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First Clipper Malware Discovered on Google Play

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Crypto Mining

For security reasons, addresses of online cryptocurrency wallets are composed of long strings of characters. Instead of typing them, users tend to copy and paste the addresses using the clipboard. A type of malware, known as a “clipper”, takes advantage of this. It intercepts the content of the clipboard and replaces it surreptitiously with what the attacker wants to subvert. In the case of a cryptocurrency transaction, the affected user might end up with the copied wallet address quietly switched to one belonging to the attacker.

This dangerous form of malware first made its rounds in 2017 on the Windows platform and was spotted in shady Android app stores in the summer of 2018. In February 2019, we discovered a malicious clipper on Google Play, the official Android app store.

Although relatively new, cryptocurrency stealers that rely on altering the clipboard’s content can be considered established malware. ESET researchers even discovered one hosted on download.cnet.com, one of the most popular software-hosting sites in the world. In August 2018, the first Android clipper was discovered being sold on underground hacking forums and since then, this malware has been detected in several shady app stores.

The clipper we found lurking in the Google Play store, detected by ESET security solutions as Android/Clipper.C, impersonates a legitimate service called MetaMask. The malware’s primary purpose is to steal the victim’s credentials and private keys to gain control over the victim’s Ethereum funds. However, it can also replace a Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet address copied to the clipboard with one belonging to the attacker.

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Blockchain

Japan to Lead Development of SWIFT Network for Cryptocurrency

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Tokyo

Japan’s government is leading a global push to set up an international network for cryptocurrency payments, similar to the SWIFT network used by banks, in an effort to fight money laundering, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday. Tokyo aims to have the network in place in the next few years, the person said, declining to be identified because the information has not been made public.

A team related to the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will monitor its development and Japan will cooperate with other countries, the source said. It remains unclear how the cryptocurrency network would work. SWIFT is the international payments messaging system used by banks to send money around the world.

FATF in June approved the plan for establishing the new network, which was proposed by Japan’s Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) regulator, according to the person. Both the FSA and the Ministry of Finance declined to comment.

Tokyo has pushed to ensure the security of virtual currencies, hoping to leverage the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth. Japan became the first country in the world to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges at a national level, in 2017.

It remains unclear whether the network would meet resistance from users, given that the attraction of cryptocurrencies is, in part, in their unregulated nature. That lack of regulation is precisely what worries governments and central bankers.

Facebook’s recent announcement of plans to launch a digital coin has met with a chorus from regulators, central banks and governments insisting the tech giant must respect anti money-laundering rules and ensure the security of transactions and user data.

Digital currencies are also likely to be a topic at the G7 finance ministers meeting in France this week.

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Altcoins

Props Launches the First SEC-Approved Crypto Token for Consumers

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Crypto Token

Props, a crypto token that enables apps to reward users and content creators with a financial stake in the network they engage with, is now available to millions of users, as the offering of Props has been qualified under Reg A+ by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.1 Props is the first consumer facing crypto token qualified by the SEC. Live video app YouNow announcing today at VidCon—the world’s largest video creator conference—that starting today, its content creators and other users may begin earning Props as a reward for common in-app activities that drive community engagement. In addition, 47 million registered YouNow users are now eligible to receive Props Tokens, in recognition of their lasting contributions to the network.

The Props team is building open source infrastructure for a network of apps capable of transparently and fairly rewarding those who help network growth.3 The Props platform abstracts the blockchain infrastructure for apps, enabling them to easily plug Props Tokens into any app4 and create their own token-based “loyalty program.” As more apps join the network, users will be able to use Props tokens to unlock additional benefits across apps.5 Users hold the Props they earn for those benefits, and enjoy the upside potential of owning a financial stake in the network.

“Online video content made by independent creators has become massively popular, but still lacks diverse ways for creators to turn their content to a meaningful source of ongoing income,” said top YouTuber and Props investor Casey Neistat. “I’ve been working with the Props team as we share a similar vision, to help creators find ways to earn more value off of their passion for making videos.”

On YouNow—the first app on the Props Network—users can earn Props Tokens by creating content, supporting their favorite content creators, and actively engaging with the app, just like they always have. Based on their Props holdings, users receive unique benefits on the app, such as a daily stipend of YouNow’s in-app currency, increased in-app status, exclusive virtual items and coming soon, discounts and other features.6

Following the SEC’s official approval of Props, another company announced today that its apps will join as a partner in the Props Network: SplitmediaLabs, makers of XSplit, a high-end software for game streamers with more than 13 million users. Henrik Levring, CEO of SplitmediaLabs said “By integrating Props into our apps, we become even more aligned with our loyal users. Our users can already start earning Props when they stream to YouNow from XSplit.”

