Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged And Fined $75,000 By SEC

Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged And Fined $75,000 By SEC

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Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC

Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC 1

Rapper TI and four other people, including film producer Ryan Felton, have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over fraudulent token sales. TI, or Tip as the rapper is also known, is also fined $75,000 by the securities regulator.

The SEC announced Friday the charges against rapper and actor Clifford Harris Jr. (often known as TI or Tip), film producer Ryan Felton, and three others over two fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs). The SEC also charged two companies, Flik and Coinspark, that conducted the sales.

Rapper TI, whom the SEC described in its order as “a well-known musician, actor, and producer,” participated in the offer and sale of flik tokens, which are unregistered securities. Investors were able to buy and sell these tokens on at least two cryptocurrency exchanges using ETH and BTC, the SEC detailed. “Promotional materials described Flik as ‘Netflix on the blockchain’ — a company that would provide a streaming media platform with products and services that could be purchased with flik tokens.”

The SEC alleges that between Aug. 20 and Sept. 20, 2017, the rapper offered and sold these tokens on his social media accounts, falsely claiming to be a Flik co-owner, and asked a celebrity friend to promote the sale on social media, calling flik TI’s “new venture.” The Flik sale raised approximately 539 ETH, worth about $164,665 as of Sept. 20, 2017, the SEC’s order states, adding:

The SEC’s order against T.I. requires him to pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty and not participate in offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least five years.

TI neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings, Reuters reported Friday. His attorney Henry E. Mazurek says that the rapper regretted getting involved with Felton, whom he “believed to be a local entrepreneur trying to make it easier for new artists to enter the music industry,” the news outlet conveyed. The lawyer additionally claims that TI “never received a dollar” from Felton’s failed venture.

In addition, the SEC detailed that film producer Felton allegedly promised to build a digital streaming platform for Flik and a crypto trading platform for Coinspark, but he misappropriated the funds raised. He secretly transferred flik tokens to himself and sold them for $2.2 million in profits. He also engaged in manipulative trading to inflate the price of spark tokens and used the ill-gotten gains to buy a Ferrari, a million-dollar home, diamond jewelry, and other luxury goods.

The complaint charges Felton with violating registration, antifraud, and anti-manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. Flik and Coinspark are charged with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions.

Besides Felton, all persons have agreed to settlements to resolve the charges against them. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has simultaneously brought criminal charges against Felton. The proposed settlements are subject to court approval.

“The federal securities laws provide the same protections to investors in digital asset securities as they do to investors in more traditional forms of securities,” said Carolyn M. Welshhans, Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement.

What do you think about the SEC’s action against rapper TI and others? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC appeared first on BitcoinLinux.

Source: www.bitcoinlinux.com

Author: By coinmaker


Boom or bust? Welcome to the freewheeling world of crypto lending

Boom or bust? Welcome to the freewheeling world of crypto lending

LONDON (Reuters) – It sounds like a surefire bet. You lend money to a borrower who puts up collateral that exceeds the size of the loan, and then you earn interest of about 20%. What could possibly go wrong?

That’s the proposition presented by “DeFi”, or decentralised finance, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platforms that allow lenders and borrowers to transact without the traditional gatekeepers of loans: banks.

And it has exploded during the COVID-19 crisis.

Loans on such platforms have risen more than seven-fold since March to $3.7 billion, according to industry site DeFi Pulse, as investors hunt returns at a time when central banks across the world have slashed interest rates to prop up economies battered by the pandemic.

Proponents say DeFi sites, which run on open-source code with algorithms that set rates in real-time based on supply and demand, represent the future of financial services, providing a cheaper, more efficient and accessible way for people and companies to access and offer credit.

But with the promise of high rewards comes high risk.

Lawyers and analysts say such sites are vulnerable to coding bugs and hacks, and most are untested at scale and unregulated – the latter typical of much of a global cryptocurrency sector mistrustful of the financial establishment.

Critics warn the technology could be the next overblown bubble of the crypto world, akin to initial coin offerings (ICOs), with inexperienced investors at particular risk. In 2017, billions of dollars poured into ICOs, where companies raised capital by issuing new virtual coins. Most projects failed to gain traction, and many investors lost their money.

