Articles Posted in hacking

blockchain hacking In January of 2019, it was discovered that an online attacker had hacked Coinbase and processed over $1.1 million in what the cryptocurrency industry refers to as “double spends”. However, this is not the only incidence of blockchains being hacked since its increasing popularity on the market. In fact, since 2017 it is estimated that over $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen by hackers. But, how have blockchains, which were once deemed as unhackable, become the latest source of fraudulent activity?

Two Documented Years of Hacking Activity

Since 2017, authorities have uncovered billions of dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency due to online attackers. However, it is estimated that even more funds have been taken during this time. Two groups alone are suspected of profiting over $1 billion combined, but the extent of their reach, as well as others, is largely unknown. As the market for blockchain encryptions becomes larger and larger, it appears as though its vulnerability to hackers is also increasing. This could mean that the fraudulent activity associated with blockchain hacking is just beginning.

hackersThe Chinese company Huawei, a telecommunication giant, was put in the spotlight as the United States showed concerns over the possibility of Chinese spying through the use of their technology. Concerns grew larger back in early December of 2018 when Meng Wanzhou, daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei and current CFO of Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. government due to suspicion of intellectual property theft and bypassing U.S. sanctions in Iran. Meng’s arrest and extradition to the U.S. were met with negative reactions and fervent denial of any crimes by the Chinese government as well as Huawei.

A press conference held Monday, January 28th, 2019, stated that Huawei did indeed make “concerted effort,” as stated by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, to steal information involving Tappy, a phone-testing robot by T-Mobile. Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray were joined by Department of Homeland (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and several U.S. attorneys for the announcement at DOJ headquarters. It was mentioned that Huawei instructed its employees to take photos of Tappy, and at one point even steal pieces of it for possible replication. These type of actions clearly go against the non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with T-Mobile. The Justice Department is also accusing the company of offering bonuses to any employee able to deliver such information.

Reporters were told by Wray that “The charges unsealed today clearly allege that Huawei intentionally conspired to steal the intellectual property of an American company in an attempt to undermine the free and fair global marketplace,”

HuaweiInformation is a priceless commodity in today’s world, and while it may not be something that can be protected physically, many would go to extreme lengths to keep their information more secure than even some of the largest banks. The U.S. is no different, risking an already sensitive relationship with China in order to remove any risk of intellectual property theft.

The Chinese company Huawei specializes in telecommunication equipment and other technology-based services and products. The U.S. and other western government figures have grown suspicious of this company, and have remarked their concern for the possibility of using this technology to spy and gain private information. This fear of a breach in security has led to a number of incidents, and none have led to anything but tension between the western world and China.

The President’s national security adviser John Bolton has already begun a campaign to remove all Huawei technology by informing the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that they are no longer comfortable with using Chinese-made telecom equipment for sensitive sectors.  A senior administration official states “We are all concerned about theft of intellectual property and Chinese telecoms companies that are being used by China for intelligence-gathering purposes,”

The  parent company of the adultery dating site Ashley Madison will pay $1.6 million in settlements to the U.S. resulting from a Federal Trade Commission probe into a massive breach of the company’s computer systems and the outing of millions of its members. Hackers penetrated  company’s systems and then posted the information onlineafter the company didn’t comply with their demands to shut down Ashley Madison. New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday that reckless disregard for data security will not be tolerated. The investigation yielded poor data security practices and  the company made several alleged misrepresentations, including a “Trusted Security Award” that appears to have been fabricated.

The FTC also found Ashley Madison created fake female profiles to attract male users. It used portions of the profile photographs of actual users who had not had account activity within the previous year as the photographs in the fake profiles that it created. The website had a saying: “Life is short. Have an affair” — is marketed to people looking for extramarital relationships. It once purported to have about 39 million members.

Husbands and wives  extramarital affairs were posted on the web after the massive leak. Extortion crimes and  unconfirmed reports of suicides resulted. The New York attorney general’s office said the settlement with the company is for $17.5 million but said remainder of the $17.5 million payment is suspended based on ruby Corp.’s inability to pay.

A web site which processes tax forms for nonprofit groups for the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) had a major data breach, it has been announced. Operated by the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics, or NCCS. The group announced  it had recently discovered that an unauthorized party or parties gained access to the Form 990 Online and e-Postcard filing systems for nonprofit organizations.

Security Alert posted on its site says, “… all users of the e-Postcard system were notified that unauthorized parties gained access to the system and to usernames and passwords. If you registered on the site prior to January 7, 2015 you will be required to change your password if you have not already done so. Please go here for details, answers to Frequently Asked Questions and more information.”

Stuart Kantor, a spokesman for the Urban Institute, emailed Accounting Today on Monday, and wrote,  “TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) opened a criminal investigation into this attack. Urban was considered a victim of a crime. We are not privy to the TIGTA investigation, so we do not know its status. The incident did not result in any material downtime or interruption of use of the e-Postcard or Form 990 Online systems.”