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Bitcoin Scams

Scam Report: Romanian BTC Exchange CEO Involved In Illegal Operations

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According to the latest crypto news coming from Romania, the exchange executive Vlad Nistor is involved much more deeply than first anticipated in illegal operations of a crypto company.

The reports show that Nistor was a member of a group that conducted phishing attacks in the United States between 2014 and 2015 when CoinFlux was at the beginning of their work. More than 14 Romanian citizens were indicted by federal authorities with Vlad Nistor just being one of them with a lot of business ties and was seen at the time as an upstanding citizen.

He is believed to have shared advice with some active cyber criminals and helped them conduct illegal activities with most of them being phishing attacks on US soil.

Roughly translated the report notes:

 “Two of these methods were run online via phishing or through various fictitious sale ads (via eBay or through online platforms ). For example, Romanians were sending e-mails using instant messaging programs or telephone numbers where the user is advised to give confidential data to win certain prizes or was informed that they are necessary due to technical errors that led to loss of original data. A web address containing a clone of the site of a financial or trading institution was indicated in the e-mail.”

After obtaining the funds from phishing victims, the criminals created accounts on the new CoinFlux exchange to wash the funds via different crypto methods.  Nistor advised the phishers how to dispose of their proceeds using the crypto exchange.

The court has given Nistor a week to make arguments about why he should not be extradited.

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Altcoin News

Famous Coincheck Theft Was Masterminded By Russian Hackers: Report

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famous coincheck theft
The famous Coincheck theft, which led the exchange to lose around $530 million worth of New Economy Movement (NEM) tokens was a hot topic in the altcoin news in January 2018. A new report recently emerged, showing that the hack had been finessed by an unknown group of Russian hackers. Even though it is widely believed that North Korean hackers stand behind the famous Coincheck theft, the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun is in the latest cryptocurrency news today with a new report - showing the Russian breadcrumbs in the Coincheck crypto exchange hack. According to the Japanese newspaper, the examination of a Coincheck employee's personal computer revealed a malware which was associated with Russian hackers. The hack, on the other hand, was a result of the crypto exchange's employees and the fact that they installed infected software on their computers. The famous Coincheck theft had the hackers sending emails to the employees (full of viruses such as Mokes and Netwire) which installed the malware on their machines and caused the massive financial loss. These viruses took over the infected computers and allowed the hackers to operate them remotely, gaining access to the private keys and executing the famous Coincheck theft. Russian hackers have been known for leaving breadcrumbs of their misdeeds in the past. Therefore, it is not surprising to see many best cryptocurrency news sites reporting about them doing a shoddy job of covering the tracks once again - when they hacked the crypto exchange last year. Despite the famous Coincheck theft, the crypto exchange was recently resurrected and now operates with a cryptocurrency license, unlike last year when it was hacked into. At that time, the exchange was awaiting a license and had poor checks and balances in place to prevent the massive theft knocking it into the ground. Moreover, the inefficiency of Coincheck to protect its customers' funds means that the hackers had to loot a fort with no defenses. If this was the Russians, it would have been a walk in the park - the country's hackers are known for hacking the DNC server during the 2016 elections s well as many other cases of hacks, Bitcoin scams and more. Below is a proof of one. https://twitter.com/nathanielpopper/status/1017816145397796865
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Bitcoin Scams

Stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin Started Moving (After Three Years)

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stolen bitfinex bitcoin
The stolen Bitcoin from Bitfinex has been spotted moving after three years of laying dormant, the latest cryptocurrency news show. In a series of transactions which started on Friday, the stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin of about $1.37 million was moved through wallets. It all started when the stolen BTC was moved from a wallet that had previously held funds taken in the 2016 Bitfinex hack. This theft costed the exchange more than $60 million and still  remains unsolved. The Twitter account Whale_Alert, which is known for posting suspicious and mysterious activities by whales, noted the mysterious BTC transfer in the morning, showing that it has continued throughout the day and ended with a $137,514 transaction at 19:47 UTC. https://twitter.com/whale_alert/status/1137083652330967040 Another account named Hard Fork showed that the move was connected with Bitfinex's Leo token which allows for the anonymous return of stolen funds. However, a spokesperson from Bitfinex named Anneka Dew was quick to follow up and be included in the daily altcoin news section, denying that the exchange was involved in the move after all.
“We are not involved, and the movement is not tied to the procedure outlined in the UNUS SED LEO white paper,” she said.
The anonymous nature of Bitcoin wallets is still a mystery for many - which is why moves like this one by the stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin are only evidence of hacker activity after the theft. As such, they can only be used for forensic analysis by blockchain sleuths - but often result in money laundering activity and hide the funds' ultimate destination. For those of you who don't know or haven't been following the best cryptocurrency news sites, the Bitfinex theft was the largest loss of Bitcoins by an exchange since the Mt. Gox hack in early 2014 which wiped away $350 million. In February this year, law enforcement in the United States managed to retrieve 27.66270285 of the stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin (BTC) which had been taken in the hack. Right now, we are all far from even thinking about retrieving the stolen Bitfinex Bitcoin. However, it is good that accounts like Whale_Alert exist and show some activity on the wallets following their hack.
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Bitcoin Scams

