Telegram’s Passport Has Dangerous Weak Points

telegram's passport has weaknesses

As we mentioned earlier, the second “child” of Pavel Durov, the messenger Telegram launched a new KYC system called Passport. According to the official blog, the Passport will be used for a more detailed verification and better protection of data. The representatives of Telegram assured that you could enter any information to the Passport from email address to ID card number.

Nevertheless, the Passport turned out to be not as uncrackable as it was meant to be. The Ukrainian cyber security company Virgil Security detected multiple vulnerabilities in this system. It became known that Telegram is using SHA-512 algorithm to protect the data that is actually not meant for such purposes and can be easily hacked with proper equipment. The Virgil Security representative stated:

Unfortunately, Passport’s security disappoints in several key ways.

Hopefully, Telegram will fix this as soon as possible, and nobody will suffer from any hacker attacks.

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

One of the best crypto exchanges of New Zealand, Cryptopia, was hacked. It announced this sad news via Twitter stating that it had experienced a security breach that ended in a “significant loss”. However, the company did not mention any figures of the loss.

Cryptopia has suspended all the activities on the trading platform for an indefinite period. In addition, it has notified the authorities of the country, and now it cooperates with the police and the country’s High Tech Crimes Unit in order to investigate the hacker attack.

“Staff then notified and involved the appropriate Government Agencies, including NZ police and High Tech Crimes Unit who are jointly and actively investigating the matter as a major crime and they are assisting us with advice,” the exchange stated.

This is the first cryptocurrency exchange theft in 2019, however, many customers of different crypto exchanges call into question the security of them, as there were so many incidents that had to teach exchanges how to deal with it. Some users even blame the exchanges, in particular Cryptopia, in a bear market “exit strategy”.

We remind you

The Hackers of the “51% Attack” on Ethereum Classic Returned Half of the Stolen Funds

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The Hackers of the “51% Attack” on Ethereum Classic Returned Half of the Stolen Funds

The alleged organizer of the “51% Attack” on the ETC network transferred back $ 100,000 to Gate.io. bitcoin exchange. It was stated by its representatives on their Twitter account:

As a result of the attack, the users of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange had lost about 46,000 ETC. The representatives of the exchange were going to recover the money lost at their own expense.

However, last Saturday, Gate.io reported that an unknown hacker returned about half of the stolen funds. The company tried to contact the hacker. So far, the reasons he returned the funds have not been clarified since the hacker have not responded.

The representatives of the exchange guessed that if the organizer did not seek to profit, it could be a white hacker who wanted to remind people of the risks. Gate.io also noted that the current hashrate of the ETC network is not high enough, which means that the attack might happen again.

Now a successful transaction in the Ethereum Classic network on Gate.io requires about 4000 confirmations. The exchange is confident that this measure will enhance security and recommends other crypto platforms to stick to such measure to protect traders.

We remind you that despite the significant losses of the Gate.io users, the hackers used a simple hacking algorithm:

«Атака 51%» на Ethereum Classic: полный анализ взлома

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“51% Attack” Hit Ethereum Classic: A Full Analysis Of The Process

As we have reported earlier, Ethereum Classic was hit by 51% attack, it means that hackers obtained more than 50% of network’s mining hashrate.

A Malicious “51% Attack” Hit Ethereum Classic, The Loss Allegedly Accounts For $460 000

Slowmist, Chinese-based blockchain journal, has released a full report on the attack. The earliest hit occured on January 5, the culprit hacked some exchanges, like Bitrue, Coinbase, Gate.io, however, this was noticed only two days later.

The first action was a transfer of more than 5000 ETC from Binance to the criminal’s address 0x24fdd25367e4a7ae25eef779652d5f1b336e31da. This amount of coins moved to a mining node, that created block 7254355. After that, the hacker deposited 4000 ETC to Bitrue exchange in block 7254430, yet, this transaction vanished from the Ethereum Classic chain. Another 9000 ETC was stolen in the same way. The Bitrue address 0x2c9a81a120d11a4c2db041d4ec377a4c6c401e69 no longer exists, and the official history is clear. Though, Bitrue managed to save some records:

The scheme of the hacker attack is simple:

  • make a deposit;
  • withdraw to a safe address;
  • to double coins – just move the coins to other addresses.

One of the biggests victims is Coinbase exchange. It was estimated that the loss from the attack accounts for $1 million. The above-mentioned report also provides the information about two attacker addresses which were blackmailed by Coinbase later. They are:

– 0x090a4a238db45d9348cb89a356ca5aba89c75256
0x07ebd5b21636f089311b1ae720e3c7df026dfd72

In Twitter, one of users (nickname: @OGBTC) claimed that he knew the culprit personally.

https://twitter.com/OGBTC/status/1082559086070136832

Another user (nickname: @sebseb7) indicated that it was he who knew the hacker.

