identity, and later money.

SIM-swapping scams have been involved in multiple scandals with the biggest cell-phone providers of America, the crimes involving this technique resulted in huge money thefts and loud arrests of witty hackers, yet very few reports actually mention it.

However, this still does not diminish the dominance of SIM-swapping over many other types of crypto crimes. In order to fight it, we not only need more coverage from the mass media and analytical firms, but also the cooperation from the cell phone companies to protect the users, their info and their money.

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The Banks in Canada Employ Hackers to Test Out Their Security Systems

One of the banks in Canada, Toronto-Dominion, chose an interesting technique of testing the proficiency of their security structure. The bank management hired real hackers and asked them to break into their system.

The initiative started out last year by the cyber threat management department. A whole team of cybersecurity experts was hired by the bank and is occasionally trying to hack accounts or networks on behalf of their employers.

We’re doing it exactly how our adversaries would do it … So if we find a weakness or something like that, we can close it or address it before a real attacker,” said a bank representative.

The creative idea was soon adopted by multiple large financial organizations all over the country.

Canadian banks hope that such measures will help in preventing hacker attacks on banks and exchanges that are getting more numerous, intricate and harder to battle by the day.

We remind you:

Two Groups of Professional Hackers Carry Out 60% of All Crypto Attacks

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The Exchange Cryptopia Suffers from Another Hacker Attack

As we reported earlier, the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia, based in New Zealand, went through a major hacker attack, which resulted in significant money losses. We remind you:

Cryptopia Got Hacked, Crypto Exchange Is Suffering “Significant Losses”

However, it seems that the hard times are not over for Cryptopia. The hackers that robbed it earlier went quiet for two weeks just to lull everybody’s vigilance and prepare for a new attack.

According to the statistical data from the company Elementus, the cyber criminals got hold of 1675 ETH from 17 thousand different wallets. In monetary terms, this sum of money amounts to around 181 thousand dollars.

At first, it looked like Cryptopia was moving the assets of its users to protect them, but later on it turned out that those were the hackers moving the money to their cryptocurrency wallets.

Shockingly, some users are still unaware of the hacker attack and keep depositing money onto their wallets, in other words, into the pockets of the hackers.

The hacker has the private keys and can withdraw funds from any Cryptopia wallet at will,” claimed the Elementus team.

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Two Groups of Professional Hackers Carry Out 60% of All Crypto Attacks

As it has been reported by the analytical company Chainalysis, more than a half of all cyber attack leading to crypto theft were conducted by only two groups of people. Altogether they stole around 1 billion dollars.

Despite the common misconception that a hacker should definitely be a nerdy, skinny guy in glasses, always shy and quiet, maybe even a sociopath, this actually couldn’t be further from truth. Most cyber criminals work in groups and all of their operations are meticulously thought-out and calculated.

Chainalysis pointed out two major crypto “gangs” and called them Alpha and Beta. These two organizations, however, the objectives of their attacks are quite different. While group Beta just aims to get more money and multiply their bank accounts, group Alpha is pursuing much darker things, such as sponsoring acts of terror and human trafficking.

Moreover, both of the organizations professionally hide their trails, using multiple wallet addresses, crypto mixers and difficult money laundering schemes. This makes it almost impossible to catch them and track down the stolen assets.

As for how to protect oneself from such attacks, Chainalysis suggested the following:

A working knowledge of how hackers move funds can equip legitimate participants to identify unusual spikes in transactions that may be tied to criminal activity. Cooperation between exchanges also goes a long way to help fight crime in this ecosystem. Neutral intermediaries between exchanges can play an important role in this effort.”

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Bitfury Launches Open-Source Music Platform Based on Blockchain

A UK-based mining firm, The Bitfury Group, has announced that it will launch a music platform which operates on the blockchain technology. This idea is not new, as  many other tech companies also tried to do such a platform.

The platform, named SurroundTM, will become a helpful tool for every musician, as it plans to create a new environment where it is much easier to manage the musicians’ affairs. In particular, the platform will simplify the process of transfer of copyright assets, the user will be able to see his/her output. Bitfury believes that SurroundTM will implement blockchain into music industry much further than anything ever before.

The CEO of the Bitfury, Stefan Schulz, commented:

“There is a very strong momentum for an open entertainment-related blockchain where market participants themselves would be participating in the market venue, not only from a transactional point of view.”

The company has offices in Europe, yet, it plans to expand the service and  establish offices in Tokyo, LA, Moscow, and Seoul. It also seeks the possibilities of providing a digital system for both monetizing and sharing intellectual property.

We remind you:

WordPress Launches Beta Version of Publishing Blockchain Platform

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Malware From The Pirate Bay May Hijack Website To Steal Crypto

The movies downloaded from The Pirate Bay bring a malware to the user’s computer. That was the conclusion reached by a security researcher, with the nickname  0xffff0800 in Twitter. He told that when he downloaded a movie ‘The Girl In The Spider’s Web’ from TPB, a .LNK shortcut with CozyBear malware got to his computer.

However, the Cozy Bear malware is just a decoy, the real thing that brings damages is Powershell commands. Once the malware reaches the computer, it carries out malicious actions, like disabling Windows Defender and installing viral extensions in Firefox and Chrome browsers. Moreover, it edits the appearance of the website on the user’s computer.

The movie is an application itself which links the computer to the external malicious servers.

Source: Bleeping Computer

Moreover, the newly installed viral extensions can modify the JavaScript code and add some advertisements to the main page, like it is shown below.

Source: Bleeping Computer

What is the most dangerous is that the malware can edit the appearance of the web page and add or change the information without the user’s awareness, this ability allows the malware to steal the crypto. For example, if the user open Wikipedia page on a compromised system, he/she is likely to see the message saying “Wikipedia now accepts donations in form of bitcoin” and a ‘DONATE’ sign. All the donations will go to the hacker.

Source: Bleeping Computer

In addition, the malware is able to change crypto wallet addresses provided on the pages. Unfortunately, you will not even notice how the hacker stole your money.

We remind you

YouTube Will Remove All Videos with Dangerous Pranks and Challenges

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