Facebook messenger malware FacexWorm targets crypto platforms

Facebook messenger malware FacexWorm targets crypto platforms

FacexWorm, a malicious Google Chrome extension, has been targeting cryptocurrency trading platforms via Facebook Messenger, according to a Trend Micro report.

This was not the first time FacexWorm has targeted unsuspecting users. The malware was first uncovered last year in August by Kaspersky labs researcher David Jacoby. At the time, it was unclear how it operated and the purpose for its creation. Eight months later,Trend Micro noticed on April 8 activities that resembled the malware. At the time of discovery, there were already reports of FacexWorm attack in countries like Tunisia, Germany, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

The new version of FacexWorm works similarly like the old version with few new adjustments. In addition to sending socially engineered links to friends from an affected Facebook Messenger account, it can steal users account and credential details. FacexWorm also causes cryptocurrency fraud, puts malicious cryptocurrency mining codes on a website and redirects users to attackers’ referral link for cryptocurrency related programs. It can also hijack cryptocurrency transactions and steal money from platforms, such as Poloniex, HitBTC, Bitfinex, Ethfinex, and Binance, and wallets like Blockchain.info.

According to the report, users who opened the link were redirected to a fake YouTube page, where they will be asked to install a codec extension—FacexWorm—to play the video. Finally, users will get a request for “privilege to access,” and change data on the opened website. Once granted access,FacexWorm will download malicious codes to help in executing its operations.

The malware has only been able to affect a small group of people, according to the Trend Micro team, which has so far been able to identify one BTC transaction that was affected by FacexWorm. They were, however, not able to determine how many BTC coins have been earned from the malicious malware

Chrome has taken measures to remove and prevent attackers from uploading FacexWorm in their system.Facebook Messenger has also put measures to detect and prevent FacexWorm uploads by attackers. Trend Micro urges users to be careful while sharing information with friends.

Last year, Amazon had a malware attack that was uploaded to their Amazon Web Services servers. The malware executed BTC mining command that allowed mining using the company’s large process power to facilitate the process.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
3 ways BTC kingdom can be 'destroyed

3 ways BTC kingdom can be ‘destroyed,’ as told by MIT

Virtually everyone by now has, at a minimum, a general idea of what cryptocurrency is. Spawned from the online gambling industry’s desire to get payment methods that are outside the traditional banking system, the digital currency promises to be a currency controlled by the entire system instead of a central bank. The idea is solid and has a great amount of merit, which is why BTC, the world’s first cryptocurrency, took off the way it did, skyrocketing in value from $1 to almost $20,000 in six years.

As with any product or service, BTC’s popularity gave rise to alternatives—about 1,100 of them at the moment. But just like the mighty Roman empire of Augustus, BTC’s dominance could be toppled. And according to a report published by MIT Technology Review, there are three ways the BTC kingdom “could be brought down.”

One way would be through a government takeover. Governments could create their own cryptocurrency, which would be issued by a central bank. The coin’s ledgers would be managed by authorized institutions (in an effort to maintain “decentralization”) which would, more than likely, be nothing more than large banks. Users would have to show their identity to set up a wallet with the central bank, and the practice could slowly do away with physical cash.

Models of this scenario have shown that central banks could actually perform better than BTC. The Bank of England, which analyzed a state-backed cryptocurrency in 2016, determined that a central bank-backed digital currency solution would result in an increase of 3% in the gross domestic product of the UK.

Another option to fell the cryptocurrency giant would be a sneak attack by Facebook. Yes, that Facebook. The scenario is simple: Facebook, with its supposed 2 billion users, launches its own cryptocurrency. It then uses its pull to convince a great number of BTC users to run proprietary Facebook-created BTC software, and ultimately control how well, or poorly, the coin performs.

One other kingdom-cracking solution would be to make BTC obsolete, unimportant. BTC Core developers’ resistance to changes has resulted in the network slowing down with backlogs of unconfirmed transactions that took hours to confirm and cost high fees to process. To put it simply, BTC is no longer a cryptocurrency as it does not scale and is expensive to transact in. Sidechains do not work and many current tech thought leaders believe it is impossible to get it to work.

