UK Supermarket Twitter Hackers Try to Revive Classic Bitcoin Scam

The UK-based supermarket giant Tesco has had its Twitter account compromised by hackers. Almost mirroring an attack last year, those behind it have attempted to scam Bitcoin from the store’s customers.

Tesco appears to have now regained control of its Twitter account. The hackers attempts to earn Bitcoin from the supermarket’s customers appear to have been unsuccessful.

Tesco Twitter Hackers Impersonate Bill Gates, Ask for Bitcoin and Personal Details

According to a report in cyber security publication Bleeping Computer, the UK supermarket giant Tesco had its Twitter account taken over by hackers yesterday.

The report states that those behind the attack attempted to revive an old Twitter-based Bitcoin scam as part of the hack. The Tesco account tweeted that anyone sending Bitcoin to wallet address “3M3eTTJwkQkkL7GjSSSfrpfPJLyJztMAcy” would receive twice the amount in return.

The scam was popular on Twitter around the last Bitcoin bull market and into 2018. It prompted many large crypto personalities that had had their identities usurped by scammers to change their Twitter names to include words to the effect of “Not giving away Bitcoin”, or even Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin’s “Non-giver of Ether” addition.

The efforts of the hackers to defraud Tesco customers of their Bitcoin apparently have been completely unsuccessful. The wallet listed below shows that not a single satoshi has been sent to its public address:

Blockchain explorers show that no Bitcoin has been sent to the hacker’s wallet.

In addition to posting Tweets asking for Bitcoin payments, those behind the hack changed the name of the account to Bill Gates and began retweeting the computer scientist. The hackers even used Gates’s current Twitter picture and a now-deleted Twitter handle @Billgatesmsc.

Finally, those complaining to the supermarket giant about goods they have bought have apparently been targeted in the attack too. The Bleeping Computer report states that those controlling the account responded to some customers by requesting personal details, including full name and address, so that the issue could be rectified.

The attack is very similar to one that occurred last year against two large UK retailers. Clothing store, Matalan, and the British arm of French Pathé both had their Twitter accounts fall victim to scammers who offered to increase the amount of Bitcoin sent to them by naive followers. In that example, the scammers changed the profiles to resemble that of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. Rather more successful than that those behind the Tesco hack, they reportedly made off with around $150,000.

It now appears that Tesco has regained control of the account and has deleted all the Tweets indicating that there was a security breach. However, the blue “verified account” sign is no longer shown next to its name, indicating a change of account details.

 

Related Reading: Bitcoin Bullishness Makes Crypto Attractive to Scammers Once Again

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Facebook’s Libra Is ‘Currency for Corporations’, Bitcoin Is ‘for the People’: CNBC

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Facebook’s Libra Is ‘Currency for Corporations’, Bitcoin Is ‘for the People’: CNBC

Joe Kernen, a former stockbroker and current co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box” show, has argued that fiat money is “currency for government” and Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is “currency for corporations.”

“Who Put Facebook In Charge of Giving Currency to the World?”

Kernen, a biology graduate from the University of Colorado, believes Bitcoin (BTC) is the only currency that has been specifically designed “for the people.” Commenting further on Facebook’s crypto project, Kernen remarked:

Facebook’s Libra Coin [initiative] looks like it’s all about the money. And, who put Facebook in charge of giving currency to the rest of the world? [It’s] just a social media site.

He further questioned the social media giant’s intentions and crypto-related plans by noting:

Why should they be the ones to dictate how digital currency works? Who anointed them? Of all [entities] to anoint, why Facebook with their [troubled] history?…They’d be the last [ones] I’d [put in charge of a project like this.]

Libra Coin A Threat to the US Dollar?

Michael Brendan Dougherty, the Senior Editor at the National Review Online, criticized world governments for not taking a harsher stance against Facebook’s Libra project. Notably, Dougherty believes the Libra Coin could potentially pose a threat to the USD, the world’s most dominant currency.

Dougherty, whose comments came during an episode of The Editors (a podcast managed by the National Review), also addressed other serious problems related to social media companies. The podcast covered sensitive issues such as giant firms like Facebook being required to prove that their content removal and promotion policies are “politically neutral.”

Going on to show his support for the American government while explaining the potential threat the Libra project might pose to the U.S. economy, Dougherty noted: 

The government’s appropriate response to an enormous, unaccountable spy agency that’s launching a currency that it wants to compete with the US dollar, is to nuke it from space.

Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys (a Brooklyn, New York-based development studio focused on the Ethereum (ETH) project), recently said that Facebook’s Libra is a “centralized wolf [disguised] in decentralized sheep’s clothing.”

Can Facebook Be Trusted with Financial Information?

Although Lubin acknowledged that Facebook may be able to hire skilled developers in order to ensure that its cryptocurrency is implemented properly, he questioned whether the social media giant should be trusted. The Ethereum Co-Founder remarked:

Don’t I need to trust Facebook and other intermediaries to trust Libra?

Lubin also seemed to be concerned about users’ financial privacy, as there are now many reports which confirm that Facebook has been making profits off its users’ personal data. Lubin noted:

What happens when you wrap your personal finances up in this, too? That our digital identity will never merge with Libra’s financial data is a hard perception to shake. It is almost a given, even if they have the best of intentions—“accidents” and incursions happen when relying on centralized architectures.

Bitcoin IRA Partners with BitGo to Improve Retail Offering

Bitcoin IRA Partners with BitGo to Improve Retail Offering

Bitcoin IRA, a digital assets company that helps people add cryptocurrency to their retirement portfolios and 401K’s, has officially launched a self-directed IRA, as per a press release, June 25, 2019.

Digital Assets in Pension

The rules of the offering are similar to a regular IRA; a customer has sole authority as to what goes in their portfolio by directing the company on what to hold for them. The only difference is that the underlying assets aren’t stocks and bonds – they’re cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin IRA, which launched three years ago, has processed over $350 million in transactions, as per the press release issued by the company. By registering as an administrator with BitGo, a division of the company will execute all administrative tasks from plan execution to KYC/AML and transaction monitoring.

BitGo is the largest custodial service for digital assets in the world and will offer a wealth of incentives to those who invest through Bitcoin IRA. BitGo’s state of the art services allow for a 30 percent reduction in wallet fees and the ability to allow customers the opportunity to invest in 12 different digital assets. BitGo has a cold storage vault located in South Dakota that exceeds regulators demands in terms of security. Bitcoin IRA will have a $100 million insurance policy to back the assets held by its investors.

The process of opening an IRA with the firm is near instant, but KYC procedures usually take a day to go through. Bitcoin IRA has clients across the USA, with the exception of New York, as they do not have a BitLicense to operate in the jurisdiction.

Small Allocation, Huge Jump in Returns

Leading figures in the space such as Anthony Pompiliano have long been arguing for pension funds to open a small allocation to bitcoin. Having a heavy exposure to bitcoin isn’t recommended even for those who can bear surplus risk, but a small allocation in the 1-3 percent range would skew risk-adjusted returns for the portfolio.

In this case, assuming nil leverage, the maximum value that will be lost is 1-3 percent – if bitcoin goes to $0. On the contrary, bitcoin’s historical return profile has the ability to magnify long term returns. The 1-3 percent allocation could explain over 70-80 percent of the funds return during bitcoin’s boom cycle.

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24/7 Bitcoin Derivative Trading Now Available for U.S. Residents; Will This Add Fuel to BTC’s Momentum?

The crypto markets are continuing to grow and develop by leaps and bounds each day, and the latest piece of positive news that elucidates just how rapidly the markets are maturing is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s decision to approve LedgerX for offering physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts.

The announcement, which was made by the CFTC earlier today, has sparked excitement in the crypto community, and many investors are now noting that this could help add fuel to the current Bitcoin bull run, which may allow it to climb significantly higher.

CFTC Approval of Bitcoin Derivatives Trading is “Great News” 

Earlier today, the CFTC released an approval notice on their website, noting that LedgerX is now able to offer Bitcoin futures contracts to US-based residents that meet certain account minimums. Importantly, these contracts are open to all eligible retail clients, and are not limited to institutional investors.

“The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it has approved the application of LedgerX LLC (LedgerX) for designation as a contract market,” the CFTC said.

Alex Krüger, an economist who focuses primarily on cryptocurrencies, spoke about this news in a recent tweet, deeming the approval of Bitcoin derivative trading as “great news” for the markets.

“Great news: 24/7 bitcoin derivatives trading will soon be available for US residents. Minimum account size of $10K or 1 BTC,” he noted.

LedgerX first began the process of receiving approval for a “designated contract market (DCM)” in November of 2018, and due to several issues with the nascent nature of the crypto markets, it was likely an arduous process.

Will the Approval of Physically Settled Derivatives Lead to a BTC ETF?

