Bitcoin Stolen in 2016 $72 Million Bitfinex Hack Moving

Some of the stolen BTC during the $72 million hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has been just moved.

Whale Alert that tracks large movements of top cryptocurrencies reported that 28.3 BTC worth more than $255k has been moved to an unknown wallet.

Four years back, Bitfinex lost 120,000 BTC worth $72 million, when the price of bitcoin was about $600. Today, with each BTC at $9,160, this stash is now worth more than $1 billion.

This isn’t the first time that these hackers are moving their funds. Back in June, last year about 185 BTC were transferred to unknown addresses, at that time BTC price was up over 60% YTD at around $10,000. Then in August, 30 BTC were also moved.

Now, just as happens with large transfers, the crypto community fears the worst.

One twitter user said, “If btc does not crash to sub 4k in 1 month, I’ll delete my twitter.”

Large amounts of Bitcoin on the move surely affects the price as happened on May 10. The BTC price fell about 16% that day after a large deposit took place on Gemini; but that deposit was “abnormally” large at 2,500 BTC unlike just over 28 BTC.

Such kind of big deposits result in heightened activity on the exchange where they were made but also triggers market sell on other exchanges as well. This causes a significant increase in trade volume across all exchanges, resulting in a drop in Bitcoin’s price.

However, at times, relatively small and few orders can also have a significant impact on liquidity across many major exchanges.

Just this week, there was speculation led sell-off that resulted in a brief decline of about 7% in BTC price.

It was after Whale Alert reported that 50 Bitcoin had been moved from a wallet dormant since February 2009. Whale Alert suggested it might have been bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto who moved the coins, triggering the panic among the market, but as we reported it was very unlikely.

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Author: AnTy

1.4M XRP Stolen via Fake ‘Ledger Live’ Chrome Extension; Still Available on Google

Approximately 1.4 million XRP has been stolen from the users in the month of March alone through the use of a fake Google Chrome extension.

Through a thread of tweets released on March 24, a research group known as xrplorer forensics, revealed that hackers are stealing user backup passphrases through fraudulent Ledger Live extensions. Xplorer forensics stated:

“They are advertised in Google searches and use Google Docs for collecting data. Accounts are being emptied and we have seen more than 200K XRP being stolen the past month alone.”

After a while, xrplorer forensics revised the figure from 200k XRP to 1.4 million.

As per the researchers, the majority of the stolen XRP seems to be still intact in accounts, however, a proportion of it has already been cashed out through crypto exchange platform HitBTC.

The researchers have cautioned the public from downloading tools to use within their hardware wallets from different developers apart from the vendor directly. They particularly single out Ledger users and caution them from downloading tools apart from the manufacturer only.

By publication time, two ‘LedgerLive’ extensions are available on Google store for use with Chrome browser. The two extensions comprise of a couple of user reviews that are in tandem with xrplorer forensics warnings.

Through their Twitter account, xrplorer forensics has alleged that about 300 million XRP which is at the moment in different XRP accounts has been earmarked as fraudulent. The researchers claim that most of it has originated from the PlusToken exit scam. In their estimation, about 13 million XRP has originated from different scams and theft schemes.

The researchers have also called out crypto exchange platform bithunter.io, questioning why it didn’t observe the AML alerts for various big and reportedly suspicious transactions. As per the researchers, about a third of the entire XRP received by bithunter comes from suspicious accounts that are in their advisory list.

The researchers also caution other exchanges to be vigilant as scammers are currently consolidating their loot, urging them to be extra careful with the incoming payments.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Increased Safeguards Is Needed For Crypto Growth As Nearly $10B Has Been Stolen: KPMG

  • Almost $10 Billion in Crypto Stolen by Hackers Since 2017
  • KPMG says the crypto market needs to improve security when it comes to digital assets, seeing the industry is currently valued at $245 billion and growing.

Ever since 2017, hackers have stolen over $9.8 billion in digital assets due to poorly written code or lax security, according to a KPMG report from Monday.

Furthermore, the accounting firm added that the adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) by institutional investors has increased competition amongst investors seeking to occupy a place in portfolios.

This competitive climate means that the safeguarding of tokens to be even more important than it used to be.

Institutional Investors Don’t Take Risks When It Comes to Owning Crypto Assets

The co-author of the KPMG report and co-leader of the crypto asset services at KPMG, Sal Ternullo, said that:

“Institutional investors especially will not risk owning crypto assets if their value cannot be safeguarded in the same way their cash, stocks and bonds are.”

Coinbase Inc., Intercontinental Exchange Inc, Fidelity Investments and Gemini Trust Co. are the first companies to ever offer crypto custody services. Just like a type of bond or cash, cryptocurrencies are bearers instruments, which means they’re owned solely by the bearer.

What is actually being held is a dedicated private key, which consists of a string of characters from a digital wallet or a piece of paper.

