North Korean Hackers Ramp up Malware Attacks Against Bitcoin Service Providers

There have been numerous attacks involving malware over the past few years. A growing number of these attacks are aimed at cryptocurrency users and service providers. According to Yonhap News, new statistics indicate things are slowly getting out of hand in this regard. A 370% increase in the frequency of malware and ransomware attacks is pretty worrisome, to say the very least. It is unclear how many of these attempts were orchestrated by North Korea, though.

CRYPTOCURRENCY-RELATED MALWARE ATTACKS ARE ON THE RISE

Given the vast number of malware attacks made against cryptocurrency users and service providers over the years, it is not hard to see why this has become such a big problem. A lot of people have had funds stolen due to malware attacks of all kinds, with ransomware being one of the main culprits these days. However, it seems North Korean hackers – possibly state-sponsored – are targeting South Korean cryptocurrency companies as well.

A new report by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) shows the number of malware attacks has increased by 370% compared to last year. All of this goes to show that hackers remain focused on trying to steal money, disrupt day-to-day operations, and give cryptocurrency a bad name. There have been thousands of allegations that Bitcoin is a perfect tool for cybercrime. That is not necessarily the case, but no one can deny these concepts have been entwined for quite some time.

That aside, the new report shows there have been 5,366 ransomware attacks between January and September of this year. That in itself is an alarming number, especially considering it only pertains to South Korea. This phenomenon has been a global problem, but it is evident things are escalating quickly in this part of the world. The ongoing standoff between North and South Korea will only lead to more harm unless something is done to thwart these attacks moving forward.

Coming up with viable long-term solutions will not be easy whatsoever. In fact, hackers have stepped up their game in attacking South Korean Bitcoin exchanges earlier this year. July and August were particularly terrible months in this regard, as malicious software was discovered on multiple in-house desktop systems. Bitcoin continues to attract a lot of attention these days, but it is not always positive. Criminals love themselves some Bitcoin, despite the currency clearly lacking in privacy and anonymity features right now.

According to KISA, the number of attacks on Bitcoin service providers and other online services will only increase from here on out. North Korean hackers are notorious for their vicious attacks against South Korean infrastructure over the past few years. Moreover, the number of state-sponsored hacker collectives is still pretty large. It is more than likely that things will continue to head in the wrong direction for some time to come.

For the time being, it remains unclear how many bitcoins have been stolen due to these malware attacks. It is evident a lot of damage has been done, but KISA has not provided any specifics so far. Attacks like these occur all over the world, unfortunately, and we have seen quite a few people lose Bitcoin as a result. Until people and companies start taking this threat more seriously, things will only continue to deteriorate.

 

Original article can be found here

Four Ridiculous Alternatives to Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that is gaining in popularity. It has become a popular investment option, and people even spend it like real money. But, once something catches on, others try and get in on the action.

There are actually quite a few alternatives to Bitcoin. Some of the most popular include:

  • Ethereum: This programmable blockchain provides developers with more possibilities for building apps and technologies than Bitcoin.
  • Ripple: This form of cryptocurrency is quite popular because it provides its users with secure, instant, and almost free global transactions in any size without any chargebacks.
  • New Economy Movement (NEM): It encourages users to spend their coins, not just invest in them as digital gold.
  • Litecoin: Coming on the scene not long after Bitcoin, Litecoin was coined as digital silver to Bitcoin’s digital gold.

More coins come on the scene nearly every day, but not all of them are as effective as these. Some coins are a tongue-and-cheek response to the cryptocurrency market. Here are a few of them.

1. Dogecoin

Have you seen the meme with the Shiba Inu? It’s usually called the Doge meme. There are literally hundreds of iterations of this cute and silly meme, and many of them have gone viral.

The creators of Dogecoin took advantage of this funny meme.

It was initially created as a joke, but so many people liked the idea that it actually hit a market cap of $130 million. But, that doesn’t mean it’s useful.

