Ep. 25 ICO or KPOP Band?
In this episode of The Unhashed Podcast: The NSA has open sourced their proprietary malware decompiler Ghidra. Was this worth all the privacy we’ve given up over the years? Craig Wright has left twitter, but will he stay left? And…Mark Karpeles is found innocent of all charges except for for records tampering which makes him unlikely to serve any more time. But it makes us wonder: did the 6 months he spent in solitary confinement serve as more than enough punishment?
Weekly news wrapup:
The National Security Agency released a previously classified reverse-engineering app for free—and so far people in the information security community love it. Rob Joyce, the NSA’s senior cybersecurity adviser, presented Ghidra, a tool to decompile, reverse engineer, and analyze malware, at the RSA conference in San Francisco on Tuesday evening. The agency had announced the release of Ghidra weeks ago, and the hype among cybersecurity professionals was comparable to that of Star Wars fans awaiting the trailer for Episode IX. Ghidra used to be an internal NSA tool for years. Its existence was first revealed by leaked CIA hacking documents by WikiLeaks in 2017. “It’s nice to get something back in return for all our data ;),” said Darren Martyn, an independent security researcher.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) announced that it will not list upcoming Cboe Bitcoin (“XBT”) futures contracts for trading in March 2019. The Cboe Futures Exchange said that the company is “assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading,” stating that it has no intention to list additional contracts for trading relating to the cryptocurrency. “The Cboe contracts weren’t delivering a lot of volumes anyway. The dominant player on Wall Street remains the CME Group, whose Bitcoin futures remain in play,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, told Bitcoin Magazine.
The Tokyo District Court has found Mark Karpeles, the former head of now-defunct Bitcoin exchange platform Mt. Gox, guilty of record tampering but innocent on other charges related to embezzlement and breach of trust. Per reports in the Wall Street Journal, the court's verdict is a massive blow to Japanese prosecutors who have maintained their stance that Karpeles was guilty of embezzlement and breach of trust at Mt. Gox. The sentence, which was carried out on March 15, will see him serve a suspended sentence of two-and-half years in prison. He can skip jail altogether if he stays on his best behavior.
The SEC received a whopping seven comment letters from the public in response to a solicitation for feedback it had requested in February 2019 with regard to approving a bitcoin ETF. Of those seven letters, six urged the agency to reject the application. The industry’s enthusiasm for a Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) appears to be waning — if you judge that by the dearth of new comment letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission in support of the investment vehicle.
A prolific hacker, known as “Gnosticplayers”, has put the details of 26 million users of six companies from across the globe up for sale on Dream for a mere 1.4231 BTC. This is the fourth round of stolen data sales by the cyber criminal via a dark web marketplace in exchange for Bitcoin. The cache of data varies depending on the company comprised. Most contain email addresses, usernames, password hashes, IP addresses, and various settings associated with the platform. The companies impacted by this fourth round of data sales are video game development firm GameSalad; South American book shop, Estante Virtual; scheduling services Coubic and LifeBear; Bukalapak, a large Indonesian e-commerce platform; and YouthManual, a student career service also based in Indonesia.
It appears that Craig Wright has left Twitter, with his account no longer showing up on the social media platform. This happened in the wake of Craig threatening legal action against a number of fake accounts that copied his tweets with a bot.
A site called TheTie released a report today that estimates over 86% of all reported Bitcoin exchange volume is suspicious, while 75% of exchanges report extremely dubious volumes. The research uses a different formula than other reports have: it values each website’s visitors and compares that value to the reported figures. For example, Bithumb, which has been the subject of previous investigations, was expected to have a monthly volume of roughly $1.2 billion based on an average visit value of $13,418. Instead, Bithumb reports over $28 billion. This means their reported volume is nearly 2,000% higher than what would be expected. Bittrex, one of the world’s oldest altcoin exchanges, has one of the best ratings based on these metrics. Their expected volume was much higher than what they actually reported. As a result, the notion that they are faking their volume is far less likely. Bittrex has an expected user value of $138 per visit.
A bit of an older story, but our resident tech whiz Ruben Somsen recently got into it with Ripple CTO David Schwartz: Ripple validators - the preselected block creators of the Ripple network - can force Ripple nodes to accept blocks with fake signatures, allowing them to steal coins. On Twitter, Ripple CTO David Schwartz revealed Ripple nodes skip block verification if they are more than 100 blocks behind. Since validators can both pause the network and create blocks, this enables them to perform the attack. In defense of the issue, David Schwartz said Bitcoin isn't safe against 51% attacks either.
ICO My God They’re Serious
One Final Note:
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