Pay Attention to These 7 Bitcoin Scams - TheStreet

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190921(Market index 37 — Fear state)

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190921(Market index 37 — Fear state)

https://preview.redd.it/1t147a36exn31.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=cac2f2738b5ffda13262f1d355c99014f7016a25

Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin And Ethereum Can Not Be Replaced Citing Chinese local news, Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, said in an interview that Bitcoin and Ethereum are irreplaceable cryptos. The cryptocurrency will not be affected by the tokens issued by financial institutions. The tokens issued by the institutions will have trust problems, but they may outperform the traditional cryptocurrencies in terms of scalability. The future pattern will be a large blockchain system, with many small blockchains. There are many large enterprises entering the blockchain field, building more cooperative relationships.
Stratford City Hall Ransomware Attack: 10 Bitcoins Worth $75k Paid Latest updates pertaining to the Stratford City Hall ransomware attack have emerged. A total of 10 Bitcoins at $7,500 per BTC was paid by the body as a ransom to the hacker who crippled its computer systems on April 14 this year. As per official Q&A published on Stratford City Hall’s website, “On Sunday, April 14, 2019, the City of Stratford became aware of a breach of its computer systems. It was determined that a malicious threat actor (attacker) was able to install and execute malware on six of the City’s physical servers, as well as two virtual servers. The attacker then began encrypting the City’s systems, making them unavailable for use.”
Lead Investor Of Telegram Open Network: TON Will Launch Before Libra Oleg Jelezko, one of the lead investors in the Telegram Open Network (TON), is now confident that Telegram’s cryptocurrency will launch before Libra, gaining a significant advantage over Facebook’s virtual currency. Jelezko is the Managing Partner of Da Vinci Capital, the Russian investment firm that co-led one of Telegram’s private sales. Although the TON was originally scheduled to go live last December, significant delays pushed the launch date back by almost a year. The mainnet is now expected to go live on October

Encrypted project calendar(September 21, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 6th FINWISE Global Summit Macau will be held from September 21st to 22nd. Distributed Financial Technology (DeFi) is the main topic of this conference. OKB/OKB: OKB (OKB) OKEx The Africa Cryptour series of talks in Kenya will take place on September 21 in Nairobi. ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) Cardano Ambassador Marin Kramaric will host the Ada community gathering in Croatia on September 21. ZIL/Zilliqa: The Zilliqa (ZIL) Zilliqa project representative will attend the “Bitcoin and Blockchain Future” conference in London, UK on September 21st.

Encrypted project calendar(September 22, 2019)

NPXS/Pundi X: Pundi X (NPXS) PundiX Labs will officially launch the XPOS transaction at the “AkiColle” event in Tokyo on September 22.

Encrypted project calendar(September 23, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: Bakkt, the digital asset platform led by ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and the world’s second largest trading group, will launch a bitcoin physical delivery futures contract on September 23. EOS/EOS: EOS main network is expected to upgrade version 1.8 on September 23 DCDecred: Project leader Jake Yocom-Piatt of Decred (DCR) Decrex will attend the Encryption Community Party in San Francisco on September 23 and will deliver a speech.

Encrypted project calendar(September 24, 2019)

ENG/Enigma: Enigma (ENG) ENG main network token snapshot will end on September 24, the original start time is August 26. LINA (LINA): Lina Review will host the Lina network launch event in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on September 24th and release a 10-year operational strategy. Cappasity (CAPP): Cappasity will showcase its digital signage solutions in luxury stores at the Paris Retail Week from September 24th to 26th.

Encrypted project calendar(September 25, 2019)

MIOTA/IOTA: IOTA (MIOTA) IOTA will host a community event on September 25th at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the theme of “Building Your Own IoT.” Quant (QNT): The Quant project will participate in a marketing conference in London from September 25th to 26th, which will focus on data technology.

Encrypted project calendar(September 26, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: The Cardano (ADA) Cardano community will host a party in Washington, DC on September 26.