The “51% Attack” is over for now. All we can do is to estimate the losses and to take measures so that it will not happen again.

The report also stated:

“[W]e recommend that all digital asset services platform block transfers from the above malicious wallet addresses. And strengthen the risk control, maintain a high degree of attention, and be alert to double spend attacks that may erupt at any time.”

We remind you:

The Dark Overlord Threatens To Reveal The Truth of 9/11 Attacks Unless Ransom in Bitcoin is Paid

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A Malicious “51% Attack” Hit Ethereum Classic, The Loss Allegedly Accounts For $460 000

An operator of Ethereum Classic mining pool has confirmed that a 51% attack has hit ETC network on January 7. This attack refers to a malicious attack on blockchain when hackers obtained more than 50% of mining hashrate of network.

The hackers got the ability to reorganize blocks and even replace them on blockchain, moreover, the culprits are able to “double spend” coins, i.e. the same coins can be transferred several times.

The rumours that ETC has been experiencing a hacker attack originally appeared on CoinNess, Chinese journal on the 6th of January. The report says that SlowMist, Chinese blockchain security firm, was the first to notice the attack.

The article reads:

“The ETC community followed up on the development of the incident immediately and learned that there is a private mining pool…that achieves more than 50% of the total network hashrate at certain times.”

The spokesman of Ethereum Classic has responded in Twitter, saying the network “operated normally”.

However, in just a few hours, the representative asked all mining pools to “allow a significantly higher confirmation time on withdrawals and deposits (+400).”

Later, without any confirmation or comment, the official account of Ethereum Classic retweeted the report made by Chinese journal.

On January 7, the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has posted a report saying that they detected this attack on the 5th of January. Mark Nesbitt, Coinbase Security Engineer, who wrote that report, stated that since the disclosure of malicious attack, there had been 8 chain reorganizations worth approximately $460,000.

Ethereum Classic refuted to the report of Coinbase, claiming that the later did not “connect  with ETC personnel regarding the attack.”

While it is still unknown who was the first to detect the malicious attack and what are the consequences of it, we want to remind you

The Dark Overlord Threatens To Reveal The Truth of 9/11 Attacks Unless Ransom in Bitcoin is Paid

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The Dark Overlord Threatens To Reveal The Truth of 9/11 Attacks Unless Ransom in Bitcoin is Paid

The Dark Overlord, a hacking group, famous for posting unreleased episode of TV series “Orange is the New Black” in April 2017, decided to resume its blackmailing, however, this time it is not just an entertainment company Netflix, but insurance companies which possess information about 9/11 attacks.

The hackers claimed that they had hacked several insurance firms, like Hiscox Syndicates Ltd, Lloyds of London, and Silverstein Properties. These companies insured World Trade Centers in New York. It is still unclear what kind of information was stolen, but the culprits are trying to capitalize on conspiracy theories around the 9/11 attacks.

We’ll be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18.000 secret documents leak from @HiscoxComms and others #thedarkoverlord #911hacked#hacking #leak #cybercrime
            — thedarkoverlord (@tdo_h4ck3rs) December 31, 2018

One of the companies confirmed that the hackers had breached and stolen a few files related to the the September 11 attacks. The spokesman of the Hiscox Group wrote in email:

“The law firm’s systems are not connected to Hiscox’s IT infrastructure and Hiscox’s own systems were unaffected by this incident. One of the cases the law firm handled for Hiscox and other insurers related to litigation arising from the events of 9/11, and we believe that information relating to this was stolen during that breach.”

The hacking group sent a set of emails to that firms where it stated that the companies had to pay ransom in Bitcoin or The Dark Overlord unlocked different sets of files and the hidden truth of 9/11 attacks would be exposed.

They also mentioned that they offered to sell the information on the famous dark web hacker forum KickAss, as well as invited several Chinese and Russian terrorist groups to make purchase.

We remind you

Crypto Will Hardly Ever Sponsor Terrorist Attacks Like 9/11

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The “Fatal 2018” or The Most Important Events Of The Year

The digital coins market shows a negative trend throughout the year 2018. Compared to the historical maximum, the total cryptocurrency market cap has decreased by almost 8 times. The cryptocurrency market shows a negative trend throughout 2018. During the year, news of the cryptocurrency market that are actively discussed in media, have a negative meaning. Let us recall the most important events that occurred on the cryptocurrency market.

