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Swiss Cyber Authorities Identify Crypto Trojans: Dridex, Gozi, Monerominer

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Swiss financial institutions continue to be exploited by cybercriminals. Cyber Authorities have identified Dridex, Gozi, and Monerominer as Crypto Trojans.

Switzerland’s financial institutions continue to be exploited by cybercriminals, says the latest research report by cybercrime authorities. The only except in 2018 is that the targets are no longer banks but crypto exchanges. The research identified Monerominer virus, as the sixth most significant malware thanks to the anonymous nature of the virtual asset.

 

MELANI Research

The organization Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI) has shared the details of the recent cyber threats assailing Swiss internet space in recent times.  

Most important findings of the research outfit have been the Trojan Dridex which in its characteristic is an e-banking threat but has been re-worked to exploit the latent insecurities of cryptocurrency operations.  The virus had made its first appearance in 2012 as Cridex. The latest study reports that the configuration files of the virus had notably increased the number of crypto exchanges it had targeted.

The second such significant virus it found was Gozi. Researchers in 2009 had first unearthed the virus. In its latest avatar, the virus has morphed sufficiently to exploit digital assets. Not surprisingly, the research also found that Gozi targets were no longer just banks but the cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gozi was found to be the ninth most prevalent virus disturbing the cyberspace in Switzerland where banks and cryptocurrency dominant the internet.

For the very first time, the virus was found to be ‘malvertising’ in order to infect the network as early as possible.

The concept of malvertising is of recent origins. It is a method where advertisements are malware and victims are cheated into downloading these advertisements. The method the malware uses is to place the advertisements above the results displayed by the search engines. Hence, users are confused and often mislead into clicking on these malware advertisements.

 

Two million undiscovered variants

The third most significant virus that the research of the premier Swiss Cyber organization has discovered is the Monerominer.  As a matter of fact, this has been the most significant of the cryptocurrency viruses that the agency has been able to identify thus far. The incidence of these threats has been as high as sixth most common malware threat infecting Switzerland.

Additionally, the virus also doubles as a malware bot. The impact of this malware is huge. The bot has the capacity to download and also run other malware. This will lead to more information being stolen from the account. The bot also records the keystrokes and will encrypt the hard drive matter. After which it will demand ransom from the victim in the form of cryptocurrencies to release the data it holds encrypted. Thus the impact of this bot-virus is long lasting and impacts a wide section of the cryptocurrency users as well as fiat-currency users.

Monerominer does not stop at the bot version either.  Researchers have lately discovered the range and depth of this CoinHive script.  Over two million variations remained undiscovered!

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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 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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Cryptocurrency Mining getting too expensive

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A United States County Chean County Public Utility District published a proposal to increase the electricity rates for cryptocurrency mining.

With more and more people moving towards the cryptocurrency related businesses, the authorities are still unclear about the regulations in relation to it. Starting from tax rates to electricity rates in relation to cryptocurrency mining and other operations, the picture remains unclear whether the government of a specific location will be crypto supportive in the future or not.

 

Chean County to increase electricity rates for crypto miners

A United States County Chean County Public Utility District published a proposal to increase the electricity rates for cryptocurrency mining. The customer utility rate adviser to the Chelan County Public Utility District said that the proposed structure will be similar to the current strucutre but the new proposed strucutre will market on the energy price as they will need to buy power on the market in order to match the fluctuating load associated with cryptocurrency mining.

 

What Next?

On approval of the proposed strucutre not only cryptocurrency mining will be affected but also the employement rates in relation to fields such as finance, programming and others related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will be affected. The County is on the verge of becoming a hub for cryptocurrency mining but due to the price increases, the people will start moving towards other businesses.

 

Chinese Government Crack Down on Cryptocurrency Mining Plants

China, a country which is known of banning technology giants such as Facebook and Google also banned the cryptocurrency exchanges in the country as expected. Now the Chinese Government is trying to crack down the cryptocurrency mining plants by issuing a notice to bitcoin mining companies operating in the Chinese province.

According to the Government’s notice cryptocurrency mining companies in the country are using subsidized electricity rates to mine cryptocurrencies. The government revealed that it had found out that these companies are earning massive amounts of profits by operating in grey areas. The companies are receiving an unlimited supply of electricity without any government interference.

The Chinese Government now suggests new regulations in relation to cryptocurrency mining operations and wants the companies to register with the Power Supply Bureau with their real identities, undergo tax inspection and reveal their source of income along with the power supply they require each month. The Government is going to start power cuts at various provinces where they feel that cryptocurrency mining operations are going on.

 

Bitcoin mining is quietly becoming a monopoly market with large mining companies such as Antpool which mines more than 18% of the total bitcoin blocks are dominating the cryptocurrency mining operations. What is the future of Home Mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the near future? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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