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This Elusive Malware Has Been Targeting Crypto Wallets for a Year

With custom domains and apps, advertising and a social media presence, the ElectroRAT malware operation targeting crypto wallets is extensive.

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Operating for a year now, insidious malware ElectroRAT is bringing 2020 into 2021 and targeting crypto wallets.

A researcher at cybersecurity firm Intezer has identified and documented the inner workings of ElectroRAT, which has been targeting and draining victims’ funds.

According to the researcher, Avigayil Mechtinger, the malware operation includes a variety of detailed tools that dupes victims, including a “marketing campaign, custom cryptocurrency-related applications and a new Remote Access Tool (RAT) written from scratch.”

The malware is called ElectroRAT because it’s a remote access tool that was embedded in apps built on Electron, an app-building platform. Hence, ElectroRAT. 

“It’s unsurprising to see novel malware being published, especially during a bull market in which the value of cryptocurrency is shooting up and making such attacks more profitable,” said Jameson Lopp, chief technology officer (CTO) at crypto custody startup Casa

Over the past few months, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have entered a bull market, seeing prices skyrocket across the industry.

What is ElectroRAT?

ElectroRat malware is written in the open-source programming language Golang, which is good for cross-platform functionality and is targeted at multiple operating systems, including macOS, Linux, and Windows. 

As part of the malware operation, the attackers set up “domain registrations, websites, trojanized applications and fake social media accounts,” according to the report. 

In the report, Mechtinger notes that while attackers commonly try to collect private keys used to access people’s wallets, seeing original tools like ElectroRAT and the various apps written “from scratch” and targeting multiple operating systems is quite rare. 

A visual summary of the scope of ElectroRAT
(Intezer)

“Writing the malware from scratch has also allowed the campaign to fly under the radar for almost a year by evading all antivirus detections,” wrote Mechtinger in the report. 

Lopp echoed these comments, and said it’s particularly interesting the malware is being compiled for and targeting all three major operating systems. 

“The value majority of malware tends to be Windows-only due to the wide install base and the weaker security of the operating system,” said Lopp. “In the case of bitcoin, malware authors may reason that a lot of early adopters are more technical people who run Linux.”

How it works

To lure in victims, the ElectroRat attackers created three different domains and apps operating on multiple operating systems.

The pages to download the apps were created specifically for this operation and designed to look like legitimate entities. 

The associated apps specifically appeal to and target cryptocurrency users. “Jamm” and “eTrade” are trade management apps; “DaoPoker” is a poker app that uses cryptocurrency. 

Using fake social media and user profiles, as well as paying a social media influencer for their advertising, the attacker pumped the apps, including promoting them in targeted cryptocurrency and blockchain forums like bitcointalk and SteemCoinPan. The posts encouraged readers to look at the professional-looking websites and download the apps when, in reality, they were also downloading the malware. 

The front end of the eTrade app
(Intezer)

For example, the DaoPoker Twitter page had 417 followers while a social media advertiser with over 25,000 followers on Twitter promoted eTrade. As of writing, the DaoPoker twitter page is still live. 

While the apps look legitimate at first glance on the front end, they are running nefarious background activities, targeting users’ cryptocurrency wallets. They are also still active. 

“Hackers want to get your cryptocurrency, and they are willing to go far with it – spend months of work to create fake companies, fake reputation and innocent-looking applications that hide malware to steal your coins,” said Mechtinger. 

What it does

“ElectroRAT has various capabilities,” said Mechtinger in an email. “It can take screenshots, key logs, upload folders/files from a victim’s machine and more. Upon execution, it establishes commands with its command-and control-server and waits for commands.” 

The report suggests the malware specifically targets cryptocurrency users for the purpose of attacking their crypto wallets, noting that victims were observed commenting on posts related to the popular Ethereum wallet app Metamask. Based on the researchers’ observations of the malware’s behaviors, it’s possible more than 6.5 thousand people had been compromised. 

How to avoid it

The first step is the best step and that’s not to download any of these apps, full stop. 