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Business

Altonomy Launches New Cloud Mining Product for Institutions

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Cloud Mining

Altonomy, the leading trading desk, market maker and asset manager for cryptocurrency assets and derivatives, announced today it has launched AltMiner, a new cloud-based mining product tailored to international institutions and large investors seeking long-term exposure to bitcoin.

“We’e delighted to launch AltMiner and provide larger investors with high-quality miner exposure at a lower relative cost than retail-focused alternatives,” said Ricky Li, co-founder of Altonomy. “As the crypto market moves from strength to strength, this product allows institutions to recoup bitcoin generated by the most advanced miner technology available, without requiring coverage for mining overheads such as setup fees, hosting costs and utility expenses.”

AltMiner products have a minimum buy-in of $500,000 and each product is sold as a two-year contractual commitment. Payouts are issued to product owners daily in bitcoin and are proportional to the owner’s hashrate, as well as the hashrate of the entire Bitcoin Network.

The first batch of AltMiner products, which had a hashrate capacity for $3 million, is already oversubscribed by more than 300%, with the first payout window commencing on June 26, 2019. Altonomy owns the underlying equipment and is offering second batch of AltMiner, with an estimated capacity for more than $10 million.

“Being backed by sub-10 nanometer bitcoin mining processors, AltMiner is harnessing technology that is extremely hard to procure,” said Charles Pyo, CEO of Chain Partners. “We are thrilled that such a product is now available, giving us exposure to efficient miners and promising returns. As a long-term partner of Altonomy in the Korean market, we are also extremely excited to make this product accessible for Korean investors.”

“In AltMiner, Altonomy is providing a compelling product that gives us the long-term exposure to bitcoin we seek,” said Jae Hoon Choi, founder and CEO of Pledgecamp. “The regular payouts that AltMiner generates provide a steady cash flow to help fund our daily operations. We are very glad to work with a notable institution like Altonomy on this.”

“As mining exposure takes root among retail investors, AltMiner presents a pioneering product for institutions,” said Ryan Fang, Founder of ANKR. “Depending on market conditions, one can make the case that AltMiner is a superior vehicle for long-term exposure to bitcoin, then this is the easiest and probably the cheapest solution.”

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Business

LINK is launching on Coinbase Pro

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Coinbase Pro

After 10am PT on June 26, 2019, we will begin accepting inbound transfers of LINK to Coinbase Pro. We will accept deposits for at least 12 hours prior to enabling full trading.

Once sufficient supply of LINK is established on the platform, trading on the LINK/USD, and LINK/ETH order books will start in phases, beginning with post-only mode and proceeding to full trading should our metrics for a healthy market be met. Support for LINK will be immediately available in all Coinbase’s supported jurisdictions, with the exception of New York State. Additional jurisdictions may be added at a later date.

Chainlink (LINK) is an Ethereum token that powers the Chainlink decentralized oracle network. This network allows smart contracts on Ethereum to securely connect to external data sources, APIs, and payment systems.

Please note that LINK is not yet available on Coinbase.com or via our consumer mobile apps. We will make a separate announcement if and when this functionality is added.

The stages of this launch

There will be four stages to the launch as outlined below. We will follow each of these stages independently for each new order book. If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one state for a longer period of time or suspend trading as per our Trading Rules.

We will send tweets from our Coinbase Pro Twitter account as each order book moves through the following phases:

  1. Transfer-only. Starting at 10am PT on June 26, customers will be able to transfer LINK into their Coinbase Pro account. Customers will not yet be able to place orders and no orders will be filled on these order books. Order books will be in transfer-only mode for at least 12 hours.
  2. Post-only. In the second stage, customers can post limit orders but there will be no matches (completed orders). Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of one minute.
  3. Limit-only. In the third stage, limit orders will start matching but customers are unable to submit market orders. Order books will be in limit-only mode for a minimum of ten minutes.
  4. Full trading. In the final stage, full trading services will be available, including limit, market, and stop orders.

One of the most common requests we receive from customers is to be able to trade more assets on our platform. Per the terms of our listing process, we anticipate supporting more assets that meet our standards over time.

You can sign up for a Coinbase Pro account here to start trading. For more information on trading LINK on Coinbase Pro, visit our support page.

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Altcoins

Facebook’s Libra must obey anti-money laundering rules: French central banker

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Libra

Facebook’s planned global ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency must respect anti-money laundering regulations and it must seek banking licenses if it offers banking services, France’s central bank chief said in a magazine interview.