“These are experiments in finance,” said Preston Byrne of law firm Anderson Kill in New York. “They’re not necessarily legally compliant in a lot of cases,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be at some future.”

DeFi is nonetheless surging in popularity.

Seven years ago, Brice Berdah dreamt of retiring in his mid-30s. He worked out what he would need to save: “The exact amount was 1.7 million euros. My plan was to make 5% on my capital.”

Reality, though, scuppered his plans. Low interest rates meant his savings stagnated, while enquiries into real estate and car-parking businesses came to naught.

“By 27, I had only saved only about 0.5% of the required amount,” said Berdah, who works at a startup that makes digital wallets for storing digital coins. “It was an obvious failure.”

To resurrect his dream Berdah, now 28, has turned to DeFi.

“Now I’m using DeFi, I’ve readjusted my retirement plans,” said Paris-based Berdah, who has bet 90% of his net worth on DeFi. “Returns are about 20-25% over the last six months … and I’m on track just now.”

While DeFi’s roots are in a crypto sector hostile to mainstream finance, some of its aims – like cutting costly steps and paperwork in financing – have caught the attention of the firms it seeks to undermine.

In the future, backers say, bonds or stocks will be issued and traded directly on their blockchain-based platforms instead of by investment banks or centralised exchanges. Code, not humans, will oversee the processes, they say.

For their part, major banks are looking at how such technology can be used to complement, rather than upend, established finance. Goldman Sachs, for example, has hired a new head of digital assets to look at how assets can exist on blockchain technology, a spokesman said earlier this month.

“There is an actual value on what is being built on these protocols,” said Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant and board member of an Israeli blockchain industry group. “It might end up being an instant financialisation ecosystem for any project. That’s the promise.”

Most DeFi platforms are based on the ethereum blockchain, the backbone for ether, the second-biggest cryptocurrency after bitcoin. Unlike bitcoin, ethereum’s blockchain can be used to create digital contracts, while developers can more easily build new software or apps on it.

Loans are recorded, issued and managed by the blockchain-based contracts. Borrowers must offer collateral, also in cryptocurrency, usually worth more than the loans they take out.

DeFi is not for the faint-hearted. Borrowers are typically traders who take out loans in say, ethereum, then use the coins to trade on various exchanges against other cryptocurrencies. They then aim to pay back the loan and pocket their profits, comparable to short-sellers in stock markets.

One such borrower is Antoine Mouran, a computer science student at university in Lausanne.

Mouran borrows the USD Coin cryptocurrency on lending platform Aave, and then uses the loan to trade Lend coins.

The profits on a typical trade? Depending on the starting price, they can reach 30%, Mouran said.

“My portfolio is a couple of thousands dollars,” the 18-year-old added. “I trade for fun, to discover new technologies such as decentralised finance.”

For a graphic on Boomtime for crypto lending:

‘CODE IS NOT LAW’

Aave has been a big beneficiary of the recent DeFi boom, with its loans sky-rocketing by nearly 7,000% since June to $1.4 billion, the DeFi Pulse data shows.

Stani Kulechov, founder of the platform, said user interest had been “enormous” in recent months – but he acknowledges the pitfalls of the fledgling lending industry.

Kulechov said the code that underpinned DeFi lending was capable of regulating itself without the need for oversight by centralised bodies like financial regulators – but only as long as it worked correctly.

“The problem is when smart contracts behave in a way that they shouldn’t, and when things go wrong.”

However failures in code – from bugs to hacks – are common.

On Mar. 12, for example, major DeFi lending platform Maker, with about $1.4 billion of loans, was rocked by a sudden drop in the price of ethereum.

Around 1,200 lenders saw their positions suddenly liquidated for virtually nothing, despite safeguards put in place by Maker to protect lenders against sudden market falls.

Some industry players, like Aave’s Kulechov, advocate self-regulation by platforms to create standards for smart contracts, aiming to prevent hacks or malfunctioning code.

The DeFi industry is still far from that point, though.

Many purists are opposed to any oversight by humans or institutions, preferring to put faith in communities of users improving smart contracts, ironing out bugs through open-source programming.

More immediately, some users are turning to a more traditional industry for a degree of protection from DeFi platform failures: insurance. Some firms, such as London-based Nexus Mutual, offer coverage specifically against failures in smart contracts.