Encrypted project calendar(September 27, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: Cripto Latin Fest will be held in Cordoba, Argentina from September 27th to 29th. Switcheo (SWTH): After a one-year token exchange process, the project team will officially end the SWH→SWTH token exchange process on September 27.

Encrypted project calendar(September 28, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) Cardano (ADA) 2nd Anniversary, Cardinal Foundation, IOHK and EMURGO main members will participate in community celebrations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on September 28. TOP Network (TOP): The TOP Network team will hold a hackathon in Prague, Czech Republic from September 28th to 29th. Horizen (ZEN): Horizen project BD Rep Vano Narimandize will discuss the current status and development of sidechain technology at the Industry 4.0 Blockchain Summit on September 28.

Encrypted project calendar(September 29, 2019)

GAME/GameCredits: GameCredits (GAME) is expected to perform hard forks on September 29th at block height 2519999

Encrypted project calendar(September 30, 2019)

INS/Insolar: Insolar (INS) will be on September 30th ERD/Elrond: Elrond (ERD) will conduct main network test on September 30th NULS/NULS: The NULS team will plan to beta the ChainBOX in the third quarter. CS/Credits: Credits (CS) will exchange tokens and bug rewards in the third quarter QTUM/Qtum: Quantum Chain (QTUM) is expected to complete lightning network beta in the third quarter XEM/NEM: New World Bank (XEM) will release mobile wallet and computer wallet in the third quarter HC/HyperCash: hypercash (HC) will complete community management agreement in the third quarter

Encrypted project calendar(October 01, 2019)

HT/Huobi Token: The financial base public link jointly created by Firecoin and Nervos is expected to be open source in October. RVN/Ravencoin: Ravencoin (RVN) Ravencoin will perform a hard fork on October 1. ADA/Cardano: Cardano (ADA) plans to hold technical consensus meeting in Amsterdam on October 1st XRC/Bitcoin Rhodium: Bitcoin Rhodium (XRC) will record account balance awards on October 1st PPC/Peercoin: Peercoin (PPC) will perform Peercoin v0.8 (code tang lang) hard fork on October 1st

Encrypted project calendar(October 02, 2019)

BNB/Binance Coin: The 2019 DELTA Summit will be held in Malta from October 2nd to 4th. The DELTA Summit is Malta’s official blockchain and digital innovation campaign. CAPP/Cappasity: The Cappasity (CAPP) London Science and Technology Festival will be held from October 2nd to 3rd, when the Cappasity project will be attended by the Science and Technology Festival.

Encrypted project calendar(October 03, 2019)

ETC/Ethereum Classic: The 2019 Ether Classic (ETC) Summit will be held in Vancouver on October 3–4

Encrypted project calendar(October 05, 2019)

Ontology (ONT): Ony Ji will attend the blockchain event in Japan on October 5th and explain the practical application based on the ontology network.

Encrypted project calendar(October 06, 2019)

SPND/ Spendcoin: Spendcoin (SPND) will be online on October 6th

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up 2.8% at its current price of $10,190, which marks a decent surge from its daily lows of $9,900, but also marks a slight retrace from its daily highs of over $10,400.
This recent price action simple marks an extension of the narrowing trading range that Bitcoin has been caught in within the past couple of months, with BTC trading between the lower-$9,000 region and the upper-$10,000 region.
During this time, Bitcoin’s hash rate has been climbing significantly, and just set fresh all-time-highs earlier this week. Hash rate is a key indicator that elucidates the fundamental strength of Bitcoin, and its steady rise throughout 2019 signals that Bitcoin’s network is incredibly strong at the moment, in spite of its recent sideways price action.
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Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 81%. (I'm a bot)
This is Baltimore's second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city's 911 system for about a day.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems' security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack.
What's going on in Baltimore, briefly explained Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn't happen again.
In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack.
Ransomware attacks aren't new - but we're still figuring out how to deal with them In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries.
Summary Source | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: attack#1 Ransomware#2 Baltimore#3 system#4 city#5
Post found in /technology, /technology, /technews, /CoreCyberpunk, /AegisIT, /hacking, /GeekToTech, /realtech, /news, /audihertz, /cardano and /theworldnews.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
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Hackers have been holding the city of Baltimore’s computers hostage for 2 weeks - A ransomware attack means Baltimore citizens can’t pay their water bills or parking tickets.

