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Ranked as the 13th best digital currency, Monero recently became part of the crypto jacking stir. In a recent uproar of these growing cases in the cyber world, Coin hive was being implemented for the unauthorized mining of the Monero cryptocurrency.

monero cryptocurrency

In a recent report by the cybersecurity researcher, Troy Mursch explains in detail how this malware hacked nearly 400 web pages in no more than 3 months. These web pages included a lot of government and educational sites as well.

Crypto Jacking

The term, crypto jacking has been in circulation for quite some time now. The hacker or the group of hackers uses the victims or the visitors’ processing and the computing power to mine the cryptocurrencies without their consent. The hackers scramble and steal the data and information from the users’ web-based applications. They would then manipulate victims to pay them any digital coins for the decryption of the data.

Crypto jacking is seriously affecting many websites and object them to mine cryptocurrencies according to the hackers need.

Coinhive- The Crypto Jacker?

According to the research report by Troy Mursch, an outdated version of Drupal has been the root cause of this interjection. Drupal is an open source and free content framework management software. The outdated version of this software in the CMS system, provided with the favorable environment for this malware, Coinhive to penetrate the system. As most of these sites were governmental institutions and educational sites, the integration of this malware into their JavaScript and usage of the computing power was not readily detected. But to the surprise, most of these sites domains were hosted on web pages like Amazon.

On its own, Coinhive is not malicious, but when encrypted and compromised with a ‘crypto jacking’ code, it forces the system to mine Monero without the knowledge of the target. UNICEF runs the same malware to raise funds for their work. But they use it with the consent and knowledge of their users. Which is definitely the right way to use the malware for which it was created.

There are a number of web pages using the same method and process to offer users to donate their system power to mine cryptocurrencies. The process is only performed with the consent and permission of the users. Projects like Bail Bloc and Salon are offering to mine these coins but just with the consent of the operators.

Affected by Coinhive

In an official statement, Troy Mursch has extensively mentioned a list of all the web pages that were affected by the malware so that all the users and visitors can be fully aware of the subject. Among these nearly 400 above websites included,

  • San Diego Zoo
  • The Government of Chihuahua, Mexico
  • The National Labor Relations Board
  • A U.S Federal Agency
  • Lenovo
  • The City of Marion, Ohio
  • The University of Aleppo
  • The Ringling College of Art and Design
  • UCLA’s webpage for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, and many more in the list of this 400.

With this detection of extensive, without the consent mining of these Monero (XMR) cryptocurrencies, it is hoped in the future that these practices could be detained. Coinhive is just an application like many others. It is just misused and wrongfully being implemented and practiced by the hackers.

Subsiding this dilemma, there has been an extensive negative dropping of Monero in its already established and flourished market. The reasons and causes still remain undetectable.

The Market Affect

With the slight rise in the market, all the majority of the digital world is floating in the red zones. Still not being able to maintain the pace with the Dollar. Monero XRM has been no different than the trend. Keeping the flow awaken, XRM shows a trivial downfall recently.

Despite its top 20 peers, XRM has been seen floating little weak during the month. For a period of a month, it just managed to collect a rise of 32%.

On a collective period of two months, there has been a collective drop down of -15% of the currency. Despite the reckoning, its top 20 peers still managed to rise gradually with the Dollar.

Keeping eyes on the occurring trends, Monero is facing the same dip for the current week too, continuing the same flow up to -7%.

With its fall of -3% against the dollar collectively, the currency has fallen seemingly for -1.37% against the Bitcoin.

After hitting its record price of $490 per unit against the dollar in January 2018, Monero is being traded at $222.68 currently.

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Bitcoin Goes High When Miners Take a Step to Solve the Scaling Problem of Digital Currency

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Bitcoin miners are intending to support a new upgrade for the Blockchain of Bitcoin which may solve the scaling problem of digital currency. Most of the Bitcoin miners including Bitclub, AntPool, BTC.com, and BitClub have shown their interest to support the Bitcoin improvement proposal (BIP) 91, through adding a piece of code to every single new block of bitcoins they generated. This block needs 80% support to be “locked in” permanently to the blockchain. This will cause a relief as it stops the blockchain splitting into separate two chains, which would create two different coins effectively. Already 66 % of the last 144 blocks provided signal support for it.

According to Coindesk data, Bitcoin has recovered from a tough 8-weeks low of $1863 on Sunday to about $2329 today.