It has long been hypothesized that the approval of a Bitcoin ETF would allow the markets to surge past their previously established all-time-highs, but a deluge of regulatory concerns has thrown a wet towel on hopes surrounding this possibility.

Although the approval of LedgerX’s physically-settled Bitcoin derivatives product may not directly translate into a BTC ETF, it may ultimately help clear up some regulatory issues that are stopping an ETF from being approved.

One cryptocurrency investor discussed this possibility in a recent tweet, explaining that he believes the news surrounding LedgerX will add momentum to the current bull market cycle.

“Whoah! Big step in the long haul towards the coveted Bitcoin ETF. Another block of momentum added to the beginning of the bull market cycle,” Dylan Grabowski said.

Although it remains unclear as to whether or not the CFTC’s approval of LedgerX’s Bitcoin futures product will actually provide kindling that helps fuel the crypto market’s upwards momentum, it is certainly a sign of rapidly growing market maturity.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Square Is Expanding Access to Bitcoin Deposits for Cash App Users

Payments company Square is rolling out bitcoin deposits for its mobile Cash App.

The app, available on both Android and iOS, now supports deposits for at least some users, according to Twitter posts by bitcoiners and a check by a CoinDesk reporter of his own Square account Tuesday. Previously, users could purchase or sell bitcoin, as well as transfer the cryptocurrency to another wallet.

Square first began allowing select Cash App users to purchase and sell bitcoin in November 2017, announcing a few months later that it would roll that feature out to all users.

It is unclear how long Square has been adding the deposit feature; as of press time, not every Cash App user had the ability to deposit bitcoin.

Podcaster Marty Bent tweeted a screenshot indicating he could accept deposits on June 18, suggesting that the company may be releasing this feature to a select audience in advance of a full lunch.

According to a support page on Square’s website, “support for bitcoin deposits to third-party wallets is coming soon.”

“In the meantime, you can transfer profits from selling bitcoin to any bank account or debit card linked to your Cash App,” the page says.

The company itself has been investing heavily into bitcoin and its ecosystem, bringing in $65.5 million in revenue through the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap in the first quarter of 2019 alone (though the actual profit was a more modest $832,000).

Square Crypto, the company’s new bitcoin-focused arm, is also hiring developers to specifically develop tools for the bitcoin blockchain. Former Google director Steve Lee was recently named as the first new hire for this team, though his role has not yet been specified.

Square CEO Jack Dorsey – who also founded the social media giant Twitter – has long been a proponent of the cryptocurrency, having said in the past that he expects it to become the world’s currency.

Square did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Image via CoinDesk archives

Iranian Energy Grid Blames 7% Consumption Increase on Bitcoin Miners

Iranian Energy Grid Blames 7% Consumption Increase on Bitcoin Miners

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhad, the spokesperson for Tavanir, an Iranian state-operated grid entity, has explained that electrical consumption has spiked by 7% in comparison to the previous year. Rajabi blames illegal cryptocurrency mining operations for the country’s increased electrical consumption and has warned that illicit mining facilities will be cut off from the grid.

Also Read: Check out Bitcoin.com’s Rebrand Giveaway and Win a Keepkey Hardware Wallet

Tavanir Grid Spokesperson: ‘Crypto Miners Are Consuming Too Much Electricity in Iran’

This week, state-run electric company spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhad told the Iranian press that cryptocurrency mining has pushed the country’s electrical consumption to unstable levels. Rajabi warned illegal mining operations would be shut off from the grid and highlighted that the Iranian government has yet to decide on the approved energy prices for these types of operations. Bitcoin mining in Iran has become a hot subject of late because of rumors that prices are astronomically lower than even China during the wet season.

GPU Ethereum miners in Iran.

Last September the government allegedly recognized mining as an “accepted industry” according to the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Abolhassan Firouzabadi. The Iranian official stated that the mining industry was approved by the Ministry of Energy, the central bank, and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. However, at the time, when the spokesperson told the press about the government’s recognition, Firouzabadi also stressed that the “final policy for legislating it [crypto mining] hasn’t been declared yet.”

A Bitcoin mining facility in the desert outside of Tehran.

Months later, in April 2019, Chinese miners reportedly found extremely affordable electric prices ($0.006 per kilowatt-hour) in the oil-rich nation of Iran. One Chinese miner recounted how he had to smuggle machines across the border and that Iranian border officials confiscated at least 40,000 crypto mining rigs of varied models. Even with the chance of getting machines seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the cheap prices have lured miners from around the world. Last December, Tehran-based cryptocurrency analyst Nima Dehqan detailed that miners from China, Spain, Ukraine, Armenia, and France were flocking to Iran.