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 81%. (I'm a bot)
This is Baltimore's second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city's 911 system for about a day.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems' security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack.
What's going on in Baltimore, briefly explained Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn't happen again.
In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack.
Ransomware attacks aren't new - but we're still figuring out how to deal with them In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries.
Summary Source | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: attack#1 Ransomware#2 Baltimore#3 system#4 city#5
Post found in /technology and /realtech.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
submitted by autotldr to autotldr [link] [comments]

Proper Care & Feeding of your CryptoLocker Infection: A rundown on what we know.

This article is no longer being maintained, please see the new version here. Thanks.
tl;dr: I hope you have backups. It's legit, it really encrypts. It can jump across mapped network drives and encrypt anything with write access, and infection isn't dependent on being a local admin or UAC state. Most antiviruses do not catch it until the damage is done. The timer is real and your opportunity to pay them goes away when it lapses. You can pay them with a GreenDot MoneyPak or 2 Bitcoins, attempt to restore a previous version using ShadowExplorer, go to a backup, or be SOL.
Vectors: In order of likelihood, the vectors of infection have been:
  • Email attachments: A commonly reported subject is Payroll Report. The attachment, most of the time, is a zip with a PDF inside, which is actually an executable.
  • PCs that are unwitting members of the Zeus botnet have had the virus pushed to them directly.
  • There is currently one report of an infection through Java, using the .jnlp file as a dropper to load the executable.
Variants: The current variant demands $300 via GreenDot MoneyPak or 2 BTC. I will not attempt to thoroughly monitor the price of bitcoins for this thread, use Mt. Gox for the current exchange rate. Currently the MoneyPak is the cheaper option, but last week Bitcoins were. Two variants, including a $100 variant and a $300 that did not offer Bitcoin, are defunct.
Payload: The virus stores a public RSA 2048-bit key in the local registry, and goes to a C&C server for a private key which is never stored. The technical nuts and bolts have been covered by Fabian from Emsisoft here. It will use a mix of RSA 2048-bit and AES 256-bit encryption on files matching these masks:
*.odt, *.ods, *.odp, *.odm, *.odc, *.odb, *.doc, *.docx, *.docm, *.wps, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb, *.xlk, *.ppt, *.pptx, *.pptm, *.mdb, *.accdb, *.pst, *.dwg, *.dxf, *.dxg, *.wpd, *.rtf, *.wb2, *.mdf, *.dbf, *.psd, *.pdd, *.eps, *.ai, *.indd, *.cdr, ????????.jpg, ????????.jpe, img_*.jpg, *.dng, *.3fr, *.arw, *.srf, *.sr2, *.bay, *.crw, *.cr2, *.dcr, *.kdc, *.erf, *.mef, *.mrw, *.nef, *.nrw, *.orf, *.raf, *.raw, *.rwl, *.rw2, *.r3d, *.ptx, *.pef, *.srw, *.x3f, *.der, *.cer, *.crt, *.pem, *.pfx, *.p12, *.p7b, *.p7c, *.pdf, *.tif
This list of file masks may be incomplete. Trust this list at your peril. When in doubt, CryptoLocker will show you what files it has encrypted by clicking the relevant link in the virus's message.
It will access mapped network drives that the current user has write access to and encrypt those. It will not attack server shares, only mapped drives. Current reports are unclear as to how much permission is needed for the virus to encrypt a mapped drive, and if you have clarification or can test in a VM please notify me via message.
By the time the notification pops up, it's already encrypted everything. It's silent until the job is done.
Many antiviruses have been reported as not catching the virus until it's too late, including MSE, Trend Micro WFBS, Eset, GFI Vipre, and Kaspersky. They can further complicate matters by reverting registry changes and removing the executables, leaving the files behind without a public or private key. Releasing the files from quarantine does work, as does releasing the registry keys added and downloading another sample of the virus.
Windows XP through 8 have all reported infections.
What's notable about this virus, and this is going to lead to a lot of tough decisions, is that paying them to decrypt the files actually does work, so long as their C&C server is up. They verify the money transfer manually and then push a notification for the infected machine to call home for the private key again, which it uses to decrypt. It takes a long time to decrypt, at the rate of roughly 5GB/hr based on forum reports. The virus uses the registry to maintain a list of files and paths, so not moving the files around is vital to decryption if you are paying them.
Also notable is that the timer it gives you to pay them does appear to be legitimate, as multiple users have reported that once the timer ran out, the program uninstalled itself. Reinfecting the machine does not bring a new timer. I was not able to verify the uninstallation of the program after the timer ran out, it appears to be dependent on internet access.