The emperor’s reign is already faltering. Looking at the performance of coins such as Bitcoin Cash over the past week, virtually all have posted gains above 30%. All, that is, except for BTC. Bitcoin Cash is up a staggering 91% on the week, yet BTC has only gained 18%.

Bitcoin Cash is the only coin that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto white paper, offering the best scaling and security features. It reverted to the unadulterated form of the blockchain to stay true to Satoshi’s vision: replace-by-fee was removed, the signatures are preserved, transactions are kept irreversible, fees are kept low, and the block size is increased to accommodate more users and keep transaction processes fast. Bitcoin Cash can do everything all the other platforms can do and more.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Financial analyst drags Facebook to court over scam crypto ads

Financial analyst drags Facebook to court over scam crypto ads

Amid the bad press and the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data theft, a new development will see social media giant Facebook under renewed pressure.

Martin Lewis, founder of consumer help site MoneySavingExpert.com, announced that he is suing Facebook in the UK High Court for defamation. Lewis is considered a popular figure in the UK as he also presents The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV as well as being the founder of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

In his suit, Lewis claimed Facebook published well over 50 fake advertisements, which were seen on a regular basis by several million people across the United Kingdom. The adverts allegedly used Lewis’s image to promote a fake product or investment scams that serious effects on the reputation of the popular presenter.

The most popular of these Facebook ads were cryptocurrency-linked ‘Bitcoin Code’ or ‘Cloud Trader,’ which Lewis said were fronts for binary trading firms operating outside the European Union. These get rich quick schemes are almost always invariably scams and are strongly condemned by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

As with such suits, Lewis will not be seeking personal damages but only exemplary damages with all possible proceeds donated to charity.

Lewis said he had spent the past year fighting to stop Facebook from allowing scammers to use his name to rip off vulnerable people, some of whom have been duped into investing £100,000 in the alleged con.

“I’m not the only public face this has happened to. It’s time Facebook was made to take responsibility. It claims to be a platform not a publisher—yet this isn’t just a post on a web forum, it is being paid to publish, promulgate and promote what are often fraudulent enterprises. My hope is this lawsuit will force it to change its system. Nothing else has worked. People need protection,” Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis’s lawyer, Mark Lewis, said Facebook is not above the law and cannot think it is untouchable either. He said that they will ask the court to seek exemplary damages as the price of ‘causing misery to others’ and not just a simple accounting exercise.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Cambridge Analytica eyed ICO before all hell broke loose: report

Cambridge Analytica eyed ICO before all hell broke loose: report

Digital data harvesting firm Cambridge Analytica has been in the news recently for all negative reasons you can imagine. What with it being used to harvest tens of millions of personal accounts data from Facebook and its technology’s alleged use in the rigging of elections on an international scale, it’s safe to say that Cambridge Analytica is amongst the most toxic names in the business these days.

Adding fuel to the fire of controversy were new reports that the data firm was also planning to come up with an initial coin offering (ICO) of its own prior to the Facebook scandal breaking out. With ICOs and cryptocurrency market in general taking a monumental beating over the past few months, this news is surely not going to go down well with investors in the sector since Cambridge Analytica’s use for digital currency is pretty questionable, to say the least. Sources who spoke to Reuters on the matter said that the company was pretty advanced in its plans to issue an ICO.

According to the report, Cambridge Analytica had already started discussions with a company that advises on how to initiate and set up ICOs. At present, it is not known whether the data firm is still actively pursuing this path, which would’ve allowed it to raise as much as $30 million.

In response to the report, a Cambridge Analytica spokesperson confirmed that the company has been “developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities” before the Facebook hubbub. The goal, according to the spokesperson, was “to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used.”

“We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetize their personal data, including blockchain technology,” the spokesperson told the news outlet.

Cambridge Analytica made headlines early this year following reports that it had worked on a number of high-profile election campaigns, including the 2016 United States election where Donald Trump emerged victorious. The news that the harvesting of well over 87 million Facebook users’ data could have been used in this election as well as in other campaigns such as the UK European Union Referendum have caused a storm of protest across the world, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having to testify in marathon sessions before U.S. Congress to defend the company. Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was also intensely questioned by UK Parliament committees on the firm’s activities in the Referendum.