Britain’s financial watchdog told Reuters it regulated some crypto-related activities, looking at them on a case-by-case basis. Even “decentralised” platforms may be subject to regulation, it said separately last year. U.S. securities regulators did not respond to requests for comment.

Until regulation catches up, critics say, the risks of relying on the code may outweigh rewards.

“The people that lose out have no recourse,” said Tim Swanson of blockchain payments firm Clearmatics.

“Code is not law.”

Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Pravin Char

Source: otcpm24.com

Author: News Bureau


Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC

Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged and Fined $75,000 by SEC

Rapper TI and four other people, including film producer Ryan Felton, have been charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over fraudulent token sales. TI, or Tip as the rapper is also known, is also fined $75,000 by the securities regulator.

The SEC announced Friday the charges against rapper and actor Clifford Harris Jr. (often known as TI or Tip), film producer Ryan Felton, and three others over two fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs). The SEC also charged two companies, Flik and Coinspark, that conducted the sales.

Rapper TI, whom the SEC described in its order as “a well-known musician, actor, and producer,” participated in the offer and sale of flik tokens, which are unregistered securities. Investors were able to buy and sell these tokens on at least two cryptocurrency exchanges using ETH and BTC, the SEC detailed. “Promotional materials described Flik as ‘Netflix on the blockchain’ — a company that would provide a streaming media platform with products and services that could be purchased with flik tokens.”

The SEC alleges that between Aug. 20 and Sept. 20, 2017, the rapper offered and sold these tokens on his social media accounts, falsely claiming to be a Flik co-owner, and asked a celebrity friend to promote the sale on social media, calling flik TI’s “new venture.” The Flik sale raised approximately 539 ETH, worth about $164,665 as of Sept. 20, 2017, the SEC’s order states, adding:

The SEC’s order against T.I. requires him to pay a $75,000 civil monetary penalty and not participate in offerings or sales of digital-asset securities for at least five years.

TI neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings, Reuters reported Friday. His attorney Henry E. Mazurek says that the rapper regretted getting involved with Felton, whom he “believed to be a local entrepreneur trying to make it easier for new artists to enter the music industry,” the news outlet conveyed. The lawyer additionally claims that TI “never received a dollar” from Felton’s failed venture.

In addition, the SEC detailed that film producer Felton allegedly promised to build a digital streaming platform for Flik and a crypto trading platform for Coinspark, but he misappropriated the funds raised. He secretly transferred flik tokens to himself and sold them for $2.2 million in profits. He also engaged in manipulative trading to inflate the price of spark tokens and used the ill-gotten gains to buy a Ferrari, a million-dollar home, diamond jewelry, and other luxury goods.

What cryptocurrency will become the main one in a year?
BitcoinEthereum

The complaint charges Felton with violating registration, antifraud, and anti-manipulation provisions of the federal securities laws. Flik and Coinspark are charged with violating the registration and anti-fraud provisions.

Besides Felton, all persons have agreed to settlements to resolve the charges against them. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has simultaneously brought criminal charges against Felton. The proposed settlements are subject to court approval.

“The federal securities laws provide the same protections to investors in digital asset securities as they do to investors in more traditional forms of securities,” said Carolyn M. Welshhans, Associate Director in the Division of Enforcement.

What do you think about the SEC’s action against rapper TI and others? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Cleaning Up Crypto Exchange Wash Trading Will Take Global Regulation

Cleaning Up Crypto Exchange Wash Trading Will Take Global Regulation

When Bitwise Asset Management declared in a March 2019 presentation to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that 95% of the Bitcoin (BTC) trading volume being reported globally on cryptocurrency exchanges was “fake,” it jolted rating firms, exchanges and the larger crypto world. Data analytics firms recalibrated their exchange ranking metrics, and some assumed it was just a matter of time before wash trading was curtailed if not eliminated.

But wash trading was back in the news last week when the CEO, president and chief operating officer of Canadian crypto exchange Coinsquare were all forced to step down after Ontario securities regulators accused the company of inflating trading volume to the tune of $5.5 billion.

Wash trading involves transactions in which no funds or financial interests are actually exchanged. They are sometimes referred to as “false trades” and are used to bolster an exchange’s reported trade volume. This, in turn, gives the appearance of liquidity and market activity, attracting new users to the exchange. In traditional finance where exchanges are regulated, trade volume is a good proxy for liquidity — but not in the crypto world.