Facebook Inc announced plans last week to introduce a new global cryptocurrency called Libra as part of an effort to expand into digital payments.

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said that while there was room to improve cross-border money transfers, Libra had to follow anti-money laundering rules.

“The risks are increased by the anonymity that Libra users would have,” Villeroy said in an interview with French weekly magazine L’Obs, adding that Libra would have to ensure transactions and users’ data were fully secure.

“If the project seeks to go beyond payments to offering banking services like deposits, it will then have to be regulated like a bank with a banking license in all the countries it operates. Otherwise it would be illegal,” he said.

France is using its year-long presidency of the Group of Seven nations (G7) to set up a task-force to tackle such concerns at an international level.

It has been charged with studying how cryptocurrencies like Libra are governed by regulations ranging from money laundering laws to consumer-protection rules.

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Technologies

Two Israelis Arrested for Phishing Fraud, Bitfinex Hack

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Bitfinex

Cyber crimes were always a part of the cryptocurrency space, with crypto exchanges being a lucrative target for hackers. And as the malicious attacks vary, the creativity of the attackers grows.

Two brothers from Jerusalem, Israel, were arrested by the cyber unit of the Israeli Police a few days ago for stealing cryptocurrency through a phishing scheme. According to a publication from today (Sunday) on the Israeli news outlet Ynet, the two managed to net $100 million. However, after reaching out to an Israeli Police spokesperson, Finance Magnates learnt that the sum is lower, and evolves around “tens of millions of dollars”.

Eli Gigi and his younger brother Assaf Gigi are suspected for a long and systematic theft of Bitcoin (and apparently other currencies as well) by accessing traders’ wallets, Israeli crime news portal Posta reports. The brothers allegedly set up fake crypto sites, mimicking prominent crypto exchanges and wallets, and lured traders to use them.

They did this by publishing links to those sites on Telegram groups and other trading oriented forums. After the traders clicked on the links and submitted their private keys, the information was collected by the brothers, who used it to transfer the crypto coins to their own wallets.

While this is considered to be their main practice, the police take into account that the brothers might have also used other schemes to net the money.

Another suspicion that was raised by the investigators was the brothers’ alleged connection to a 2016 hack of several accounts that traded on Bitfinex. However, the police spokesman refused to elaborate on that matter.

According to the Israeli Police, the victims are mostly EU and US citizens, and therefore the case is currently being investigated by “police cyber units in several countries”. However, at this moment there is no information on accomplices from other countries. The police are currently saying that the main goal of this multi-national cooperation is to retrieve the missing funds.

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Altcoins

While there’s still interest in cryptocurrencies, just one-in-ten understand how they work

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Secure Token

The Kaspersky’s report, ‘Uncharted territory: why consumers are still wary about adopting cryptocurrency’, reveals that whilst 29% of people have some knowledge of cryptocurrencies and there is a demand among many to use the technology, just one-in-ten (10%) fully comprehend how they work.

The rate in which cryptocurrencies are being adopted by global consumers is slowing down, despite celebrities like Johnny Depp and YouTube influencers such PewDiePie embracing the technology. Many consumers still lack a proper understanding of how cryptocurrencies work and this is continuing to halt mainstream adoption. To date, four-in-five people (81%) have never purchased cryptocurrency, highlighting just how far away we are from it being accepted as a common form of payment or investment.

Kaspersky’s survey found that there is a desire amongst many consumers to use cryptocurrency, but a knowledge gap is getting in the way of taking the plunge. In addition, many people who thought they knew with what they are dealing with, later decided against using cryptocurrency. Nearly a fifth (18%) stopped because it became too technically complicated.

This lack of understanding could be leading to mistrust in cryptocurrencies’ ability to keep consumers’ money safe. For instance, nearly a third (31%) of respondents stated that they believe cryptocurrencies are quite volatile and they need to be stabile before they are prepared to use them. There is also a common perception amongst consumers that cryptocurrency will not be around forever. A third (35%) believe cryptocurrencies are a fad that is not worth bothering about.

While widespread interest in cryptocurrencies may have already peaked, there is still a demand to use the technology. Almost every sixth (14%) of those surveyed said that while they are not using cryptocurrency at the moment, they would like to do so in the future. Yet there is still doubt amongst consumers – often led by a fear that there is a real risk to their finances. Fraudsters can use cryptocurrencies to their advantage, with around one-in-five (19%) of those surveyed saying they have experienced hacking attacks on exchanges. Criminals also create fake e-wallets to attract people to unwisely invest their money, and 15% of consumers have been victims of cryptocurrency fraud.

