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Regulation News

Kim Jong Un May Be Using Stolen Crypto To Help In Midst Of Economic Fallout

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Kim Jong Un May Be Using Stolen Crypto To Help In Midst Of Economic Fallout
Kim Jong Un May Be Using Stolen Crypto To Help In Midst Of Economic Fallout

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is reportedly backing a group of hackers. Their goal? Stealing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) using phishing scams. Sources indicate that the country has ramped up these efforts in an attempt to prevent a financial meltdown amid the COVID-19 crisis. A report published on May 13 by the U.K. Mirror claims that the Lazarus group, a hacking syndicate with alleged ties to the North Korean state, could be launching a cybercrime campaign of advanced persistent threat, or APT, attacks. Experts from Seoul-based firm, ESTsecurity, state that Lazarus is “increasingly engaging” in cybercrime activities in and out of South Korea. Still, they have also received reports that some attacks are being made internationally in countries like the United States.

The attacks are mainly aimed at people trading crypto, as the group sends malicious files that impersonate blockchain software development contracts. Brett Callow, a threat analyst at malware lab, Emsisoft, explained that the group of hackers is also known as “HIDDEN COBRA”. He commented:

“The Lazarus Group, or HIDDEN COBRA, undoubtedly represent a serious threat and have been blamed for a number of significant security incidents including the WannaCry attack, the Sony breach, and the 2017 attacks on users of various cryptocurrencies. Some reports have claimed the group is North Korean and may be a state-sponsored actor, but this may or not be correct.”

Callow warns that ascribing ties with the Lazarus Group to the North Korean government is “extremely difficult”. He points out that even if the claims are well-evidenced, they may “nonetheless be wrong.” The hacking group, famous for allegedly hacking Sony Pictures over the release of the film “The Interview,” has been accused of stealing more than $570 million worth of crypto from exchanges. In a press release on April 27, ESTsecurity warned:

“They are also engaging in cyber-espionage operations as well as activities designed to generate foreign currency.”

Many of the attacks by the Lazarus group have been reported on in the last 2 years. For example, on February 5, it was revealed that the hacking group created an elaborate trading bot to phish DragonEx exchange employees into installing a malware-infested application. On March 5, it was announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, sanctioned two Chinese nationals accused of laundering cryptocurrency stolen in a 2018 crypto exchange hack, allegedly connected to Lazarus group.

Ethereum News

Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Speaks About Trump Vs Twitter Feud

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Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Speaks About Trump Vs Twitter Feud
Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Speaks About Trump Vs Twitter Feud

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin has dialed in a solution following today’s executive order signed by US President Donald Trump, who is attempting to challenge social media platforms and their ability to censor and flag content: build self-governing communities. Trump says social media platforms have grown too powerful. He signed an executive order on Thursday shortly after Twitter, which Trump uses as a public megaphone, slapped two of his tweets with the following warning – “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”. It effectively cast doubt on Trump’s words, after he tweeted that mail-in ballots will absolutely, and without a doubt, lead to a rigged presidential election.

According to Trump’s tweet,

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”

Speaking from the Oval Office on Thursday, Trump says Twitter’s fact-check label on his tweet is interfering in the 2020 presidential race and stifling free speech. He called out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as behemoths that wield too much power, engage in “selective censorship that is harming our national discourse” and flag and delete “inappropriate” content as a form of censorship.

“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the gravest dangers it has faced in American history, frankly. A small handful of powerful social media monopolies control the vast portion of all private and public communications in the United States.”

His Executive Order on Online Censorship will strip away broad legal protections that have benefited the tech giants operating social media platforms, opening the door for regulators to take legal action against them for their handling of online content. While Trump’s order will ignite a legal firestorm, it remains that centralized tech giants are increasingly drawn into political battles as they struggle to filter content. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin says the situation underscores the need for decentralized alternatives.