Although ICOs have been a popular method to raise capital, the vast amount of scams and illegality surrounding this activity has put the whole cryptocurrency market in very bad light.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit-Coin BTC (inaccurately called Bitcoin Legacy or Core by many) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Canadian regulator calls on Google to ban cryptocurrency

Canadian regulator calls on Google to ban cryptocurrency, ICO ads

A senior Canadian financial regulator has voiced support for the decision of Facebook to ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and ICOs, and called for Google to do the same.

Noting that regulators were ‘very pleased’ with the decision from Facebook to ban these ads, Jason Roy of the Manitoba Securities Commission said it was now incumbent on other online advertising platforms to take similar steps.

Roy, who also serves as the chair of the Binary Options Task Force in Canada, said regulators were already engaged in discussions with Google about this type of move, reflecting on how “these types of ads are leading people to becoming victims.”

Speaking to the Times of Israel, Roy’s suggestions that Google follow in Facebook’s footsteps with banning ads for cryptocurrencies, ICOs and also binary options, was positioned as an attempt to protect consumers from bad faith actors.

“There’s just been an explosion of different ICOs and new tokens and crazy offerings. You’re seeing ICOs that are raising large amounts of money and there’s nothing behind them in certain cases, but members of the public are so hyped that they’re throwing money at them,” he said.

Facebook’s ban was announced on Jan. 30, and was announced in a blog post penned by Rob Leathern, who said that while Facebook would remain an important platform for discovering cryptocurrencies, it shouldn’t be possible for potentially misleading ads to reach unsuspecting consumers.

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” according to Leathern.

Comments from Roy and the Manitoba Securities Commission are far from isolated, with increasing efforts at the regulatory level across the world to deal with the rise of cryptocurrencies.

While regulators and lawmakers describe their steps as essential regulation of a potentially risky market, critics of the plans see these efforts as attempts to control or destabilise cryptocurrency markets, and in particular the threat they could pose to the established global financial order.

Still, it remains to be seen whether the regulator’s comments will influence Google to take similar steps to Facebook in outlawing ads for cryptocurrency products.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.
Facebook bans cryptocurrency adverts to curb scams—and possibly wipe out future competition

Facebook bans cryptocurrency adverts to curb scams—and possibly wipe out future competition

The ban comes shortly after Zuckerberg said he’s exploring how Facebook can use cryptocurrencies in its services.

In an effort to curb scams and ill-informed investments which have become severely rampant as the cryptocurrency boom progressed, Facebook has announced that it is banning all cryptocurrency-related advertisements on the social media platform—regardless of whether the organizations behind them are dubious or legitimate.

“We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith,” product management director Rob Leathern wrote.

The ban covers anything promoting cryptocurrencies, ICO’s (initial coin offerings), and binary options. This means a full cryptocurrency ad blackout not just on your Facebook newsfeed but also on Instagram, as well as all third party apps and websites that are monetized by ad revenue using Facebook’s Audience Network (FAN).

It can be noted that at the beginning of the year, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that he is looking into cryptocurrencies and encryption, and pondering how these can be used for their services.

While joining the fight against scams and hyped up pump and dump schemes is a noble and exceedingly necessary move these days, the ban actually hits two birds with one stone. It also helps Facebook phase out competition in the future, and position their cryptocurrency ahead—if it ever comes into culmination.

With two billion active monthly users on Facebook alone, this would give them a substantial advantage. Add their other platforms to the pile, and they can effectively dominate. In an interview with Futurism, Investing.com senior analyst Clement Thibault says this isn’t surprising.

“They have seen the enormous mainstream attention and amounts of money pouring into cryptocurrencies in 2017,” Thibault said. “Positioning yourself to take advantage of a new tool, new technology, and a potential new business opportunity just makes sense.”

Thibault points out that Facebook already rolled out their own peer-to-peer payments in India through messaging app Whatsapp, which they acquired for $19 billion in 2014. “We know they are interested in facilitating transactions between people, which is what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are aiming to do.”

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.