Due to the nature of the encryption, brute-forcing a decrypt is essentially impossible for now.
Removal: Removing the virus itself is trivial, but no antivirus product (or any product, for that matter), will be able to decrypt the files until the private key is found.
File Recovery: There are only a handful of options for recovering encrypted files, and they all rely on either having System Restore/VSS turned on or having a backup disconnected from the infected machine. Cloud backup solutions without versioning are no good against this as they will commit the encrypted files to the cloud.
I had a Carbonite employee message me regarding my earlier statement that Carbonite is no good against this virus. It turns out that versioning is included in all Carbonite plans and support all agent OSes except Mac OS X which is outside the scope of this thread anyway. They have the ability to do a mass reversion of files, but you must call tech support and upon mentioning CryptoLocker you will be escalated to a tier 3 tech. They do not mention this ability on the site due to the potential for damage a mass reversion could do if done inadvertently. These are my own findings, independent of what the employee told me. Crashplan and other versioning-based backup solutions such as SonicWALL CDP should also work fine provided the backups are running normally.
Using the "Previous Versions" tab of the file properties is a cheap test, and has had mixed results. Using ShadowExplorer on Vista-8 will give you a much easier graphical frontend for restoring large amounts of files at once (though this will not help with mapped drives, you'd need to run it on the server in that case). Undelete software doesn't work as it encrypts the files in place on the hard drive, there is no copying going on. The big takeaway is that cold-storage backups are good, and they will make this whole process laughably easy to resolve.
Prevention: As this post has attracted many home users, I'll put at the top that MalwareBytes Pro, Avast! Free and Avast! Pro (defs 131016-0 16.10.2013 or later) will prevent the virus from running.
For sysadmins in a domain environment, one way to prevent this and many other viruses is to set up software restriction policies (SRPs) to disallow the executing of .exe files from AppData/Roaming. Grinler explains how to set up the policy here.
Visual example. The rule covering %AppData%\*\*.exe is necessary for the current variant. The SRP will apply to domain admins after either the GP timer hits or a reboot, gpupdate /force does not enforce it immediately. There is almost no collateral damage to the SRP. Dropbox and Chrome are not effected. Spotify may be affected, not sure. I don't use it.
Making shares read-only will mitigate the risk of having sensitive data on the server encrypted.
Forecast: The reports of infections have risen from ~1,300 google results for cryptolocker to over 150,000 in a month. This virus is really ugly, really efficient, and really hard to stop until it's too late. It's also very successful in getting people to pay, which funds the creation of a new variant that plugs what few holes have been found. I don't like where this is headed.
Some edits below are now redundant, but many contain useful information.
9/17 EDIT: All 9/17 edits are now covered under Prevention.
10/10 EDIT: Google matches for CryptoLocker are up 40% in the last week, and I'm getting 5-10 new posts a day on this thread, so I thought I'd update it with some interesting finds from fellow Redditors.
  • soulscore reports that setting the BIOS clock back in time added time to his cryptolocker ransom. Confirmed that the timer extends with the machine offline, but that may be cosmetic and I don't like your chances of this actually helping if your timer runs out on the server side.
  • Spinal33 reports that AV companies are catching up with CryptoLocker and are blocking websites that are spawned in the virus's domain generation algorithm. This effectively means that some people are locked out of the ability to even pay the ransom. (Technically they could, but the virus couldn't call home.)
  • Malwarebytes is claiming that MBAM Pro will catch CryptoLocker. If someone wants to test them on it, be my guest. Confirmed
  • CANT_ARGUE_DAT_LOGIC gave some insight on the method the virus uses when choosing what to infect. It simply goes through folders alphabetically and encrypts all files that match the filemasks towards the top of this post. If you are lucky enough to catch it in the act of encrypting and pull the network connection, the CryptoLocker message will pop up immediately and the countdown will begin. Helpful in determining what will need to be taken into account for decryption.
EDIT 2: We had a customer that ignored our warning email get infected so I will have my hands on an infected PC today, hope to have some useful info to bring back.
10/10 MEGA EDIT: I now have an active CryptoLocker specimen on my bench. I want to run down some things I've found:
