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Crypto News: Coinbase hack: how users got their bitcoins siphoned off

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Coinbase (COIN) Users Hit by Phishing Attack With Some Losing Funds -  Bloomberg

A 2-step cyber attack – While the cryptosphere is sadly used to platform hacks, it was hoped that the security on Coinbase, whose COIN share is now listed on the stock exchange , would be a little more up to the task. However, a flaw has just allowed hackers to empty thousands of accounts.

6,000 users ruined by the hack

As we know, darknet hackers are on the lookout for the slightest technical flaw or the slightest human error to steal precious cryptocurrencies. From private individuals to the largest crypto-exchanges, no one is immune.

On October 1, the Coinbase platform had to notify 6,000 of its customers that their accounts had been victims of unauthorized access . Even if the total amount of thefts was not indicated, the cryptocurrencies of these accounts would have been siphoned off by the hackers.

These flights would have been allowed by the meeting of several weaknesses . According to an analysis of Bleeping Computer, it would be first of a campaign phishing (phishing) successful on users Coinbase, then a fault of the exchange platform in its process account recovery .

A Bitcoin theft on Coinbase in 2 steps

Coinbase explained that in order to complete their extortion, the attackers first had to obtain the customers ‘ email address , password and phone number , but also gain access to their email account.

While it is not clear exactly the method that allowed hackers to retrieve this information, Coinbase teams believe it is linked to a phishing campaign between late April and early May 2021 . After this first package, the hackers then exploited a flaw in Coinbase’s multifactor authentication (MFA).

More precisely, it is via the SMS account recovery process that the hackers were able to commit their theft:

“(…) In this incident, for customers who use SMS for 2-factor authentication, the third party took advantage of a loophole in Coinbase’s SMS account recovery process, in order to receive a token of 2-factor authentication via SMS and access your account. “

Even though Coinbase quickly patched the recovery protocols to prevent further unwanted intrusion, the damage has been done, and compensatory measures have been taken by the platform. This includes in particular a full refund of the stolen funds:

“We will deposit into your account funds equivalent to the value of the cryptocurrencies illegitimately withdrawn from your account at the time of the incident. Some customers have already been reimbursed – we will ensure that all affected customers receive the full value of what they have lost. (…) “

Coinbase strongly recommends that its victimized customers change their email password .

If the present hack seems to be more serious, because funds have actually been stolen this time, the crypto exchange is not its first mess since its listing on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. Indeed, at the end of August, Coinbase panicked 125,000 of its users with a message to change their two- factor authentication. Message that turned out to have been sent in error.

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Assembly (ASMB): IOTA’s first step towards smart contracts

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Assembly (ASMB), Iota’s decentralized tier 1 smart contract network, is emerging, at least on paper. The Assembly platform has planned well-known organizational mechanisms to ensure its scale, its security, but also the decentralization of its governance.

Assembly and Iota: smart contracts using sharding

Assembly is revealed in a post of December 2, 2021 published on his blog. Its mainnet will be launched in 2022. Its users will be able to customize the “chain of sharded smart contracts” that they will create using the platform:

“Assembly is a permissionless multi-chain network for building, connecting and deploying smart contracts. The protocol allows anyone to create their own chain of sharded smart contracts, with the ability to define their settings, virtual machine (VM) and validation requirements, and even customize fee and incentive structures. “

Assembly is Iota's decentralized smart contract platform.  Its launch is accompanied by that of its ASMB token.

Sharding solves network scalability problems by reducing transaction validation time. The latter is achieved by a group of nodes of a relatively small size, rather than by the whole network.

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ASMB, the Assembly token: staking, slashing, and governance

Assembly also revealed its ASMB token . The latter will be used to ”  secure, govern and develop the network  “. The ASMB token is all the more necessary for the security of Assembly, because the platform uses a consensus mechanism similar to the proof of stake.

Assembly validators will need to stake their ASMB , and will receive a reward in the form of a newly issued token. They will also be remunerated by transaction fees. Validators breaking the rules will be sanctioned by slashing, which consists of a more or less significant reduction in rewards, depending on the extent of the fault and the quantity of staked tokens. ASMB tokens are also used to ensure decentralized governance of the network . Their holders can make improvement proposals which will be voted on by the community.

70% of the ASMB token offering will be distributed to the community, with a 20% allocation for IOTA holders. The remaining 30% is reserved for first users and the IOTA Foundation.

