The Russian Hackers Who Supposedly Interfered with the US Presidential Elections Were Using Bitcoins

hackers used BTC to break into US elections

The American presidential election in 2016 is surrounded by controversies. There is a popular opinion that the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton was not that honest. One of the most popular theories is that the infamous “Russian hackers” influenced the results of the election.

However, new details of the investigation have just been released, namely, that the hackers were using cryptocurrencies to pay for operations.

According to the official indictment, compiled by the US Department of Justice, 12 representatives of Russian intelligence services have supposedly broken into the accounts of some American politicians involved in the presidential campaign of Clinton.

The hackers chose digital currencies, specifically Bitcoin, for making payments to support their operations, for example, buy servers, domains etc. They made such a decision “to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions”.

The Bitcoins used by hackers were allegedly obtained by mining as well as “through peer-to-peer exchanges, moving funds through other digital currencies, and using pre-paid cards.”

Although, the investigation is still in progress, given the level of the US intelligence, it seems pretty doubtful that anyone could alter the results of the election, and the story with the “Russian hackers” is slowly turning into a legend.

On the other hand, it is quite possible that this news might affect the regulations of cryptocurrency in the US created by the SEC.

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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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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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The CEO of Circle Believes That a Clearer Policy of the SEC Will Cure the Crypto Industry

The CEO of the project Circle, backed up by the major bank Goldman Sachs, Jeremy Allaire started a thread on Reddit together with his co-workers, where they debated the accomplishments of the company in the recent time, talked about prospects for the future and discussed the overall situation on the crypto market.

According to the representatives of Circle, one of the main issues with crypto in the US is the lack of regulatory framework and, most importantly, the inability of the Securities and Exchange Commission to clearly define cryptocurrencies as belonging to a particular type of assets.

We remind you:

The SEC: Unlike ICO Tokens, Bitcoin and Ethereum Can Not Be Securities

There absolutely needs to be more regulatory clarity to really make this fly — in particular around who can issue these, how they can be stored and transmitted, and what markets can allow their trading. There’s a lot of attention on this and we absolutely expect to see these issues resolved and for far more real world experiments to hit the markets this year,” said Jeremy Allaire.

Also, the CEO of Circle claimed that the US should follow the example of France and have a separate kind of taxation for crypto-to-crypto transactions.

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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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GMO Will Keep On Mining Bitcoins at a Different Location

One of the world’s largest IT companies, Japan-based GMO has published its monthly report regarding its mining activities and the profits coming from them.

We remind you:

Japanese GMO Releases a Monthly Update: What Has Changed As For Mining?

Based on the December’s document, the revenue from mining cryptocurrency has dropped down  significantly which implies that immediate measures must be taken.

One of the biggest pitfalls of mining is the amount of electricity consumed and its high price. Thus, GMO made a decision to relocate its main mining center into a different area, where electricity will cost way less.

We will relocate the mining center to a region that will allow us to secure less expensive power supply,” reads the report.

Moreover, the company refuted all the rumors regarding its alleged plans of giving up mining completely. Since 2017, when GMO first engaged into mining, it has earned massive profits and still sees potential in crypto.

As we may see in the statistical data, the mining reward for Bitcoin increased a lot in the last month of December, whereas Bitcoin Cash suffered a hard fall. But the crash of the crypto market and Bitcoin in particular could not be controlled by GMO and affected its business quite badly, making it “move houses”.

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