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The only way to keep yourself safe from hackers | TICKER VIEWS

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Hackers

By Dimaz Wijaya, PhD in Cybersecurity and blockchain security engineer. Ticker News crypto contributor. Edited by Keira Wright.

The recent cyber attack on the US’ largest fuel pipeline has shown how we are all vulnerable to hackers. The attack involved almost 100 gigabytes of data and forced the US government to declare a state of emergency. But how can we keep ourselves safe from hackers in the future, and what do we know about the breach?

Darkside hacking group

Darkside is a unique yet professional hacking group. They run their ransomware as a service business. The FBI released a statement that Darkside (or their client) was involved in the most recent hack in Colonial Pipeline.

Darkside claims to donate a portion of their bounty to charity and say they don’t want to cause problems for society. Recently, they released a statement saying they’re apolitical.

Has cryptocurrency made it easier for hackers?

The rise of cryptocurrency makes it easier for ‘bad’ hackers to extort their victims. This is because the anonymous nature of crypto decreases the probability of getting caught.

Hacking has shifted into a profit-oriented activity with ransomware (encrypting the victim’s data and asking for ransom) becoming one of the main tools.

Their choice of cryptocurrency has also shifted from Bitcoin, to privacy coins such as Monero and ZCash. These are much harder to track compared to Bitcoin.

In short, it means the ‘bad guys’ are more likely to get away without anyone prying into their financial transactions.

Is hacking on the rise?

We now hear news about hacking more often than ever. Everyone is a potential target.

Any modern infrastructure connected to the internet can be hacked. That includes most of us who work from home.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to avoid hacking completely, other than shutting down all network communication from our homes.

But of course, that is not a viable option in our increasingly digital world.

How can we avoid being hacked?

However, as a society, we should be more aware of cybersecurity. We must educate ourselves to quickly identify threats and potential vulnerabilities. Here are some practical tips to avoid being hacked:

  • Firstly, be more careful when clicking suspicious links
  • Remove unexpected or suspicious emails from your inbox
  • Check everything before sharing your credit card details
  • Ask for identification for suspicious visitors
  • Always verify incoming information
  • Update your computer and phone software to include the most recent security patches
  • And lastly, but most importantly: backup important files

Although these efforts don’t completely erase the risk of being hacked, they make their job a lot more difficult.

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Crypto

Should you be staying away from crypto?

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Major investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs has warned its consumers to stay away from cryptocurrencies as the price of Bitcoin soars above USD$40,000 for the first time in weeks.

In a report released by the Sachs’ Wealth Management Division, the company says digital coins are “not a viable investment”

Goldman Sachs cites high energy consumption associated with mining coins as a reason to avoid the sector.

The report also details the possibility of technological advances which may make blockchain technology redundant and the risk of greater regulatory oversight.

The report says “after analysing various valuation methodologies and applying our multi-factor strategic asset allocation model, we have concluded that cryptocurrencies are not a viable investment for our clients’ diversified portfolios.”

“Musk sends one tweet and moves the dial entirely”

Meanwhile, Market Strategist Daniel Weiner joined Ticker News earlier and spoke about Elon Musk’s latest tweet that sent Bitcoin soaring.

More than four million Australians will invest in Crypto in the next four months.

Looking at the number’s, cryptocurrencies are on the rise.

That’s the consensus of a new survey of 1,027 Australians by global researcher YouGov, published by The AFR.

More than four million Australians are likely to buy crypto currencies like Bitcoin in the next 12 months, according to the published research.

One in five Australians “have owned cryptocurrency at some point”, and some 14 per cent currently holding an exposure in their portfolio.

Where is Crypto sitting in the markets?

Bitcoin tests $40K levels following positive comments from Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation is up about 20 per cent over the past e seven days.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to a record high as of 4:03 p.m. New York time and the Nasdaq 100 rose 0.9% to a record high.

The Australian sharemarket has shot higher at the open, soaring to a new intraday record high during the opening minutes of trading.

Financials dropped as JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon suggested Wall Street’s pandemic-era trading boom could be drawing to a close.

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Crypto

Bitcoin on the rise again

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Bitcoin is recovering after a very bad week

Bitcoin has surged 9.8 percent to over $39,000

The digital currency has once again proved how volatile it is, following another tweet from Elon Musk.

Musk stated that Tesla would restart transactions with the cryptocurrency when mining is done with more clean energy. 

“When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with the positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” 

– Musk sais in a tweet.

The crypto, which has been volatile in recent weeks, added $3,490 to its previous close.

The bounce follows El Salvador voting to make Bitcoin legal tender.

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Crypto

China crypto crackdown sees over 1,100 arrested

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Police in China have arrested over 1,100 people on money-laundering charges, claiming they used cryptocurrency to help them evade the law. 

The arrests come as authorities in China step up their crackdown on cryptocurrency trading.

Reports say the money launderers charged their criminal clients a commission of 1.5% to 5% to convert illegal proceeds into virtual currencies via crypto exchanges.

Last month, three industry bodies banned crypto-related financial and payment services, and the State Council vowed to clamp down on Bitcoin mining and trading.

The public security ministry confirmed police had busted more than 170 criminal groups involved in using cryptocurrencies to launder money.

The money launderers charged their criminal clients a commission of 1.5% to 5% to convert illegal proceeds into virtual currencies via crypto exchanges.

China continues crackdowns

China’s State Council ordered a tough crackdown on telco fraud in October 2020.

Executives from two of the largest crypto exchanges that provide services to Chinese investors assisted police with their inquiries.  

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