  • On WinXP at least, the nested SRP rule is necessary to prevent infection. The path rule needs to be %AppData%\*\*.exe
  • An alternate link to the virus sample is http://gktibioivpqbot.net/1002.exe
  • Once the program runs it spawns two more executables with random names in %userprofile%. Adding a SRP to cover %userprofile%\*.exe may be desired, though this will prevent GoToMyPC from running at a bare minimum.
  • This user was a local administrator, and CryptoLocker was able to encrypt files in other user's directories, though it did not spawn the executables anywhere but the user that triggered the infection. When logged in under a different account there is no indication that a timer is running.
  • The environment has server shares but no mapped drives and the shared data was not touched, even though a desktop shortcut would've taken the virus to a share. I suspect that will be covered in the next iteration.
  • The list of masks above does not appear to be totally complete. PDF files were encrypted and were not originally part of the set of file masks. That is the only exception I noticed, everything else follows the list. Conveniently (/s), CryptoLocker has a button you can click that shows the list of files it's encrypted.
  • The current ransom is $300 by MoneyPak or 2BTC, which at the time of writing would be $280 and change.
  • Fabian reported that registry data is stored at HKCU/Software/CryptoLocker. I cannot glean the meaning of the DWORD values on files but I do notice they are unique, likely salts for the individual files. I'm curious what purpose that would serve if the private key was revealed as the salts would be useless.
  • I have confirmed the message soulscore left that setting the BIOS timer back a few hours adds an equal amount of time. No telling whether that will work once it has a network connection and can see the C&C server, though.
  • The virus walked right through an up-to-date version of GFI Vipre. It appears AV companies either consider the risk too low to update definitions or, more likely, they're having trouble creating heuristic patterns that don't cause a lot of collateral damage.
10/11 EDIT: I ran Daphne on the infected PC to get a better idea of what might be going on. lsass.exe is running like crazy. Computer's had it's CPU pegged all day. I noticed the primary executable running from %AppData% has a switch on the end of the run command, which in my case is /w000000EC. No idea what that means.
10/15 EDIT: I just wanted to thank all the redditors that have submitted information on this. I have some interesting new developments that I'll be editing in full tomorrow.
10/18 EDIT: Hello arstechnica! Please read through comments before posting a question as there's a very good chance it's been answered.
New developments since 10/15:
  • We have confirmation that both Malwarebytes Antimalware Pro and Avast Free and Pro will stop CryptoLocker from running. My personal choice of the two is MBAM Pro but research on your own, AV Comparatives is a wonderful resource.
  • We have reports of a new vector of infection, Java. This is hardly surprising as Zeus was already being transmitted in this fashion, but Maybe_Forged reports contracting the virus with a honeypot VM in this manner.
  • zfs_balla made a hell of a first post on reddit, giving us a lot of insight to the behavior of the decryption process, and answered a frequently-asked question. I'm paraphrasing below.
A file encrypted twice and decrypted once is still garbage.
The waiting for payment confirmation screen stayed up for 16 days before a decryption began, so don't lose hope if it's been up a while.
The DWORD values in the registry have no bearing on decryption. Renaming an encrypted file to one on the list in the registry will decrypt it. However, I would presume this would only work for files that the virus encrypted on that machine as the public key is different with every infection.
Adding any new matching files to somewhere the virus has access will cause them to be encrypted, even at the "waiting for payment confirmation" screen. Be careful.
Hitting "Cancel" on a file that can't be found doesn't cancel the entire decryption, just that file.
EDIT 2: I've rewritten the bulk of this post so people don't have to slog through edits for important information.
10/21 EDIT: Two noteworthy edits. One is regarding Carbonite, which is apparently a viable backup option for this, it is covered under File Recovery. The other is regarding a piece of software called CryptoPrevent. I have not tried it, but according to the developer's website it blocks %localappdata%\*.exe and %localappdata%\*\*.exe which is not necessary for the current variant and will inflict quite a bit of collateral damage. I have no reason right now to doubt the legitimacy of the program, but be aware of the tradeoffs going in.
I'm now at the 15000 character limit. Wat do?
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03-10 23:52 - 'SOS!!! I've been hacked!' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/DabsMcDuck removed from /r/Bitcoin within 14-24min