FBI Investigation On The QuadrigaCX Case Emerges In The US

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has officially expanded the QuadrigaCX case where the founder suspiciously died, with more than $100 million in cryptocurrency vanishing. Because of these reasons, the FBI investigation was relocated to the United States today, and the agency took to Twitter to ask for US-based victims of the crime to come forward.

FBI made the latest cryptocurrency news with its Twitter post which states the following:

https://twitter.com/FBI/status/1135999728838160384

This is actually a good thing for the market, as the ongoing trend of government intervention is either part of an evolution or a new pattern showing anti-crypto activity. It is all based on how you see things from your perspective.

However, the FBI investigation definitely shows serious attitude towards resolving the QuadrigaCX case, which is particularly interesting because of the mysterious activities and elements to it. One of them is the death of its CEO a month after the exchange closing, to then blame on a lack of access to wallets held by the deceased. As if this issue was not crazy enough, the QuadrigaCX funds were later mysteriously sent to the addresses in question.

A lot of questions linger, as the FBI investigation shows, and are subject to many mysteries. In our coming altcoin news, we have been reporting updates on the QuadrigaCX case - up until now where it seems like the case will go beyond a procedural bankruptcy court in Canada. From this, we can see that the exchange will probably be put under criminal investigation for its services rendered to US citizens.

As a result of this, whoever is left of the executive staff may be off the hook. In cases like these (picked up by the media and the best cryptocurrency news sites), it is often a question whether or not the government can recoup anything. However, the FBI investigation must determine if there are assets with value and to this date, no significant assets like that have emerged.

As a final note, many analysts believe that the actual problem for QuadrigaCX are actually its business decisions and relationships, which were the backbone of the struggle when the Canadian bank froze the exchange's assets.

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Bitcoin Scams

Chainalysis Research: 64% Of Ransomware Attackers Launder Via Crypto Exchanges

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The United States based blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis is in the latest cryptocurrency news. The new Chainalysis research shows that around 64% of the ransomware attack cash-out strategies involve laundering of funds directly through cryptocurrency exchanges. This data was officially revealed in a webinar which the company held on May 30. As reported by many best cryptocurrency news sites, a ransomware attack is basically one where a malware hits a target and demands a ransom payment - which is frequently denominated in cryptocurrencies. The payment is then demanded in return for the ostensible delivery of a decryptor tool which helps victims recover access to their data. The Chainalysis research directly explored this topic. For those of you who don't know, the company has been in the altcoin news for some time now for its amazing analytics and tools that help firms, governments and law enforcement to monitor blockchain transactions as well as track the suspected illicit activities. In this Chainalysis report, the company claims that 64% of the ransomware attackers launder their ill-gotten funds via crypto exchanges. Furthermore, the Chainalysis research managed to identify 38 exchanges - but did not disclose their names - which were seen to directly receive funds from addresses associated with a ransomware attack. The report also shows that among other ransomware cash-out strategies that were analyzed, 12% of them involved mixing services and only 6% involved peer-to-peer networks. The other methods, as the Chainalysis research shows (9%), reportedly remain unspent. The analysis was also in the coming altcoin news for noting that the ransomware attacks typically involve less complex cash-out networks compared to standard cryptocurrency exchange hacks. As the webinar presenting the Chainalysis research argued, this is because a hack often involves a large amount of money leaving a known exchange and often attracts high media publicity - requiring that hackers conceal the flow of funds more robustly. In contrast to this, ransomware attacks normally involve smaller discrete sums to multiple addresses and are less publicized, thereby avoiding intense and immediate scrutiny. The Chainalysis research also identified a shift in the ransomware threat landscape - which shos that criminals are shifting to targets with legally or politically sensitive data and raising the amount of ransom payment demanded.
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