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Bitcoin Scams

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

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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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Scammers Net Over $300,000 In Bitcoin “Sextortion” Attack

A new research conducted by the UK cyber crime investigation firm Digital Shadows and reported by The Next Web is in the cryptocurrency news, showing that cyber criminals managed to ramp up around $332,000 in Bitcoin from one email-based blackmail scam. These funds were sent from more than 3,100 unique Bitcoin addresses. The scam was first reported in 2017 but the popularity of the attack grew throughout 2018 with a lot of examples of the emails surfacing. This "sextortion" scam showed that the victims received an email stating that they have been recorded viewing explicit content online through their webcam. In the mail, the sender pledges to go public with the footage if a ransom is not paid in Bitcoin. As the report mentioned, more than $332,000 was sent to scammers using this technique in which the funds were deposited to a total of 92 Bitcoin addresses. Digital Shadows also estimates that the average of $540 stolen per email was extorted from each of the victims. https://twitter.com/AluciaCharter/status/1097610328127537157 The report also highlights that different groups used the same basic scam - and even though some of the emails sent are poorly written and show a hint of email distribution - still managed to pass. More and more "sextortion" scammers are increasingly turning to social media sites to target high net worth individuals.
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The FBI Outlined Key Features Of Fraudulent Offering Schemes: A Warning To Everyone

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, known as the FBI, is in the daily cryptocurrency news because of an interview in which a spokesperson outlined the key features of the consistent threads running through fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) schemes. FBI's perspective was first shared in an interview with the Netherlands-based financial news site the Paypers on February 19th. As the FBI noted, the key strategies of scam artists in crypto include misrepresentations of their directors' professional experience, which is an engineered false impression of how much traction the ICO has garnered in the industry and the unrealistic promises of prospective returns of its tokens.
“Like any investment product, rates of return can never be guaranteed and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
The FBI also warned investors to conduct due diligence on all schemes and the individuals behind it - as well as to always be on the lookout for entities that appear to be exclusively internet-based where a physical address or any contact is hard or impossible to come by. The Bureau also suggested that investors should be aware of which jurisdiction the offering is registered in (if it is at all), as well as to which laws and regulations it falls subject to. FBI advised that the public can use the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's BrokerCheck system to verify the identities and registration status of entities.
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Mumbai Police Arrests Four Suspects In Alleged Crypto Scam Worth $17 Million

The police in Mumbai, India have successfully arrested a group of four people involved in a crypto scam that is worth about $17 million or 1 billion rupees according to the crypto news section in the local media The Times of India. Four individuals were arrested and have their bank accounts frozen but the police are still looking for a fifth suspect who played one of the most important roles in the scam. One resident of the Indian city of Surat, Umeshchand Jain filed a complaint after he claimed that the suspect defrauded him of $145,000 or 10.2 million rupees. The police inspector Sunil Jadhav explained further:
 “The accused held meetings in Mumbai, Surat, and other parts of Gujarat, and lured people into investing their hard-earned money by promising to double it in two months. Initially, the gang repaid a few investors to lure more people in and then defaulted. Their intention was to cheat.”
The report continues on to state that the group launched a fake cryptocurrency named ‘’Cashcoin’’ in 2018 and was later sold to multiple investors promising high returns and a quick doubling of their investment. All of the offenses were registered by the city crime branch at the local police station law enforcement claim breach of trust and criminal conspiracy. The lawyers of the defendants, on the other hand, claim for their clients to be innocent and to be wrongly arrested. In India in the past couple of weeks, multiple arrests were conducted after another group was found and accused of scamming investors for $71.6 million. The analytics company Chainalysis published a report where it says that the value of ETH stolen with scamming reached $36 million last year which is almost double than 2017.
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Israeli Crypto Brokerage Coinmama Reports A New Data Breach Affecting 450,000 Of Its Users

The Israel-based crypto brokerage Coinmama which is very popular in the country is in the latest cryptocurrency news for suffering an apparent data breach that affected the data of 450,000 of its users. The brokerage, which allows users to purchase Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) using a credit card, suffered the breach as part of a mammoth, multi-platform hack that affected 24 companies and a total of 747 million records which included gaming, travel booking and streaming sites. According to the brokerage, around 450,000 email addresses and hashed passwords have been posted on a dark web registry. As an excerpt from their statement reads:
“As of February 15, 2019, there has been no evidence of this data being used by perpetrators. Given the dated nature of the published data, we have no reason to suspect that any other Coinmama systems are compromised. Coinmama does not store credit card information.”
Aside from notifying users immediately, Coinmama says that its response team is requiring all of the affected users to reset their passwords upon login and monitor any suspicious activity or unauthorized access. The platform says that it is currently working hard to enhance its safeguards and track any external signals. Even though the data breach impacted not only Coinmama big many other companies outside the crypto sector - it still represents the second high-profile system compromise in 2019.
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