Bobby Ong, co-founder and chief operating officer of crypto ratings platform CoinGecko, told Cointelegraph: “This problem is still prevalent. We still see non-regulated exchanges conducting wash trading, and we don’t have a good measure to tell whether it is getting better or worse over time.”

Meanwhile, John Jefferies, chief financial analyst at crypto forensics firm CipherTrace, informed Cointelegraph: “The Bitwise letter to the SEC was a turning point because it informed investors and regulators on how pervasive wash trading was at that time.” But it didn’t stamp out the practice. “This form of market manipulation is still a serious problem, especially in the 800 exchanges that are not in the Top 40.”

Bitwise’s chief technology officer, Hong Kim, told Cointelegraph that he has seen no uptick in wash trading lately, and since Bitwise made its presentation to the SEC in an attempt to win approval for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, or ETF, “enormous progress has been sustained” in dealing with the problem of fake trading numbers — but more work still needs to be done.

Wash trading has even been reported recently on decentralized exchanges, which seems like an anomaly because each trade is recorded on a public ledger and fake trading may be easily detected. It seems that the practice may sometimes take place on Binance DEX and Loopring, showcasing that DEXs can also be affected.

It’s difficult to determine the exact amount of fake volume that exists because data aggregators receive data from the same exchange APIs where wash trades and legitimate trading volumes are indistinguishable, Gerald Chee, head of research at CoinMarketCap, told Cointelegraph, adding:

“Simply put, there is no easy way to tell if an exchange is inflating volumes or not by merely looking at the volumes they report. The only way to truly detect ’wash trades’ would require access to ’account-ID’ data — the actual accounts that performed the trade — and this data is extremely sensitive; only exchanges have access to this.”

Wash trading is sometimes characterized as a victimless crime, but the practice can mislead investors. Charles Hayter, founder and CEO of CryptoCompare, told Cointelegraph: “Ultimately it is the consumer who is harmed by it as it is a false representation of depth in the market.”

Investors often feel more comfortable trading on a larger exchange, and the trading volume on a platform “is a factor that a reasonable investor would consider relevant in deciding whether to enter into or maintain a trading relationship,” noted the Ontario Securities Commission in its “statement of allegations” against Coinsquare.

Trading in these markets is a zero-sum game, added Jefferies. “Some unlucky speculator is going to lose the money that the market manipulators gain.” Moreover, Jefferies believes that “the industry as a whole suffers from lack of trust,” which impedes crypto’s growth into a major asset class, given concerns about market manipulation. No crypto-based ETF application has won SEC approval, and wash trading may be partly to blame for that, he suggested.

Wash trading is most prevalent among smaller, newer exchanges looking for a way “to trick new users who may not know who are the most reputable exchanges into opening an account with them,” said Ong, but often at unfavorable rates with high slippage. These exchanges are more likely to be hacked, too, because they often lack the resources to invest in the best cybersecurity practices.

Fake volume is generally created in two ways, explained Kim. Exchanges can be directly involved, just printing numbers or paying someone to trade. But perhaps more common, an exchange can create incentives for users to trade with themselves. The exchange could create a “no fee” top tier for users who trade more than $1 million in a year, for instance. Traders who want to maintain their no-fee top-tier status can do this simply by trading with themselves — at no cost. “The exchange doesn’t have to intentionally create fake volume,” said Kim.

Still, some headway has been made since “Bitwise’s herculean study into trading volume manipulation helped pierce the veil on legitimate vs. spoofed order books,” wrote Messari CEO Ryan Selkis in a May blog. For example, the Bitwise report further encouraged Messari to develop a new set of trading volume metrics — its “Real 10 Volumes” — based on 10 exchanges it believed to have reported “legitimate” crypto trading volumes via their APIs.

Other ratings firms made adjustments in their exchange rankings, including CoinMarketCap, which Bitwise called out specifically by name in its 2019 report, stating: “Despite its widespread use, the CoinMarketCap.com data is wrong […] giving a fundamentally mistaken impression of the true size and nature of the bitcoin Market.”