'''
Hey everybody. Yesterday i've got into a BIG trouble.
My PC was encrypted by hackers and now they want to be paid 4btc ~$15k

I'm VERY upset and don't really know what to do. My computer contains a whole bunch of really important files like presentations, reports and other work staff, all logins and passwords (including bank accounts) and memorial family photos (really important for me). I can't desribe what I feel.
I have the money they demand, but I simply can't access them to buy freaking bitcoins. The worst thing is that if I don't pay within 24 hours the sum will increase.

During last few hours I read a HUGE amount of info, and there is no other way to get access to my computer back than paying them.

I would really appreciate ANY help with decrypting, especially financial. I ask for your help to collect the amount needed to pay the ransom, and swear by God to give back everything, till the last dollar. As well, I'll do my best to add 10% for EVERYBODY who will help to show my gratitude. Probably that would take me some time, several weeks maximum, but I promise that all your money will be given back.

I'm VERY upset, wellness of my whole family is at risk and I REQUIRE YOUR SUPPORT. During all my time at reddit I did my best to help everybody I can, now it's my time to ask for help.

I would really appreciate each dollar sent.
Here is the wallet: 1HMzSRoTjSczrApdBVtdjNtYZTb3bArCkV

God bless you!


[link]1
[link]2
'''
SOS!!! I've been hacked!
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: DabsMcDuck
1: i.**dd.*t*ize34t*0mdl*1.*pg 2: i.re*d.it/*mq5y3***d*21.j*g
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
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06-20 18:02 - 'Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment.' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/Adnankhattak removed from /r/Bitcoin within 0-4min

