Dark Web Cryptocurrency Deals Likely in News Sites’ Admin Hacks

Israeli cybersecurity firm Sixgill has told Bitsonline that cryptocurrency has a “very high probability” of being involved in any associated sales.

Dark Web Cryptocurrency Deals Likely in News Sites’ Admin Hacks

January 21, 2019 by William Peaster0 Comment2241 Views

A Russian-language dark web forum has recently caught international attention for postings offering to sell admin access to more than 1,000 U.S. news sites’ content backends. Israeli cybersecurity firm Sixgill has told Bitsonline that cryptocurrency has a “very high probability” of being involved in any associated sales.

Also read: Lightning Network Goes to Congress as Specter of Crypto Policy Grows

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Fakes News: Dark Web Cryptocurrency Deals for Sites’ Admin Panels?

Last week, news site Axiospublished a report detailing how Israeli cybersecurity firm Sixgill had discovered Russian dark web forum postings where large amounts of international and American news sites’ admin login credentials were being sold.

While the credentials were priced in U.S. dollars in the postings in question, the Axios report didn’t delve into how purchases were conducted.

Bitsonline reached out to Sixgill to see if cryptocurrencies were likely involved in related login sales, and the firm’s intelligence expert Alex Karlinsky said it was almost certain.

“There is a very high probability that the sales of access to news and media CMS’s will be facilitated by cryptocurrency, as this is now the go-to payment method of choice for cybercriminals,” Karlinsky told Bitsonline.

The unknown hackers have been offering “upload / edit posts” capabilities to as many as 1,425 U.S. news sites since Dec. 2018. Similar Saudi Arabian and Southeast Asian sites have apparently been on sale since last fall.

Two dark web postings offering login info for news sites’ admin panels. Images via Sixgill

Illicitly-gained data being sold for cryptocurrencies has been on the rise in recent years, as cybercriminals have used the pseudoanonmyity of digital assets to try to separate themselves further from their crimes.

One such case came last August when hackers hosted 130 million Chinese hotel guests’ travel data for sale on the dark web in exchange for bitcoin. And in June 2018, Europol seized more than $5 million USD worth of crypto in a bust against European dark web LSD dealers.

Crypto a Major Deanonymization Vector on the Dark Web, Though

Pseudoanonymity isn’t full anonymity. And that dynamic can out those who do turn to dark web cryptocurrency transactions.

That’s per anonymity researcher and Open Privacy executive director Sarah Jamie Lewis, who toldBitsonline last year that cryptocurrency use was “a major deanonymization vector.”

Of course when it comes to chain analysis endeavors, privacy coins like Monero and Zcash pose much harder challenges for law enforcement than less privacy-focused blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

In the fall of 2017, Europol issued a report saying bitcoin was still the currency du jour on the dark web at the time but that other cryptocurrencies were rapidly gaining ground there in popularity.

“Cryptocurrencies continue to be exploited by cybercriminals, with Bitcoin being the currency of choice in criminal markets, and as payment for cyber-related extortion attempts, such as from ransomware or a DDoS attack,” the authors said.

“However, other cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Ethereum and Zcash are gaining popularity within the digital underground.”

What’s your take? Do dark web cryptocurrency transactions work against mainstream adoption of crypto, or in favor? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images via Pixabay

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Bithumb and Coincheck Ranks Low on the List of the Most Secure Exchange

However, this may not hold true for some top ranking and popular exchanges such as Bithumb and coincheck. According to a recent report put out by …

The hacking of Cryptopia has raised several questions as regards the security measures employed by crypto exchanges across the globe. In light of this, Cryptocurrency Exchange Ratings [CER] team put out a report documenting its assessment of the security measure put in place by the top-100 exchanges by trading volumes.

In order to ensure adequate security of their funds, traders have shifted their attention to popular and well-established exchanges such as Binance.

