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Forget Crypto Jacking: SIM Swapping Snitching of Crypto is Easier and Bigger

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Hackers have taken to snitching large caches of cryptocurrencies and other valuable assets from mobile phones using the latest technique of SIM Swapping.

Mobile security developers have new challenges as Santa Clara law officers bust ‘SIM swapping’ phone fraud. Highly-skilled hackers have taken to snitching large caches of cryptocurrencies and other valuable assets from mobile phones using the latest technique of “SIM Swapping” report the advanced REACT Task Force working in Californian state investing mobile fraud. One recent victim lost as much as $100,000 after his mobile number was hijacked.

REACT Supervisor Samy Tarazi shared that the Santa Clara County Sheriff office was instituted to handle cybercrimes, given that California is a tech cradle. Lately, the focus of the organization is on SIM swapping crimes, the officer said, since the number of such incidents reported has consistently increased. The primary targets of such crimes are Californian businessmen either living in the region or running their businesses in this area.

 

SIM Swapping

Tarazi believes that these crimes are the handiwork of a handful of cybercriminals, “a few dozens at the most.”

The profile of such SIM swapping criminals is interesting as well. The average age is between 19-22 years, and their modus operandi is: “someone who buys a 99 cent SIM card off eBay, plugs it into a cheap burner phone, makes a call and steals millions of dollars. That’s pretty remarkable.” Value of such cryptocurrency robberies has sometimes exceeded $100,000, the law enforcement team shared. The victim, in this case, was Christian Ferri, and he was the founder President of BlockStar a local area cryptocurrency firm.

In early July 2018, criminals were successful in breaking through Ferri’s mobile service provider, T-Mobile database and deactivate the victim’s SIM card at the time when the latter was traveling across Europe. Next, a new SIM card was activated for the same number on a device held by the hacker. This allowed them to complete a critical process – reset the Gmail account password. Once they had access to the victim’s Google Drive, they succeeded in using the credentials stored to access different services used by Ferris including a crypto exchange.

Since their focus was only on stealing cryptocoins, they exploited only that data and did not misuse any of the other critical information to acquire other assets of the victim.

 

Targets are Crypto-influencers

The officials point out that most of the targets of SIM swapping based crypto coins-robberies are typically crypto influencers and are vocal on multiple platforms encouraging the use and adoption of cryptocurrencies. The social media accounts of such personalities are highly coveted and are also called as “OG account” and have a resale value of thousands of dollars.

 

Weak Carrier software allowed exploitation

The criminals used the weak software layer at the mobile carriers’ end to complete these heists. In the case of T-Mobile, a website bug allowed hackers to view the personal account of a customer when they used a phone number of the target along with a simple internal tool used on T-Mobile’s platform (which they could access via open internet). The glitch-access allowed them to reach out to access the PIN used by the victim on their mobile phone.

#Bitcoin

Donald Trump policies push Mexico to Bitcoin

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Mexico has seen a new all-time high trading volume on localbitcoins. This comes out on the back of the announcement from the Trump Whitehouse.

Mexico has seen a new all-time high trading volume on localbitcoins. This comes out on the back of the announcement from the Trump Whitehouse that remittance payments of Mexican migrants in the United States of America will potentially be the target of new restrictions essentially ending the possibility of Mexican migrant workers to be able to cheaply send money back home to their families.

 

Mexico adopting Bitcoin:

Mexico has been experiencing a massive increase in the number of transactions on localbitcoins. Mexican migrant workers are believed to be exploited by the remittance companies which are charging around 10% fees. What is essentially being discussed here by the Trump Whitehouse is a new tax on these migrant workers. The number that they are currently floating around is a 3% tax on the remittances going from the USA to Mexico. This may not seem super crazy but considering the $33.4 billion which were sent to Mexico in 2018 alone, that extra 3% could mean $1 billion more per year for the United States government.

 

98% of the transactions that were sent during the last year, were sent via electronic means which means that there is actually a very strong remittance route that is ready for mass disruption going from the United States to Mexico and Bitcoin could be the perfect answer. However, the average size of a remittance payment from the United States to Mexico is $322 last year and the problem is that if the fees rise again exponentially on bitcoin, then bitcoin might not be the ideal cryptocurrency for these kinds of smaller remittance payments. Maybe we are going to see some other cryptocurrency being adopted in that situation. But regardless of which cryptocurrency is used, we can see that there is a clear need for disruption as government policies again seeks to impede or overly exploit the free float of money.

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Bitcoin Crashes Downwards: Is BTC Going to Fall Back to $4000?

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Bitcoin fell down to test the $5000 support level. If the current support around $5000 is broken, BTC might really crash to $4500 and $4200 support levels.

Bitcoin fell down to test the $5000 support level which is the most crucial level for BTC currently. The downward correction started after bitcoin tested the $5500 resistance level yesterday at around 18:00 UTC.

 

The resistance around $5500 proved very strong and pushed the price downwards sharply. The sharp declining pattern attracted a lot of sellers which even pushed the price below $5200 support level and BTC tested the $5000 support reaching up to $5018.

BTCUSD Price Chart- Coinbase

BTCUSD Price Chart- Coinbase

Bitcoin is currently trading around $5070 (at the time of publication) showcasing a bearish pattern.

 

Bitcoin Price Drop:

The sudden price drop has led to people speculating that BTC might soon crash back to the $4000 range. Earlier, analysts were also predicting the sudden rise of bitcoin to be a conspiracy. Also, Bloomberg had also called the sudden rise a Blip. If BTC had successfully crossed over the $5500 range, the next major resistance was around $5800, however, BTC fell sharply losing more than $400 in value over the last 24 hours.

 

The bearish move does not clearly indicate a crash towards $4500 and $4000 range, however, if the current major support around $5000 is broken, BTC might really crash to $4500 and $4200 support levels. With the price of bitcoin falling, other major altcoins are also in the red zone today with Ethereum falling more than 8% in the last 24 hours, XRP falling more than 6% and Litecoin falling around 12% in the last 24 hours.

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China to completely ban crypto mining: Bitcoin about to Crash Hard?

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As reported by Bloomberg, China is moving towards putting a complete ban on mining bitcoin and other crypto as it causes serious wasatage of resources.

As reported by Bloomberg, China is moving towards putting a complete ban on mining cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. In accordance to a document posted by the National Department and Reform Commission of China, the mining of cryptocurrencies should be completely banned as it causes serious wasatage of resources.

 

China is known to be the largest hub of cryptocurrency mining with huge mining rigs been set up in the country. Earlier, China has also banned small investors to invest in security token offerings or STOs and only large investors with more than $1 million funds are allowed to invest in such projects. Now, the country is planning to take strict action against cryptocurrency miners in the country.

 

Cryptocurrency miners were earlier attracted to China due to their cheap electricity rates and subsidies in the country, however, due to the strict actions being taken by the government with the guidelines of the NDRC which has disincentivized cryptocurrency mining, a lot of miners have shut down their operations or moved to other nations.

 

Largest Mining Pools in China:

China has been a hub for some of the largest cryptocurrency mining polls. Even though the mining pools have been shifting to other countries, there has been some effect of the ban on the market for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the mining is a major part of the overall working of cryptocurrencies.

 

How do you think the complete ban on cryptocurrency mining in China will effect the bitcoin price? Tell us in the comments section below.

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