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167 fake cryptocurrency and trading apps used by hackers to steal money: sophos exposes

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  • Fraudsters use fake apps to steal money in the name of cryptocurrencies.
  • The Sophos Group has identified 167 fake Android and iOS apps that attackers use to steal money.
  • The fake apps were flawlessly designed to mimic Barclays, Binance, Gemini, Kraken, and more.
  • After the victim installed the application, the researcher said that the scammers would convince the victims to invest in cryptocurrencies.

The British cybersecurity company Sophos Group has identified 167 fake Android and iOS apps that attackers use to steal money from people who believe they have installed financial trading, banking or cryptocurrency apps from a trustworthy organization.

After the victim installed the application, the researcher said that the scammers would convince the victims to invest in cryptocurrencies. Jagadeesh Chandraiah, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, said this modus operandi was “fueled by the recent significant surge in the value of cryptocurrencies and interest in low-cost or free stock trading.”

For example, researchers identified a case in which an attacker found a victim in a dating app and eventually manipulated them into installing a fake app. Once the fake app was installed, users gave their existing account details so the scammers could steal money from the real account.

In another case, the scammers created a fake version of the App Store download page. Assuming the site is secure and trustworthy, a user enters their Apple ID credentials. Now they are compromised. This attack method is called phishing.

With the boom in cryptocurrencies, there is a higher chance that users will get carried away by lucrative deals, offers or promises. And the technology has enabled real-time trading from our cellphones, making them a perfect target for an attack. The fake apps were flawlessly designed to mimic Barclays, Binance, Gemini, Kraken, TDBank, BitcoinHK, Bittrex, and BitFlyer.

Binance and Kraken are among the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and have higher brand awareness, especially when talking about cryptocurrency. “People trust the brands and people they know – or think they know – and the operators behind these fake trading and cryptocurrency scams are ruthlessly taking advantage of that,” added Chandraiah.

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What’s worse, these apps had a legitimate customer support feature that helped users transfer their money to banks in Hong Kong. The security company is confident that these apps are part of a single large-scale operation. Servers accessed by Sophos revealed that the scammers had collected Know Your Customer (KYC) documents from people residing in Malaysia, South Korea, China, Japan and India.

Many of them believed they were buying or investing in a cryptocurrency, but in reality their savings were simply siphoned off into an obscure overseas bank account. With the vast global financial system, it is becoming almost impossible for authorities to track down the source. And with cryptocurrencies, it becomes an exponentially difficult task.

Experts always recommend installing apps from trusted sources like Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. External .apk (Android) or .ipa (iOS) files are not checked by third parties, which poses an immediate risk to your phone and its data. Whenever you log into your account using a browser, always check the address bar for the “green lock” icon. It shows you the website’s certificate to authenticate whether the page you are visiting is legitimate.

It is important to note that Sophos has shared details about these apps and they should now be captured by malware detection apps. Hence, if you are actively installing apps directly and bypassing the app stores, using antivirus software on your phone is highly recommended.

Finally, if something seems risky or too good to be true – like high returns or someone from a dating site asks you to transfer money or cryptocurrency assets to a ‘great’ account – then it is the report warned.

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Cryptocurrency

Chinese Police Arrest 1,100 People for Money Laundering With Cryptocurrencies

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Authorities in China escalated their campaign against cryptocurrencies and arrested more than 1,100 people suspected of using the digital assets to launder illegal funds and order the closure of mines in one of the western provinces.

In a nosedive over 23 provinces, regions and cities, Chinese police arrested more than 170 criminal groups engaged in cryptocurrency trading to launder money received through phone and online fraud, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement . The suspects had repeatedly converted the assets from one cryptocurrency to another in order to cover their tracks, it said.

The illegal activities “caused severe social damage,” added the ministry.

The arrests came after a powerful Chinese superregulator promised last month that it would “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior” as part of a broader effort to protect against financial risk and reduce energy consumption in the country. Regulatory crackdown concerns contributed to a sharp sell-off in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is still struggling to recover from its recent trading range. It traded near $ 36,755.77 on Thursday after trading at $ 64,802 apiece in mid-April.

Many proponents of cryptocurrencies had dismissed China’s recent warnings as a repetition of previous bans. However, there are signs that after months of volatile trading and mounting concerns about their carbon footprint, Chinese authorities are now more serious about curbing crypto-related activity.

“China has always had a very strong stance on cryptocurrencies. Now they are stepping up part of their narrative, ”said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst in London at brokerage AvaTrade.

Several cryptocurrency mining platforms have started blocking internet addresses in mainland China from accessing services in the past few weeks.

On Thursday internet searches were for several major crypto exchanges such as Binance, Huobi and OKEx on Baidu. empty Inc.’s

popular search engine and Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service. The exchanges have been a popular choice for people in mainland China to trade virtual currencies in what is known as the over-the-counter market. The accounts of several Weibo users known for posting about cryptocurrencies were also suspended last week.