Chee told Cointelegraph that “we do not disagree with the findings of Bitwise. We still think a large proportion of volumes are not organic in nature,” although he was reluctant to put an actual figure on false reporting, given the lack of objective data. But when CoinMarkeCap unveiled a new exchange ranking methodology that shifted from volumes to a mixed system of web traffic, liquidity and volumes, it saw a more than 50% drop in the globally reported volumes of exchanges. In 10-plus exchanges, the reduction in reported trading volume exceeded 90%. “This is indicative of prior wash trading, as exchanges are no longer incentivized to inflate volumes,” explained Chee.

Related: Crypto Exchange Ranking Methods Still Contested as CMC Takes More Heat

When CryptoCompare revamped its crypto exchange benchmark, it gave considerable weight to jurisdiction — i.e., if the exchange is domiciled in a regulated environment. A regulated jurisdiction suggests the exchange is going to do things by the book, Hayter told Cointelegraph. Other factors such as website traffic — used by CoinMarketCap and others — are less useful in determining the authenticity of trading volume, according to Hayter, who went on to add:

“Website traffic, although sometimes useful for gauging popularity, is not really accurate — as lots of exchanges trade via API which will not be accurately represented. Coupled with that exchanges with high web traffic tend to be using populist promotions which in the long run tend to be empty promises.”

Some view wash trading as a problem caused by having so many unregulated exchanges, as they “have a much higher instance of wash trading,” said Jefferies. “Until recently this included Canada, where Coinsquare was accused of wash trading 590,000 BTC, and the CEO, President, and the COO were forced out.” CoinGecko’s Ong told Cointelegraph:

“Unfortunately, many of the unregulated exchanges, especially those coming from China, are heavily wash trading and faking their volume. They have trading bots running to boost volume to appear larger and more liquid than what they actually are.”

This is apparent from situations where the bid-ask spreads are huge — more than 50% — but trades of more than $100 million are still reportedly taking place between the bid-ask spread, Ong added. “We have also seen exchange websites going down but API still spewing high trading volume data.” By contrast, exchanges in regulated jurisdictions are not facing these issues. Chee agreed: “Jurisdictions like the USA, Europe, Gibraltar, Japan, among others, generally have licensed exchanges that are more compliant to laws against market malpractice,” including wash trading.

Asked if having a regulated jurisdiction matters when it comes to eliminating false volume reporting, Kim answered that it matters 100%. In an unregulated jurisdiction, there is no penalty for claiming to have $1 trillion in trading volume when, in fact, there is only $1 million.

Ratings firms have been reluctant to eliminate all non-regulated exchanges from their rankings, however. When Messari went with only the top 10 “clean” exchanges, it found that it eliminated a large part of the market. Specifically, it removed exchanges with some inflated volume but also legitimate trading volume — companies such as Bithumb, Upbit and Coinone in South Korea; Liquid in Japan; and Huobi, OKEx, OKCoin and Gate.io in China, said Selkis.

Messari eventually added 10 more exchanges to its “real volume” metric, but it applied a 50% “haircut” to those gray-volume Korean and Chinese exchanges to better approximate their true volumes. According to Selkis, “We believe this better reflects the magnitude of adjustment necessary vs. simple web traffic comparisons, which usually discount these volumes by approximately 90%.”

Bitwise’s Kim, however, is wary about discounting — i.e., applying “haircuts” to — exchanges with inflated trading volume. In an unregulated jurisdiction, an exchange can report anything it wants with impunity. It can create a trading volume number out of thin air. Applying a 50% haircut to this number could still leave the exchange with $1 trillion in reported trading. So, the exchange’s “big lie” strategy remains alive and well.

On the other hand, if exchanges offered proof of reserves, “Wash trading would go away altogether,” said Kim. Kraken and a few others have done something like this. “It’s a doable thing, but the community isn’t demanding it.”

Global regulation may be the long-term answer, but in the medium term, market surveillance and virtual asset service providers giving transparency can help curtail wash trading, said Jefferies. Kim agreed that exchanges, even in non-regulated jurisdictions, can make use of market surveillance tools if they are serious about curbing wash trading.

In the interim, rating firms and others will have to continue to look beyond trading volumes as the sole metric in determining an exchange’s quality. “We will need to look at more metrics to get a more holistic view of the exchange,” said Ong, whose firm has added factors such as order-book depth, bid-ask spread, web traffic estimates, API quality and cybersecurity practices to its “Trust Score” rating algorithm.

