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The continuous demand and popularity as well as a sudden increase in the prices of various types of cryptocurrencies has aroused a wide scale interest. Instead of all that popularity and demand, the future of digital currency is still uncertain due to many reasons.

Cybercriminals played a critical role in this scenario when they started to demand ransom in the form of cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, which is the most popular and precious of these cryptocurrencies. It was already expected due to the safe and anonymous transaction facility. As a result, the demand of cryptocurrencies increased and automatically led to the mining of cryptocurrencies.

That’s why Microsoft has recently released a blog post elaborating the increasing threats of malicious cryptocurrency miners. Let’s see what actually cryptocurrency mining is:

Cryptocurrency Mining

Talking in simple words, coin or cryptocurrency mining is the process of running complex mathematical calculations in order to maintain the blockchain ledger. Though this process gets you a very small amount of coins but it pays well as the prices have gone up during the past few years. As a matter of fact, cryptocurrency mining will celebrate its 10th year in 2019. Because of the continued use of high level computing and uninterruptible power supply, it is not a too much popular practice. It is an intensive task that requires significant resources from dedicated processors and other hardware including heavy duty graphic cards.

Measures from Microsoft to Block Miners’ Attack

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft has shown some serious concern in this regard. The main reason is that technically, cryptocurrency mining can come in various malicious forms and can be implemented in a lot of ways. The largest threat is the so-called cryptojacking. Cryptojacking refers to remote browser-based coin mining that uses background resources to mine when a user visits the malicious URL turning his computer into a host. The same thing can also infect your computer with unwanted applications, while some hackers might be able to modify the startup settings of your computer, so every time you boot it, the unwanted malicious application will run in the background affecting your system speed.

The main reason for Microsoft’s concern is the core issue associated with the loss of computer resources. Corporate setups can face a huge drain of their available resources.

Precautionary Measures

Fortunately, Microsoft has successfully blocked a major attack at the beginning of this month.

In order to stay protected, Microsoft has recommended to use advanced machine learning detection modes in Windows Defender ATP to identify and prevent such malicious threats.

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Top Darknet Marketplaces

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Are you looking for the best darknet marketplaces? Well, search no more as we’ve outlined the most popular online marketplaces currently. Check out our list below and you might as well find one of your favorites in there too.

However, here’s a quick tip if you’re going to be on the dark-web. You should be increasing your security by pairing a good VPN along with your Tor browser since just the browser is not enough for anonymous browsing. Once you’ve got yourself a VPN, you’re good to go.

 

  1. Dream Market

Dream market is known for its quality of products and sellers as compared to other markets on the dark web. It is also taking $% of the overall commission on sales, which is higher than other markets but, I think that’s reasonable since they provide good quality items. So, if you’re looking to spend on something with a guarantee that it’s worth the bucks, Dream Market is the place you should be at.

Market URL:  http://ltxocqh4nvwkofil.onion

 

  1. Bermuda

Bermuda is a darknet marketplace which aims to serve for a free world to buy & sell whatever they desire. Its marketplace provides you an escrow service, based on Bitcoin (a cryptocurrency) for an easy and smooth trade with a fine sense of confidence.

Here are some of the Vendor’s and Buyer’s guidelines:
Vendor’s Guidelines:

  • All members are kindly requested to be honest regarding Product quality, Package, Shipping, and Delivery.
  • Truthiness in your words helps to establish a network of trust, which is the backbone of Deep Markets.
  • Bermuda releases your available coins instantly; blockchain procedure may take some time. In case of issue contact to support.
  • A membership fee of $100 would be charged to become a vendor.

Buyer’s Guidelines:

  • All members are kindly requested to be honest regarding Product quality, Package, Shipping, and Delivery.
  • Select your desired product carefully; Read the description, Delivery time and other necessary information.
  • Recommended system to use is Linux. Apple and MS window based system is not fully trusted to use Tor based markets.

Market URL: http://gpyurg4lwou7a2vf.onion/

 

  1. Outlaw Market

Outlaw Market has been on the dark-web since 2013 and has had a mixture of reviews, some good while others not so good.

Market URL:  http://outfor6jwcztwbpd.onion/indxx1.php

 

  1. Valhalla (Silkkitie)

This marketplace was previously Finnish but is now available in the English language as well.  One reason this site is pretty secure is that you can only enter it if you receive an invite. Due to this invite-only system, there is more safety in trades made in the marketplace.

Market URL:  http://silkkitiehdg5mug.onion

 

  1. Hansa Market

Hansa is just a few months old but according to its reviews it seems to be doing pretty well. Since it’s pretty new it doesn’t have quite as many vendors but it’s expanding fast. It’s got a very simple interface along with maximum security, ensuring that the admins cannot run away with your funds.

Market URL:  http://hansamkt3iph6sbb.onion

 

  1. Crypto Market

Crypto Market is said to be handled by the same team as Silk Road 3.0 and apparently, they share databases as well. We’re a bit skeptical as to whether this site is a safe place to trade or not. If you’re curious to check it out yourself, we’ve provided the link below.

Market URL:  http://cryptomktgxdn2zd.onion

 

  1. Silk Road 3.0

No matter how many times you take Silk Road down, it seems to always bounce back. It wasn’t long after Silk Road 2.0 being shut down that an another would come back on, and it did. It’s safe to say that as long as Darknet Markets remain to exist, so will Silk Road. Obviously, Silk Road 3.0 has been gaining a substantial amount of popularity and it has even got tons of listings now.

Market URL:    http://reloadedudjtjvxr.onion/


  1. Darknet Heroes League

There’s not much that I have to say about this site. It is known to consist of not so many vendors who have been invited to sell on the portal. Check it out for yourself.

