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Bitcoin Scams

Taiwan: Electricity Thief Arrested After Mining $3 Million In Bitcoin And Ether

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FO6E3842CAC44 - Taiwan: Electricity Thief Arrested After Mining $3 Million In Bitcoin And Ether

In today’s crypto news, we are going to the country of Taiwan where recently a man has been arrested over claims that he mined millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum using stolen power.

As the official report from EBC Dongsen News on Wednesday noted, the man with a surname Yang is suspected of stealing electricity that is valued at over NT$100 million ($3.25 million) from various business premises in order to mine Bitcoin and Ether.

Yang was found to tap the power supply at 17 stores in Taiwan for his illicit mining operations, where he would first rent an internet cafe or a toy store and then hire electricians to redesign the wiring so that his stolen cryptocurrency wouldn’t be metered.

In the article, the deputy head of the fourth brigade of Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau noted:

“The group recruited electricians who managed to break into the sealed meters in order to add in private lines to use electricity for free before that usage reaches the meters.”

As of recently, the number of such mining attempts has been increasing as easy gains have proven to be an easy temptation for some miners. Last month, we had two principals at a Chinese school which were fired after stealing electricity from the institution to mine Ethereum.

 

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Bitcoin Scams

Fake Tor Browser Packed With Malware Has Been Stealing BTC For Years

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A group of hackers are now in the Bitcoin scams news for using a fake Tor browser to spy BTC and steal Bitcoin (BTC) by users. The hackers have been distributing a compromised version of the browser that is packed with malicious tools - used to steal BTC.The trojanized Tor has apparently resulted in a relatively small amount of Bitcoin being lost to date, with funds taken by address swapping when the users tried to pay on dark net markets. This is how the scammers and hackers were discovered by the researchers at IT security firm ESET.In an announcement that was emailed to many cryptonews websites on Friday, the senior malware researcher at ESET named Anton Cherepanov talked about the fake Tor browser and said that the research had identified three Bitcoin wallets used by the hackers since 2017.
“Each such wallet contains relatively large numbers of small transactions; we consider this a confirmation that these wallets indeed were used by the trojanized Tor Browser,” Cherepanov explained.
At the time this research was completed, the three wallets received 4.8 Bitcoin (worth $38,700 at press time). However, ESET said that the actual amount that was stolen would be higher as the wallets for the Russian payments service QIWI are also targeted.The hacking campaign has been targeting the Russian-speaking users of Tor - developing a network which was designed to keep the identities hidden to avoid tracking and surveillance. The cybercriminals who developed the fake Tor browser have been using fake forums and the website pastebin.com to distribute their offering as the official Russian language version of the app.
“Their goal was to lure language-specific targets to a pair of malicious – yet legitimate-looking – websites,” ESET claimed.
On the first website, the fake Tor browser was designed to lure users by sending an alert that their browser is out of date, even though this was not true. Then, the users were apparently trying to update the browser and were redirected to a second website with an installer for the fake app.Once installed, the fake Tor browser full of malware enabled the creators of it (hackers) to know what websites users visit, change the data on the visited pages and grab their content and login information from the data forms.
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Bitcoin Scams

CFTC Files Lawsuit Against $11M Ponzi-Like Crypto Scam

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The latest crypto news show that the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the filing of a civil enforcement action against the Nevada-based Circle Society. On October 16, the CFTC files a lawsuit showing that it is charging Circle Society and its owner, David Gilbert Saffron, with "fraudulent solicitation, misappropriation, and registration violations relating to an $11 million binary options scheme.”As the charges show, the defendants misappropriated at least $11 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and US dollars from individuals in the United States in order to “trade off-exchange binary options on foreign currencies and cryptocurrency pairs, among other things.”This is the latest Bitcoin scam which raised the eyebrows of many regulators. Now that CFTC files lawsuit against the Ponzi-like scam, the chairman Heath P. Tarbert said:
“Fraudulent schemes, like that alleged in this case, not only cheat innocent people out of their hard-earned money, but they threaten to undermine the responsible development of these new and innovative markets. America must be a leader in this space, and we will only succeed if these markets have integrity.”
As the details show, the defendants are said to have duped at least 14 people into joining a pool operated by Circle Society, a fraudulent entity created by Saffron, which guaranteed returns up to 300%.Saffron is alleged to have retained the participants' funds in his own personal cryptocurrency wallet and used them to pay the new participants "in the manner of a Ponzi scheme." Right now, the CFTC is aiming to seek civil monetary penalties, restitution, rescission, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains as well as trading and registration bans. As CFTC files a lawsuit, it is also aware that there might not be sufficient funds or assets to cover all of its losses.Previously, the news showed that the CFTC sees Bitcoin as a commodity - but the new CFTC chairman said that he believes Ether (ETH) is a commodity and that ETH futures trading is becoming a reality. This shocked many because Ether was not mentioned before by the CFTC.
“We've been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven't said anything about ether—until now [...] It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity,” Tarbert explained.
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Bitcoin Scams

