Fraud Watch (25 March 2018)

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Hackers Move from Ransomware to Crypto-Jacking

Bottom Line Upfront: Semantic reports a sharp increase in “crypto-jacking” incidences where user’s devices are high-jacked and are unwittingly mining cryptocurrencies. Presumably, the hackers gain access to devices through spear phishing campaigns  and/or gaining physical access to a device or network. The shift to crypto-jacking likely due to the rising value of cryptocurrencies and low barrier to entry for developing and implementing crypto-jacking programs.
Source: RT.com, ‘Crypto-jacking’: Bitcoin rise prompts hackers to ditch ransomware for mining fraud, 22 March 2018.
Link: https://www.rt.com/news/422019-crypto-jacking-bitcoin-symantec/ (accessed 25 March 2018)

Online Investigator Suggests Blocksims ICO Conducting Fraudulent Business Practices

Bottom Line Upfront:  Investigator identified multiple indicators of fraud surrounding the upcoming Blocksims ICO (set for April 2018), which purports to offer a decentralized communication network solution that is both UNLIMITED and FREE after an initial purchase. Once Blocksim’s fund raising campaign is completed, reportedly the group will purchase and disseminate the SIM cards to individual investors (emphasis on SIMs bought only after funds are raised). The group also claimed seeking U.S. SEC approval, which the author proved to be false.
Researcher’s Note: A review of the company’s GitHub code repository revealed only nine lines of code completed and zero developers committed to the project.
Source: Official Ted Blog, Individuals “buy” as SIM card Blocksims ICO still conducting fraudulent business practices 28 February 2018.
Link: https://officialtedblog.com/blocksims-ico-still-conducting-fraudulent-business-practices/ (accessed  25 March 2018)

Potential Scam Fork with Bitcoin White

Bottom Line Upfront: Article suggests the group behind Bitcoin White using a “scam fork.” A scam fork is how new cryptocurrency team attempts to manipulate brand recognition (of their coin) based on an established blockchain such as Bitcoin. The perceived association give a false perception of legitimacy, which potentially impact the new cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin White website [bitwhite(dot)org], does not provide picture or name of the development team or investors. Instead, the website offers pictures of team member who wear masks individuals and use pseudonyms for their names.
Researcher’s Note: A review of Bitcoin White’s GitHub code repository revealed only 10 developers committed to the project (12 Team members listed on the Bitcoin White website) and only one contributor to the project.
Source: Cryptobriefing.com, SCAMFLASH: Bitcoin White Aims To Fork You Over, 27 February 2018)
Link: https://cryptobriefing.com/scamflash-bitcoin-white-aims-fork/ (accessed 25 March 2018)

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