Cryptojacking: How malware hijacks foreign computers for crypto mining

The number of malignant mining infections, so-called cryptojacking, rose by 83 percent in 2018. In attacks of this kind, the miners abuse the CPU power of other computers for their own crypto mining. In the first three quarters of this year, Kaspersky Labs registered a total of five million attacks.

While the popularity of crypto currencies is growing – despite the bear market – the interest of cyber criminals in tapping this growth market is also growing. This is stated in a press release of Kaspersky Labs, which is available to BTC-ECHO. According to cyber security experts, 2018 was the year of crypto criminals.

Mining attacks in focus of the Bitcoin revolution

The Bitcoin revolution report focuses in particular on the importance of hidden mining software, which misuses the CPU resources of infected computers for its own crypto-mining. Accordingly, the infiltrated malware in some cases uses “70 to 80 percent of the CPU or graphics card performance to generate virtual coins”.

As can be seen in the graph, the number of cryptojacking attacks rose enormously in the spring; the continuing bear market then seems to have also spoiled the mood of cyber criminals. At the end of the third quarter, the level dropped slightly again, but still ranks above the level at the beginning of the year.

Criminal miners therefore follow a similar pattern to distributors of so-called ransom goods, because the only target of the attacks is their own enrichment. While ransomware infections are immediately noticeable, malicious mining attacks often remain hidden for a long time. This is what makes the attacks so interesting for hackers, according to the report.

“Cryptojacking differs for cyber criminals in that, if properly executed, it is impossible for the owner of an infected computer to detect [an attack] and the chances of [being prosecuted] are therefore low.

Distribution by unlicensed Bitcoin revolution software

The investigation has shown that a large part of the infection is due to installations of unlicensed or pirated Bitcoin revolution software. As a result, the rate is significantly higher in countries where there is typically a lot of unlicensed Bitcoin revolution software in circulation. Examples include countries such as Russia, India and Kazakhstan.

Social engineering increasingly important
So-called social engineering methods are also increasingly feeding cybercriminals with fish. The “advantage” of this method is that large botnets automatically propagate the infected software via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In this way, programmers achieve a targeted and area-wide distribution of the malware.

In this context, the so-called giveaway scams should not go unmentioned. As BTC-ECHO reports, there are a lot of fraudulent accounts on Twitter. Fake postings from prominent people promise to pay out large sums to Ether or Bitcoin, but in return demand a small amount in the respective crypto currency. Needless to say, the fraudsters then run away with their victims’ money.

The security architecture of the crypto ecosystem is likely to become an increasingly important issue in the future. At the moment, users are largely asked themselves not to fall for all the scams. The security experts at Malwarebytes nevertheless recommend “installing security before you become a victim”. Installing a mature firewall would be a good start.

Podcast: How meaningful is the market capitalization?

Market capitalization is one of the most recited metrics when it comes to evaluating a crypto currency like Bitcoin. But a closer look shows that this measure is not without it.

You know this: Open your browser and check the market capitalization of the crypto currencies first. After all, the market capitalization pages have experienced at least as much boom as the listed crypto currencies in recent years. What is behind it?

Why is there market capitalisation for Bitcoin secret?

The colourful world of Bitcoin secret is difficult to follow and it is even more difficult to classify developments according to onlinebetrug. From the equity world there is the metric of market capitalization. This is calculated by multiplying the number of shares issued by the price of a single share. The net result of this formula is the market capitalisation of the company in question.

Accordingly, the market capitalization of a crypto currency can be derived. Take the number of issued coins and multiply them by the current price of a coin. This makes it relatively easy to rank the crypto currencies. At first glance it can be seen that Bitcoin is the top. One gets the impression of order in the Wild West of crypto currencies.

What is the problem of cryptosoft?

Unfortunately, the market capitalization as calculated does not give a thorough insight into the world of cryptosoft. The cryptosoft can be manipulated in several ways. To illustrate this, let’s imagine creating an ERC-20 token with a fixed set of tokens that is available right at the beginning – the so-called MarketCapCoin. There are a total of 10,000,000 MarketCapCoins. If I now sell one of these tokens to my unsuspecting neighbor for one euro, my token would have a MarketCap of 10 million euros according to the above formula.

Here it quickly becomes apparent that market capitalisation is a fictitious value and says nothing about the invested capital or the quality of the crypto currency. The BTC-ECHO Podcast will tell you what other difficulties this measure entails and which metrics would be better.

5 Reasons why you should think about Bitcoin as a retirement plan

The value of the Bitcoin has been rising steadily since the end of 2014 and has now exceeded its record high several times. In the following article, five reasons why the Bitcoin is becoming more attractive as an investment are examined in more detail. The successful developments have attracted more and more interested parties in recent months, so that conventional investors are also considering securing their investment with Bitcoin.

