In a major blow, the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday said it has recovered 63.7 bitcoins (currently valued at $2.3 million) paid by Colonial Pipeline to the DarkSide ransomware extortionists on May 8, pursuant to a seizure warrant that was authorized by the Northern District of California. The ransomware attack also hobbled the pipeline company's fuel supply, prompting the government to issue an emergency declaration, even as the company shelled out a ransom amount of approximately 75 bitcoins ($4.4 million as of May 8) to regain access to its systems.
More on The Hacker News• 2021-06-08
Cryptocurrency trading platform Hotbit has shut down all services for at least a week after a cyberattack that down several of its services on Thursday evening. Hotbit assured its roughly 2 million registered users from over 210 countries (500,000 of them using the platform's Android app) that their cryptocurrency assets were "safe and secure." "Hotbit just suffered a serious cyber attack starting around 08:00 PM UTC, April 29,2021, which led to the paralyzation of a number of some basic services," the exchange said. "Meanwhile, the attackers also tried to hack into Hotbit’s wallets (However, the attempt was identified and stopped by our risk control system)." While the threat actors could not gain access to any cryptocurrency assets, they did delete Hotbit's database.
More on Bleeping Computer• 2021-05-01
The CEO of a Bitcoin ATM company laundered money through LocalBitcoins.com and elsewhere, according to a recently unsealed indictment. The United States Department of Justice unsealed an indictment against Brannen Mehaffey, the CEO of BASH Bitcoin ATMs. The indictment accuses Mehaffey of seven counts of money laundering as well as one count of structuring financial transactions. Included in the indictment is information about the victim of a fraud scheme directly linked to Mehaffey. Between December 2018 and February 2019, one victim lost $125,000. The funds traced to an account controlled by one of Mehaffey’s companies. One year later, another victim transferred $7,370 to an controlled by Mehaffey. It is unclear how these transactions related to the money laundering and structuring charges in the indictment.
More on Darknetlive• 2021-04-30
Cryptocurrency rewards platform Celsius Network has disclosed a security breach exposing customer information that led to a phishing attack. Today, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky stated that Celsius' third-party marketing server was compromised, and threat actors gained access to a partial Celsius customer list. "An unauthorized party managed to gain access to a back-up third-party email distribution system which had connections to a partial customer email list. Once inside the system, this unauthorized party sent a fraudulent email announcement, of which we know some of the recipients to be Celsius customers."
More on Bleeping Computer• 2021-04-16
The ability to write programs with money is as big a breakthrough as the ability to write programs with documents. It gives Wall Street's capabilities to anyone, without expensive lawyers or financiers. This quote on the transformational potential of smart contracts belongs to Balaji S. Srinivasan, a well-known advocate of the transformational potential of crypto at large. Depending on where you stand on crypto, you may find it succinct or hyperbolic. Chainlink and its co-founder Sergey Nazarov are clearly in the camp of crypto advocates. Chainlink provides an oracle service, enabling smart contracts to interoperate with the world. Today, Chainlink released a whitepaper outlining what they dub Chainlink 2.0.
More on ZDNet• 2021-04-15
When the encrypted communications app Signal launched nearly seven years ago, it brought the promise of the strongest available encryption to a dead-simple interface for calling and texting. Now, Signal is incorporating what it describes as a way to bring that same ease of use and security to a third, fundamentally distinct feature: payments. Signal today plans to announce that it's rolling out the ability for some of its users to send money to one another within its fast-growing encrypted communications network. To do so, it has integrated support for the cryptocurrency MobileCoin, a form of digital cash designed to work efficiently on mobile devices while protecting users' privacy and even their anonymity.
More on WIRED• 2021-04-06
Halving is an anti-inflation mechanism implemented, in the Bitcoin network. As the name suggests a reduction in the supply of new coins is cut by half (50%).
This causes BTC inflation to fall cyclically.
It takes place whenever 210,000 blocks have been mined which is roughly around once every 4 years.
Current mining rewards are 6.25 bitcoins.
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System