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Unusual New Ransomware Does Not Demand Cryptocurrency

A new form of ransomware is attacking Android mobile devices, but the interesting thing is that it isn’t demanding a cryptocurrency ransom. The last few years have seen ransomware attacks increase in frequency. Cities, businesses, schools, and even health care facilities have been targeted. A ransom in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency is usually demanded by […]

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A new form of ransomware is attacking Android mobile devices, but the interesting thing is that it isn’t demanding a cryptocurrency ransom.


The last few years have seen ransomware attacks increase in frequency. Cities, businesses, schools, and even health care facilities have been targeted. A ransom in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency is usually demanded by the hackers, but a new malware is taking a different tack and not asking for crypto at all.

Ransomware hits mobile devices

The new ransomware, called Black Rose Lucy, was detected by Check Point, a cybersecurity company. It has been around since 2018 but the latest iteration is what caught the security researchers’ eyes.

Black Rose Lucy targets mobile devices using the Android operating system. The malware encrypts files on the mobile device and then displays a warning from the FBI saying the mobile device has been found to carry illegal pornography.

A new form of ransomware is targeting Android devices.

The malware works hard to instill a sense of fear into the victim by saying the victim’s personal info has been uploaded to the FBI Cyber Crime Department’s Data Center. The malware also shows a list of charges that are supposedly being leveled against the victim for their “crime.” Needless to say, all of the FBI stuff is 100% fake.

The victim is given an out if they pay a US$500 fine within three calendar days. What is interesting is that the victim pays this fine by using a credit card. Ransomware normally demands payment in virtual currencies.

Black Rose Lucy infiltrates the Android device by asking the user to enable Streaming Video Optimization (SVO). Once the user clicks “OK,” the malware then begins encrypting data.

Lucrative trade

Hackers make some pretty big bucks through ransomware attacks. The FBI reported earlier this year at the RSA Conference 2020 that victims had paid $144 million in Bitcoin alone from October 1, 2013, through November 7, 2019.

Payments by victims are just the tip of the iceberg. A report stated that the economic impact of 948 ransomware attacks against U.S. targets in 2019 had an economic impact of over $7.5 billion.

Black Rose Lucy demands payment via credit card and not crypto.

During the “Feds Fighting Ransomware: How the FBI Investigates and How You Can Help” panel at the RSA Conference 2020, the federal agency listed the top three ransomware strains. They are:

  1. Ryuk, which raked in $61.26 million in just over a year.
  2. Crysis/Dharma, with $24.48 million earned in almost three years.
  3. Bitpaymer, with $8.04 million over two years.

With such financial success, look for such attacks to continue. Check Point notes, “Although we have not yet seen many mobile ransomware out there, we have observed an evolution. Mobile ransomware is getting more and more sophisticated and efficient, as shown by Lucy, and this represents an important milestone in the evolution of mobile malwares. Sooner or later, the mobile world will experience a major destructive ransomware attack.”


Images courtesy of Pixabay.

Source: https://bitcoinerx.com/crime-beat/unusual-new-ransomware-does-not-demand-cryptocurrency/

Blockchain

Indian government cautious about crypto-adoption, CBDC is a possibility

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Indian traders and exchanges might be bullish about the crypto market, but the Indian  government doesn’t seem keen on rushing into the scene. At least, not until studying its homegrown fintech industry and the anti-Bitcoin protests in El Salvador.

Tracking global news

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a recent interview with Hindustan Times explained why the country seemed to be falling behind when it came to crypto adoption.

Though she admitted, El Salvador wasn’t “the best example,” Sitharaman said,

“You’d think common people don’t care about digital currency; but the public took to the streets against the move. It’s not a question of literacy or understanding – it’s also a question of to what extent this is a transparent currency; is it going to be a currency available for everyone?”

Sitharaman referred to CBDCs as a “legitimate” cryptocurrency and admitted there could be a “possibility,” in hat regard. She noted that India held the “strength of the technology” and acknowledged the need to formulate a Cabinet note. However, Sitharaman wondered if India was ready to follow El Salvador’s way.

Facts on the ground

Though accessibility is a pressing concern, more Indians have discovered crypto than perhaps expected.

Nischal Shetty, CEO of the Indian crypto exchange WazirX – a subsidiary of Binance Holdings – has stated that WazirX sign-ups from India’s tier-two and tier-three cities overtook those from tier-one cities this year. Even so, sign-ups from tier-one cities themselves saw a 2,375% rise. Furthermore, WazirX added one million users in April 2021 alone.

Adding to this, the cost of electricity and Internet data in India are relatively cheaper, which could boost both crypto trading and mining in the future. However, at the last count, there was only one Bitcoin ATM in the whole country.

As per data by Useful Tulips, which combined data from Paxful and LocalBitcoins, India saw transfers worth around $4,502,369 in the last two weeks.

Could anti-Bitcoin protests happen in India?

There is evidence to support both sides. India has a strong history of mass protests, with the farmers’ protests against the government’s agricultural laws being one such example. The 2016 demonetization of part of the country’s paper currency still haunts many, and Internet penetration is yet to cross 50%.

However, India also has the largest diaspora in the world, with approximately 18 million people living outside the country. Crypto innovation could lead to hundreds of millions of dollars being saved on remittance charges as money is sent across borders.

