The Johannesburg City in South Africa has decided to remain under lockdown because of the bitcoin ransomware attack as we reported in the Bitcoin news today.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are usually requested by hackers after deploying a ransomware attack on the city’s administration computers due to the layer of pseudo-anonymity they provide. The number one crypto by market cap was once again the major tool for a ransomware attack that left the Johannesburg City under a lockdown.
Bitcoin ransom is becoming a growing threat and the crypto asset is not merely responsible for the hackers’ actions but it is commonly used for illicit crimes such as ransomware and money laundering. The hackers demand Bitcoin from the users after installing malware on the computers of individuals and government entities as a way to hide their true identity and make tracing any transactions more difficult.
This was the case with Johannesburg where the city is currently locked out of a number of the computer systems after being hit with the attack. According to the Johannesburg city council member Funzela Ngobeni, the hackers were able to gain control over the systems of the computers and they have a deadline of this past Monday to spill out a ransom payment of 4 Bitcoin. At today’s prices, there is less than $40,000 in exchange for the infrastructure of the city. As it is the case, the government officials refuse to cooperate with the hackers and seek alternatives to regain control. Ngobeni said:
“The city will not concede to their demands for bitcoins, and we are confident that we will be able to restore systems to full functionality.’’
The forensic computer experts restored up to 80 percent of the system functionality so far and the attack only affected the billing and payments system and made it impossible for the citizens to pay their utility bills so they had to pay in person in cash. Bitcoin ransom cases have increased in the previous months and they even attack government systems such as the instance of the situation in Baltimore Maryland, to kidnapping rich individuals. The illicit use of crypto assets has become a huge topic of interest for the United States government regulators.
Chinese Exchange Fcoin Closes, Still Owes Users $125 Million
“This is a problem that is a little too complicated to be explained in a single sentence, the time span is also large, and the two story development lines are advancing and affecting each other at the same time, leading to the final outcome.”The Chinese exchange Fcoin is now in the cryptonews. After its launch in May, the reported trading volumes became some of the biggest in the world overnight thanks to a new business model called "transaction mining." Later on, one Reddit user reported that this volume was actually fake - which is when the problems started. The exchange was later on described as a scam by many and the suspicions about its business model turned out true. There was no airdrop nor ICO at launch and the Chinese exchange Fcoin distributed 51% of its native tokens to users for reimbursing transaction fees. The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has publicly called FCoin a Ponzi scheme since the middle of 2018, commenting on Zhang's post in a tweet which read:
“I rarely called out anyone, with exceptions. On Chinese social media, I called FCoin a pyramid scheme in mid-2018. Their founder calls his own plan a "better invention than #Bitcoin". That did it for me. Who would say such a thing? About themselves? Except scammers.”https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1229446449152348161 To this, Zhang replied saying that there have been some errors which the Chinese exchange FCoin detected - but did not explain why it failed to address such problems before it is too late.
‘With the deepening of the investigation, we found a large number of existing data problems of dividends and mining returns, and these problems have existed for many days. As a result, a large number of users have already been through operations such as buying and selling various currencies and withdrawing cash, causing the pollution of assets.”The platform was suspended a few days ago by its own account for risk control, which caused a lot of speculation that the project was shutting down and the operators are vanishing. In the last few sentences on his blog post, however, Zhang said that he will do everything to give back the money to users via email personally - and compensate FCoin user losses with the profits he would make from other projects.
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Altsbit Crypto Exchange Suffers Hack Attack, Lost 95% Of Funds
‘’Unfortunately, we have to notify you with the fact that our exchange was hacked during the night and almost all funds from BTC, ETH, ARRR and VRSC were stolen. A small part of the funds are safe on cold wallets.’’From the announcement, it seems that Altbits had almost all of the funds on the hot wallets despite their major vulnerability to malicious cyber intrusions. The Italian crypto exchange will provide a full report on the lost funds soon and we will be able to see exactly how big of damage the theft made. In the follow-up tweets of the exchange, however, can be seen that the hackers stole 1,066 Komodo tokens and 283,375 Verus coins. This combined the value of both stolen cryptos stands at about $27,000. At press time, Altsbit had a 24-hour trading volume of $14.8 million with 98% of its trading activity coming from the ARRR/BTC pair which is the native token of the pirate Chain. Reacting to the news of the hack, some of the supporters of decentralized exchanges noted the vulnerabilities of the platforms that are centralized. However, centralized platforms still command the grater trading volume as the DEX services have a notoriously hard way of navigating the user interfaces. As for the security situation with centralized crypto exchange platforms, the 2020 crypto crime reports by Chainlink show that the exchanges seem to be better equipped to deal with the hackers. Despite the increase in the number of hack attacks, the blockchain analysis firm explained that the total amount of stolen funds in the hacks declined dramatically from the previous year. One of the important strategies that exchanges use is to limit their hot wallet holdings and this will show any inside involvement since the hackers are less sable to drain the vast crypto sums from vulnerable hot wallets. The North Korean hack group Lazarus, is suspected of being behind most of the crypto exchanges in the Asian Pacific and now it seems that it is changing its attack vectors. The group utilizes phishing malware on popular messaging platforms such as Telegram.
Adobe Flash Malware Posing As ‘New Update’ Found In 1 In 10 Macs
“These links were not added by the cybercriminals themselves: we found that all those malicious domains had recently expired, and, judging by the WHOIS data, they now belong to a single individual. On the websites, the newly minted owner posted a malicious script that redirects users to Shlayer download landing pages. There are already over 700 such domains in total," the report by Kaspersky read.We advise all Mac users to run an up-to-date anti-virus program and detect for viruses such as the Adobe Flash malware before it is too late.
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