'''
A virtual currency called Ether has been growing alongside Bitcoin in the last year to $35 billion, compared with Bitcoin’s $43 billion.
Source: Coinmarketcap.com | By The New York Times
The price of Bitcoin has hit record highs in recent months, more than doubling in price since the start of the year. Despite these gains, Bitcoin is on the verge of losing its position as the dominant virtual currency.
The value of Ether, the digital money that lives on an upstart network known as Ethereum, has risen an eye-popping 4,500 percent since the beginning of the year.
With the recent price increases, the outstanding units of the Ether currency were worth around $34 billion as of Monday — or 82 percent as much as all the Bitcoin in existence. At the beginning of the year, Ether was only about 5 percent as valuable as Bitcoin.
The sudden rise of Ethereum highlights how volatile the bewildering world of virtual currency remains, where lines of computer code can be spun into billions of dollars in a matter of months.
Bitcoin, the breakout digital currency, is also hitting new highs — one Bitcoin was worth $2,600 on Monday. But the Bitcoin community has struggled with technical issues and bitter internal divisions among its biggest supporters. It has also been tainted by its association with online drug sales and hackers demanding ransom.
Against this backdrop, Ether has been gaining steam. The two-year old system has picked up backing from both tech geeks and big corporate names like JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, which are excited about Ethereum’s goal of providing not only a digital currency but also a new type of global computing network, which generally requires Ether to use.
In a recent survey of 1,100 virtual currency users, 94 percent were positive about the state of Ethereum, while only 49 percent were positive about Bitcoin, the industry publication CoinDesk said this month.
If recent trends continue, the value of Ethereum’s virtual currency could race past Bitcoin’s in the coming weeks. Virtual currency fanatics are monitoring the value of each and waiting for the two currencies to switch place, a moment that has been called “the flippening.”
“The momentum has shifted to Ethereum — there is no doubt about that,” said William Mougayar, the founder of Virtual Capital Ventures, which invests in a variety of virtual currencies and start-ups. “There is almost nothing you can do with Bitcoin that you can’t do with Ethereum.”
Even though most of the people buying Ether and Bitcoin are individual investors, the gains that both have experienced have taken what was until very recently a quirky fringe experiment into the realm of big money. The combined value of all Ether and Bitcoin is now worth more than the market value of PayPal and is approaching the size of Goldman Sachs.
Investors buying Ether are placing a bet that people will want to use the Ethereum network’s computing capabilities and will need the currency to do so. But that is far from a sure thing. And real-world use of the network is still scant.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, has made inroads into mainstream commerce, with companies like Overstock.com and Expedia accepting Bitcoin for purchases, along with the black-market operators who use the currency.
The fact that there are fewer real-world uses for Ethereum has many market experts expecting a crash similar to the ones that have followed previous run-ups in the price of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Even during recent pullbacks, though, the value of Ether has generally continued to gain on Bitcoin in relative terms.
Ethereum was launched in the middle of 2015 by a 21-year-old college dropout, Vitalik Buterin, who was born in Russia and raised in Canada. He now lists his residence, jokingly, as Cathay Pacific Airlines because of his travel schedule.
The Ether he holds has made him a millionaire many times over, but he has generally avoided commenting on the price increase in Ether.
Mr. Buterin was inspired by Bitcoin, and the software he built shares some of the same basic qualities. Both are hosted and maintained by the computers of volunteers around the world, who are rewarded for their participation with the new digital tokens that are released onto the network each day.
Because the virtual currencies are tracked and maintained by a network of computers, no government or company is in charge. The prices of both Bitcoin and Ether are established on private exchanges, where people can sell the tokens they own at the going market price.
But Ethereum was designed to do much more than just serve as a digital money. The network of computers hooked into Ethereum can be harnessed to do computational work, essentially making it possible to run computer programs on the network, or what are referred to as decentralized applications, or Dapps. This has led to an enormous community of programmers working on the software.
One of the first applications to take off was a user-led venture capital fund of sorts, known as the Decentralized Autonomous Organization. After raising over $150 million last summer, the project crashed and burned, and appeared ready to take Ethereum with it.
But the way that Mr. Buterin and other developers dealt with the problems, returning the hacked Ether to users, won him the respect of many in the corporate world.
“It was good to see that there is governance on Ethereum and that they can fix issues in a timely manner if they have to,” said Eric Piscini, who leads the team looking into virtual currency technology at the consulting firm Deloitte.
Many applications being built on Ethereum are also raising money using the Ether currency, in what are known as initial coin offerings, a play on initial public offerings.
Start-ups that have followed this path have generally collected Ether from investors and exchanged them for units of their own specialized virtual currency, leaving the entrepreneurs with the Ether to convert into dollars and spend on operational expenses.
These coin offerings, which have proliferated in recent months, have created a surge of demand for the Ether currency. Just last week, investors sent $150 million worth of Ether to a start-up, Bancor, that wants to make it easier to launch virtual currencies. If projects like Bancor stumble, Ether could as well.
Several big companies have also been building programs on top of Ethereum, including the mining company BHP Billiton, which has built a trial program to track its raw materials, and JPMorgan, which is working on a system to monitor trading.
Over the last few months, over 100 companies have joined the nonprofit Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, including global names like Toyota, Merck and Samsung, to build tools that will make Ethereum useful in corporate settings.
Many of the companies using Ethereum are building their own private versions of the software, which won’t make use of the Ether currency. Speculators are betting that these companies will eventually plug their software into the broader Ethereum network.
There is, though, also the possibility that none of these big trials come to fruition, and the current excitement fizzles out, as has happened many times in the past with Bitcoin after big price surges.
“I hope this is the year where we start to close the gap between the speculative value and the actual value,” Mr. Mougayar said. “There is a lot at stake right now.”
'''
Move Over, Bitcoin. Ether Is the Digital Currency of the Moment.
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Bitcoins Start Pouring into Ransomware Addresses After a Global Wave of Cyber-Attacks

