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White House Announces Ransomware Combat Plan Following Attack on JBS

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Aboard Air Force One, the President’s Deputy Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, briefed the press gaggle on a serious ongoing ransomware attack.

Major ransomware attack

Brazilian meat supplier, JBS, was the victim of a ransomware attack that’s been affecting their systems for the past two days. Across its North American and Australian businesses, work has ground to a halt for thousands of employees.

Due to the attack, 7,000 workers in Australian slaughterhouses and at least 3,000 workers across the U.S. and Canada have had working shifts canceled.

Addressing the press gaggle aboard the flight to Tulsa, Ok Jean-Pierre said the White House was,

“Engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals.”

Jean-Pierre added that the FBI was investigating the attack and President Biden was keen to combat future attacks of this nature.

Combat plan

Jean-Pierre stressed that it was the administration’s priority to stop attacks like this in the future. President Biden has launched a rapid strategic review to address the threat, which will have four lines of effort:

  1. Distribution of ransomware infrastructure and actors working closely with the private sector.
  2. Building an international coalition to hold countries who harbor ransom actors accountable.
  3. Expanding cryptocurrency analysis to find and pursue criminal transactions.
  4. Reviewing U.S. ransomware policies.

These efforts build on President Biden’s executive order, which outlines five high-priority cybersecurity initiatives that to reduce the risk of cyberattacks including ransomware.

Significance for cryptocurrency

It has been mooted by some in the crypto space that President Biden’s tenure in the White House could have adverse effects on the industry. Until now there hadn’t been many major moves from the White House against crypto. And, while a regulatory framework is being discussed, nothing concrete has been released.

However, this latest development appears to mirror the current regulatory outlook in the U.S. on cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been engaged in several high profiles cases against Kraken and Ripple, while the U.S. treasury has plans to raise $700 billion through crypto tax compliance measures.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Adam is working in London while studying for a self-paced MicroMasters in Data, Economics and Public Development online with MITx. Before this he studied at Trinity College Dublin where he first became interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain. First writing for a university publication on cryptocurrency in 2015, Adam has been writing about and following the crypto economy ever since.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/white-house-ransomware-combat-plan-attack-jbs/

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U.S. Homeland Security Signs $1.36M Contract with Coinbase

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In brief

Coinbase will provide the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement branch with blockchain analytics software.
The crypto exchange has also provided software to the U.S. Secret Service and Inland Revenue.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the U.S. Homeland Security has given a $1.36 million contract to crypto exchange giant Coinbase for “business application” and “application development software”, according to the Federal Procurement Data System.

The new deal is Coinbase’s largest federal contract yet. The deal was signed on Thursday and is worth around forty times more than Coinbase’s last contract with the Homeland Security branch. 

Back on August 9 this year, the ICE paid Coinbase $29,000 for forensics software. According to a document dated August 3, the contract was given to Coinbase on the basis that the company is “the only vendor who can reasonably provide the services required by the agency.”

Details as to exactly what the ICE wants Coinbase software for are scarce. The same document later states, “This requirement is LAW ENFORCEMENT SENITIVE[sic], therefore minimal information will be provided publicly.”

ICE is not the first government agency to request Coinbase’s services. Last year, Coinbase announced its desire to sell analytics tools to two U.S. government branches: the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Inland Revenue Service. 

The IRS said that it could use several analytics tools to help catch blockchain-savvy tax dodgers, including “Coinbase Analytics”, formerly known as Neutrino. Coinbase acquired Neutrino back in 2019 for $13.5 million.

It was a controversial acquisition at the time since Neutrino members had been linked to an Italian organization called Hacking Team, which sold spyware to authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Venezuela.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong later expressed his regret towards the purchase and sacked the more dubious members of the team. Coinbase later sourced analytics software deals with both the Secret Service and the IRS

Coinbase is now inking million-dollar deals with the federal government. Move over Chainalysis: the U.S. government may have a new favorite blockchain company.

Source: https://decrypt.co/81263/u-s-homeland-security-signs-1-36m-contract-with-coinbase

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Solana’s DeFi Projects are Raising Millions of Dollars

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Solana may be up 122% in the past month, but its rise has begun to slow down. As the blockchain secures its place in the top 10 by market cap, investors in the nascent low fee, high-speed blockchain are turning their attention to something else: Solana’s decentralized finance protocols.

In the past week, investment in some Solana-based DeFi protocols came so thick and fast that the blockchain couldn’t handle all the attention. Solana crashed for 17 hours on Tuesday after bots rushed to invest in a token sale for Grape Protocol. 

