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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.

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Bitcoin is Halal? Will crypto rise with mass Muslim adoption?

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Many Islamic Scholars are discussing the real nature of cryptocurrencies with some of them calling it a 'HARAM' while others calling it a 'HALAL'.

Erol Yarar, the chairman of the international business forum has suggested all Islamic nations to adopt the cryptocurrency system for transactions with each other rather than adopting the US Dollar as according to him the US Dollar is used as a weapon by the United States to wreak economic havoc.

 

Calling US Dollar a ‘Punishing Tool’

Yarar expressed his concerns by stating that the US dollar is used by the United States Government to punish a specific country that the United States is not willing to be in peace with. He also stated that the United States Government uses the US Dollar to lower down the money transactions, for imposing sanctions and for making nations bowing down in front of the United States.

 

Yarar said that the US Dollar is not just a common currency but also a sanctioning tool. Also saying that at the International Business Forum this year, they will discuss the term monetary pluralism for implementing a democratic trading environment and the top features to be discussed at the next International Business Forum meeting would be the usage of Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency for the financial sector in the Muslim countries especially the middle east.

 

Yarar said:

“We will make a cryptocurrency system, that will be used for international trade among Islamic countries, a current issue.”

 

Bitcoin Halal?

Many Islamic Scholars are discussing the real nature of cryptocurrencies with some of them calling it a ‘HARAM SYSTEM’ or ‘ILLEGAL SYSTEM’ while others calling it a ‘HALAL SYSTEM’ or ‘LEGAL SYSTEM’ according to the Islamic principals with some Mosques such as the Shacklewell Lane Mosque in London have also started to accept cryptocurrencies as donations.

 

What do you think about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being termed as Halal? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Bitcoin ETF: Worlds first Cryptocurrency ETF approved

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ETF: The world's first Cryptocurrency ETF has been approved by the Switzerland authorities which will start trading on SIX, 4th largest exchange in whole Europe.

The world’s first Cryptocurrency ETF has been approved by the Switzerland authorities which will start trading on SIX, the 4th largest exchange in whole Europe which has a market capitalization of over $1.6 trillion.

 

ETF offered by Amun AG

Amun AG, a cryptocurrency startup is offering the fund that will allow the institutional investors to invest in the major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Hany Rashwan, the CEO and Co-founder of the company said that the following ETP will provide an opportunity to the institutional investors that are restricted to investing in just securities and also give the same opportunity to retail investors that are unable to access cryptocurrency exchanges to due regulatory pressure. The CEO also said that before choosing Switzerland, the company had explored 23 other destinations around the world but found Swiss the most suitable.

 

The ETF will allow investors in buying the market and investing in crypto market as a whole. When investors will be investing in a fund, an amount equal to their purchase value will be held on their behalf by the custodian.

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Bitcoin Cash BCH Hash Wars: Who is winning?

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The Bitcoin Cash hash war is still on with close to 300 blocks mined on the BCHABC side using the new ruleset, which has also given the BCH network the most accumulated proof of work. Cryptocompare has given the BCH ticker to BCHABC chain followed by Bittrex also appointing the ABC chain with the BCH ticker. The ABC chain has gained more support and also mined more blocks since the split of the BCH chain into BCHABC and BCHSV. The SV chain has performed less work till now.

 

Faketoshi “Satoshi’s Shotgun”

Craig Wright had earlier threatened that he will destroy the BCH ABC chain by mining empty blocks using his huge hash power, which is being called “Satoshi’s Shotgun”. BCH ABC has apparently survived the Shotgun. Peter Rizun from Bitcoin Unlimited said:

“The difference in network effect stark: BSV has few users, no OSX or Windows clients, no block explorer, perhaps one mobile wallet, and a shotgun that doesn’t shoot so straight,”

According to cash.coin.dance, BCH ABC is currently 51.9% ahead on proof of work and is 15 blocks ahead, meaning miners will to secure the BCH ABC side and that exchanges ca resume deposits and get everything back to normal. Many supports believe that the ABC side has already won the battle.
Bittrex has listed the ABC chain as BCH and the SV chain as BSV.

While many BCH supports are claiming that the war is over and the ABC side is close to winning it, SV supporters still believe that the hash war will continue for weeks and Craig Wright continues to claim that he will destroy the ABC chain by mining empty blocks.

What do you think about the hash war? Comment below

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