If the paper or the key is lost/stolen, the asset is lost. For this reason, key custody represents a challenge for firms that have been offering traditional financial services until now.

KYC and AML Rules to Be Abided By

This is what the KPMG report adds:

“As crypto-assets proliferate, custodians have a tremendous opportunity to profit — both by earning management fees for delivering straightforward custodian services, and also by offering adjacent services only possible in the emerging crypto ecosystem.”

It’s important for the industry to create stricter rules when it comes to storing cryptocurrencies, the accounting firm adds. Much like with other financial transactions, brokers and banks need to respect the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

According to KPMG, even the already established financial institutions that have the most mature compliance programs have to reconsider the ways they’re offering security for crypto assets.

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Author: Oana Ularu

CipherBlade Report: How the Company Intervened in the Warith Al Maawali and Coinomi Saga

CipherBlade Report: How the Company Intervened in the Warith Al Maawali and Coinomi Saga

Admittedly, getting your tokens stolen can make you mad and vindictive, particularly when you blame a security institution that should protect your investments. This is what happened between Coinomi and a user.

In fact, the user’s actions were so brutal that Coinomi felt they were being ripped off and extorted by the user who claimed that Coinomi’s actions –or the lack thereof- caused him to lose $70,000 in cryptocurrencies.

As a result, the company had to publish an independent report that was written by CipherBlade –an industry leading crypto forensic outfit that’s known for their objective investigations of allegations and coverage of industry issues.

CipherBlade is the company crypto firms turn to when they have a smear campaign problem to deal with and have to clear their names of all false allegations. This has become important in the face of growing cyber smear campaigns launched by individuals and opposition companies.

The outfit is known for saving many crypto firms from bankruptcy, thanks to its investigative prowess. For instance, ShapeShift contracted the firm to counter the allegations by the Wall Street Journal that were laundering money through their platform.

This was right after the WSJ published a damning report on these issues, resulting in a huge reputation damage.

They were the same outfit that BitBuy hired when they wanted to establish their reputation as a safe and secure platform to trade on. Bottom line, this is the company that people listen to because they are credible and trustworthy.

In the case of Coinomi vs Warith Al Maawali, the former had to turn to CipherBlade in a bid to clear itself of the latter’s allegations that were not being responsible for lost funds that were kept in their wallet.

While CipherBlade has done a good job of acquitting Coinomi of all wrongdoings, the reality is that stains are hard to wash off in the crypto sector. Once you have a major publicity problem, particularly by someone who is really bent on damaging your reputation, it can be very hard to recover.

In CipherBlade’s How (Not) To React When Your Cryptocurrency Is Stolen report, they attempted to clear Coinomi of all wrongdoing. Unfortunately, this only goes so far because the report itself was sponsored by Coinomi. This, therefore, makes the report look like it’s not actually an independent one.

Even so, Al Maawali the accuser isn’t relenting. He feels that he’s been robbed of his funds and is willing to go to every length to hold Coinomi responsible for his missing $70,000 crypto tokens.

In fact, he’s gone as far as launching a thorough smear campaign on social media and even put up a Google ad condemning Coinomi. This ad is positioned right above Coinomi’s. The ads and campaigns are specifically meant to show how the company’s actions resulted in his loss of $70k in crypto assets early in the year.

Unfortunately, both parties are pointing accusing fingers at each other, without any attempt at a quick resolution. Warith has consistently published newsletters specifically targeted at Coinomi, while Coinomi has addressed his accusations in multiple editions of their publications.

According to Al Maawali, there are many red flags that point to Coinomi being a shady organization. For instance, the crypto wallet provider doesn’t have transparent organization. The company’s director is currently linked with multiple shell corporations, a situation Warith claims indicates a lack of transparency.

But, Coinomi itself has come out to counter the claims that their seeming lack of transparency is meant to actually protect the team behind the operation. The idea is to ensure that no one knows who they are, so they don’t become vulnerable to cyber and real life attacks.

Al Maawali’s claims are largely based on a security flaw that he feels the company has. His loss of funds occurred when he entered a seed phrase into the Coinomi desktop wallet to recover his wallet. Upon entry, the wallet sent a text with that seed phrase to the Google API with the intent of spellchecking it. According to him, that act resulted in the loss of his funds.

What Did The CipherBlade Report Say?

According to the report, this wasn’t the case. While the report does ask some salient questions, it was more focused on Warith’s actions and mistakes. The report basically blamed the victim for his mistakes and holds him responsible for the loss of his funds.

Their conclusion was that the funds were most likely lost because of a malware infection on his computing device. However, it also made room for the fact that a mixing service might be responsible and that the theft of the funds were premeditated.

Even so, the company has gone on to admit that some of its security processes are flawed and that it’s fixing those issues immediately.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team