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U.S. agencies detail ‘AppleJeus’ cryptocurrency malware used by North Korean hackers

North Korean hackers have used malware disguised as crypto trading software to infiltrate computers, U.S. investigators have found.

The post U.S. agencies detail ‘AppleJeus’ cryptocurrency malware used by North Korean hackers appeared first on The Block.

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U.S. government agencies published a detailed breakdown this week of one of the North Korean government’s crypto-related cybercrime tools.

‘AppleJeus’ is designed to operate and appear as legitimate-looking crypto trading software, targeting would-be victims who seek to trade cryptocurrencies. First deployed in 2018, AppleJeus has been masked by a series of official-sounding names.

Those names include Celas Trade Pro, JMT Trading, Union Crypto, Kupay Wallet, CoinGoTrade, Dorusio and Ants2Whale.

Details of AppleJeus and the ways in which it is used to illicitly take control of computers were published in a report on Wednesday, drawing on a report developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Treasury Department.

The report comes on the heels of a significant indictment of three North Korea-tied hackers. On February 17, U.S. prosecutors charged three North Korean hackers for a vast array of attacks and thefts — including over $100 million of funds stolen from crypto companies. That action followed other attempts to staunch North Korea-linked cyberattacks. Last August, the U.S. Department of Justice also attempted to retrieve funds from 280 crypto accounts connected to such activities.

The report details HIDDEN COBRA, characterized as “malicious cyber activity by the North Korean government” centered around cryptocurrency attacks and thefts. The report indicates that cybercriminals operating within the so-called Lazarus Group have stolen and laundered hundreds of millions worth of cryptocurrency since January of last year.

The hackers targeted individuals and companies, such as crypto exchanges and financial service firms, and ultimately committed criminal acts in 32 countries across all continents except Africa.

“It is likely that these actors view modified cryptocurrency trading applications as a means to circumvent international sanctions on North Korea — the applications enable them to gain entry into companies that conduct cryptocurrency transactions and steal cryptocurrency from victim accounts,” states the report.

Once a user downloads the affected software, AppleJeus malware would infect a victim’s computer with a remote administration tool. This would allow malicious actors to then control the afflicted computer. Hackers could then spread malware across the victim’s network and gain access to stored information.

According to the report, the approach by which Hidden Cobra participants spread different versions of AppleJeus evolved over time.

“Initially, HIDDEN COBRA actors used websites that appeared to host legitimate cryptocurrency trading platforms to infect victims with AppleJeus; however, these actors are now also using other initial infection vectors such as phishing, social networking, and social engineering techniques to get users to download the malware,” the report stated.

Hidden Cobra exploits affected these countries since January 2020: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, and the United States. Sectors harmed were finance, energy, technology, industry, telecommunications, and government.

If users suspect they have been affected by AppleJeus, the report recommends victims generate new keys or move funds out of compromised crypto wallets, expel affected hosts, run anti-malware scans on infected computers, and notify either the FBI, CISA, or Treasury Department.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Blockchain

Real Estate Giant Teams up with Gemini to Buy Bitcoin and Allow BTC Rent Payments

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Caruso, one of the largest estate companies in the US, has entered the BTC space with an undisclosed investment. The organization also revealed it will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for rent following a partnership with Gemini – the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins.

Pay Rent with Bitcoin

Without specifying the precise amount, Caruso announced earlier that it had made a “significant initial investment” in the primary cryptocurrency as part of its treasury management strategy. The move has made the company “the first to adopt the technology in the real estate industry.”

The firm completed the purchase through a partnership with Gemini, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and custodian. The innovation reinforced the company’s confidence in the digitizing space.

Additionally, the firm enabled its tenants to pay rent with bitcoin, should they choose to do so.

Rick Caruso, founder, and CEO of the company weighed in on the topic:


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”We believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. We believe that bitcoin is the right investment for us. We’ve allocated a percentage of what would normally go into the capital market into bitcoin.”

The billionaire went further and stated crypto is a long-term resolution and ”it’s not about the next year or five years”.

”We are thrilled to partner with Caruso as they continue to push the real estate sector to new heights by embracing cryptocurrency for the benefit of both their customer experience and their own business operations. We are excited to help them execute their digital asset treasury strategy and advise them more broadly throughout their cryptocurrency journey.” – commented Gemini’s CEO Tyler Winklevoss.

The Los Angeles-based company has become a part of the growing institutional adoption of bitcoin around the globe. According to experts, companies like MicroStrategy, MassMutual, Tesla, and more are a vital factor behind BTC’s recent price increase.