2. WhopperCoin

Love eating at Burger King? Well, you might want to invest in WhopperCoin.

Released by Burger King Russia, there’s no question that cryptocurrency has entered the mainstream. For each ruble spent, customers would receive a WhopperCoin. Collect 1,700 and you can get a free burger.

3. Putin Coin

China may be the biggest user and investor of cryptocurrency, but Russia seems to be enamored with the concept. Not only did they come up with WhopperCoin, Putin Coin was created with Russia’s leader in mind.

What is it for? We’re not entirely sure, but it has managed to hit a market cap of $2.5 million.

4. Coinye

Cryptocurrency creators’ humor doesn’t stop at memes and Russian presidents. It extends to other famous faces as well. That’s the case with Coinye.

This is a true parody coin that was styled after none other than Kanye West. He wasn’t too happy about it. He filed a cease-and desist in 2014.

The coin is still around though. The coin’s developers solved the problem by creating and even more outrageous logo for the coin, making it even more popular than it was before.

Whether these coins will be worth anything long-term, only the future will tell. But one thing is for certain—the world of cryptocurrency is full of people with a sense of humor.

Try purchasing one of these coins just for fun. At the very least, you can joke about your digital money. And who knows—it could be worth something in the future, if only hypothetically.

 

Original article can be found here

Waves Blazes Path to Ultra-Swift Blockchain Platform

Signaling another milestone in the future of digital innovation Waves Platform a global public blockchain platform founded in 2016 just announced that it has implemented new technology, which will enable the network to process thousands of transactions per minute.

With this advancement Waves is carving out a place as the fastest decentralized blockchain platform in the world. Seen as the next level of evolution in this space, this jump will enable the company to compete with  mainstream payment processors in their quest to achieve mass-market adoption. The public stress testcommenced on November 8.

The mission of Waves Platform is to reinvent the DNA of entrepreneurship around the world by providing a shared infrastructure, offering easy-to-use, highly functional tools to make blockchain available to every person or organization that can benefit from it. The Waves Platform is primarily designed to support the issuance, trade, and exchange of digital assets or tokens using blockchain technology. It employs Proof-of-Stake as its consensus algorithm. Waves Platform completed its Initial Coin Offering in June 2016, garnering more than $16 million (30,000 BTC).

“Waves-NG,” a new frontier technology is designed to accelerate the bandwidth and speed of block creation. This development is particularly significant for businesses using Waves platform since it allows microtransactions to occur without the type of delays that are typical for traditional blockchain systems.

This upgrade also allows the platform to withstand high loads, such as during high volume token distribution periods following crowdsales and bonus token airdrops. Moreover, the processing speed of trade transactions on the Waves decentralized exchange (DEX) has been increased as well.

The impetus for the development of Waves-NG was Bitcoin-NG, a protocol developed for Bitcoin by Emin Gün Sirer, Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts at Cornell University in New York.

Says Gün Sirer:

“In recent years, we have seen blockchain technology show the world its unique capabilities and amazing promise. As well, we’ve seen it hit a wall when it comes to scalability. If blockchains are to conquer the world, they need to scale. The Waves team is at the forefront of this race to scale having demonstrated that they have an innovative platform that incorporates the best-known technology and is ready for challenges of the next generation of demanding applications.”

NG is a protocol change that allows an increase in the number of transactions per block without increasing the number of forks. The information necessary to begin generating the next block is delivered to all nodes very quickly after the previous one is generated and only then does the miner send the transactions that will fill the block to the network, submitting them in several tranches (microblocks).

Concludes Sascha Ivanov, founder and CEO of Waves:

“We are very excited to be able to deploy Waves NG on our network. As a platform of mass adoption, it’s critical that we should be able to support a high throughput of transactions, while maintaining robust security. NG lays the foundations for our next phase of growth and a step-change in the size of the ecosystem we can support.”

 

Original article can be found here