Ethereum’s showdown with Bitcoin continues as network activity runs on par with king coin

Bitcoin’s performance against other altcoins has been a much-discussed topic in the cryptocurrency industry, with the world’s largest digital asset giving a tough competition to rest of the market. Ethereum, the largest altcoin co-created by Vitalik Buterin, has been one of the few coins holding its own against Bitcoin, with several parameters equaling or even […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

GitHub Hacked for Bitcoins: Is it a Hackers Smartness or Microsoft Security Weakness?

Well, hackers have struck again and this time it’s to the heart of developers- the code repositories at Github. Well, it been a couple of days since A hacker has been breaking into GitHub accounts and is wiping code repositories, to then demand a ransom in bitcoin from its owners. While there are still no signs of who the hacker, it definitely raises questions on Microsoft connection to it and its capabilities of managing the code repository vertical which it acquired last year.
The Microsoft Connection that is raising questions
Hackers are considered to be smartest kids in the room and as the world is evolving with tech the hackers to have gone smarter. But for them to breach the security of a tech giant needs some effort. Here comes a hacker that has just challenged the supremacy of Microsoft and has been asking Bitcoins for ransom.
Reportedly, GitHub has been hit by hackers who are hijacking private code repositories and deleting them in order to blackmail their owners for ransom. According to ZDNet, the attack has hit at least 392 different GitHub repositories and defaced them with a ransom note asking for 0.1 BTC (around $570) and an email proving the payment has been made.
Affected users have posted a note from the hacker that reads:
“To recover your lost code and avoid leaking it: Send us 0.1 Bitcoin (BTC) to our Bitcoin address 1ES14c7qLb5CYhLMUekctxLgc1FV2Ti9DA and contact us by Email at admin@gitsbackup.com with your Git login and a Proof of Payment.”
And it’s not just Github, Several Git service developers have reported a break-in, where their repository was removed and replaced with a demand for Bitcoins. While many believe it’s unjust to call Microsoft weak for this attacks, it Microsoft’s silent that is creating doubts. Microsoft has been silent on the entire matter. Microsoft bought GitHub last year for US$7.5 billion.
Also Read: Coffee on Blockchain – Starbucks Partners with Microsoft To Leverage Blockchain Service
Bitbucket and GitLab say that their security is not to blame for the attacks. Bitbucket notes the hacker gained access to the user accounts by submitting the proper usernames and passwords. So far,
“We believe that these credentials may have been leaked through another service, as other git hosting services are experiencing a similar attack. We have not detected any other compromise of Bitbucket,” notes a Bitbucket representative.
Kathy Wang, the security director for GitLab added
“We have strong evidence that the compromised accounts have account passwords being stored in plaintext on deployment of a related repository. We strongly encourage the use of password management tools to store passwords in a more secure manner,”
This hack is also been linked to Microsoft’s downplaying crypto-stealing email hack. On April 13th, Microsoft confirmed that its web email services (Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail) were compromised by a security breach. The software giant’s initially reported that the hack, which occurred between January 1st and March 28th, only affected folder names, email subject lines, victims’ email address, and the email addresses of those the victims corresponded with.
A few months later, it was realized that the content of emails had been stolen, allowing the hackers to access cryptocurrency accounts and empty them.
While it is difficult to assess why is Microsoft silent on this attack, it’s definitely not going well with the users. The longer the silence from Microsoft, the belief is getting more stronger that its Microsoft weakness and not hackers smartness that is the culprit of this attack
Will Microsoft come clean on these attacks and clarify its stance? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post GitHub Hacked for Bitcoins: Is it a Hackers Smartness or Microsoft Security Weakness? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

A Single Trader Has Made Nearly Half of All Augur Profits Since Inception

New data pulled from decentralized betting marketplace Augur shows that since the platform launched nearly seven months ago, a single user has reaped nearly half of the profits made from placing bets on the platform.
An Augur leaderboard compiled by security researcher Mike McDonald shows that the anonymous user has made nearly $100,000 from Augur bets.