The huge appetite for cryptocurrency mining, an energy-intensive process where computers compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles to unlock new bitcoins, runs counter to Beijing’s energy goals. President Xi Jinping is determined to make China the climate champion and has set ambitious goals to reduce coal consumption.

Regional governments have recently stepped up their anti-mining campaigns. In late May, authorities in the coal-rich Inner Mongolia region published detailed draft rules against the deal.

The government in western Qinghai Province has also announced a ban on cryptocurrency mining, state news agency Xinhua Finance reported on Thursday. Authorities were said to be investigating mining operations that allegedly operate as big data or supercomputing centers.

While China has tried to contain cryptocurrency miners, others are trying to woo them. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said Wednesday that he had directed the country’s state-run geothermal electricity company to come up with a plan to provide Bitcoin mining facilities using cheap, renewable energy from the country’s volcanoes. The announcement came hours after the small Central American country first introduced Bitcoin as legal tender.

Some of the pressure on Bitcoin from measures taken by China could ease, said Joel Kruger, strategist at LMAX Digital cryptocurrency exchange. The spread of cryptocurrency mining to more countries, leading to a decentralization from its current concentration in China, has fueled optimism, as has the prospect of greener energy sources than coal used by some Chinese miners.

“This is positive in that it forces mining to become more prevalent and forcing the narrative to shift to more environmentally friendly ways of mining,” said Mr Kruger.

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum: cryptocurrency markets

Chinese bitcoin miners have long dominated the global computing power that powers the bitcoin network with sophisticated equipment and access to cheap electricity. But now a group of US miners with deep pockets are looking to capture a bigger share of the industry. Photo: Adam Chapman for The Wall Street Journal (video dated 2/17/21)

Write to Elaine Yu at elaine.yu@wsj.com and Caitlin Ostroff at caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the print edition of June 11, 2021 as “China Cracks Down on Crypto Laundering”.

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UAE: Who will own your cryptocurrency after you die? – News

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Experts reveal everything you need to know about digital asset sharing and inheritance.

In the past two years, the global user base of cryptocurrencies as measured by trading volume has grown by almost 190 percent. A survey by Statista of consumers in 55 countries ranks consumers in the United Arab Emirates 19th with the highest probability of owning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in 2020.

But unlike “fiat currencies” like the dollar or the dirham, which can easily be passed on, exchanged or used for transactions, we still need to understand what will happen to the digital currency when its owner dies. We know cases where assets were lost forever – in 2019, a crypto exchange lost $ 145 million after its CEO suddenly died and no one had access to the digital wallet’s password.

Keeping passwords secure is important, and it is just as important to let your loved ones know about them. “I’ve been thinking about this question for some time. I have investments worth $ 100,000 in various cryptocurrencies. I bought this through a broker and not directly through the stock exchange, which means that I can name a beneficiary. So I suspect if my wife wants access to it when I’m gone, she should be able to. But I’m not sure how to proceed. I still have to keep my cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet; For now, they’re only in my account, which I know can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. I plan to do more research and make my cryptos more secure and also to inform my better half about it, ”says Bawa K., who has been investing in digital currencies since 2017.

How are cryptos bought?

Cryptocurrencies can be bought “peer to peer” by people, directly from organizations “over the counter” that offer their own tokens for sale, or from public exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance, Bithumb, Huobi etc.

“These are the channels for most people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. And there are many other ways to get digital assets, such as transferring C2C (customer to customer) that are not normally used much, ”says Ola Lind, Director, SoBitX.

How are they saved?

The cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology and are stored in a so-called wallet. Each wallet corresponds to a key pair, a public key and a private key. The public key is used as the address to receive coins and the private key is used to identify the owner.

“Every owner should keep the private key safe. Anyone with this private key can access the assets in this wallet, ”says Lind.

“In terms of storage, cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets. A person has a number of options in this regard, including holding their digital assets in wallets for exchange, in software wallets such as Metamask, or in hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger. In any case, individuals must make their own judgment about security and accessibility, ”said Blaise Carroz, vice president, global acquisition, Idoneus.

United Arab Emirates Digital Currency and Wills Act

“While legally the answer is yes, like any other type of asset, loved ones can claim digital assets, and if your passwords, passphrases, and key locations die with you, it is unlikely to happen. Without these things, your crypto assets are inaccessible, ”said Carroz when asked whether families could inherit the cryptocurrencies of their loved ones after their death.

