Over the week, after dropping to a new year low of nearly $110 billion on January 29, the total market cap has been steadily climbing the price ladder.
Bitcoin’s attempts to recover from the market slump are barely successful.
The coin will end this month with losses in comparison to its modest start of 2019. This is the fifth year in a row where Bitcoin ends January with a market value decline.
The coin was not able to hold gains above the support level, which ultimately led to the market’s slump and a drop up to 10 percent in some cryptocurrencies.
Ripple’s XRP was holding the spotlight this week after its significant gains brought the market over $1 billion.
The digital coin is holding the second place on the cryptocurrency chart according to market cap.
In the past 24 hours, XRP shows a growth of over 7 percent and is leading the recovery of the market, compared to other cryptocurrencies with notably smaller gains.
New Information on KYC Data Breach
Last week, CCN published an article in which they revealed that a dark web vendor is selling stolen information from know-your-customer (KYC) data acquired from some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges.
The vendor goes by the name “ExploitDOT,” and the data could reportedly be found on Dread, a darknet forum.
The source that contacted CCN, a cybersecurity expert as the website claims, wanted to remain anonymous.
Soon after the article was published, news outlets and some of the cryptocurrency exchanges’ officials claimed that the article was incorrect.
In response to that, CCN published a follow-up article where they reveal other details of this case.
According to their latest article, the hacker “ExploitDOT” posted additional proof of the breach consisting of leaked KYC images from the stolen users’ information.
The dark web hacker also claims that no cryptocurrency exchange has tried to establish contact about the hacked data.
They were contacted by researchers, to whom the hacker provided samples as proof, containing pictures that mention Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that previously accused the website of posting false information.
Moreover, Binance responded that they have evidence that shows that the leaked samples were not from Binance accounts, as they did not have a digital watermark on them.
Two Groups Are Behind More Than Half of Crypto Exchange Hacks
Over 60 percent of the total cryptocurrency exchange hacks that have happened to date are the result of two professional and advanced groups of hackers, shows a crypto crime report recently published by Chainalysis.
The damage they’ve done is estimated to be over $1 billion, with average thefts of $90 million per single hack.
According to the report, these two criminal groups are different from one another. The first one, called “Alpha,” is believed to be an organization that is not mainly driven by profit.
The second one, named “Beta,” appeared to be less organized compared to Alpha’s tight organization, and their goals are focused on money.
Apart from this, Chainalysis’ 2019 report also covered darknet market changes and scams targeting Ethereum in 2018.
Namely, last year $36 million worth of Ether was stolen, or around 0.01 percent of Ether tokens.
In 2017, the number was roughly half, or $17 million. Additionally, despite the decline in the number of scams throughout the year, those that were conducted were much bigger and obtained large amounts of profit.
Russian Intelligence After Ukrainian Data on the Dark Web
Right before the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, Russian intelligence agents are trying to disrupt the process by cyberattacks and purchasing leaked data on the dark web.
Serhiy Demedyuk, chief of the Ukrainian Cyber Police, recently explained to Reuters that hackers were trying to access Central Election Commission (CEC) servers and other devices that were in any way connected to the election campaigns.
They were using viruses, malicious software and phishing materials to steal personal data and credentials.
Demedyuk goes on by saying that the hackers are also after the personal information of CEC officials, which are leaked on the dark web.
They pay for these illicit purchases through cryptocurrency, which is the main indicator of the hackers’ background.
Namely, the purchases came from the same wallets used in previous attacks, pointing out that there is a high probability that Russian special agents are responsible for the attacks.
This is not the first cyberattack coming from Russia, as Ukrainian officials have noted various attack attempts sourced from within this country’s territory in the recent past.
That’s it for our summary of this week’s major crypto news headlines. This is the 31st post in our crypto news series.
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