This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 69%.
Bitcoin's price fell yesterday by more than $200 following widespread news of a global wave of ransomware attacks affecting up to 100 countries, including Spain, US, Russia, UK, China, Italy, Vietnam and others.
Many systems remain down as the hackers are asking for bitcoins to release the data.
One such address currently shows it contain around 5 bitcoins, worth nearly $10,000, with the first transaction made yesterday around mid-day.
The address in question has had a total of 21 payments in the last 24 hours, suggesting many infested computers are asked to send $300 to one shared bitcoin address, but there appears to be many such addresses.
It may be the case that one bitcoin address is being used for one LAN. That may suggest this isn't quite targeted at home users who usually operate as individual islands rather than LAN networks which make the business, hospital or university operate as an island.
A collection of these addresses would be useful to stop the flow of funds, so please share below any bitcoin address known to belong to the ransomers, preferably with evidence such as a ransomed computer screenshot.
Summary Source | FAQ | Theory | Feedback | Top five keywords: such#1 address#2 bitcoin#3 computer#4 share#5
Post found in /worldnews.
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Arkansas sheriff's office hit by ransomware pays hackers

This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 25%.
An Arkansas sheriff's office paid hackers the equivalent of $2,400 to regain access to hijacked computer files.
Carroll County Sheriff's Office Lt. Daniel Klatt said the department's system was infected Dec. 5 with ransomware, which typically works by encrypting computer files to deny its owner access unless they pay a ransom, often in the electronic currency bitcoin, which is hard to trace.
"This type of attack is designed to deny the owner of the data access to the data whereas in other attacks, people want to steal the data," Klatt told Fort Smith, Arkansas, television station KHBS. Klatt said the department paid three bitcoin - or about $2,400 - to unlock the computer system.
According to the Harrison Daily Times, the hackers encrypted the department's management system, which holds reports, bookings and other day-to-day operational data.
None of the data was stolen and the computer system was operating again on Monday, he said.
Last month, an Indiana County paid $21,000 in ransom after its systems were encrypted by hackers, while a Pennsylvania prosecutor's office paid $1,400 in ransom last year.
Summary Source | FAQ | Theory | Feedback | Top five keywords: computer#1 system#2 hacks#3 data#4 paid#5
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You only need one bitcoin ( r/Bitcoin  Reddit ) Sextortion Email Scam for Bitcoin Showing Password Who else is still buying? ( r/Bitcoin  Reddit ) Watch in Action Ransomware attacks PC LIVE! BART Variant Crypto Locker BitCoin Why This Massive Email Scam Still Works In 2019

The Weekly Hack: Scammers threaten to expose users’ online porn habits and demand Bitcoin ransom A group of gas-stealing hackers elude police as airport, military, and medical secrets are for Of the five wallets we looked at only one had received any bitcoin, in total about 0.5 bitcoin or $4,000 at the time of this writing. It’s hard to say how much the scammers have received in total at this point since they appear to be using different bitcoin addresses for each attack, but it’s clear that at least some people are already The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems Your report to Bitcoin Whos Who can also help screen and potentially freeze future fraudulent transactions. Only BitcoinWhosWho.com offers blockchain community members a free API and searchable database of reported scam and bitcoin address website appearances, but there are other fraud report venues out there: A Florida town has agreed to pay a $600,000 ransom in Bitcoin after hackers paralyzed its computer systems. $1.2 Million Ransom Demanded For South African Teen In A 'Bitcoin Kidnapping'

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You only need one bitcoin ( r/Bitcoin Reddit )

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