Content:
(please, click the topic to scroll down to it)

  1. Banking system against digital coins
  2. Internet restrictions
  3. Bitcoin ETF
  4. Formation of legislation
  5. Attracting of institutional investors
  6. Active development of the OTC market
  7. ICO Market Growth
  8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market
  9. Integration of financial conglomerates
  10. Integration with Internet companies
  11. Conclusion

1. Banking system against digital coins

At the very beginning of 2018, traditional financial institutions began to limit the capabilities of participants in the cryptocurrency market. A large number of fairly large banks around the world began to close the accounts of companies whose activities are related to cryptocurrency. We may also recall the decision of Visa to terminate cooperation with major European companies. All this adversely affected cryptocurrency companies. But it is worth noting that the restrictions of banks affected not only legal entities, along with this ordinary customers also lost an opportunity to buy cryptocurrency through their credit and debit cards.

A similar policy of the Reserve Bank of India led to the fact that local cryptocurrency platforms closed crypto-fiat trade. In the middle of autumn, Zebpay cryptocurrency exchange was forced to close the cryptocurrency exchange service. A similar situation happened in Zimbabwe, but cryptocurrency companies were able to challenge this decision with the help of the Supreme Court of the country.

Such policy of traditional financial sector representatives speaks only of their concern and desire to get rid of a potential competitor. If to analyze the cryptocurrency market, it becomes obvious that this industry is developing too fast. This makes the financial giants to tremble with fear and uncertainty about the future. This event played a big role in crypto market cap lowering.

2. Internet restrictions

Another damage to the cryptocurrency industry in 2018 was caused by the largest Internet companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Baidu, Alibaba, WeChat, Yandex, etc. All of the above mentioned information giants banned the promotion of cryptocurrency and ICO on their sites. This decision caused corresponding consequences, namely, undermined confidence towards the industry, and also cryptocurrency market capitalization decrease. Mining applications were blocked in App Store.

The Internet giant’s representatives explained their decision by the fact that there is a huge number of scammers in the cryptocurrency industry, which trusting users should be protected from. However, just a few months later, Facebook and Google reconsidered their decision and partially canceled it.

3. Bitcoin ETF

One of the most discussed topics in the industry since mid-summer of 2018 is the possible launch of Bitcoin ETF. The fact is that the situation in the cryptocurrency market strongly depends on the SEC decision. We remind you that cryptocurrency market value growth, which occurred in November-December, was caused by the launch of futures at CBOE and CME. Many experts believe that the launch of ETF will be a much more powerful event than the last year’s futures.

But the situation that has developed around this issue is quite controversial. On the one hand, the SEC does not deny the possibility of giving permission to launch Bitcoin ETF. But on the other hand, The United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejects all applicants (or postpones the date of consideration) who submitted the application during the year. The staff of the SEC explain their reasons quite uncertainty.

It is worth mentioning that during 2018 a lot of funds and exchanges have submitted their applications: ITS, Direxion, VanEck, Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, SolidX, etc.

Based on the latest data, the Securities Commission must make a final decision on the ETF before February 27, 2019.

We want to remind you:

SEC Will Release the Decision on Bitcoin ETF in February

4. Formation of legislation

The cryptocurrency market`s fall, which began in early 2018, was caused by many reasons, one of them is the lack of a legislative base. In other words, at the moment the cryptocurrency market is not regulated at all. Just this year, a large number of changes were to occur in this matter. But, unfortunately, everything happened not the way it was expected.

It is worth noting that this year many countries of the world drafted bills, that in one way or another dealt with cryptocurrencies. Some states limited the presence of digital coins on their territory due to the complexity of regulation. Others, on the contrary, encouraged and developed this direction in every way. For example, on July 4, 2018, blockchain technology was officially legalized in Malta for the first time in the world.

At the end of the winter, the German authorities signed a law under which Bitcoin equated to legal means of payment and was thus released from taxation.

This year was the first time in the history of the industry, when the regulation of cryptocurrency was discussed at the highest international level. For example, the mechanisms for regulating the industry became an agenda at the G20 meeting. It was decided to postpone this topic till October, but no one has returned to it thoroughly so far. This also had a negative effect on the cryptocurrency ranking.

5. Attracting of institutional investors

This year, for the first time the entry of large players into the market was seriously discussed. The interest of institutional investors in cryptocurrency assets is confirmed by a survey of an independent consulting company Capgemini:

  • 44% of the surveyed large capital owners are interested in cryptocurrency investments;
  • 29% of the surveyed large capital owners showed high interest;
  • 27% of the surveyed large capital owners expressed moderate interest.

Another interview, which was conducted by an independent consulting company DeVere Group, says that almost 40% of large business owners want to see a list of cryptocurrencies by market cap in their investment portfolios.

6. Active development of the OTC market

The situation on the cryptocurrency market today is as follows (according to CoinMarketCap):

  • market capitalization of 130 billion dollars;
  • 24h trading volume is about 16 billion dollars.