In general, when you’re looking into new apps, Lopp suggests avoiding shady websites and forums. Only install software that is well-known and properly reviewed; look for apps with lengthy reputation histories and sizable install bases. 

“Don’t use wallets that store the private keys on your laptop/desktop; private keys should be stored on dedicated hardware devices,” said Lopp. 

This point reinforces the importance of storing your crypto in cold hardware wallets and writing down seed phrases rather than just storing them on your computer. Both of these techniques make them inaccessible to malware that trolls your online activity. 

A victim commenting on the malicious activity of one of the ElectroRAT apps
(Intezer)

There are secondary steps that can be taken if you think your computer might have already been compromised. 

“To make sure you are not infected we recommend [you] take proactive action and scan your devices for malicious activity,” said Mechtinger.

In the report, Mechtinger suggests that if you think you’re a victim of this scam, you need to kill the processes running and delete all files related to the malware. You also need to make sure your machine is clean and running non-malicious code. Intezer has created Endpoint Scanner for Windows environments and Intezer Protect, a free community tool for Linux users. More detailed information about detection can be found in the original report. 

And, of course, you should move your funds to a new crypto wallet and change all your passwords. 

A higher bitcoin price attracts more malware

With the price of bitcoin continuing to rise, Mechtinger doesn’t see attacks like this slowing down. In fact, they’re likely to increase. 

“There are high capitals at stake, which is classic for financially motivated hackers,” she said. 

Lopp said we will see attackers devote greater and greater resources to coming up with new ways to part people from their private keys. 

“While a novel attack takes much greater effort to develop, the rewards are also potentially higher because it’s more likely to fool people because the knowledge of that style of attack has not been disseminated through the user base,” he said.  “That is, people are more likely to expose themselves to the attack unknowingly.”

Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/elusive-malware-electrorat-targets-crypto-wallets

Blockchain

How NFTs, DeFi and Web 3.0 are intertwined

Republished by Plato

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While blockchain itself provides the technology constructs to facilitate exchange, ownership and trust in the network, it is in the digitization of value elements where asset tokenization is essential. Tokenization is the process of converting the assets and rights to a property into a digital representation, or token, on a blockchain network. 

Distinguishing between cryptocurrency and tokenized assets is important in understanding exchange vehicles, valuation models and fungibility across the various value networks that are emerging and posing interoperability challenges. These are not just technical challenges, but also business challenges around equitable swaps.

Asset tokenization can lead to the creation of a business model that fuels fractional ownership, the ability to own an instance of a large asset. While discussing asset tokenization in a previous article, I also mentioned the value of an instance economy in democratizing finance, commerce and global access, as well as in creating a broader global marketplace at a scale never before seen.

With digital assets and their fungibility in a blockchain ecosystem, there are various drivers of valuation. These include: 1) tokens based on crypto economic models that are driven by supply and demand, and the utility of the network; 2) nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which have an intrinsic value such as identification, diplomas and healthcare records — essentially, tokens that are simple proof validations of the existence, authenticity and ownership of digital assets; and 3) fungible tokens that are valued on various bases, such as the sum total of economic activity in the network (cryptocurrency), its utility (smart contracts and transaction network processing), assigned values (stable coins and security tokens), and so on.

In this article, I address the complex issue of the hyperbolic and rapid rise of NFTs, after a similarly meteoric rise of decentralized finance, or DeFi, creating amazing innovations — with immense promise of democratization, new business models and global marketplaces with global access — all fueled by the basic premise of decentralization and fundamental constructs of tokenization and wallets. While NFTs may be characterized as one-of-a-kind cryptographic tokens with some intrinsic value to a holder or to a market (art, collectibles), the NFT movement is indicative of a larger token revolution that will not only fuel massive innovation and growth in Web 3.0 protocols but also test the resolve of the DeFi movement, along with its ability to intersect and provide platforms and an exchange vehicle for all token types.