Source: GitHub
Contrasting Fortunes
Over the course of 177 trades, the user has made 856.4656 ETH, which works out to about $99,433 at current market rates. As fascinating as this would appear, the rest of the leadership makes more even more interesting reading, with the user in (a distant) second place recording profits of 136.926 ETH (about $15,866) across just 14 trades, meaning that this user has averaged over $1,000 in profit per trade.
Further down the leaderboard in fourth place is a mega-user with 662 trades on Augur and a profit balance of 84.935 ETH ($9,865). At the extreme end of the list in 1,344th place is a user with 80 trades registered on Augur and a net loss of 1311.529 ETH ($152,504), which averages at a loss of approximately $1,906 per trade. This user is by far and away the biggest loser on the entire Augur platform, with the next biggest loser registering a loss of 387.59 ETH ($45,069) across 229 trades.
Evidence of Low Turnover
Beyond the novelty value of these results, what seems evident from this data is that like so many other DApps, Augur is suffering from a pointed lack of usage. A total of 1344 users in over six months of operation averages out at about 224 new users per month. A cursory examination of the current DApp usage leaderboard shows that it is still heavily dominated by gambling DApps which while relatively active with large volumes of money flowing through them, are only used by a relatively small number of people.
Augur was marketed at launch as the platform that would show the true value of decentralization by creating a censorship-free environment for all types of betting markets. Instead, however, the post-launch period was dominated by news about assassination prediction markets on U.S. president Donald Trump opening up, among other embarrassing incidents.
The recent launch of the Veil Mainnet, built on Augur and 0x protocols, however, provided a much-needed market boost for Augur, sending the REP price shooting up 38 percent last week. Veil has marketed itself as a consumer-friendly implementation of Augur, solving the platform’s problems of delayed payout and low speed.
The post A Single Trader Has Made Nearly Half of All Augur Profits Since Inception appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Litecoin [LTC] clear the FUD surrounding Github commits, Pushing for the Next Stage of its Evolution

Currently down over 90 percent from its ATH, Litecoin is focusing on the mainstream adoption, brand build-up, and Lightning Network with a progressive year ahead.
Litecoin working on Developments & Making it More Well-known
Earlier this month, Litecoin had shared that they are looking for a good year ahead with a lot of developments in the pipeline. In the latest blog by the community manager of Litecoin Foundation, Ilir Gashi reiterated,
“Things to look out for are the Litecoin Core v0.17 which reduces network transaction fees by 10x; as well as private transactions onto the Litecoin blockchain; as well as the growing adoption of the Lightning Network and Atomic Swaps.”
The blog to the main part has been to counter the FUD surrounding Github commits activity indicating Litecoin’s developments is becoming more inactive, which he says is untrue. Going deep into the matter, he shared that Litecoin is in fact regularly committing on Github, however, these activities in no way means development as it does not capture the entire code construction from start to finish. Also, being an open source platform means different developers and projects get to collaboratively work together, hence Litecoin doesn’t need to constantly strive to make new innovations to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.  
As has been emphasized on numerous occasions,
“Litecoin aims to provide a cryptocurrency that compliments Bitcoin’s store of value proposition as well as differentiating itself as an efficient and effective financial payment solution to anyone everywhere around the world.”
The 8th largest cryptocurrency has been pushing for mainstream adoption with different partnerships and is currently working on Lightning Network where it is constantly growing, now reaching 122 nodes, with 490 channels and around 56.14 LTC ($1,772.23) network capacity.
Recently, Litecoin Foundation announced sponsorship of the UFC event that earned it some good stats on Twitter which according to Litecoin creator Charles Lee has been about building the brand,
“So it kind of wanted like build that brand and make it more well-known and it’s really kind of helped a lot. I mean we’ve reached a lot of people, [they’ve] have reached out to us, talked about like coin just because if they heard about the UFC sponsorship yeah. I think it’s pretty cool, plus that the fight was pretty amazing.”
Also, not to forget UFC announcer, Bruce Buffer’s “take control of your money and pay with Litecoin!”
On the price front, while being down over 91 percent from its all-time high, Litecoin is currently trading at $31.16 with 24-hours loss of 1.07 percent.
The post Litecoin [LTC] clear the FUD surrounding Github commits, Pushing for the Next Stage of its Evolution appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Jack Dorsey’s Payments Startup Square Open-Sources Bitcoin Cold Storage Solution

