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Hackers Disrupt Etherparty’s FUEL Token ICO

Vancouver-based Etherparty on Sunday was forced to shut down its website after hackers managed to hijack its ICO (Initial Coin Offering) less than one hour after the launch.

Etherparty is focused on simplifying the creating, managing and executing of smart contracts on multiple blockchains. It promises increased ease-of-use even for users with zero knowledge of smart contract programming, thus aiming to accelerate the adoption of smart contract technology.

To raise funds, the cryptocurrency venture announced a FUEL token crowdsale that entered the public phase on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 at 9 A.M. PDT.

By 9:45 A.M. PDT, however, hackers had already managed to breach the company’s website and post their own Ethereum address on the ICO page. Because of that, some of the ICO participants ended up sending funds to the hackers’ crypto-currency wallet.

The company was able to detect the breach and shut down its website within 15 minutes to protect the participants. Etherparty was able to restore its website after about 90 minutes and the ICO recommenced at 11:35 A.M. PDT.

“We have received overwhelming support from our investors, partners and the community throughout the fine-tuning process for Etherparty. Unfortunately, this also means unwanted attention in the form of phishing and hacking attempts despite the vigilance of our tech and support team,” Kevin Hobbs, CEO of Etherparty, said.

The blockchain company says the ICO was off to a positive start, with over 10,000,000 FUEL tokens being sold in the first hour alone.

The company hasn’t revealed detailed information on the number of affected users, and only noted that a small group of contributors was affected. The company also said that all of those who sent Ethereum to the wrong address will receive FUEL after October 29, 2017, when the ICO ends.

“Our team has been consistently and successfully thwarting potential security issues to avoid further escalation. However, we do acknowledge and apologize for the temporary disruption to our otherwise successful launch day. Etherparty is eager and committed to compensating all affected contributors for the inconvenience,” Lisa Cheng, Founder of Etherparty, commented.

Source: infosec island

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Cyber-fraud or future currency? All about Bitcoin.

The crypto-currency, Bitcoin, has risen to fame in recent years, and become especially prevalent due to the recent media coverage linked to the WannaCry ransomware attack. Bitcoins have the advantage of anonymity for criminals and cyber-fraud, but could this currency become a mainstream method of payment in the future?

What is a crypto-currency?

For those that are unfamiliar with bitcoins, and other forms of crypto-currency, they are simply a form of digital currency. This currency is underpinned by a technology called blockchain, and can be traded from one person’s ‘wallet’ to another. These bitcoins possess value, and can be traded as if they were any other type of currency. Once the bitcoin software has been downloaded, an individual is connected to other bitcoin users over the internet, and a set of unique keys are generated that enable the transfer of bitcoins to other users. One key is kept private and the other is public, but it is almost impossible to work out an individual’s private key is from their public key. These keys can then be used to transfer bitcoins between users.

History of Bitcoin and cyber-fraud

First created in 2009, Bitcoins became famous between 2011 and 2013 when traders rapidly inflated their value through purchasing millions of dollars of Bitcoins. This allowed these criminal traders to be able to move money outside the control and watch of law enforcers. Bitcoins offer criminals the dual advantages of having a decentralized currency that can be traded without a middle man, combined with the additional advantage of high anonymity. Perfect for executing cyber-fraud. The value of bitcoins has risen so rapidly that in March 2017 the value actually surpassed that of an ounce of gold.

The use of bitcoins is seen as controversial for a number of reasons. The major issue with this currency is that it operates outside the control of the central bank and government. This means that tracking the movement of this currency becomes more complicated. This has made bitcoins an attractive option for the illegal market and for cyber-fraud.

Bitcoins are also changing the way in which personal wealth is stored and managed. The control of personal wealth has been restored to the individual through this crypto-currency, removing the power formerly held by banks. However, unlike traditional transactions, bitcoin transfers are final and wealth is subject to no form of insurance, making this a risky method of storing wealth.

Are crypto-currencies the future?

Despite its affiliations with the illegal economy, and the association with cyber-fraud, major banks and companies across the world are in talks to adopt digital currencies such as Bitcoins. Already Bitcoins can be used to purchase certain items including Dell laptops and vouchers to be used at major shops. A recent survey completed by Cambridge University estimates that over 6 million people across the world possess a bitcoin ‘wallet’. This suggests that there is a possibility of mass adoption of this currency.

Although the greatest level of attention is given to bitcoins use in the shadow economy, the greatest use is actually in the legal economy. Many believe that the technology blockchain underpinning bitcoin transactions could be used for other things. One suggested use is for the government to be able to track international aid money, for tracking the origins of raw materials in supply chains and for online voting.

In addition, if people lose trust in traditional currencies crypto-currencies may increase in importance. Governments are able to print money in order to finance government debt, which essentially works as an inflation tax. The use of Bitcoins prevents this from happening as there is a mathematical limit on the amount of Bitcoins that can be created. The future of Bitcoins is uncertain but many are excited about the potential this technology has to revolutionise markets.

For those that are interested in cyber-fraud, there are additional blog posts you can read on the subjects of cyber-security and cyber-fraud.

With over 20 years of experience, Serviceteam IT design and deliver sophisticated connectivity, communication, continuity, and cloud services, for organisations that need to stay connected 24/7. We take the time to fully understand your current challenges, and provide a solution that gives you a clear understanding of what you are purchasing and the benefits it will bring you.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 0121 468 0101, use the Contact Us form, or why not drop in and visit us at 49 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1HN.

We’d love to hear from you!