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Bitcoin Scams

Bulgarian Authorities Take Down Criminals For Obtaining More Than $3 Million In Crypto

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Another cybercriminal gang was busted in Bulgaria according to the latest crypto news that comes from Bulgaria’s Specialized Prosecutor’s Office.

Authorities took down a criminal gang that specialized in internet fraud and managed to obtain over 5 million leva or 3 million dollars to be exact. The local news platform 24chasa writes of three individuals that were arrested and charged for the crime conducting it through different illegal internet schemes. This is another case for the Bulgarian authorities after a series of actions targeted at crypto related frauds.

Back in January, DC Forecasts reported that the Bulgarian authorities took part in an international operation for taking down the crypto Ponzi scheme OneCoin with investigators from Germany as well. By the end of October, Bulgaria was again in the center of attention when the Chief Prosecutor of the State Ivan Geshev announced that a few officials were arrested for issuing Bulgarian passports in exchange for bitcoin.

The latest investigation first started in June 2018 and ended with an arrest on November 22 with also seizing computers, flash drives, and other hardware that hat multiple accounts on it. The investigators also managed to find passwords and private keys that were linked to crypto exchanges and wallets.

According to the authorities, the three individuals that got arrested managed to illegally obtain the money by taking part in a professional conspiracy by using specialized software and other mechanisms. Also, they were advanced in the crypto knowledge.

Despite what cryptocurrencies promise to be anonymity and security, governments are working hard to develop better and more sophisticated ways of tracking individuals or groups that could engage in criminal activity.

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Bitcoin Scams

Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Could Face 10 Years In Prison

In today's crypto news, we are going to Japan where a group of prosecutors are seeking a 10-year sentence for Mark Karpeles who is the former chief and executive officer of the now-bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. As a report from The Mainichi on Wednesday noted, the prosecutors claimed that Karpeles used customers' funds for his own personal use while speaking to the Tokyo District Court. According to the details, Karpeles reportedly transferred 341 million yen (approximately $3 million) of his customers' money kept in a bank account to his personal account from September to December 2013, as a court indictment stated. The cash was taken for uses such as "investing in software development business for personal interest." On top of this, the authorities are accusing Karpeles of manipulating the data on the Mt. Gox trading system, fabricating fake balances and playing a great role in the destroyance of the market and "the confidence of Bitcoin users." In 2017, Karpeles pleaded not guilty in the court to the charges of embezzlement and data manipulation and denied all the allegations. Later in April this year, he apologised for the company's bankruptcy and stated:
“I never imagined things would end this way and I am forever sorry for everything that’s taken place and all the effect it had on everyone involved.”
Mt. Gox filed for liquidation in April 2014 after claiming to have been hacked for around 850,000 Bitcoin, some of which was later found.
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Analysis

End Of Year Analysis: $930 Million Dollars Worth Of Cryptocurrency Stolen In 2018

The new Anti-Money Laundering report done by CipherTrace crypto intelligence company is what we are reading about in today’s crypto news where you can see that almost a billion dollars are stolen this year in various hack attacks. Currently, about $930 million worth of cryptocurrency is reported to be stolen via hack attacks but the value is expected to reach over a billion until the end of 2018. The company conducting the investigation noted that the protective layers on multiple exchange platforms to be a major problem. In the Q2 report, CipherTrace noted that there were multiple thefts in the first half of 2018 compared to 2017 in general. One of the biggest hack attacks were more than $730 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen including the hack of the Japanese exchange Coincheck and BitGrail which were one the exchanges who got hit the hardest. According to the Q3 report, the things don’t stand optimistic as well. CipherTrace predicts that this trend will go, unfortunately. The company also claims that there are plenty of phishing attempts and scams that are not reported and haven’t made it to the public. One of the main thefts for 2018 was the hack attack on Bithumb where the exchange lost more than $30 million in a so-called ‘’cyber intrusion’’, and Bancor that lost $24 million due to a smart contract breach. Another exchange Coinrail also lost more than $40 million. If you take a look at the report, you will see that the US is one of the most vulnerable countries to crypto thefts and hack attacks with more than 55% of the attacks happening in the US. The report only shows how important is the storing of your cryptocurrency in a hardware wallet and that users should not leave their assets on an exchange exposed.
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Bitcoin Scams

Bitcoin Scams: Singapore Investors Lost $78,000 In 3 Months

In the latest Bitcoin news, we are covering Singapore's market where a total sum of $78,000 was lost to cryptocurrency scammers in the country. After using a series of strategies involving spreading false information about fake investments in order to attract investors, the Bitcoin scammers managed to get away with $78,000 which were lost in these types of fake investments. First published in a Straits Times report, the news reveals that the scams were specifically designed to appeal to the Singaporean residents by using well-known local personalities endorsing the scams - without their knowledge or approval. The local police spoke to the media recently and stated that the basic format of the scam involves the use of online articles which main function is to be a recruitment material for investors who don't carry enough due diligence. From glowing endorsements to almost-real testimonials, these scams promoted investment programs from prominent Singaporean public figures and celebrities, attracting several low-level investors who wanted to imitate the success of the individuals featured in the scams. Singapore is currently one of the friendliest crypto and blockchain jurisdictions - and there are many moves towards government-level blockchain adoption. Despite all of this, putting money into any crypto investment schemes run from outside Singapore is still a risk for many investors - mostly because it is difficult to ascertain their authenticity and identify the individuals behind the schemes.  
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Bitcoin Scams

North Korean Hackers Now Have Individuals’ Wallets As Their Main Targets

In the latest cryptocurrency news, we have the CEO of one cybersecurity firm named Cuvepia, declaring that his company detected more than 30 attacks on crypto-bearing individuals that were probably carried out by North Korean hackers. The reports were first seen in the South China Morning Post. The CEO of the aforementioned South Korean cybersecurity company, Kwon Seok-Chul, said that the new targets of the suspected North Korean hackers "are just simple wallets with Bitcoin and altcoins and users investing in cryptocurrency." This comment went viral, especially because Kwon added that to date, many cases haven't been detected and that there may have been well over 100 attacks. As we reported previously on our site, North Korea allegedly backed two cryptocurrency scams this year including hacks funded by the country which comprise of 65% of all cryptocurrency stolen to date. Simon Choi, a founder of one cyber warfare research company named IssueMakersLab also commented on this case and said that there is really a shift towards hacking individuals rather than exchanges. As he said:
“Direct attacks on exchanges have become harder, so hackers are thinking about alternatively going after individual users with weak security.”
Choi also noted that most targets have been wealthy South Koreans. The hackers, according to him, "believe that if they target CEOs of wealthy firms and heads of organisations, they can take advantage of billions of won in virtual currencies.”
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