But for the time being, it seems India’s urban residents are more bullish about crypto than its government.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/indian-government-cautious-about-crypto-adoption-cbdc-is-a-possibility

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A Deep Dive Into The Bitcoin Wallets Of U.S Congress Members, And Why Bitcoiners Are Strongly Against Them

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A Deep Dive Into The Bitcoin Wallets Of U.S Congress Members, And Why Bitcoiners Are Strongly Against Them

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Key takeaways

  • U.S. Congress’ split disposition towards cryptocurrencies raises concerns among market participants.
  • Bitcoin proponent, James Loop goes digging into the financial disclosures of Congress members.
  • His findings revealed only three Congress members have ever disclosed that they hold Bitcoin.

The United States is a key base for innovation and adoption in the cryptocurrency industry. According to data from Crunchbase, there are at least 1,135 organizations founded in the U.S. that provide various cryptocurrency-related services.

Despite the broad adoption of the asset class by the country’s citizens, the government is still divided on opinions about the growing cryptocurrency industry. This can be seen in the U.S. Congress where members of Congress are split between those who support and those who do not support Bitcoin, the most prominent cryptocurrency.

This polarised disposition of Congress has been a pain point for Bitcoiners. Bitcoin market participants have pointed out several issues that emanate from the fact that there are still members of Congress who have not shown themselves to fully understand Bitcoin.

The sentiment is that Congress members who do not fully understand the asset, having not used it, should not be responsible for making laws about it. Additionally, market participants also think it will be a conflict of interest if members of Congress who oppose Bitcoin are found to be holding Bitcoin or if those who support it do not own any. 

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Jameson Lopp, the co-founder, and chief technology officer of Casa – a leading provider of Bitcoin self custody solutions, has gone digging into the United States Senate Financial Disclosures portal. The investigation was carried out to identify Congress members who have declared holdings of cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, in their portfolios. 

His findings paint a dismal picture as the majority of the members of Congress who have been vocal in supporting Bitcoin have not held the asset at all according to their financial disclosures for the year ending 2020.

According to his findings, only 3 Congress members have disclosed that they own Bitcoin. The now-retired Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia was the first Congressman to disclose the ownership of Bitcoin, doing so in 2017 even before laws were passed to make disclosure mandatory. According to his disclosure, he owned between $1,000 and $15,000 of Bitcoin at the time.

Among currently seated Congress members, only Senators Cynthia Lummis and Pat Toomey have reported Bitcoin holdings in their portfolios in 2020. Senator  Lummis reported owning $100,000 – $250,000 of bitcoin in 2020 making up between 0.6% and 2.75% of her net worth. Similarly, Senator Pat Toomey reported purchasing $1,001 – $15,000 of GBTC in June 2021. The GBTC investment is between 0.01% and 0.7% of his net worth.

The sleuth however concedes that he did not have the time and resources to go through the financial disclosures of all 535 congressional members. Nonetheless, it is telling that of the ones he checked, even members of caucuses in Congress that are affiliated to cryptocurrency and members that have drafted bills that will provide clarity for the industry do not hold Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as their financial disclosures show.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/a-deep-dive-into-the-bitcoin-wallets-of-u-s-congress-members-and-why-bitcoiners-are-strongly-against-them/

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China Again? — Why The Crypto Market Lost Over $300 Billion In Hours And What To Expect

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China Reemphasizes It's Not Yet Done With Clamping Down On Bitcoin

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Key takeaways:

  • Crypto-market records over s$1 billion worth of Crypto liquidations in hours. 
  • Liquidated long positions significantly surpass shorts.
  • Fundamental factors pose serious threat to the market, but the road to recovery is near.

The crypto market has been hit with yet another massive liquidation. Within the last 24hrs, a whopping $1.03 billion worth of long and short positions have been liquidated, as reported by the aggregate derivative exchange platform ByBt.

When traders are long on a particular asset, they are simply gaining exposure to the cryptocurrency in question, in hopes that prices will surge significantly at a later time. It appears that a lot of investors were bullish on crypto for the most part, as long positions were significantly higher than shorts. Precisely $946.10 million worth of crypto was liquidated, while $6.56 million short positions were liquidated.

Liquidations usually take place in the crypto market when a trader’s leveraged position is forcefully sealed by an exchange when the trader’s initial margin is partially or totally lost. Futures and margin trading is usually where liquidation is common.

Many market pundits have warned against over-leverage, which they point to as the case of repeated liquidation. However, despite cryptocurrencies being high-risk due to the intense volatility, leveraging provides an opportunity for investors to generate significant profit. For this reason, liquidations are imminent.

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On a larger spectrum, the question at hand is how the market will be affected going forward. Although no one can accurately predict, recent events hint that the dip could go even deeper, no thanks to fundamental factors like the ongoing Evergrande crisis.

“The Hong Kong stock market plummeted, triggering a decline in global markets and cryptocurrencies. The main reason is Evergrande, China’s largest real estate company with nearly 2 trillion debts.” wrote Chinese journalist Colin Wu.

Thus far, leading assets like Bitcoin, Ether, Solana, Cardano, and many others have dropped in price value and are, at this time, still going downwards. Bitcoin has plummeted to $42,928. While losing more than 7% in value today. Ether, XRP, SOL, DOGE, and Cardano are likewise seeing an extensive decline.

In response to the dip, analysts have responded to their previous sentiments on Bitcoin especially, saying that the expected floor price for this month remains at $42,000 and that a bounce will follow a while later. Altcoin analysts are also keeping their fingers crossed to see how the next 24hrs play out before predicting the market’s trajectory.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/china-again-why-the-crypto-market-lost-over-300-billion-in-hours-and-what-to-expect/

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