Currently, under UAE federal laws, the status of crypto is not clear enough to be sure of adding crypto to your will. “However, a UAE resident can use a DIFC will to cover all of their global assets, including crypto assets. This is possible because DIFC applies the laws of England and Wales that recognize crypto assets as property. DIFC Wills also has a provision for including a “sealed” document so that a private key can potentially be left for the beneficiary and used to retrieve the cryptocurrency, ”advises Carroz.

“As with all things of this nature, because of the complexity involved, it is best to consult a professional law firm for advice on creating wills with cryptocomponents,” adds Carroz.

When including digitally held assets in an estate planning tool, Century Maxim recommends that you outline the following in an estate planning tool:

a. A clear list of the assets held digitally

b. Information from the digital wallet (s)

c. A memorandum to record the passwords and PINs

d. A step-by-step guide that explains how beneficiaries can access these assets when executing the estate planning tool

“Without access to the identifiers to access the exchange or wallet, it would be nearly impossible to access the assets, regardless of whether they are briefly mentioned in an estate planning tool. In such a case, it is likely that the digitally held assets are on a highly secure and encrypted network – a function that investors in currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or, more recently, Dogecoin choose because it is so difficult to intercept ”, says Farhat Ali Khan, Managing Partner of Century Maxim International, an Abu Dhabi licensed legal advisory firm.

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli has been in Dubai long enough to call it her spiritual home. She loves to travel but plans to settle in Koi Samui, Thailand to spend her sunset years by the sea. Right now she writes a lot on personal finance, retirement planning, business news and features, health, and just about anything her editor has assigned. Her stays can be followed on Instagram (suneetiahujakohli), messages and views on Twitter @suneetiahuja, and there is a Facebook account for the rest.

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What Is Chainlink and Why Is It Important in the World of Cryptocurrency?

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gopixa / iStock.com

Blockchain has seen a huge surge in popularity since the introduction of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency in 2010. Blockchain has a number of advantages, including decentralization and security. The demand for a decentralized currency has catapulted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to worldwide popularity.

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But blockchain has its limits. These systems are inherently isolated from the rest of the world, which is good for security and integrity, but also limits the input data they can accept.

Therefore, there is a need for some kind of bridge that can help these systems to see what is happening in the outside world. However, for the system to work, the input cannot come from a single source. Why? Because it would then have to rely on a centralized data source, which contradicts the nature of the blockchain.

More: What is a Non-Fungible Token and Why Are They Booming?

That is exactly what Chainlink can solve, as we will find out.

What is chain link?

Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that will play an important role in the real implementation of blockchain technologies. The purpose of this network is to provide input to a variety of external data sources.

While the blockchain is great at what it does – providing a decentralized, secure ledger for digital transactions – it’s not that good at taking input for things that happen outside of the blockchain. There are many “off-chain” forces influencing the markets, including fiat currencies, credit cards, and even weather and sports scores. As a decentralized oracle, Chainlink can provide input for so-called smart contracts.

Find Out: Why Some Money Experts Believe In Bitcoin And Others Don’t

These smart contracts help the system respond to a variety of inputs (if X, do Y). As the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and the associated blockchain can only process a small part of this input. But newer blockchains like Ethereum have a wider reach. This includes support for programmable smart contracts.

The story goes on

With this in mind, Chainlink was launched on the Ethereum blockchain in 2019, but is said to be agnostic. Therefore, it can also work with other blockchains.

Read: Bitcoin Cash (BCH): How Is It Different From Bitcoin And What Is It Worth?

What is LINK and what is it worth?

LINK is Chainlink’s native token. The token is intended to help fund the project’s growth and is similar to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Both cryptocurrencies work on their respective blockchains. Just like BTC and ETH act as incentives for users to mine, LINK does the same thing.

Dogecoin (DOGE): Should You Invest?

The LINK token was launched in 2017 with a price below 20 cents and stayed below USD 1 through 2019. In 2020 the price began to rise steeply. In fact, the price soared from under $ 2 in early 2020 to a high of $ 36 on February 20, 2021.

Despite LINK’s meteoric surge, it has since fallen from its high of $ 36 and has not yet returned to that level. In fact, the price fell nearly $ 10 by March 1, 2021.

Should you invest in LINK?

As you may have seen from the above, LINK’s value has remained volatile despite its huge gains since early 2020. Hence, it may be best to only invest in LINK to support the underlying technology. Otherwise, the high volatility can become too much for most investors.

Read: How Does Cryptocurrency Work – And Is It Safe?

Still, Chainlink appears to be an important technology as cryptocurrencies move forward. Having an oracle like Chainlink will be key to the long-term stability and viability of cryptocurrency in general. Hence, LINK can be a solid investment if you believe Chainlink will become the industry standard as the most widely deployed, decentralized oracle network.

This article is part of GOBankingRates’ ‘Economy Explained’ series to help readers navigate the complexities of our financial system.

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Last updated: April 1, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What is Chainlink and why is it important in the cryptocurrency world?

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