Growth in Web 3.0 protocols

The first two generations of web protocols were largely about disseminating information and connecting people. They fueled a massive growth in information and collaboration, and did wonders for connecting the world. However, those web protocols were never designed to move things of value. Also, as the Web 2.0 era reached its fullest potential, vulnerabilities such as “fake news” and the “batched relay” of the movement of assets via a series of intermediaries emerged. Threats to the commerce and financial infrastructure of the system risk destabilizing it.

Web 3.0 promises to safeguard all things we value: information, truth and digital assets — both fungible and nonfungible. Whereas Web 2.0 was driven by the advent of social, mobile and the cloud, Web 3.0 is largely built on three new layers of technological innovation: edge computing, decentralized data networks and artificial intelligence.

The growth of NFTs has not only empowered the ability for artists, skilled professionals and entrepreneurs to encapsulate innovation in a tokenized form but has also fueled the democratization of the platform as one of the promises of blockchain technology. The underlying infrastructure includes decentralized storage technologies, efficient consensus protocols, off-chain computing, and oracle networks to provide connectivity and validation to existing systems.

Collectively, the Web 3.0 set of technologies envisions a connected, trustless, accountable network for efficiently delivering value, thus crafting an infrastructure for things of worth. NFTs represent both transferable entities and nontransferable tokens that we value. The latter include things such as our identification, healthcare records and passports, things that represent us and allow us to participate in the digital economy with our own unique, digital identities.

As we dare to envision a shift toward a world with decentralized control, governance based on distributed technology that challenges every business model, and governance structure built upon centralized business frameworks, we do have to ponder some things. Not only the shift itself, but the motivation, incentive and monetization elements that fuel and power the economic infrastructure to move things that have value — thereby keeping up with our changing perception and subsequent realization of that value.

Intersecting with finance — DeFi

DeFi is the movement in the blockchain applications space that leverages decentralized network technology to disrupt and force a transformation of old financial products into trustless, transparent protocols, facilitating digital value creation and dissemination with few to no intermediaries. It is widely understood and accepted that — due to new synergies and co-creation via new digital interactions and value-exchange mechanisms — blockchain technology lays the foundation for a trusted digital transactional network that, as a disintermediated platform, fuels the growth of marketplaces and secondary markets.

While DeFi aims to deliver the promise of finance democratization, NFTs test the resolve of DeFi by delivering a competitive yet inclusive asset class, plus avenues to provide a medium of exchange, fungibility by other fungible asset classes, and liquidity to a traditionally illiquid market.

Asset classes resulting from DeFi protocols and NFTs avail themselves of the advantages of fractional ownership of the assets, blurring the lines between asset classes and using constructs like digital wallets as a receptacle for them. This is all supported by underlying layers of Web 3.0 that provide security and availability via decentralization, as well as trust and immutability via consensus, extending these principles to basic computer infrastructure like storage and interconnect.

Commercialization of Web 3.0 protocols, which manifest as fungible utility tokens, further blurs the lines with diverse financial innovation products introduced by DeFi (such as base assets and derivatives), products that are also tokenized. So, while decentralization is the underlying theme — and the wallet and the token are fundamental constructs — these blurring lines are quite profound.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Nitin Gaur is the founder and director of IBM Digital Asset Labs, where he devises industry standards and use cases and works toward making blockchain for the enterprise a reality. He previously served as chief technology officer of IBM World Wire and of IBM Mobile Payments and Enterprise Mobile Solutions, and he founded IBM Blockchain Labs where he led the effort in establishing the blockchain practice for the enterprise. Nitin is also an IBM Distinguished Engineer and an IBM Master Inventor with a rich patent portfolio. Additionally, he serves as research and portfolio manager for Portal Asset Management, a multi-manager fund specializing in digital assets and DeFi investment strategies.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/how-nfts-defi-and-web-3-0-are-intertwined

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Has the rally ended for altcoins like LINK, ADA, and NPXS?

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With most altcoins rallying at the current point in the market cycle where Bitcoin is making a comeback, there are a few altcoins that may have ended their price rally. Among these, LINK ranks in the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization.