What is the Problem with Bitcoin?

 

Bitcoin has faced a scaling problem for some time, where the number of the transactions occur on the blockchain at one time are limited to 1MB every 10 minutes. This generates a backlog of the transaction which should process and slow things down.

The Bitcoin community has been looking for the best way to solve this scaling problem. Segregated Witness(SegWit) system is one of the solutions which would increase the transaction speed. But SegWit required about 95% support from the miners. Bitcoin fell about 12% on Sunday because of these concerns. However, Bitcoin miners have to respond to this problem.

What is the Solution of Scaling Problem?

Many members of the Bitcoin community have united on a solution known as BIP148. This may include a “User-activated Soft Fork”, where users of Bitcoin will force the blockchain to split by refusing any block of Bitcoin which didn’t indicate support for SegWit. BIP 148 was coming in action on 1st of August and if a large number of developers didn’t commit on the proposal, the blockchain can split.

Charles Hayter, founder and chief executive of CryptoCompare has explained, However, a large group of miners will continue to mine with Non-SegWit blocks in case of the BIP148. In such case two bitcoins would occur, one in which SegWit is active, and other in which SegWit is not active. This may have terrible results for one of the chains or even both. This could be one of the major factors behind the volatile support for BIP91.

Will Bitcoin Avoid a Fork?

To avoid Fork, miners are giving support behind BIP91, that would present SegWit2X to the blockchain. BIP91 requires only 80% support, rather than 95% and to be ‘locked in’ they would introduce the SegWit system.

The managing editor of The Black Swan Portfolio, Bram de Haas, told CNBC via an email on Tuesday, “BIP91 has a minor edge of adoption which made its implementation less risky and more realistic. Adopting the BIP91 will also decrease the possibility of a fork which many people like”.

Bitcoin will surely avoid a fork now but it’s not much terrible if it does not. Haas expected now the Bitcoin prices to rebound faster and faster.

 

Story Credit: cnbc.com

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins – Is the Service Legitimate?

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins

Xcoins is a Bitcoin lending service. It allows you to buy bitcoin with a credit card or PayPal. Lately, there has been too much talk about Xcoins and whether is it legit to buy bitcoins with this service.

In this article, we have discussed all the aspects of Xcoins to help you understand the concept of the service, and whether it is legit to buy bitcoins through Xcoins.

Buying Bitcoin with PayPal Through Xcoins:

Due to the possibility of chargeback fraud – and the lack of support for Bitcoin from PayPal itself, it’s extremely hard to buy bitcoins with PayPal. Xcoins, on the other hand, have exploited this problem and claim to have found a solution in which the coins are loaned instead of getting sold to the clients.

In order to buy bitcoins through Xcoins, the users go to the site where they do an ID verification. After the verification process, they’ll be required to deposit:

  • USD equivalent to how much they want to borrow
  • PayPal/credit card processing fees
  • A fixed amount that acts as the interest on the loan

The site claims to have competitive fees due to their lenders competing against each other for the best possible rate. However, in most cases, the interest rate is fixed at 15% – which could possibly be the lowest interest rate offered by Xcoins. Interestingly, it’s still way higher than what most Bitcoin exchanges offer.

Trading Bitcoins on Xcoins:

Xcoins is not just a buying service – you can also sell/lend coins on the site. To do so, you must decide how much you are willing to loan, and then deposit the amount into your Xcoins account. The amount must be in USD.

Once the deposit is made, the system will automatically direct you to the buyers and they will deposit the money directly into your PayPal account.

Pros and Cons of Xcoins:

The major pros and cons of Xcoins include:

Pros:

  • The quick purchase of Bitcoin either through Credit Card or PayPal.
  • Easy sign-up.

Cons:

  • Slow refunds – can take up to a week or longer.
  • Support staff is not active – even on working days. If you send them an email, expect the response to come in at least two days.
  • Constant complaining to their Support can result in a permanent ban.
  • If you do not dispute your charges, they will disable your ability to buy bitcoins.
  • If you purchased some coins but the lender is not willing to release them, you will still be charged.

Conclusion:

From buyer’s perspective – Xcoins isn’t stable enough for large purchases. Also, the fees are extremely high in comparison to other exchanges. However, if your only option to buy Bitcoin is PayPal, then Xcoins is the way to go.