Illegal Bitcoin Miners Will Be Identified and Cut off From the Grid Until Electric Prices Are Approved

Rajabi told IRIB News that at on June 21 data showed that Iran’s electrical consumption jumped by 7%. The Tavanir said the energy spike was “unusual” and “a bulk of that unusual increase is because of the activity of bitcoin miners.” Rajabi explained that the consumption over the last two months was more than three out of 31 Iranian provinces. The grid spokesperson insisted that until government subsidy electric prices are approved, Iranian officials will shut down illegal mining operations. “Bitcoin miners will be identified and their electricity will be cut,” said Rajabi during the press conference. Rajabi added that citizens of Iran from different provinces were having issues because of the mass electrical consumption.

Spokesperson for Tavanir, Mostafa Rajabi Mashhad.

The report from Rajabi follows statements made by the deputy energy minister in Tehran who said electricity bills for cryptocurrency miners should be calculated in real prices. Deputy energy minister Homayoun Haeri remarked on June 9 that digital currency miners should be paying the same rates as other businesses within the region. However, there’s been reports of operations using properties that get much lower electrical rates. This includes crypto mining operations illegally using government buildings, factories, and mosques. Iranian officials apparently pay more than $1 billion per annum to help subsidize the country’s electrical costs. It will be tougher for under the cuff operations using subsidized electric sources, but the announcement from Rajabi stopped short of an outright mining ban.

What do you think of the recent statement stemming from the state-run electric company Tavanir? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


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Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

Europol Arrests Six People Allegedly Behind $27 Million Bitcoin Theft

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Germany: CDU and CSU Union to Integrate Blockchain Into Public Services

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.

Six Detained in Connection with $28 Million Crypto Heist in Europe

Six people have been arrested in Europe in relation to the theft of almost $28 million worth of crypto assets. There are thought to be around 4,000 victims of the scam.

Those arrested hail from both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. They were detained earlier today on suspicion of their involvement with the crypto theft.

As Many as 4,000 Duped Out of their Crypto  Assets by Scammers

According to a report in Sky News earlier today, six individuals have been arrested in connection to the theft of crypto assets totalling almost $28 million.

The group detained earlier today consists of five men and a woman. They are believed to have been involved in a “typosquatting” scam. This involves spoofing a popular crypto asset exchange to trick people into depositing to a fraudulent version of a trusted trading venue or simply entering their login details to allow the scammer to raid the victim’s account at the official version of the site.

According to the authorities involved in the investigation, as many as 4,000 different victims from more than 12 different countries have been affected. Detective Inspector Louise Boyce of the UK’s South West cyber crime unit commented:

“The investigation has grown from a single report of £17,000 worth of bitcoin stolen from a Wiltshire-based victim to a current estimate of more than 4,000 victims in at least 12 countries.”

Boyce then added that the number of those impacted is only expected to grow and that the investigation this morning had already uncovered a “large number of devices, equipment and valuable assets”.

Three of the suspects have been detained in the UK with the other three taken in by Dutch officials. Those held in the UK are suspected of committing computer misuse and money laundering offences. The report identifies them as a 33- and 30-year-old-man from Bath and a 37-year-old-man from Wiltshire.

Meanwhile, the remaining two men and woman, aged 21, 26, and 29, are all being detained on suspicion of money laundering.

Bull Market Brings All the Scams Out

Although the crypto space is rife with scams most of the time, the efforts of those behind such dubious investment schemes and outright scams are taken up a notch when the price of Bitcoin and other crypto assets are rising. With lots of fresh money entering the market and many investors lured by the several thousand percent gains experienced by others in the market, the prospects of scammers increase significantly during such periods of market optimism.

When prices increase, scammers are attracted by the new money entering crypto.

In fact, recently two popular Bitcoin commentators warned their Twitter followers about the enhanced risk of falling victim to such scams during times of ever-increasing prices. Andreas Antonopoulos and Peter McCormack both provided details of two different scams relying on the community trust of both prominent personalities to dupe gullible newcomers to crypto.

 

Related Reading: Billionaire Entrepreneur Sues Facebook Over Bitcoin Scam Advertisements

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Kraken Raises Over $13 Million In Its Latest Fundraising Round

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.