LINK’s oracles may have filled the void left from the removal of XRP from Grayscale’s fund. However, that does not seem to have had an impact that would last long enough to boost the price on spot exchanges. The asset is currently trading at the $32 level, down from its ATH. Though there is anticipation that the price will rally to its ATH, the dropping trade volume across exchanges signals otherwise.

After being added to Grayscale’s fund, LINK’s price went up steadily, however, a boost from institutional demand may not be enough to boost the asset’s price. 93% HODLers are profitable before the asset takes a dip in the current cycle

The altcoin rally may have ended for LINK, ADA and NPXS

Grayscale LINK Holdings || Source: Bybt

LINK’s institutional demand has had only a partial impact on price, and the trend reversal depends on the HODLers profitability at the current price level and the rally of altcoins led by ETH. Historically, Bitcoin’s rally has had a negative impact on LINK’s price and that remains to be seen as Bitcoin traders above $60000 once again this weekend.

Another top altcoin, Cardano has offered HODLers an ROI of over 440% in 2020. This altcoin has been considered to be the one to HODL in the long term based on on-chain analysis and trader sentiments. In the current cycle, 65% HODLers are profitable at the price level of $1.23. This is one of the top altcoins in which the concentration by large holders is low, below 50%, currently at 24%.

Additionally, at this point in the rally, there is a significant drop in ADA’s trade volume across exchanges. This drop in liquidity may lead to a drop in price over the following week. Though large transactions in the past week have been above $30 Billion, the volume is dropping consistently.

The altcoin rally may have ended for LINK, ADA and NPXS

ADA price chart || Source: Messari

Unlike ADA and LINK, in the case of NPXS, the price is back to the same level as a month ago. The 24-hour trade volume has taken a plunge with a near 100% drop in 24 hours, and this is a unique position in NPXS’s price cycle. Moreover, the on-chain sentiment is bearish and this may be the ideal time to buy altcoins like these that are consolidating. The confidence is consistently high in top markets on spot exchanges, and the dropping trade volume is a sign of consolidation.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/has-the-rally-ended-for-altcoins-like-link-ada-and-npxs

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Kraken Daily Market Report for April 09 2021

Republished by Plato

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Overview


  • Total spot trading volume at $1.02 billion, down from the 30-day average of $1.34 billion.
  • Total futures notional at $417.0 million.
  • The top five traded coins were, respectively, Bitcoin, Tether, Ethereum, Ripple, and Polkadot.
  • Strong returns from Waves (+23%), Basic Attention Token (+17%), Keep (+13%), and Filecoin (+12%).

