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Binance Offers 25 Bitcoin For Info About The KYC Blackmailer

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Binance offers 25 bitcoins in exchange for information about the person who attempted to extort funds from the exchange and now they are even starting an investigation in the matter so let’s find out more about it in the coming altcoin news below.

One week ago, the Malta-based crypto exchange Binance stated that there was an unsuccessful extortion attempt. The blackmailer started distributing know-your-customer images and photos of traders holding their personal IDs in a Telegram chat room. Under the name Guardian M, the blackmailer asserted that the pictures were from the Binance crypto exchange and some other exchanges. One of those publications has been since confirmed with some of the traders that their apparent KYC photos were real. The outlet also confirmed that there was an affected individual in the process but later turned out that the information on the ID was falsified.

It is still unclear how much of the data is authentic and where it comes from. The images could derive from a third-party provider or a phishing campaign that could have ensnared the identities of many individuals. The KYC data dump is not a result of an attempted exchange hack according to the Binance platform. In a new announcement, the exchange issued a ‘’Statement on False KYC Leak’’ where it reveals that an anonymous person was demanding 300 in BTC for withholding 10,000 photos. This is why now Binance offers to pay up to 25 bitcoins in order to find the attacker. The exchange noticed that the data dump didn’t appear to come from binance itself and even had photos that the exchange didn’t put their in-house watermarks in.

What is also very important is that the exchange stated that the KYC images appeared to be from the ‘’same data set’’ which was reported in the cryptocurrency ecosystem earlier this year. The data was reportedly coming from top exchanges such as Binance and Kraken. The Kraken CEO at that time noted that the images lacked the internal watermarks as we read in some of the best cryptocurrency news sites reports:

 “This could easily be a ton of phished iCloud/GSuite accounts where people were auto syncing photos from their phones. There are just way too many possible sources of these images if you are looking back eight years.”

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Crypto And Blockchain Firms Are Trying To Help Coronavirus Victims

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A couple of crypto and blockchain firms are now pitching in to help victims of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Today, the Binance news also showed that the exchange pledged to donate 10 million Chinese yuan ($1.44 million) to the effort.A tweet on January 25 by the head of the exchange Changpeng Zhao said that Binance made the pledge but did not make any announcements after a Twitter user tagged him in a news article where they talked about cryptocurrency donations accepted for the cause.
“For #Wuhan, not realistic to do crypto to end beneficiaries. Binance pledged 10m RMB ($1.5m USD) to help #coronavirus victims. We didn’t make any announcements. But [Binance Charity Foundation] BCF/Binance team has been busy for the last few days. Still need help to arrange logistics locally,” he said.
The initiative of many crypto and blockchain firms trying to help the victims has been praised by many in the crypto news world.According to a WeChat post by the blockchain marketing service firm Krypital , the firm also launched a charity donation effort to acquire medical supplies for the coronavirus victims. Krypital also said that it will create a blockchain based donation system which allows for greater transparency and efficiency. The firm also accepts Tether (USDT) on the Ethereum blockchain.Krypital also said that they are recruiting volunteers for group administration, as well as material purchases, sorting and transportation management. They are also hiring graphic designers and are in the media with a lot of announcements. According to analysts, many other crypto and blockchain firms will take this initiative as inspiration to commit to the coronavirus cases.As the media reported, Bitcoin (BTC) slumped 6% on the Chinese New Year and a lot of uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus. On January 26, Fox News said that the current death toll of the virus is 56.Today, we can see a good influx of capital in the cryptocurrency market  as Bitcoin comes closer to $8,500. The altcoin news also show new increases as Ethereum (ETH) rises to $164 and XRP is stable at $0.2239 again. The biggest gainer is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) which surged by 9% and is now trading at $336.The total cryptocurrency market cap is at $233 billion and finally moving above the $230 billion mark.
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NedBank Won’t Shut Down Crypto Exchanges Accounts

