Avast and Police Kill 850,000 Malware Infections

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Avast and French Police Outsmart Botnet Creators 

Cristal M Clark 

The Retadup malware infects computers and starts mining cryptocurrency by sapping power from a computer’s processor. The malware was used to generate money and the malware operators could also run other malicious code, such as spyware and/or ransomware. The malware also comes with a bonus, wormable properties, allowing it to spread from computer to computer.

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Since its birth, the cryptocurrency mining malware has spread across the world, including the U.S., Russia, and Central and South America.

Sounds a lot like a nightmare for any infected computer, yet French police managed to hijack and neutralized a massive cryptocurrency mining botnet that controlled close to a million infected computers. Security firm Avast confirmed that the operation was quite successful.

Avast discovered a design flaw in the malware’s command and control server. That flaw, if properly exploited, would have “allowed us to remove the malware from its victims computers without pushing any code to victims computers,” according to researchers at Avast. 

Sadly, Avast did not have the proper legal authority to exploit the flaw considering it would have involved them manipulating end users computers without their permission and I am not referring to the bad guys, I am referring to individuals such as you or myself. So Avast did the next best thing, they contacted French authorities because the malwares infrastructure seemed to live and breath in France.  

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So after obtaining the right authorization in July, Avast and French police took control of the server and disinfect affected computers.

This take-down ended in perfect fashion however had the authors of the malware realized what had been happening they could have pushed ransomware to hundreds of thousands of computers while still attempting to profit from the malware before the take-down. 

Researchers built their own replica of the malware since they now had a copy of it, which disinfected victim computers instead of causing infections. Avast amazingly stopped the malware from operating and removed the malicious code to over 850,000 infected computers.

Remotely shutting down a malware botnet is a rare and difficult feat to achieve, my hats off to the Avast and the French Police.  

 

Cristal M Clark

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Scammers World Wide Failed to Meet 2018 Financial Goals

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Wave of Bomb Threats Sent

It would appear that scammers worldwide have failed to meet this year’s financial goals so they had to resort to plan b.

As reported by social media and numerous law enforcement agencies On Wednesday afternoon, a wave of bomb threats were reported at various locations across the United States.

Those being, schools, hospitals, government offices, businesses and something new, private residences.

The threats came by email according to law enforcement.

NBC News quoted the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau’s brief statement on the investigation:

“We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city. These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide and are not considered credible at this time.”

Scammers are becoming increasingly more and more brazen albeit, ridiculous in terms of the threats circulating these days, but generally you can still tell that it is complete and total bs.

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Whomever is behind the threats is clearly truly quite inept.

Guess, who is not impressed by this latest attempt to score some cryptocurrency?

This is not how we communicate with one another here in America, try texting and shortening the length of that poorly written demand for Bitcoin next time.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

 

Bitcoin Price Likely Manipulated?

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Bitcoin – Invest At Your Own Risk

Does this come as a huge surprise?

If it does to anyone, I am quite frankly surprised. Everyone should at the very least have the slightest suspicion that the Bitcoin market was, has and is being manipulated.

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It is after all only a logical sequence of events if you were paying attention to Bitcoin prices at all not to mention that quite a bit of cryptocurrency across the board is currently being acquired fraudulently in some fashion or another. 

Bitcoin prices were not moving then, suddenly it made a pretty significant jump.

Now according to a recent issue of the Journal of Monetary Economics, 4 researchers came together and wrote an article titled “Price Manipulation in the Bitcoin Ecosystem,” that paper shows just how the Bitcoin ecosystem is being manipulated.

The researchers are Neil Ganddal, JT Hamrick, Tyler Moore and Tali Oberman.

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According to the paper, the researchers took a look at the Mt. Gox Bitcoin currency exchange and began to casually notice that roughly $600,000 bitcoins that were valued at $188 million just so happened to have been fraudulently acquired.

Looks like someone forgot to cover their tracks but not so much that we actually know the identity of said criminal. 

“During both periods, the USD-BTC exchange rate rose by an average of four percent on days when suspicious trades took place, compared to a slight decline on days without suspicious activity. Based on rigorous analysis with extensive robustness checks, the paper demonstrates that the suspicious trading activity likely caused the unprecedented spike in the USD-BTC exchange rate in late 2013, when the rate jumped from around $150 to more than $1,000 in two months.”

According to what the team was able to learn, the price manipulations looked like they were happening when the market was fairly thin for various cryptocurrencies.

“Despite the huge increase in market capitalization, similar to the bitcoin market in 2013 (the period examined), markets for these other cryptocurrencies are very thin. The number of cryptocurrencies has increased from approximately 80 during the period examined to 843 today! Many of these markets are thin and subject to price manipulation.”

So who is responsible for the manipulation?

According to researchers it appears that two bots named Markus and Willy were conducting what appeared to be legitimate trades yet they did not actually own any bitcoin that they were using which helped drive up the price.

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Mt. Gox was hacked before, during the hack a number of bots did in fact make away with millions.

This is bad news for bitcoin as it clearly demonstrates how easy it is to manipulate the markets and to make off with millions.

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While I am all for breaking off the grid and deregulation here, I still think Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies have a long way to go in terms of developing actual levels of standards, checks and balances, you know something like security and quality checks are firmly in place.

At least it should be considering now that many countries are looking to legalize cryptocurrency and accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment not to mention that the finance industry is also seeking to invest in it pretty heavily.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop

Hackers Getting More Ingenious

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Cryptocurrency Valuations Rising – Expect More Hacks and Cyber Attacks

Hackers are becoming more and more ingenious especially now that cryptocurrency is starting to take off, as the valuations of cryptocurrency rises, cyber attacks are becoming more and more prevalent because hackers want to mine for cryptocurrency.

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All of the attacks are unknown to users and are coin-mining scripts, normally planted by hackers in the background of public websites, on servers, devices, and in software and are far more lucrative than coin-mining’s ugly adopted twin, malware, stealing bank account information from users.

The attacks, they mine for cryptocurrency and as coin prices rise, so too will the attacks.

One recently discovered attack involved a mass collection of servers where hackers were able to exploit CVE-2-17-10271 which is a critical vulnerability in Oracle’s WebLogic package.

Oracle does have a patch for the vulnerability that was released back in October, but the owner of the servers had not installed it yet.

The hackers were able to mine for cryptocurrency and had mined roughly $6,000 worth of the AEON cryptocurrency.

Back in December a hack generated more than $8,500 worth of Monero cryptocurrency, using the same flaw that hackers exploited to hack Equifax.

What’s interesting here is that the mining programs typically mine the Monero currency rather than Bitcoin, because of Monero’s CPU-friendly hashing algorithm.

Cryptocurrency prices tend to be tightly correlated, so Monero’s price is in sync with Bitcoin.

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These attacks are not necessarily stealing the cryptocurrency, they are actually generating digital coins which is a new and improved way of creating counterfeit currency.

As cryptocurrency becomes more and more popular, it looks like the security surrounding cryptocurrency is going to need to be tightened exponentially in order to curb these mining attacks.  

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop on twitter

And https://gab.ai/thecrimeshop