San Francisco-based mobile payments firm Square announced it is open-sourcing its Bitcoin cold storage solution, which is now available on Github.
Mobile Payments Startup Square Open-Sources Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and Wallet Auditing Tool
The company founded by Jack Dorsey, who is also CEO of Twitter, has built out its cryptocurrency infrastructure when it started offering Bitcoin payments with Cash App in late 2017.
The documentation, code, and tools for “Subzero” – the HSM-backed solution designed to protect the startup and users from internal and external threats – can now be found here.
Square’s FIPS certified Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are already in use for other payments-related needs.
“Funds can be sent from online systems to the cold storage at any time. Moving funds out of cold storage requires a multi-party signing ceremony. In addition, the offline HSMs are able to enforce business logic rules, for instance we only allow sending funds to Square-owned addresses. Such a scheme is usually called defense in depth or an onion model. We maintain the online/offline isolation by importing transaction metadata and exporting signatures using QR codes.”
The modules’ ability to share key material enables Square to store backups in encrypted form and restore a wallet at any location. The startup warns that the source code is only useful for coders with the exact same hardware setup, but they are open to contributions enabling support for alternative vendors. Square is also open-sourcing its auditing tool Beancounter, security engineer Alok Menghrajani announced.
“Finally, we wrote a tool, Beancounter, to audit our wallet balances. The tool is written in Go and addresses needs that aren’t fulfilled by existing wallet software, such as the ability to compute the balance at any given date in the past, and the ability to handle wallets with very large number of transactions. Beancounter also has some other useful features, such as mapping dates to block numbers.”
Square intends to share the work in order to help others fulfill their security needs and to promote innovation and security in the cryptocurrency space. Over the long run, the startup will attempt to standardize some of the code.
The payments firm reported $37 million in revenue from Bitcoin, having spent $36.6 million to offer it on their Cash App, leading to a tight profit of $420,000. Square saw tremendous stock performance coinciding with their additions to the Cash App. Many investors see it as a better way to acquire Bitcoin than cryptocurrency exchanges, as the payments service allows for feeless trading while operators can charge fees higher than four percent.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Monero [XMR] wallets compromised as hackers target MEGA Chrome extension

On 4th September, Monero [XMR] announced that the official MEGA chrome extension was compromised, with an update stealing the passwords and cryptocurrency wallet addresses from its users. The latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked, allowing cryptojackers to access saved passwords and usernames from Amazon, GitHub, Google, and Microsoft portals.
Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter
The Chrome extension claims to provide a secure cloud storage service that can improve browser performance by reducing loading time. The extension is currently unavailable for download at the Chrome Web Store.
Monero is a privacy coin where the addresses of the sender are hidden along with the amount of transaction which took place. Thus every transaction on the Monero network goes through a secret address which cannot be linked to the first sender.
In spite of Monero’s claims of being private and untraceable, the cryptocurrency has witnessed instances where cryptojackers have secretly mined XMR with the computer power of web visitors.
Riccardo Andsaskiaspagni, also known as fluffypony, the Lead Maintainer of Monero said on Twitter,
“Confirmed that it also extracts private keys if you login to MyMonero and/or MyEtherWallet in a browser with the extension installed.”
MyEtherWallet.com, an open-source cryptocurrency wallet for ERC20 tokens, stated:

Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter
SamsungGalaxyPlayer spotted the issue and stated:
“The MEGA Chrome extension source code has not been updates in four months, suggesting that the account responsible with updating the version given to Google was compromised”
Some of the recommendations made in his post on Reddit were to uninstall MEGA Chrome extension immediately and change important passwords. He also suggested that its users transfer funds from those accounts which could have possibly been compromised.
MEGA Chrome extension version 3.39.4 was mainly affected and all the data collected was being sent to one server. This problem was limited to Google Chrome, as the Mozilla Firefox version had not been compromised.
PWPersian commented on Reddit:
“Wow this is huge, I do not personally use MEGA however I am always afraid of extensions going rouge as I check up on updates the least often for them, sending this to everyone I know to make sure they know to change passwords etc.”
Gattacus an enthusiastic Redditor commented:
“There was an update to the extension and Chrome asked for new permission (read data on all websites). That made me suspicious and I checked the extension code locally (which is mostly javascript anyways). MEGA also has the source code of the extension on github https://github.com/meganz/chrome-extension There was no commit recently. To me it looks either their Google Webstore account was hacked or someone inside MEGA did this. pure speculation though”
The post Monero [XMR] wallets compromised as hackers target MEGA Chrome extension appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Investor Buy Signal to ‘Make a Killing’ is the Next Bitcoin Death

An investment analyst has predicted the ‘death of Bitcoin’ articles will show the key moment to invest in Bitcoin. Following the ‘bubble popping’ over the last year, the analyst claims that this will be the buy signal for him and others to invest.

No Such Thing as Bad Press

Bitcoin has ‘died’ countless times according to the media. 99Bitcoins puts the figure at 306 deaths with quotes from each publication that has called it over for the digital currency. These articles often occur after temporary market crashes, including the Mount Gox hack where Bitcoin ‘died’ at $658 according to articles such as ‘Bitcoin is Dead’ by the Weekly Standard.

In the article, Jonathan Last said: “The speculators may not realize it yet, but you can stick a fork in bitcoin. It’s done.”

Now, CEO of stocks and investment website ADVFN, Clem Chambers, has claimed that these death reports are excellent buy signals for investors. He said that investors can ‘make a killing’ if they buy at the bottom, in a similar way to those who invested following the dotcom bubble. Chambers said:

“I want to see headlines saying “Bitcoin is dead” after a final leg down. This will signal a bottom as it has on many previous occasions. “The Death of Bitcoin” as a MSM headline will be the point I will be serious about loading up.”

‘Bitcoin is dead’ searches on Google hit an all-time high this year between February 4 and February 10 when the price of Bitcoin dropped to $6,048. That’s almost ten times higher than when Bitcoin died in 2014. Bitcoin has fallen to around this price an additional two times this year but searches have remained low.

Price of Bitcoin over the last year

 

Google search volume for ‘Bitcoin is dead’ over the past year

Chambers expects one more drop this year which will lead to the definitive death of Bitcoin for 2018. From looking at the charts, he sees ‘another final leg to fall’ but admits that’s just his opinion. After 2014, it took two years for the price to stabilise and start reaching higher. However, recent news on Bitcoin ETFs may help to accelerate the progress this time around.

Bitcoin ‘Purge’ to Help Growth?

An ICO advisory firm has released a study showing over 80% of ICO projects were scams. This definition included projects that didn’t follow their roadmap or were deemed to be scams by community members. Three per cent ‘died’, meaning they were not listed on exchanges and had no contributions in Github for quite some time.

The data showed that investors have a good eye as the 80% of ICOs only received 11% of total funding. Yet it has been argued that removing some of the ‘unsuccessful’ coins could help to revitalise the market which has lost over $500 billion of its market cap this year. As cryptocurrencies are decentralized, this purging of coins would have to be voluntary but it could help to stimulate growth.

 

Image from Shutterstock

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