In sum, the problem of wash trading is not likely to be remedied overnight. This market malpractice is a “regulatory problem and not a data-related problem,” as Chee told Cointelegraph, but the market is decentralized and most exchanges exist outside a regulator’s reach, so moral suasion and community pressure can only work up to a point. In the end, a regulator’s stick — as recently seen in Canada — may be the only way to totally eliminate wash trading. “If you fear your right to operate will be imperiled, you won’t lie about trading volume,” said Kim.

Source: otcpm24.com

Author: News Bureau


Another month, another cryptocurrency exchange hacked and 'millions of dollars' stolen by miscreants

Another month, another cryptocurrency exchange hacked and ‘millions of dollars’ stolen by miscreants

In brief Cryptocurrency exchange Eterbase last week admitted hackers broke into its computers and made off with other people’s coins, said to be worth $5.4m.

The plug was pulled on the digital dosh exchange as a result, though it may return at some point: it claims to have enough capital to surmount the cyber-heist. Investigations by staff and law enforcement are ongoing.

“We want to inform our users that we have enough capital to meet all our obligations,” the site’s operators said in a statement.

“We want to reassure everyone that this event won’t stop our journey. After the security audit of renowned global companies, our operations will continue. We will announce the date of the reopening of the ETERBASE Exchange platform as soon as possible.”

Palo Alto Networks has emitted nine security patches for its products, and one of them is for a critical flaw in some installations.

The updates are for Palo Alto’s PAN-OS and the most serious, CVE-2020-2040, has a CVSS score of 9.8 out of 10 – i.e. it needs fixing urgently. If you’re running Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Palo Alto’s Captive Portal interface, an attacker can exploit a buffer overflow to ultimately gain code execution as root.

There are also a handful of more minor fixes for the PAN management web interface and some low-grade issues with passwords being occasionally stored in plain text.

Fortunately there’s no sign of these being exploited in the wild as yet. But, with the patches released, it’s only a matter of time before someone cooks up some exploit code, so it’s worth patching early.

Popular videoconferencing app maker Zoom has started rolling out two-factor authentication for its desktop and mobile applications.

Previously only available on the web client, the security system will allow admins to insist on multiple forms of authentication for meeting participants. It’ll work with Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and FreeOTP.

As research this week showed, the majority of Zoom intrusions are not the work of hackers, but someone who has been given login details to a meeting and then shared them with miscreants. Two-factor authentication may put a dent in this kind of zoombombing by making it too much of a faff for miscreants to log in using shared credentials.

With its popularity exploding amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has had to take a serious look at its security, including hiring key players to make sure it’s up to scratch.

General Keith Alexander, who was in charge of the NSA when Ed Snowden blew the whistle on the super-agency’s illegal spying programs, is now on Amazon’s board of directors. He is also on Amazon’s audit committee. This move is likely intended to help Amazon get its foot in the door in more US government contracts.

A timing attack on HTTPS and other things that use TLS/SSL, dubbed the Raccoon Attack, has been documented. “Raccoon allows attackers under certain conditions to break the encryption and read sensitive communications,” the brains behind it explained. “The vulnerability is really hard to exploit and relies on very precise timing measurements and on a specific server configuration to be exploitable.” TLS 1.3 isn’t affected. Don’t panic, in other words: update your software and you’ll get fixes that counter the attack.

Students in Hartford, Connecticut, got an extra day of holiday after the school system was taken down by ransomware.

The malware borked key logistics systems on Tuesday in the US city. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the infection was “significantly limited” due to computer security systems installed last year. Schools were back up and running the following day, though we’re sure students appreciated their digital snow day.

Hartford is far from alone in getting hit: research [PDF] this week from infosec outfit Bitdefender claimed ransomware attacks were up over 700 per cent year on year. Schools are easy targets, usually with very little security infrastructure, and typically with insurance that will pay the ransom to, hopefully but not necessarily, unscramble files.

There’s also students themselves to contend with. A teenager is right now facing felony charges after allegedly taking down a Miami school’s networks with a DDoS attack. ®

Source: www.theregister.com

Author: Mon 14 Sep 2020 // 10:15 UTC


Rapper TI Cryptocurrency Fraud: Charged And Fined $75,000 By SEC


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