Daytraders and coin-enthusiasts are no longer the only people who deal with the Bitcoin and its positive aspects. Also investors, who consider a further value investment regarding their pension.

Bitcoin and Bitcoin loophole

Individual annuity accounts (IRAs) are options for Bitcoin loophole investors to provide for their annuity. The IRA offers some tax advantages. Some companies have added their accounts so that since 2016 citizens in the US have had the opportunity to receive pension payments in Bitcoin via Bitcoin IRA.

The investment Bitcoin is nevertheless very speculative. However, if the process continues and more and more companies accept Bitcoin, there is a good chance that the Bitcoin could rise to $100,000 within the next ten years. However, this requires a positive opinion of the general public regarding the topic of crypto currencies. Under these circumstances, the Bitcoin is moving closer in the direction of a possible investment.

Despite the high price volatility, more and more people are opting for this option and regard the Bitcoin as part of their investment portfolio. There are numerous reasons for this:

It changes the possibility of transactions
The concept of making payments online has been known for some time: Credit cards, PayPal, Payoneer and transaction services have been offering this convenient service for years. Nevertheless, the Bitcoin offers advantages because money can be sent across borders without any problems. In addition, the Bitcoin can be seen as a bridge between currencies. High security and fast processing are the aspirations of every person who wants to carry out transactions. In this respect, the Bitcoin was able to assert itself clearly against its rivals.

National regulations fail
Japan has also adopted Bitcoin as a legal form of payment. In addition, the Federal Reserve could neither regulate nor define the Bitcoin. The central banks have hardly any influence over the Bitcoin, which leads to increasing credibility and transparency in the area of crypto currencies.

Exceptional technology
The Bitcoin is called the “new gold” of the virtual world. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, argues: “The Bitcoin is an impressive cryptographic achievement. The ability to create something in the digital world that cannot be copied has enormous value.”

Increasing Adaptation
The world adapts to the Bitcoin. More and more organisations operating worldwide accept the Bitcoin as an international digital currency.

The IRS considers Bitcoin as the news spy

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the following statement: “The IRS is aware that virtual currencies are suitable for buying goods or the news spy. In addition, they can serve as the news spy scam. Virtual currencies are digital representations of value that can perform various functions. They are a medium of exchange between currencies, or a means of value creation. In some environments it behaves like “real” money. The Coin & Paper balance of the United States or any other country that designates it as a valid means of payment circulates, accordingly it is commonly accepted as a medium of exchange in the respective issuing country – yet it has no valid payment status in any legal system.”.

Bitcoin is an example of an exchangeable virtual currency. Apart from the fact that users can trade the digital currency, there is also the possibility that the Bitcoin can be exchanged in Euro, US dollars or other real or virtual currencies. Looking at the tax side, the US government defines Bitcoin as property.

Due Diligence
While the Bitcoin price is subject to strong fluctuations, the potential returns are very promising. It is important to exercise a certain amount of diligence with regard to blockchain technology: the propensity to risk may depend on how much you can and would like to invest. Either you decide to take the risk, or you decide to take the risk.

BIP91 has been logged in: What does this mean for Bitcoin and why is the network not yet scaled?

BIP91 has now been officially logged in, but what does this mean for Bitcoin and why is the scaling not yet complete? The Bitcoin miners have signaled BIP91. This was preceded by months of debate over Bitcoin’s scaling, in which many mud battles were fought for and against SegWit. In the end, the miners were able to agree on the SegWit2x agreement, a first step towards SegWit and Bitcoin’s scaling.

SegWit, which stands for Segregated Witness, aims to make the Bitcoin network more efficient and increase transaction throughput by increasing data storage in the individual blocks. As the number of transactions increases, the network increasingly reaches its limits – resulting in slow transactions and rising transaction fees.

With BIP91 signaling, the miners voted almost unanimously for the scaling proposal, some of which was intended to prevent Bitcoin from splitting. With the increasing probability of a BIP91 login and the resulting confidence in the market, the Bitcoin price also experienced a leap up. With a plus of 15.6%, the price per Bitcoin currently stands at 2,346 Euros. But the BIP91 login is only the first step of a big plan. Further, somewhat more complex steps have to follow now.

For a final activation of SegWit in the news spy Bitcoin network everything must now run according to plan

There will be a 336 block “grace period” which will last about 2.5 days. During this time the news spy miners will be able to prepare for activation. BIP91 is activated with block 477.120. In theory, all blocks that do not signal for SegWit (BIP141) should then be rejected by the mining pools. This BIP91 mechanism should also force other mining pools to follow the proposal. Otherwise they could lose their mining rewards. SegWit could then be logged in at the next adjustment of the news spy mining difficulty. That’s about 2 weeks. The latter would be the final activation of SegWit and thus the official launch. At the same time, the User Activated Soft Fork (UASF, BIP148), which is scheduled to come into force on August 1, would become superfluous.