Following several years of cybersecurity research into crypto start-ups, Kaspersky recommends crypto businesses adopt best security practices for smart contract developers, use proven frameworks for smart contracts (such as https://openzeppelin.org/) and conduct a third-party assessment of the smart contract to ensure any potential vulnerabilities are not missed.

“It is clear that mainstream adoption and growth of cryptocurrency is being held back due to the vulnerable nature of the technology. While there is a high appetite to use it, giving your hard-earned cash to something you don’t fully understand, or trust, is a hurdle. With the safety of investments being of paramount importance to consumers, it is vital that they take their own steps to safeguard it. Like with any cyberthreat, there is no substitute for vigilance – if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If you want to trade crypto-assets on any exchange, pay attention to the safety of your account’s credentials. If your goal is long-term investment or use crypto-currencies for payments, then store it in safe environments and use multiple wallets, or distribute between both software and hardware. We also encourage crypto businesses to organize themselves effectively to show they are able to protect their customers’ investments,” Vitaly Mzokov, Head of Commercialization at Kaspersky comments.

To help improve stability and foster trust in cryptocurrencies, Kaspersky partners such as Merkeleon have developed legitimate marketplace platforms, online auction platforms, cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto payment systems.

“Cryptocurrency certainly has its benefits but, as we can see, many consumers are still unaware of what they are due to concerns over security and how the technology works. It is an exciting industry to be involved in but it is one that is built upon trust. It is, therefore, imperative that cryptocurrency businesses do all they can to protect their networks and ensure their customers’ finances are safe and secure,” explains Alexey Sidorowich, Head of Sales and Business Development at Merkeleon.

For further information on how we provide transparent and powerful protection for crypto-trading platforms and token offering projects, please click here. To learn more about protection for consumers, please visit our website.

To find out more about how consumers feel towards cryptocurrencies, visit https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/cryptocurrency-report-2019/

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Bitcoin

Fast-Growing BiKi.com Secures Investments from Genesis and FBG Capital

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Biki

12th June, Singapore, Singapore – Fast-growing cryptocurrency exchange BiKi.com has recently attracted yet another slew of investments, this time from influential blockchain investment institutions Genesis Capital and FBG Capital.

biki

Crypto fund Genesis Capital’s purported mission of discovering and supporting early-stage projects with the most potential is particularly apt in the case of BiKi.com. In under a year, the infant exchange has managed to accumulate more than 1.2 million registered users and more than 100K daily active users, not to mention its impressive climb to top 15 rankings on the rungs of the global crypto exchange ladder. Genesis’ current investment portfolio includes esteemed projects the likes of Tron, Quarkchain, Egretia and Arcblock, to name a few. In total, Genesis has invested 2 million in BiKi.com, the first million on 27th May followed by another million on 29th May.

Previously backed by Silicon Valley VC Sequoia, digital asset management firm FBG Capital, whose past investment projects have increased 10 to 100 times, has also set its sights on BiKi. FBG has long gained industry respect for discovering and investing in projects such as 0x, Zilliqa, OmiseGO, IOST and Aelf, years before they became successful. FBG’s strategic investment in BiKi will see multi-level co-operation between the two parties which includes FBG providing professional and market resources that will aid BiKi in increasing its market share and implementing trading platform improvements. The enthusiasm of FBG CEO Zhou Shouji, who has been featured on the cover of Forbes, has certainly improved branding for the young exchange, with his friendly recommendations of BiKi skyrocketing the value of its token by 300% in one week.

“We are extremely honored that FBG has such great faith in Biki,” said Ethan Ng, CEO of BiKi.com SEA. “FBG has continually shown amazing foresight in their investments and this partnership is a clear signal that FBG believes BiKi is going places; especially now, with their support, we will no doubt achieve even better project quality, services and branding.”

Not Just Another Exchange

Notably, BiKi.com’s strategy of listing not only the top 100 most popular tokens but also  emerging high quality projects on the exchange has stood it in good stead. With the tendency of investors to flock to trending projects, using users to attract other users is a core competitive advantage for exchanges.

Its focus on conversion marketing during a bear market in late 2018 and early 2019 using unconventional user-growth tactics has also proven to be effective. By converting a non-crypto audience into new exchange users through Chinese e-commerce platforms, BiKi was able to generate daily real transaction volumes of 20 to 100 million USDT, with its net profit in May reaching RMB 10 million, approximately USD 1.5 million.