However, this may not hold true for some top ranking and popular exchanges such as Bithumb and coincheck. According to a recent report put out by the Cryptocurrency Exchange Ratings [CER] team, documenting its assessment of the security measure put in place by the top-100 exchanges by trading volumes it is clear that being popular doesn’t

The Cryptocurrency Exchange Ratings [CER] Report

CER graded the security measure employed by these exchanges based on three criteria and on a scale of 1-10 [their Cyber Security Score (CSS)]. The CER team employed a popular intensive assessment model for security audits. The research team took the following criteria into considerations while rating each exchange:

1.Server Security

2. User Security

3. Ongoing Crowdsource Security Assessment [OCSA]

The CER research also reported that hackers stole a total of $1.3 billion from cryptocurrency exchanges last year alone. So far, 2019’s only hack attack is that of Cryptopia. An estimate of 3.6 million in Ethereum and CENNZ tokens was reported stolen in Cryptopia’s hack.

The CER, upon the completion of its research, has released a rating score sheet containing each exchanges’ Cyber Security Score (CSS). Out of the 100 rated, only nine scored above eight points out of ten. The leader is Kraken, with a score of 9.06. Kraken is followed by Coinbase Pro, Binance and BitMex with 8.74, 8.50, and 8.50 points respectively. Surprisingly, popular crypto exchanges such as Bithumb, DOBI, Zaif performed woefully.

Coincheck Performed Badly Despite Just Getting Certified

Japan’s financial regulator recently approved Coincheck but now the exchange it is one of the last two on the list.

This is contrary to a recent report from Japan financial regulator, making it known that it has conducted an extensive examination on Coincheck before giving it the go-ahead to operate.

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Two Former Executives Jailed for Faking Cryptocurrency Transaction Volumes

… wash trading on the crypto industry, saying, “the crime has damaged customers’ confidence in the virtual currency exchange and has had a negative …

On January 17, 2019, two former executives from Komid, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, were jailed for three and two years respectively for using fake accounts to fraudulently inflate transactions on the exchange.

The Sentencing

In a historic move, the 13th Criminal Settlement Agreement of the South District Court in Seoul has dished out the first ever jail term for the manipulation of a cryptocurrency exchange’s transaction numbers. The sentence in question was given to two executives at Komid, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange.

The two executives who have been sentenced are Hyunsuk Choi and another individual named Park. Hyunsuk Choi served as the CEO and an in-house director at Komid respectively.

Choi received a three-year sentence while Park received a two-year sentence for what the judge called “orchestrating fraudulent trading volume”.

The pair allegedly set up five accounts, fabricating 5 million transactions which amounted to around $45 million in fees. A bot was used to create large orders which inflated the exchange’s transaction volume when in fact the exchange never had that much in funds to begin with.

The Problem of Wash Trading

The act that the men engaged in is referred to as ‘wash trading’ and is the process by which transactions are faked in order to deceive investors and the public in order to make higher profits.

It has been speculated that the practice of ways trading is more common among small altcoins trying to attract more business. In the case of Komid, the money being made from the scheme is hardly a small amount.

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In recent times, a number of exchanges such as Bitforex and Binance have been accused of faking a percentage of their transaction volumes, though the exchanges have adamantly denied these allegations.

The reason behind these suspicions is that similar amounts of transactions of the same tokens seem to take place around the same time on these exchanges, leading some to believe that automated bots are carrying out these transactions to drive up figures.

A study by the Blockchain Transparency Institute even suggests that up to 80% of pairs on 95% of exchanges are faked.

The Effect of Wash Trading on the Industry

When reviewing the case, the judge who gave the sentencing commented on the effect of wash trading on the crypto industry, saying, “the crime has damaged customers’ confidence in the virtual currency exchange and has had a negative effect on the domestic virtual currency trading market.”

This statement has truth to it as cryptocurrency is just starting to gain the interest and trust of the public, and being associated with transaction manipulation is hardly a good look.

This sentencing, however, could set a precedent as well as send a strong message that wash trading will not be tolerated by law enforcement.

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Infinity Economics Price Down 10.5% Over Last Week (CRYPTO:XIN)

Investors seeking to trade Infinity Economics should first purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum using an exchange that deals in US dollars such as GDAX, …

Infinity Economics logoInfinity Economics (CURRENCY:XIN) traded down 7.6% against the US dollar during the one day period ending at 13:00 PM Eastern on January 14th. Infinity Economics has a total market capitalization of $0.00 and approximately $8.34 million worth of Infinity Economics was traded on exchanges in the last day. One Infinity Economics coin can currently be purchased for $0.0014 or 0.00000038 BTC on major exchanges including InfinityCoin Exchange, Coindeal, BitBay and Sistemkoin. In the last week, Infinity Economics has traded 10.5% lower against the US dollar.

