Weekly Crypto Round Up: Latest News on Cryptocurrencies & the Dark Web | Week 46 – 2018

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Important cryptocurrencies.
The latest news on the intersection of the dark web and the world of cryptocurrencies.

After months of stability and trading comfortably around the $6,500 price mark, Bitcoin hit a year’s low this week.

In less than a day, the coin dipped below $5,600—causing the total market cap to lose $20 billion overnight, and drop to around $185 billion.

Compared to the beginning of the year, this number is down more than 70 percent.

The market slump also caused Bitcoin’s total market cap to fall under $100 billion for the first time since October 2017.

Meanwhile, the other coins were also affected by the destabilization, dropping down as much as 18 percent in price.

Not only this, but the price fall resulted in changes in the charts. Both Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) are in a close fight for the second place currently.

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ETH is trading at $178 at press time but has fallen third as XRP moves up in the market.

Dash Hits 3 Million Transactions, Setting New Record

On a more positive note, only a few days before the major market slump, Dash hit a new personal record in the number of transactions made in a single day, surpassing the largest cryptocurrencies on the market.

Despite not holding a place in the top-10 coins by market cap, Dash excelled in performance in its latest stress test.

On November 11, the digital currency executed a stress test and hit more than 3.5 million successful transactions over 24 hours.

With this, Dash surpassed some of the biggest cryptocurrencies on the market and their all-time highs, including those of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum (ETH).

The stress test was live on stresstest.mydashwallet.org, and the next one is scheduled for December.

Sextortion Scam Linked to Darknet Bitcoin Mixing Site Bitblender

Shiny physical bitcoins.
After months of stability and trading comfortably around the $6,500 price mark, Bitcoin hit a year’s low this week.

A massive sextortion scheme weighting millions of dollars was traced back to a dark web Bitcoin laundering website.

Bitblender claims to be the leading Bitcoin mixer on the dark web, implying that they can erase the history of Bitcoin transactions and make them completely anonymous.

Essentially, Bitblender serves as a money laundering tool.

According to the latest news, a massive sextortion scam was running through this website affecting a large number of victims, extorting millions of dollars in the process.

The sextortion was performed by sending messages to the victims claiming that their information has been compromised.

The “hacker” tells victims that they used their webcam and will share embarrassing content unless paid in Bitcoins.

The email also includes the victim’s password, further convincing them that the threat is real.

In reality, this information can be bought on the dark web. After receiving the ransom, the scammers launder the money through Bitblender, making them untraceable.

WebCobra: A New Monero and Zcash Mining Malware

McAfee Labs researchers recently discovered a new Russian cryptojacking malware that infects victims’ computers with Monero or Zcash miner codes.

The malware, called WebCobra, is unique—mainly because of its ability to examine the device that it is affecting and learn everything possible before releasing a different miner depending on its configuration.

Despite being a Russian creation, WebCobra was detected mostly in the United States, Brazil and South Africa.

Following the upsurge of cryptojacking, cases such as this one are becoming more and more common. According to a report [PDF] done by the Cyber Threat Alliance earlier this year, in 2018 there has been a tremendous growth of 459 percent in illegal cryptojacking.

BTC among avid bulbs.
McAfee Labs researchers recently discovered a new Russian cryptojacking malware that infects victims’ computers with Monero or Zcash miner codes.

The problem with this threat is that it’s usually difficult to spot.

Once the victim’s device has been infected, the mining malware runs in the background.

The only notable sign is a slower computer and a high electricity bill.

According to the McAfee researchers, the emergence of cryptojacking, particularly WebCobra, is tightly connected to the rise of cryptocurrency prices.

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That’s it for our summary of this week’s major crypto news headlines. This is the 20th post in our crypto news series. See previous installments here:

Week 27

Week 28

Week 29

Week 30

Week 31

Week 32

Week 33

Week 34

Week 35

Week 36

Week 37

Week 38

Week 39

Week 40

Week 41

Week 42

Week 43

Week 44

Week 45

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