The situation is not the best, to say the least of it. But it is worth noting that the second mark is not entirely correct. The fact is that we see only turnovers that relate to stock trading. According to the company TABB Group, the UTS trading market is approximately 2-3 times higher than the stock index. It should be noted that such transactions cannot be traced when dealing with blockchain, since private keys from wallets are transferred more often than coins.

There is a sufficient number of large players in the cryptocurrency market (large miners, investors, ICO organizers, etc.), who cannot satisfy their demand with the help of exchanges. More and more OTC platforms began to appear due to the growing demand in the industry.

7. ICO Market Growth

Even regardless of depressing mood on the cryptocurrency market, the number of ICO held in 2018 is much more than in 2017: more precisely, 741 vs 514. The amount of raised funds also grew: $18.16 billion vs $6.89 billion.

The most discussed project of this year was undoubtedly TON from Pavel Durov, who managed to attract $1.7 billion. These funds were obtained even without public ICO, and Durov had to refuse from the overwhelming majority of those who wanted to invest in his brainchild.

But if to consider the amount of collected money, the undoubted leader is the EOS project, which managed to raise about 4.2 billion dollars. This mark is the best not only in this year, but also in the entire history of the industry as a whole.

But even such major events as EOS or TON could not help a fading interest of people to invest in cryptocurrency at the stage of the initial coin offering. The situation is caused by a general decrease in the capitalization of the cryptocurrency market in 2018. Because of the downtrend on the market, the vast majority of coins now cost less than at the ICO stage.

8. Cryptocurrency companies entering the IPO market

ICO is certainly a rather convenient way to raise capital, but despite this, many cryptocurrency companies expressed their interest in entering the more traditional IPO market. The initial public offering or IPO is regulated by the SEC. Investors are more protected there and this fact attracts people with large capital.

As of the beginning of December 2018, only one company successfully conducted its own IPO, all the others did not go further than applications or plans announcement for the future so far. In August of this year, there was an initial public offering of Argo Mining Company. It works in a cloud mining field. The company’s results are quite good, it managed to raise $32.5 million during IPO.

9. Integration of financial conglomerates

As we wrote above, some large financial institutions have limited the cryptocurrency industry development by their policies. But it does not concern absolutely all financial conglomerates of the planet. In parallel with the collapse of the cryptocurrency market (financially), we can observe the world’s largest banks integration into the industry (Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barklays, etc.).

At the very beginning of the year, Goldman Sachs, with the help of a startup Circle, bought one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex. The official sum of this transaction was not disclosed, but according to analysts’ estimates, such a purchase costed them about $400 million. It is worth noting that, Goldman Sachs invested $136 million in a startup Circle before acquiring Poloniex.

In early autumn the largest financial conglomerate of the land of the rising sun (Japan) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started its own MUFG coin in a test mode. If the test is successful, then the representatives of MUFG promise to introduce it into their own payment system.

The Bank of America and other major financial institutions owners in the world got curious in Technology Ripple (xCurrent), which helps banks to save about $3 on each transaction. This year, a number of major banks and the Ripple company signed cooperation agreement. It was highly expected, because xCurrent technology allows banks to save tens of millions dollar a year.

10. Integration with Internet companies

Along with the negative news background that accompanies the cryptocurrency industry throughout the year, an increasing number of Internet companies are trying to integrate digital coins into their product. For example, a few months ago, the Opera browser for Android released support for a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. At the moment, this wallet supports only ERC-20 and ERC-271 tokens, but the developers promise to add support for new types of digital coins in the near future. If to follow the news, it is easy to notice how the above mentioned  event is connected with Bitmain Company`s purchase of 3% of Opera Ltd in the amount of about $50 million (Bitmain Company is the largest manufacturer of network equipment for mining).

The cryptocurrency browser Brave shows good download dynamics: more than 5 million installations over the past six months. This number can be explained by a good program to attract new users, which was launched by the Brave developers. The browser charges 25 BAT for every 2 months of use. That is, for 1 year, you can accumulate 150 BAT, and for 2 years, 300 BAT. At today’s prices, it costs approximately $25 a year, but BAT is rated as one of the most promising coins of the next bull market. According to various estimates, it will enterTOP-10 and grow by from 30 to 50 times. That means, by using this browser it is possible to get from 1,000 to 2,000 dollars in a couple of years.

11. Conclusion

The cryptocurrency market today is experiencing a downtrend. Market capitalization has decreased by almost 8 times, compared with the peak values ​​of this year. As you can see, the general news background is negative this year. But it is worth noting that along with this, the infrastructure in the industry is actively developing, and new institutional investors are coming to the market. The forecast of the cryptocurrency market is not quite clear, but major experts believe that there are still many ups and falls ahead of us.

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