Here is how similar cryptocurrencies have performed in the last day:

  • Bitcoin (BTC) traded 0.3% lower against the dollar and now trades at $3,579.29 or 1.00000000 BTC.
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) traded down 0.3% against the dollar and now trades at $123.05 or 0.03438209 BTC.
  • Steem (STEEM) traded up 9.5% against the dollar and now trades at $0.39 or 0.00010887 BTC.
  • BitcoinDark (BTCD) traded flat against the dollar and now trades at $16.23 or 0.00246929 BTC.
  • Unobtanium (UNO) traded 3.5% lower against the dollar and now trades at $71.82 or 0.02006952 BTC.
  • Emercoin (EMC) traded up 0.7% against the dollar and now trades at $0.30 or 0.00008274 BTC.
  • Peercoin (PPC) traded 0.6% higher against the dollar and now trades at $0.50 or 0.00013921 BTC.
  • Steem Dollars (SBD) traded 2.5% higher against the dollar and now trades at $0.94 or 0.00026316 BTC.
  • Namecoin (NMC) traded 1.4% lower against the dollar and now trades at $0.70 or 0.00019654 BTC.
  • PRIZM (PZM) traded up 4.6% against the dollar and now trades at $0.12 or 0.00003364 BTC.

Infinity Economics Profile

Infinity Economics is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) coin that uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm. Its genesis date was October 2nd, 2017. Infinity Economics’ total supply is 9,000,000,000 coins. Infinity Economics’ official website is www.infinity-economics.org. The Reddit community for Infinity Economics is /r/infinityeconomics and the currency’s Github account can be viewed here. Infinity Economics’ official Twitter account is @XIN_Foundation and its Facebook page is accessible here. Infinity Economics’ official message board is forum.infinity-economics.org.

Buying and Selling Infinity Economics

Infinity Economics can be bought or sold on these cryptocurrency exchanges: Coindeal, Coinbe, Sistemkoin, BitBay and InfinityCoin Exchange. It is usually not presently possible to purchase alternative cryptocurrencies such as Infinity Economics directly using US dollars. Investors seeking to trade Infinity Economics should first purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum using an exchange that deals in US dollars such as GDAX, Gemini or Coinbase. Investors can then use their newly-acquired Bitcoin or Ethereum to purchase Infinity Economics using one of the aforementioned exchanges.

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Probable Bottom Zones for Bitcoin & Ethereum

I’m going to keep this short as Bitcoin and Ethereum have both followed their respective red counts, although not as a triangle for 4. That’s academic …

Red Path Confirmed

Summary:

I’m going to keep this short as Bitcoin and Ethereum have both followed their respective red counts, although not as a triangle for 4. That’s academic though. What is key now is that we hold one more low, which should be 5 of V of C in both counts. While I still count support as $3320 in Bitcoin and $94 in Ethereum, these counts are more than ‘full’. And, if we see correction action out of these levels in this coming week, I will presume a break of support is coming, at least as far as trading goes. By that I mean risk management will be more important than trying to catch a low, at least until five up toward the range of the .382 and .618 extension.

Bitcoin

I currently have $3368-$3400 as the probable zone for a bottom, and strong over $3575 suggests this small wave 5 is complete. We saw a nominal break of resistance for 4, but only a spike through that did not follow through. Obviously, we then came back down.

Ethereum

I currently have $105 to $109 as the probable zone for a bottom, and strong over $121 suggests this small wave 5 is complete.

I have ETHBTC wrapping up a WXY as long as it holds .03

No change to GBTC at this time, and still quite unclear.

ETHUSD - Primary Analysis - Jan-20 2038 PM (30 min)

ETHUSD – Primary Analysis – Jan-20 2038 PM (30 min)
XBTUSD - Primary Analysis - Jan-20 2037 PM (1 hour)

XBTUSD – Primary Analysis – Jan-20 2037 PM (1 hour)
ETHBTC - Primary Analysis - Jan-20 2039 PM (45 min)

ETHBTC – Primary Analysis – Jan-20 2039 PM (45 min)
Ryan Wilday hosts the Cryptocurrency Trading service on ElliottWaveTrader.net.

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