Cyber Thieves Are Harvesting Bitcoin With Low-Cost Software

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Cyber thieves are using a low-cost software to ‘’harvest’’ bitcoin and other altcoins from the wallets all around the world as the security experts found in the latest reports we have in our Bitcoin scam news.According to a report from the cybersecurity specialist ESET, a low-cost software or a piece of malware named Casbaneiro or Metamorpho is claiming a few victims in areas with large Portuguese or the Spanish-speaking populations including Brazil, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico but also the United States and Spain. ESET says that this malware is a typical Latin American banking Trojan that aims the banks and crypto services by using social engineering tactics and fake pop-up windows that lures victims into entering the new passwords and login details. The company says that there are four different strains of Casbaneiro that have been detected and have been in circulation since 2018 and all four share almost the same code.The malware is being distributed through emails with links and attachments and once the code reaches the computers, it is able to collect the information antivirus software and OS version information and more. The malware provides hackers with backdoor access for emails and messenger applications such as Telegram. The company claimed for the crypto news:
 “[Casbaneiro] can take screenshots and send them to its server, simulate mouse and keyboard actions and capture keystrokes, download and install updates to itself, restrict access to various websites, and download and execute other executables.”
The company states that the Casbaneiro malware family is related to the Amavaldo another Trojan which targets Latin American online banking and cryptocurrency customers. The cyber thieves also use the on-going cyber-crime campaign named MasterMana Botnet which also targets the cryptocurrency wallets and the company stated that the campaign was first detected in December in 2018. Most importantly, the report claims that the cost to ‘’ deploy and maintain and the campaign was mostly nonexistent.’’ The previous versions included the Revenge Rat software and this Trojan is available online for free on multiple websites which brings the campaign operation price down to about $60. The company described the malware as ‘’old but still highly effective.’’
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Bitcoin Scams

India’s State Funds Frozen In Bitcoin Scam Account

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India’s state funds are locked in an account of a convicted Bitcoin scammer in the State Bank of India and they seem to have fallen victims to their own crypto regulations as reported in the latest bitcoin scam news.The authorities have hired a local trading venue to take care of the $1.1 million exchanged in Bitcoin for the Indian National Rupee. However, the account used by the exchange was later frozen because of the regulations in the country and as such the money cannot be transferred any longer. According to the reports in the Times of India, more than the $1.1 million in local currency was seized by the Indian cyber crime department from the fraudulent investment platform GainBitcoin. The investigators tasked the local crypto trading venue Koinex to do the job of exchanging the Bitcoin to the Indian Rupees. However, India’s state funds are now stuck in the Pune branch of the State Bank and the bank account of the company that owns Koinex has now been frozen in accordance with the circular that was issued in 2018. This circular prohibits financial institutions from transacting the cryptocurrencies. Many of the companies have not petitioned the Supreme Court over the validity of the regulation but the circular still remains in effect.The report explains that the Pune police force has looked for a court directive in order to have the account unfrozen. Many of the representatives even requested that the regulators at the Reserve Bank of India allow the transfer of the funds. GainBitcoin was obviously a Ponzi scheme which was operated by Amit Bhardwaj throughout 2018 and he was also the founder of Amaze Mining and Research Limited who was arrested by Pune City cyber unit in April 2018. Some of the arrested included the Bhardwaj’s brothers and the scheme was thought to have defrauded the victims of more than $300 million. Following the arrests, the authorities were able to seize up to 244 BTC which were associated with GainBitcoin but thanks to the Reserve Bank of India the funds are now in Limbo as reported here on DC Forecasts for the latest cryptocurrency news.
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