Weekly Crypto Round Up: Latest News on Cryptocurrencies & the Dark Web | Week 47 – 2018

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Bitcoin on a side of a table.
The latest news on the intersection of the dark web and the world of cryptocurrencies.

The cryptocurrency total market cap continues to plummet as Bitcoin hits a new 13-month low.

On Tuesday, for a brief moment, the coin reached $4,279. Currently, BTC is worth something over $4,500, which indicates a loss of nearly 30 percent in price in only a week.

The decline that has been going on for two weeks now and caused the loss of billions of dollars might have something to do with Bitcoin Cash.

The split of the fourth largest cryptocurrency into two entities that happened earlier this month might be one of the possible reasons for the market’s meltdown.

Chris Burniske, Placeholder Management partner and venture capitalist, told CCN that the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, the Ethereum sell-off, as well as the retracement of the U.S. stock market, were likely the three main reasons for the price plunge.

The market reached its peak of $831 billion in January this year. At press time, the total market capitalization is a little less than $150 billion.

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Still, despite the big fall, some analysts predict a bounce back in price and a huge turnaround.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee remains confident in his forecast about Bitcoin, saying that this year might end with the coin striking $15,000, reducing his initial prediction from earlier this year by $10,000.

Currently, as BTC controls the market with more than 53 percent of the total market cap, Ripple’s XRP holds the second place over Ethereum (ETH), with a market cap of $17 billion and a lead of $4 billion.

Hacker Steals $1 Million in Cryptocurrency Using Victim’s Phone Number

Hacker trying to steal bitcoin.
Personal data that can be used to answer the needed security questions for the number transaction can easily be bought on darknet markets.

Nicholas Truglia, a Manhattan resident, was arrested earlier this week on robbery charges.

Allegedly, Truglia managed to steal $1 million in cryptocurrency from a resident in San Francisco, Robert Ross, by using his phone number and hacking into his accounts.

The robbery happened last month, as Ross, a father of two, noticed that his smartphone lost signal and went to a nearby store to figure out the source of the issue.

He later found out that a hacker managed to steal $500,000 from two separate cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini, where he had stored his money.

According to Santa Clara officials, the accused also tried to access the accounts of five other Silicon Valley executives.

His attempt to hack the phones was successful. However, Truglia did not manage to rob the victims’ cryptocurrency accounts.

What the hacker did is known as SIM-swapping, a process in which cybercriminals take over the phone number of their victims and use this information to access their crypto wallets and steal funds.

With the right information, wireless store employees can assign a phone number to any device.

Personal data that can be used to answer the needed security questions for the number transaction can easily be bought on darknet markets.

Erin West, a deputy district attorney for Santa Clara County, in a statement for CNBC, explained that such SIM-swapping schemes are a new of crime that targets cryptocurrency users.

West said that the victim had been saving the money for his children’s college funds. Unfortunately, only $300,000 has been recovered from Truglia’s computer hard drive.

The hacker is facing 21 felony charges and is currently awaiting extradition.

Make-A-Wish Website Used to Mine Monero  

Monero coin infront of other cyptocurrencies.
The hackers used this vulnerability to access and modify the pages of the website and inject the Coin IMP crypto miner.

Trustwave SpiderLabs, a crypto research firm, earlier this week revealed that hackers had infused crypto mining malware into Make-A-Wish Foundation’s official website.

The software, called CoinIMP, is commonly used to illegally mine Monero.

According to Trustwave SpiderLabs researchers, the hacker was exploiting the website’s Drupal vulnerability.

They had an easy entry due to the fact that the website had been using an older version of the content management system.

The hackers used this vulnerability to access and modify the pages of the website and inject the Coin IMP crypto miner.

Through this, they utilized the site visitors’ computer strengths to mine cryptocurrencies.

Alaskan City Pays off Bitcoin Ransom

Four months after hackers blocked their access from the servers, officials from the City of Valdez in Alaska are in the final stage of getting back their information held by the cybercriminals.

Back in July 2018, the small Alaskan city was attacked by the ransomware Trojan virus Hermes, which managed to infect the city’s IT network, including all 27 servers and 170 computers.

Considering the severity of the attack, the City of Valdez got off cheap, thanks to a third-party firm that negotiated the payment down to four Bitcoin, or something over $26,000 at the time of the attack.

As the city officials have admitted to paying the ransom and are slowly getting a hold of their data, another small Alaskan town refused to encourage this behavior and refused to pay $400,000 worth of Bitcoins.

Bitcoin with padlock.
Four months after hackers blocked their access from the servers, officials from the City of Valdez in Alaska are in the final stage of getting back their information held by the cybercriminals.

Only 10 days before the attack in the City of Valdez, Mat-Su Borough IT staff recovered a Trojan virus in the city’s network that resulted into ransomware called Crypto Locker.

The cybercriminals demanded around 52 Bitcoins that at the time had a worth of $400,000.

Back in September, the Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed that these two attacks were not related.

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That’s it for our summary of this week’s major crypto news headlines. This is the 21st 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

Week 46

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