Possible difficulties
However, some voices from the community, including well-known Bitcoin developers and mining pool operators, do not (yet) share the euphoria. They say there may be complications when BIP91 is enabled and SegWit logs in.

In summary, they see the following Bitcoin secret

Miners could not run the Bitcoin secret software they are signaling. If mining pools (i.e. 50 percent) are not sufficient to run the specified Bitcoin secret software, this could be decisive for whether SegWit goes through or not.

Mining pools could run the correct software, but then exit shortly before SegWit is activated.
Basically, we’re talking about a trust issue here that is being questioned by some.

However, some things would have to go wrong to prevent SegWit from being activated. Considering the effort the mining pools have taken on and the fact that some Bitcoin core developers like Matt Corallo, who were against SegWit in the past, are now working on a smooth process, one can probably look optimistically into the future.

It seems that the community wants to celebrate the success of BIP91 and avoid the more aggressive SegWit activation by BIP148.

Hullcoin – the social crypto currency for good deeds

Every community wants more volunteer work – but it can’t and won’t pay for it. The Hullcoin seems to be the perfect solution. The British coastal town of Hull is now using the crypto currency as a reward for good deeds. And everyone involved is thrilled.

Volunteers in the British city will soon get more than just a nice sounding thank you. The city of Hull thanks the Coins of the same name for their voluntary support or social service. Every inhabitant of the city can get them for a good deed. Associations, schools, hospitals and even prisons can apply to distribute Hullcoins. Who gets how many is then at their discretion. This could be the young pupil who is involved in the retirement home in his free time. But also a chain smoker who does without the cigarette.

But what motivates an entrepreneur to promote social services?

The example of chain smokers makes it clear how the Hullcoin strengthens a community through subtle incentives. Smokers, that is proven, burden the health system. However, the burden for the individual is so low that we do not care about it. Nobody steals a smoker’s cigarette. The Hullcoin now provides a (small) additional motivation to leave the cigarettes stuck in the future.

Residents can get the coin in as many ways as they can, and they can spend it again in as many different ways. A growing number of enterprises and Dienstleistern accepts it as a kind coupon. The companies individually determine the discount in their business. A baker may give 20% on his assortment for each Hullcoin, while the sports shop offers 35%. Most participating companies offer a discount of ten to 50 %. Companies are somewhat less free to choose what they want to discount. Hullcoins are a social project and should not be applied to alcohol or cigarettes, for example. But what about fast food? A small ethics committee, of course run by volunteers, decides which projects are suitable. Any company from the community can apply.

Companies generally benefit from a strong local community and see the coin not only as a cash benefit or voucher. The companies can pass it on to their employees or customers indefinitely. It never expires. “They are like a loyalty card,” explains David Shepherdson, one of the program’s initiators. Due to the social component, the discount has a positive effect on the company’s image. Common discount battles often make the “brand”, i.e. the image of the company or product, suffer. This is where the circle of small positive incentives continues. Everyone in the community is better off and yet the general public benefits from it.

Value of the Hullcoin is not fixed

The Hullcoin has no fixed value as opposed to financial consideration. This is an important feature in the social field. There is no obligation to pay tax on this crypto currency. Also, recipients of social benefits may receive Hullcoins without fear of restrictions on state benefits. This is an important step to really involve all members of the community.

The Hullcoin is technically based on the Blockchain. Every transaction is stored and visible forever. For some, the crypto currency could also be a kind of attachment to their curriculum vitae. Many companies are looking for a distinctive social profile among applicants. Hullcoin’s transaction history now provides credible proof of this. At the same time, the demands on data protection are increasing enormously. An open Bitcoin architecture could reveal unwanted details. After all, the National Health Service (NHS) also rewards some patients with the coins.

The Hullcoin thus consists of a whole chain of small incentives, which place everyone in the community somewhat better, without which someone is disadvantaged. The honorary office and social commitment will be strengthened and expanded even more. Until now, the task has been seen as a dilemma, as there is often no money for adequate remuneration and not everyone likes to work entirely voluntarily. The Hullcoin could bridge this dilemma and motivate even more people to get involved.

The non-profit company Kaini from Hull is responsible for the conscientious implementation. The British government is supporting the project with 240,000 pounds (around 270,000 euros). The idea of rewarding social benefits with a complementary currency is also well known in Germany: The “Chiemgauer” sounds like another crypto currency, but has existed since 2003 – printed on paper. In the Bavarian region Chiemgau it has a similar