Targeting foreign market expansion within a competitive timeline, building community partners worldwide as well as providing substantial support for listed projects also sets BiKi apart from its peers.

With corporate giants like Facebook, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan coming out with digital currencies, coupled with mainstream media’s constant coverage, cryptocurrencies have finally gained mass acceptance. Should market conditions continue to improve, a high influx of new investors entering the market can be expected, with exchanges being the greatest benefactors of this new wave of users.

As Huobi co-founder and BiKi.com’s largest investor Jun Du has gushed, “This year’s ‘miracle’ should belong to BiKi.”  With quality digital assets and strong consumer demand going hand-in-hand, BiKi will likely emerge a dark horse when the bull market breaks out again.

bikis

About BiKi.com

Headquartered in Singapore, BiKi.com is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides a digital assets platform for trading more than 100 cryptocurrencies and 127 trading pairs. Since beginning operations in Aug 2018, BiKi.com is considered one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges in the world with an accumulated 1.2 million registered users and 100,000 daily active users, ranking within the top 15 exchanges globally.

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Business

Why Cloud Mining when investing in Bitcoin?

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Miningzoo.com a perfect cloud mining solution just for you! With the trading war causing all the anxiety leading to stock price plummeting and bitcoin price skyrocketing, large institutions start to pour their funds into bitcoin investment gradually to diversify their investment portfolio.

Even if you do not long Bitcoin or consider it digitized gold, like Tim Draper and other investment gurus do, you might want to buy some bitcoin for diversification, an investment strategy taught in Yale’s Financial Markets class by Nobel laureate, Robert Schiller.

You can always buy bitcoin with cash, but if you hate to withstand its rollercoaster price but want to produce bitcoin yourself, what are the options?

First, you need to buy miners, which are costly. Second, you need to be able to operate the miners. This requires a lot of time, energy and of course know-how in technical set-up and assembling. How and where to set those miners up? And on top of these, various risks like technical failures and electricity blackout.

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MiningZoo’s cloud mining is an optimal alternative choice if you find the previous two ways too much trouble.

The advantages of cloud mining compared to buy and run mining machine yourself are obvious: it is noise-free, and saves you from personal maintenance and transportation troubles. The most important thing is that cloud mining revenue is more stable than investing and buying your own miners’ mining revenue. Of course, Cloud mining depends on which mining platform you choose. Choose a cloud mining platform with good reputation like MiningZoo. Then you can rest to collect bitcoin income every day! Leave all these to the professional staff with MiningZoo!

This is a quality cloud mining platform designed for your. The contract price for the same amount of mining power is the most value for money if you compare across all different cloud mining platforms.

Price Comparison Table:

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With MiningZoo, the daily cost per T mining power is as low as $0.076, and the electricity bill is as low as $0.0769 per day. Your annualized income will be over 200% if bitcoin price and bitcoins generation maintain the current status.

Once you place an order you can start mining right away. MiningZoo guarantees 100% uptime and cover system downtimes by using the most efficient and secure miners. You never suffer the loss of mining time due to system downtimes. MiningZoo is heavily investing in the best available hardware to stay at the edge of technology. For you, it is the easiest way of mining: no need to assemble rigs or to have hot, loud miners in your home.

MiningZoo, your premium bitcoin investment choice!

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Technologies

Fake Cryptocurrency Trading Site Pushes Crypto Stealing Malware

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DTCC

Malware distributors have setup a site that impersonates the legitimate Cryptohopper cryptocurrency trading platform in order to distribute malware payloads such as information-stealing Trojans, miners, and clipboard hijackers.

Cryptohopper is a trading platform where users can build models that will be used for automated trading of cryptocurrency on various markets.

In a new campaign discovered by malware researcher Fumik0_, attackers have created a replica of the Cryptohopper trading platform site that when visited will automatically download a Setup.exe executable as shown below.

This Setup.exe executable uses the CryptoHopper logo as its icon to make it seem like a legitimate offering from the trading platform, but is actually the Vidar information-stealing Trojan.

When executed, this Vidar variant will download required libraries and then install two Qulab trojans; one that acts as a miner and the other that acts as a clipper, or clipboard hijacker.

Due to the nature of the impersonated site, the potential for stolen credentials and 2 factor authentication information is particularly concerning.

As Cryptohopper is a cryptocurrency trading platform, if one of their users mistakenly goes to this fake site and installs the Trojan, their Cryptohopper credentials could be stolen and used to steal cryptocurrency stored on the platform.

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