But what are these new projects, how much have they raised, and who’s funding them? We take a look: here’s our roundup of some of the biggest protocols that are capping off a heady and hot Solana Summer, and a glance at those yet to come. 

Big IDOs

First is Grape Protocol, the culprit of the outage, which despite all the upset raised only $600,000 during its public raise on Raydium’s “Acceleraytor”. 

Grape Network hooks up to platforms like Discord, Telegram and (soon) Twitter to help decentralized communities coordinate over Solana and reward their members with cryptocurrencies. It’s all powered by the protocol’s token, GRAPE.

Next up is Parrot Protocol, which raised $69 million in an Initial DEX Offering from investors including Sino Global Capital, Alameda Research, and QTUM VC. Parrot’s a non-custodial lending platform and decentralized exchange—similar to the Maker protocol on Ethereum.

Parrot’s partly backed by PAI, an algorithmic stablecoin. In its IDO, however, Parrot sold a governance token called PRT. It’ll allow investors to vote on how the protocol is run and farm for yields on Solana without taking money out of yield farms on other Layer 1 blockchains

Parrot’s IDO slowed to a halt due to Solana’s outage but all was wrapped up by September 16. In a “Letter from the Parrot” this morning, the team said it’ll commence work on PRT staking, NFTs and adjustable interest rates. 

Many more projects are set to launch within the next few days on Solana launchpads like Solanium, Boca Chica, and Solstarter. Today, the sale for whitelisted users for MatrixETF, a decentralized ETF platform, began on Solanium. 

On September 16, a lending protocol called Larix launched on Solana. From September 15 through September 17, the total value locked in Larix rocketed from $1.7 million to $119 million. Solana, Huobi Global and Polygon are among investors.

Flippies, a sold-out NFT penguin collection, also launched on Solanium and will be distributed on September 21. Contrastive, a generative AI art series on the Solana blockchain is set to launch in two days

With the breakneck speed at which Solana continues to grow, the network’s ability to sustain all these diverse projects will be a good way to determine their success.

Source: https://decrypt.co/81262/solanas-defi-projects-are-raising-millions-of-dollars

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Maxim Magazine Launches NFT Marketplace With xSigma

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A partnership between Maxim and xSigma has birthed a new non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. 

Sponsored
Sponsored

MaximNFT is a new platform launched from a partnership between xSigma and Maxim Magazine. The marketplace is said to grant exclusive access to Maxim’s NFT collections. xSigma, a blockchain R&D laboratory, is a subsidiary of ZK International (Nasdaq: ZKIN). The lab has been developing its own DeFi, NFT, and stablecoin based products. Meanwhile, Maxim magazine is celebrating 25 years in the business and is now available in 75 countries across the globe. The magazine is geared towards younger men and focuses on cars, fashion, lifestyle, and women. It is considered the “safe for work” version of magazines like Playboy. Previous cover models include Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, and Megan Fox. 

The goal of the NFT marketplace is to combine the clout that Maxim’s brand name has with the research and development capabilities of xSigma’s lab. The MaximNFT marketplace will give users the option to buy, sell and mint NFTs that utilize multiple blockchains including Ethereum, Polkadot, and the Binance Smart Chain. 

Sponsored
Sponsored

Using the power of its 10 million monthly readers, MaximNFT is looking to attract a large base of creators and traders via print, social media, and digital publishing efforts. Behind the scenes, xSigma will be adding in features to include “NFT tokenization,” which will allow traders to sell fractional ownership of their NFTs. This will allow for these unique assets to be broken apart and shared with the cryptocurrency community in what the MaximNFT hopes will be a step to change the industry. 

Maxim NFTs will focus on sports and pop culture

Maxim plans to focus its attention on “sports and celebrities’ collectibles, as well as gaming content.” So far, just one of these collaborations has been confirmed. In a post to Twitter on Sept. 2, MaximNFT announced it had teamed up with former NBA star Michael Beasley. In a post on Instagram, Beasley confirmed that his NFTs will be sold exclusively on MaximNFT starting in November. Unless something else happens first, they will become the first NFTs sold on the platform. 

The press release also stated that the company is confident the rise of gaming and the incorporation of NFTs in the metaverse will continue to grow. MaximNFT also plans to combine the NFT’s minted with AR and VR technology. 

The announcement states that MaximNFT will be going live in Q4 2021 with “a series of NFTs from celebrities, athletes, and brands.”

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Matthew De Saro is a journalist and media personality specializing in sports, gambling, and statistics. Before joining BeInCrypto, his work was featured on Fansided, Forbes, and OutKick. With a background in statistical analysis and a love of writing, he takes an outside-the-box approach to reporting news.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/maxim-launches-nft-marketplace-with-xsigma/

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