While Buterin argues that placing a warning label against potentially dangerous content is a better alternative to outright banning it, he says he is concerned about “selective outrage” being used to threaten Twitter’s independence. “The problem is that whichever one ends up dominant has the incentive to enter a symbiotic relationship with the political powers-that-be (you implement our wishes, we don’t regulate you and even support your monopoly) which leads to a nasty form of lock-in.” Trump also posted the same claims on Facebook, but the social media giant did not place a warning label on the posts. On Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey clarified his position on issuing warnings.

“We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make. This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

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Bitcoin News

Chinese Citizens Now Allowed To Inherit Cryptocurrency

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Chinese Citizens Now Allowed To Inherit Cryptocurrency
Chinese Citizens Now Allowed To Inherit Cryptocurrency

The Thirteenth National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference has come to an end on May 28. According to Xinhua news, the same day the parliament passed a new civil code; a legislation package that includes protecting the civil rights of inheritance, marriage, property, personality, contract, and infringement. 

The new code states: “When a natural person dies, the legacy is the personal legal property left by she/he.” Lixin Yang, a professor of Renmin University of China told China Central Television that this means “internet property and virtual currency will be inherited”. Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Ventures also recently tweeted that Bitcoin users should care more about their

Bitcoin private keys, regardless of the new law. The new inheritance law, which allows China’s citizens to pass on their cryptocurrency and other virtual assets to their heirs, will come into effect on January 1, 2021, according to the report

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Altcoin News

Visa Starts New DeFi-Enabled Crypto Card In The EU And The UK

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Visa Starts New DeFi-Enabled Crypto Card In The EU And The UK
Visa Starts New DeFi-Enabled Crypto Card In The EU And The UK

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) aren’t really easy to spend in day-to-day life, mainly because retailers prefer to stay away from crypto’s volatility. In order to build a bridge between traditional finance and emergent assets like Bitcoin, a Swiss crypto startup called Eidoo has introduced a new Visa crypto debit card that uses regulated stablecoins for crypto-to-fiat conversion. The so-called Eidoo Card has been approved for operation by payment giant Visa. 

Announcing the news on May 25, Eidoo said that its new card will enable 40 million Visa merchants to accept crypto-derived fiat currencies, including the British pound (GBP) and euro (EUR). Eidoo CEO Thomas Bertani said that this latest approval by Visa is part of Eidoo’s partnership with Contis, a principal member of Visa Europe and a holder of a U,K. e-money license.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is the future of Borrowing & Lending ... 

Bertani said Visa has approved the entire flow of Contis-led card issuance as well as crypto-to-fiat conversion involving regulated stablecoins issued by Moneyfold, a U.K.-based financial services firm focused on fiat-pegged stablecoins. This means Contis acts as the issuer of the Eidoo Card, similar to how other crypto cards like Monolith operate. In the meantime, Moneyfold’s Ethereum-based stablecoins, Moneyfold Euro and Moneyfold GBP, are planned to unlock a higher degree of decentralization and transparency in the process of converting between crypto and fiat. Bertani explained the process:

“People have a given crypto-token, they sell it for the stablecoin via DeFi DEXes like Uniswap. Then the regulated stablecoin obtained from there is topped up with a 1:1 exchange rate (1 Moneyfold EUR = 1 EUR) on the crypto card when the payment occurs.”

Nikola Tchouparov, co-founder and CEO at Moneyfold, emphasized the unique stablecoin-based nature of Eidoo’s crypto debit card. “It will be the first time the backend of a crypto card is done via stablecoins and DEXes,” Tchouparov said. In order to preorder an Eidoo Card, users need to stake or burn Eidoo’s native EDO token. Depending on the plan, and Eidoo Card requires that the user burn 100 EDO tokens or stake 25,000. As of press time, EDO is trading at $0.26 according to data from Coin360. Bertani says that users have already pre-ordered more than 2,700 cards, with more than 3 million EDO tokens staked to date.

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