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Contradicting reports that a closing down is considered for the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, the well-known South African bank, Nedbank is not up to this as we are reading more about it the latest cryptocurrency news today.According to the SACrypto, a South African cryptocurrency news media, the reports that Nedbank has plans to close down bank accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges are not true. Speaking about the issue, the CEO of AltcoinTrader, the well known South African cryptocurrency exchange platform said:
“I commented in the IT Web article about Nedbank closing crypto accounts. But I believe it has turned into media hype. The reality is: Nedbank is no longer taking on new accounts for crypto-related companies, but they are not closing current accounts.”
As it was reported in a previous occasion by DC Forecasts FNB closed down accounts that were linked to cryptocurrency exchanges in November of 2019. But stakeholders at a major South African cryptocurrency exchange claim that the friendly Nedbank that is among the big five in South Africa does not have plans about adopting policies of that kind.On Friday, January 24, 2020, the South African tech publication ITWeb had reported that Nedbank will probably follow the actions of FNB in closing the accounts of the cryptocurrency exchanges. According to ITWeb, officials from Nedbank told the tech publication that the bank was in the process of internal discussions on how to act towards their clients from the cryptocurrency sector. With the reports about the searching ways to withdraw support for cryptocurrency exchange platforms by the banks in South Africa, the people involved in the industry are asking the government for the faster enacting of clear cryptocurrency regulation in the nation.In December of 2019, there were reports that the South African government had the intention to enact new laws to regulate the cryptocurrency market. This new regulation will mainly focus on regulating the use of cryptocurrencies in illegal money transfers. The government in South Africa has remained limited to be tax compliant and to track crypto transactions and bitcoin is still popular in the country as the data from Google trends shows. Bitcoin’s popularity in South Africa made the country the perfect climate for elaborate scams as well.
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US Military Gets Under Threat From Crypto Ransomware Malware

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The US military I snow under threat according to cyber-security researchers who are warning that a powerful email ransomware malware is targeting their systems. The Emotet malware is used as an attack vector which allows Trickbots and ransomware attacks as we are reading further in the crypto news today.Last year in December we saw that the Emotet malware was the biggest threat and it seems that it remains that way since its main attack vector is through spam email campaigns that have malicious links or Microsoft Word document in it. By clicking the link or simply opening the document will download the malware to the computer and at this point, the malware will propagate itself by harvesting the email contacts and continuing the spam cycle. It can also analyze the regular contracts and respond to ongoing email threads which make it harder to recognize as a threat.Over the past few months, Emotet managed to successfully compromise a few targets in the US government and this led to an increase in infected emails that target the addresses with .gov and .mil which are the top-level domains in 2019. After the brief break for the Orthodox Christmas, the trend continued throughout the month. The malware can also mimic the email language and as an example, an email was sent targeting a staff member to the US Senator Cory Booker. This email contained signatures indicating that it originated from someone else that uses booker.senate.gov tag.The US Military got this kind of malware since Emotet is financially motivated according to the researcher Cisco Talos, ick Biasini. There are a lot of examples of Emotet being an initial infection vector that can be seen but then you can see a Trickbot is dropped and that’s followed by the ransomware. If you have seen there is a lot of this huge malware that can do a lot of harm and Emotet plays a huge role as well. The ransomware aims to access the encrypted systems’ data with operators demanding payment in crypto or bitcoin for the decryption key.The other malware in Check Point Research that was noted in the report for 2019 is the XMRig. This was an open-source software for hijacking the CPU resources for mining Monero and in many ways is really impressive that this malware rates highly.
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Hack Attacks On Crypto Exchanges Are Increasing: Report

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The hack attacks on crypto exchanges are now becoming a norm according to a recent report by Chainalysis but this also means that the platforms are now much better prepared which explains why the total value of the stolen funds dropped in 2019 so let’s read more about it in the latest crypto news.According to the reports, the 2020 crypto crime report shows that 2019 saw 11 hacking attacks on crypto exchanges compared to the 6 ones in 2018 which was a record at that time. However, the hackers doubled their previous records in regard to how many platforms they reached and the amount of stolen funds is three times lower than it was in 2018. The charts show contributions of each hack to the total amounts stolen in a year and there was no major hack comparable to the Mt.Gox in 2014 or Coincheck in 2018. The total amount that was stolen from exchanges dropped to $283 million worth of crypto in 2019 and this figure is only half of the amount of the stolen funds from the Japanese Exchange, Coincheck.Chainalysis went through all kinds of hacks including those implementing the exploitation of technical vulnerabilities as well as those that only rely on social engineering or other forms of manipulation. Another important thing to know is that the report covered attacks that were related to exchanges only meaning that it ignored payment processors, wallet providers, and investment platforms. The largest crypto hack last year was the one against Coinbene where the Singapore-based exchange lost about $105 million worth of ERC-20 tokens. Binance, Upbit, and BitPoint were next, having lost more than $49 million, $40 million and $32 million worth of crypto.The hack attacks on crypto exchanges started after cryptocurrencies started gaining attention and becoming popular especially with the enabled anonymous transactions. Chainalysis monitored the movement of the stolen funds and figured out how the cryptocurrencies get liquidated and in most cases, the coins reached other platforms and were then converted to cash. The percentage of illicit services used as a liquidation tool in 2019 dropped to the lowest level in the past few years which suggests that the effects of the increased regulation are real.
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