Smart contracts are one of the central elements of web3, and Iota contributes even more to the adoption of the latter through Assembly. Smart contracts are not only essential for subsectors of the cryptosphere such as DeFi. They can also create a positive break in “more traditional” areas such as contract law .

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$30 billion in staking – Coinbase’s maddening war chest

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Cryptos in the CloudsCoinbase Cloud owns and stakes a significant amount of its customers’ cryptocurrencies. The figures unveiled by the platform seem to support Coinbase’s ambition to become the equivalent of AWS for cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase cloud and cryptocurrency: billions of dollars in digital assets to be staked

On December 2, 2021, Coinbase Cloud revealed that it held $ 30 billion in cryptocurrencies on its platform in November 2021. The platform stakes most of these assets on behalf of its customers, on 25 blockchains using proof of stake, including Ethereum ( ETH) 2.0 , Tezos (XTZ), and Cosmos (ATOM). Coinbase Cloud customers are institutional investors, individuals, but also businesses.

Coinbase ensures the safekeeping of cryptocurrencies and takes a 25% commission on the staking fees. Coinbase Cloud, for its part, earns itself 8% on the remunerative interest of staking. Coinbase acquired Coinbase Cloud, formerly Bison Trails, in 2021 for an amount that would exceed $ 80 million.

Coinbase, the AWS of cryptocurrencies: serving developers and the exchange’s revenue

Coinbase’s product manager, Surojit Chatterjee, indicated in an exclusive interview with Forbes, the exchange’s ambition to become “the AWS of crypto” . Coinbase Cloud is part of these stock market plans:

“We’re building this whole suite of Coinbase Cloud products that you can think of as crypto computing services to help developers build their apps faster.”

Coinbase Cloud is also an additional way for Coinbase to diversify its income without being dependent on the fees they levy on transaction volumes which are correlated with fluctuations in the price of cryptocurrencies. This volume fell 29% in the third quarter of 2021, as the crypto markets were relatively calm. Coinbase’s revenue and profit were then down 39% and 75%, respectively, compared to the second quarter of 2021.

For the moment, the acquisition of Bison Trails seems to be paying off for Coinbase, which continues to acquire companies to develop its ecosystem. Will the purchase of Unbound Security also be beneficial for the exchange that wants to offer an innovative mode of private key management?

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Sale day for Bitcoin: 150 BTC more for El Salvador

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Bitcoins at low pricesBitcoin (BTC) falls below $ 50,000, to the delight of El Salvador who decides to take advantage of the balances to increase its reserve of bitcoins by 150 BTC. The country is not giving in to the pressures of institutions that defend fiat currencies printed excessively.

150 BTC at sale price for El Salvador: a tradition of buying bitcoin dips

On December 4, 2021, the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced in a tweet, the purchase of an additional 150 BTC by his government, as the price of bitcoin fell below the $ 50,000 mark. El Salvador was able to buy its bitcoins at an average unit price of $ 48,670 . The bears even managed to temporarily pull bitcoin up to $ 42,000. Bitcoin is trading at $ 48,695 at the time of writing.

The Salavador buys 150 BTC for less than $ 50,000 each.
Publication by Nayib Bukele – Source: Twitter

El Salvador now holds 1,270 BTC . The country had already bought the troughs during a bloody Black Friday that caused bitcoin to lose the $ 54,000. The Salvadoran president also informed of the purchase of 420 BTC on October 28, 2021, when the markets recorded a brief drop of just over 3% in the price of bitcoin in the space of 15 minutes.

El Salvador versus central banks: the scarcity of bitcoin versus the printing press

El Salvador continues to increase its national bitcoin stockpile, and is holding out against pressure from traditional financial institutions . The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, criticized El Salvador’s decision to make bitcoin legal tender , during a lecture at the end of November 2021 given to students of the University of Cambridge. Bukele did not give way and responded to this provocation, indicating that the Bank of England “was printing money out of thin air  “

The President of El Salvador has also issued a criticism of central banks in general, and the American Federal Reserve (FED) in particular, asking them to ”  stop printing more and more money  “.

Adoption of bitcoin in El Salvador is progressing, but the country could further improve it by taking a few steps. Changes in the functioning of the national Chivo wallet could thus benefit the adoption of bitcoin in the country.

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