As the novel coronavirus crisis continues, a cybersecurity firm has started offering free help to healthcare providers that fall victim to cryptocurrency-demanding ransomware. According to an announcement on March 18, cybersecurity firm Emsisoft partnered with incident response company Coveware to allow free access to ransomware-related services at no cost to healthcare providers. The initiative aims to get the impacted organizations operational in the shortest time possible to reduce the impact on patient care to a minimum.
According to the firm, ransomware attacks have a seasonal aspect with the number of incidents spiking during the spring and summer months. Emsisoft also suggests that this year, the spike could be more pronounced than usual due to potential system vulnerabilities introduced by the hastily-introduced remote work environments and staffing shortages. Brett Callow, an Emsisoft threat analyst said that, in the vast majority of ransomware incidents, the attack vector is an email or an improperly secured remote access solution, adding:
“We’re anticipating an increase in ransomware incidents which could be significantly in excess of the typical seasonal spikes and, unfortunately, may coincide with COVID-19’s peak. A perfect storm.”
At the end of last year, Emsisoft released a report claiming that in 2019, at least 764 healthcare providers were impacted by ransomware. Now, the firm suggests that with the ongoing pandemic such attacks “could tip the balance and result in a significant loss of life.”
Since the stakes are higher than usual, the firms will offer technical analysis of ransomware and decryption tool development for free. As a last resort, the free services also include ransom negotiation, transaction handling and post-ransom payment data recovery management with a custom decryption tool.
Ransomware is a growing risk in an economy that is becoming ever-more dependent on technology for providing goods and services. In a recent meeting, the United States Senate examined new measures to enhance the homeland security cybersecurity measures, including addressing ransomware. Recently, a group of particularly opportunistic hackers started spreading ransomware by claiming that the software they are sending provides information on the spread of the coronavirus.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Brock Pierce Enters The 2020 US Presidential Race
Brock Pierce, entrepreneur, crypto venture capitalist, and child star, has announced his USA Presidential run on Twitter July 5. His tweet stated: “
“I, Brock Pierce, am running for President of the United States of America.”
Pierce’s campaign site states that he is a pioneer digital currency and has raised more than $5 billion for the companies he has founded. Pierce is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin (first ICO). His website, sparse on details, does not say if he is seeking a nomination in a political party or if he is running as an Independent.