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Person Loses Over $300,000 Due to Simple Mistakes

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An ether wallet had received hundreds of thousands of dollars around two weeks ago. Unfortunately, those funds were later hacked form different wallets due to the negligence on the user’s end. If only a few security measures had been taken, some of those funds could actually be protected from the hacker.

How it happened

Maximum of funds were stolen from a user holding 973 ethers. What caused this hack was the fact that the user had a rooted android phone. Rooted Android phones are similar to jailbroken iPhones, which means that new applications can be installed but they have no security assurance that the apps are not malicious. That being said, such an app must have been installed on to the device providing the hacker access to your phone. On gaining access to the device, the hacker used an exploit to retrieve the backup phrase to Jaxx wallets. This exploit has not been fixed since Jaxx is a hot wallet, which means that coins are kept here for frequent use and not storage.

 

Ways to increase the security of your funds

Crypto security experts have provided a few tips on how you can maintain the security of your wallets and funds.

  1. Do not use public Wi-Fi even after using VPN.
  2. Be sure to turn on 2-FA for all your user accounts, with google authenticator.
  3. Do not store your private key unencrypted.
  4. Never access your funds from a rooted device.
  5. Do not install applications on your device that are not trustworthy.
  6. Keep a look out for phishing scams. Your private key should only be known by you.
  7. Bookmark your sites. Some fake sites are known to have URLs similar to the actual portals and could steal your personal info.
  8. If you possess a large sum of funds, split it amongst separate wallets to ensure that not all your money could be lost due to some blunder.
  9. Cold wallets are to be preferred over hot wallets and exchange wallets for storage.

 

Story Credits: coinidol.com

Image Credits: coinjournal.com

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How to Buy Bitcoin In 2017

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How to Buy Bitcoin

Buying Bitcoin is simple and painless. All you need is a digital wallet as, without it, it’s impossible to buy and store Bitcoin.

A Bitcoin wallet is used for the same purpose as a traditional bank account for storing fiat currency.

Once you have the wallet, you will need to follow a simple process in order to buy the coins. Here, we have discussed how to buy bitcoins. So read carefully.

Buying Bitcoin – Getting Started:

There is a large number of brokers, exchanges, sellers and wallet providers, etc. selling Bitcoin. However, not all of them are reliable. Some are just there to steal your money.

To avoid theft, you should always look for well reputed and renowned names to make the purchase.

The Bitcoin exchanges require the users to provide their personal information – which may also include your photo and a copy of ID – to prevent theft.

Once your account is functional, you are ready to buy bitcoins instantly.

Buying Bitcoin with Debit/Card Instantly:

Buying bitcoins via debit/credit card is one of the easiest approaches out there. However, due to the complex transaction process, the fees can be high.

As a bitcoin buyer, you will come across numerous companies offering their services, but only a few of them are trustworthy.

Down below is a list of most trusted names that accept credit/debit cards and sell instant bitcoins.

Coinbase:

With the presence in over 30 countries, Coinbase is the largest bitcoin broker in the world.

Coinbase offers instant buy option, but to buy the coins instantly, you will need to provide your identity proof and bank card.

Coinbase users are normally categorized into two levels: level 1 users and level 2 users.

Level 1 users are the fully verified users and can buy up to $1k worth of bitcoin per week.

While level 2 users can only buy up to $100 worth of bitcoin per week.

Moreover, Coinbase only charges 3.99% in transaction fees which are pretty low compared to other exchanges.

Find out more about how to buy bitcoins via Coinbase safely right here.

CoinMama:

  • Offers instant bitcoins to debit/credit card users
  • Charges 5% in transaction fees and particularly good for those who buy in bulk.
  • Offers special packages to verified users as they can buy up to $5k worth of bitcoins per day and up to $20k per month.

BitPanda:

BitPanda is an Austrian exchange and is one of the most renowned across Europe.

The features of BitPanda include:

  • Instant bitcoin purchase through credit/debit card
  • Low fees. Just around 3-4%.
  • The buyers are required to go through a strict verification process.

A downside of BitPanda is that the fees are not mentioned on their site. If a user wants to know the fees, he must register an order first.

Some Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin:

Buyers who don’t have credit/debit card can also buy bitcoins through LocalBitcoins.com. All you have to do is enter your nearest area and arrange to meet up with a seller. However, make sure your meetup is in a public place to avoid any potential harm that the seller may possess for you.

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