April 09, 2021 
 $1.02B traded across all markets today
 Crypto, EUR, USD, JPY, CAD, GBP, CHF, AUD 
XBT 
$57928. 
↓0.21% 
$379.8M
USDT 
$0.9996 
↓0.02% 
$197.7M
ETH 
$2060.0 
↓1.0% 
$115.3M
XRP 
$1.0285 
↓2.9% 
$70.9M
DOT 
$40.512 
↓2.1% 
$27.6M
ADA 
$1.2002 
↓1.6% 
$24.8M
WAVES 
$16.972 
↑23% 
$20.9M
USDC 
$1.0000 
↑0.02% 
$20.8M
FIL 
$173.42 
↑12% 
$20.7M
LTC 
$219.62 
↓3.0% 
$16.3M
XTZ 
$6.6226 
↑7.5% 
$13.4M
LINK 
$31.279 
↓4.6% 
$12.5M
BAT 
$1.5112 
↑17% 
$11.8M
TRX 
$0.1153 
↓6.5% 
$11.7M
SC 
$0.0296 
↑0.6% 
$10.9M
MANA 
$1.0222 
↑2.9% 
$10.6M
XMR 
$275.91 
↑2.1% 
$9.67M
BCH 
$630.11 
↓2.1% 
$7.69M
XDG 
$0.0611 
↓1.1% 
$7.48M
XLM 
$0.4833 
↓4.4% 
$7.44M
OMG 
$10.224 
↑0.04% 
$7.33M
KSM 
$448.87 
↓2.6% 
$7.11M
EOS 
$6.1909 
↓4.1% 
$6.45M
ALGO 
$1.3699 
↑1.3% 
$6.04M
STORJ 
$2.5171 
↓3.8% 
$5.37M
ATOM 
$20.952 
↑2.0% 
$4.96M
FLOW 
$35.168 
↓0.5% 
$4.69M
UNI 
$29.463 
↓2.5% 
$4.36M
NANO 
$5.6553 
↓0.07% 
$3.24M
QTUM 
$15.518 
↓7.3% 
$3.24M
KEEP 
$0.7752 
↑13% 
$3.09M
ZEC 
$192.44 
↑4.2% 
$2.58M
OCEAN 
$1.7433 
↓4.4% 
$2.54M
ICX 
$2.6261 
↑5.7% 
$2.36M
LSK 
$7.0662 
↑2.8% 
$2.36M
KAVA 
$6.9189 
↓4.9% 
$2.33M
OXT 
$0.8013 
↑1.0% 
$2.17M
DASH 
$264.69 
↓1.1% 
$2.14M
CRV 
$2.9409 
↓4.2% 
$1.96M
DAI 
$1.0001 
↓0.01% 
$1.95M
COMP 
$451.87 
↓0.8% 
$1.89M
YFI 
$45278. 
↓4.2% 
$1.66M
GRT 
$1.7240 
↓1.7% 
$1.64M
REP 
$55.361 
↑9.9% 
$1.56M
ANT 
$12.048 
↓0.6% 
$1.5M
AAVE 
$358.40 
↓3.3% 
$1.47M
REPV2 
$55.869 
↑9.2% 
$1.19M
KNC 
$3.3166 
↓0.15% 
$1.15M
SNX 
$19.258 
↓3.3% 
$1.1M
ETC 
$18.662 
↓4.8% 
$875K
EWT 
$17.223 
↓4.9% 
$867K
MLN 
$96.553 
↑5.3% 
$704K
PAXG 
$1747.8 
↓0.9% 
$655K
BAL 
$51.559 
↓4.0% 
$387K
GNO 
$169.66 
↑1.3% 
$134K
TBTC 
$60244. 
↑1.2% 
$26.7K



#####################. Trading Volume by Asset. ##########################################

Trading Volume by Asset


The figures below break down the trading volume of the largest, mid-size, and smallest assets. Cryptos are in purple, fiats are in blue. For each asset, the chart contains the daily trading volume in USD, and the percentage of the total trading volume. The percentages for fiats and cryptos are treated separately, so that they both add up to 100%.

Figure 1: Largest trading assets: trading volume (measured in USD) and its percentage of the total trading volume (April 10 2021)



Figure 2: Mid-size trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 10 2021)



Figure 3: Smallest trading assets: (measured in USD) (April 10 2021)



#####################. Spread %. ##########################################

Spread %


Spread percentage is the width of the bid/ask spread divided by the bid/ask midpoint. The values are generated by taking the median spread percentage over each minute, then the average of the medians over the day.

Figure 4: Average spread % by pair (April 10 2021)



.


#########. Returns and Volume ############################################

Returns and Volume


Figure 5: Returns of the four highest volume pairs (April 10 2021)


Figure 6: Volume of the major currencies and an average line that fits the data to a sinusoidal curve to show the daily volume highs and lows (April 10 2021)



###########. Daily Returns. #################################################

Daily Returns %


Figure 7: Returns over USD and XBT. Relative volume and return size is indicated by the size of the font. (April 10 2021)



###########. Disclaimer #################################################

The values generated in this report are from public market data distributed from Kraken WebSockets api. The total volumes and returns are calculated over the reporting day using UTC time.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.kraken.com/post/8593/kraken-daily-market-report-for-april-09-2021/

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