Bitcoin as a Form of Payment

While Caruso may be the first firm from the real estate industry to adopt BTC as a payment method, companies from other sectors have well preceded it. Most recently, the popular NBA team Sacramento Kings said it will give the option to its players to receive their salaries in the primary cryptocurrency.

Another fresh example is the UK private jet company – PrivateFly. The organization revealed that nearly 20% of its yearly payments were paid in bitcoin.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/real-estate-giant-teams-up-with-gemini-to-buy-bitcoin-and-allow-btc-rent-payments/

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Binance Coin, BitTorrent Token, Ontology Price Analysis: 10 April

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Binance Coin registered huge gains in the past few weeks. BitTorrent Token could consolidate before seeing recovery, while Ontology could face selling pressure if it falls out of the rising channel it was trading within.

Binance Coin [BNB]

Binance Coin, BitTorrent Token, Ontology Price Analysis: 10 April

Source: BNB/USDT on TradingView

From March 25 to April 10, at the time of writing, BNB has climbed from $225 to $473. Using the Fibonacci tool for its move from $225 to $356, where BNB had faced some resistance in early April, extension levels were plotted. These levels have been reached, and more ambitious targets for BNB lie in the $550 region.

It is not out of the question that BNB reaches these levels, especially with the BNB quarterly burning set for later this month. On the hourly, the RSI continued to stay above neutral 50 to show an uptrend in progress, and no divergence was seen. The Stochastic RSI was dropping toward oversold territory.

BitTorrent Token [BTT]

Binance Coin, BitTorrent Token, Ontology Price Analysis: 10 April

Source: BTT/USDT on TradingView

On the hourly chart, BTT broke out of a descending channel but was rejected at the $0.01 resistance level. Sometimes, breakouts from descending channel consolidate within a range before reaching toward the peak of the channel.

This could be what is happening for BTT. It has resistance at $0.01 and support at $0.0075. The breakout point at $0.0085 is also likely to serve as support.

Trading volume was trending downward. The Awesome Oscillator showed bearish pressure was present, although it was not strong.

Ontology [ONT]

Binance Coin, BitTorrent Token, Ontology Price Analysis: 10 April

Source: ONT/USDT on TradingView

ONT was also trading within a channel, but this one was ascending. Again, the short-term outlook placed ONT right beside a level of importance. There was resistance for ONT at the $2.05 level, and support from the lower boundary of the rising channel.

ONT began trading within this pattern about three days prior to the time of writing. A session close beneath the channel would likely see ONT face further selling pressure to take it to the base of the channel at $1.72. THE OBV has been on an uptrend in recent days but the MACD was beginning to drop.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/binance-coin-bittorrent-token-ontology-price-analysis-10-april

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IOTA co-founder discloses Coordicide’s release date

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The cryptocurrency market has seen the altcoins surge despite the correction witnessed in the short term. IOTA, the altcoin ranked 27th on CoinMarketCap, has grown dramatically on the charts right from the start of the month.

IOTA co-founder Dominik Schiener recently did one of his systematic AMA sessions. He elucidated some of the most important concepts about the development of IOTA and its updates, Chrysalis and Coordicide.

To begin with, Schiener answered a question about the challenges that IOTA 2.0 or Coordicide might face in its deployment process. One of the issues faced by the group of developers was to discover and fix bugs on major components.

The co-founder further shared his optimism on the progress in the AMA session.

“Coordicide will fully decentralize IOTA. On the theoretical side we are doing very well to deliver what is promised which is a fully decentralized IOTA. I think the biggest risk is the implementation.”

At this very moment, IOTA targetted Q4 of this year as a tentative date for Coordicide’s rollout. However, this depends largely on the results of the incentivized testnet, Schiener said:

“A lot of that will depend on how well the incentivized testnet goes, that’s why we always say that the incentivized test network is the most important part of Coordicide. That’s where the research combines with the implementation to test in an open environment.”

Furthermore, Schiener addressed concerns regarding data sharding. The Value Tangle team, just like the Coordicide team, reviewed all the “paths” and possible implementation of this component. Schiener stated:

“I think when it comes to sharding, if I had to sum it up, I think the biggest risk is going to be building a solution that is going to kill IOTA adoption. In a similar way of how they said the biggest risk to Ethereum is Ethereum 2.0.”

What’s interesting to note here, is the analogy with ETH and ETH 2.0. 

Keeping all the risks in mind, Schiener concluded:

“With that in mind, the team have received feedback from their corporate partners to create a solution that the market wants. In large part, Chrysalis will be the culmination of that feedback.”


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/iota-co-founder-discloses-coordicides-release-date

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