Market URL:  http://darkheroesq46awl.onion

 

  1. RAMP

RAMP stands for Russian Anonymous Marketplace, which makes it all the more obvious that it is in fact in Russian. Surprising to say it is one of the oldest darknet markets out there, standing since 2012. It’s a forum based marketplace and is said to contain drugs ranging from light to strong.  Their dealers are mostly from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Market URL:  http://ramp2bombkadwvgz.onion
Remember that each portal has its pros and cons and it’s totally your decision to pick the suitable one for you being a buyer or seller. Also, I’d suggest that you become aware of marketplace scams before you jump into buying or selling anything on the dark-web.

Good luck on your hunt!

 

Story Credits: dreammarketdrugs.com

Image Creditsdarknetmarkets.co

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Bitcoin Hacker Helps FBI Track Down a Murderer

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A bogus dark-web website offering hitman services had its information leaked by a hacker known by the name “bRpsd”. The data that was disclosed provide leads to the FBI on their investigation of a man who murdered his wife.

 

Stephen Carl Allwine, 47, of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, murdered his wife, in November 2016. Allwine tried to stage the murder as a suicide by placing a 9mm pistol next to Amy Allwine’s elbow. Although, the detectives were quick at gathering the electronic evidence- computers etc. and arriving at the conclusion that it was a murder. He was then arrested in late January and charged with second-degree murder based on the forensic interpretation of the evidence.

Hacker turns Hero

In May 2016, a hacker that goes by the name “bRpsd”, violated the database of a questionable website on the dark web, which supposedly offered hitman services.

The site, “Besa Mafia”, requires you to register on the site anonymously. It offers a link between customers and hitmen, where they can decide on a price for murder, ranging from $5000 to $200,000. Whereas, customers that just require having someone beat up or set their car on fire could hire contractors for $500 and $1000.

The data dump was uploaded by the hacker onto a public website which was consisting of user accounts, email addresses and messages between the admin and its clients, “hit” orders and a folder called “victims”, which included additional info on the pawn.

The scam nature of the site was emphasized on, pointing out that it clearly just collected money from its clients.

An independent researcher, Chris Monteiro, also hacked into the site to conclude that the owner(s) of Besa Mafia had made at least 50 bitcoins ($127,500) from the hoax operation.

Arrest of Stephen Carl Allwine

The leaked data from the Besa Mafia database helped the police in investigating the murder of Mrs. Allwine. While analyzing her husband’s devices, the discovered that he had been a frequent visitor of the dark web since 2014. The pseudonym used by Mr. Allwine on the dark web “dogdaygod”, was also linked to his email address, “[email protected]”. Further investigation brought them upon the conversation between Besa Mafia and Allwine, which included a bitcoin address and linked the husband directly to the “dogdaygod” pseudonym.

According to a criminal complaint, the suspect paid between $10,000 to $15,000 to the hitman service to kill his wife. The complaint explains how the hitman was under instructions to shoot Mrs. Allwine at a close range and burn down the house right after.

Although, the Besa Mafia communicator told Allwine that “local police [have] stopped the hitman [from] driving a stolen vehicle and taken [him] to jail prior to the hit,” due to which the service is left incomplete. Sergeant McAlister reported, during that time, “no one was apprehended in Minnesota and western Wisconsin in a stolen vehicle and possession of a gun.”

 

The hacker’s data breach provided a push to the investigators in the right direction. On March 24, 2017, the Washington County District charged him with first-degree murder.

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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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Bitcoin News 2017 - Digital Currencies Need Regulation

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Digital Currencies Need Regulation:

Digital currencies need regulation, without regulation, there might be a wild swing in the prices of digital currencies. The chief of BTCC says Chinese regulator isn’t cracking down on Bitcoin.

The head of a leading Chinese Bitcoin Exchange warned on Tuesday that Digital currencies should be regulated otherwise they have the risk to go out of control if more individuals invest in these digital assets.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two most popular digital currencies. They have seen a rapid price swing in recent months.  In May, 19% price fall for Bitcoin noted nearly $4 billion in the value wiped off.  Last month, the Ethereum price crashed as down as 10 cents from about $319 on the GDAX digital currency exchange. Because there is a bullishness in the market, as some predict that the price of Bitcoin to climb as high as $100,000 in a decade.

Bobby Lee, the CEO of Bitcoin exchange “BTCC”, he told to CNBC’s that “I think regulation for digital currencies is much needed because it will run amok from the society”.

He also said in Hong Kong that the major challenge is how to craft the rules and regulation around this new technology. He added I think it is taking the regulators and lawmakers some time to come up with the suitable rules and regulations to govern companies.

Efforts of People’s Bank of China:

Regulators are discovering ways to regulate the digital currencies.  People’s Bank of China stepped up some efforts to regulate the market earlier this year. The bank set up a task force to conduct an inspection and ensure Bitcoin exchanges had realized anti-money laundering systems, and they also warned many exchanges against violating rules.

Image Credits: CoinTelegraph

Some noticed the moves from PBOC as a try to crack down on Bitcoin but Bobby Lee disagreed. He said it is not really a crackdown. Lee added, previously the Central Bank was not well aware of the details of Bitcoin usage and trading.

He described that the upsurge in the price of Bitcoin coincided with the huge capital outflows from the China and exchange rate changes for the renminbi against the dollar.

Lee said Central banks should admit the fact that Bitcoin is the new currency that is actively operating in China and around the world.  It is a new thing that the Central bank must pay attention and figure out what the regulation should be.

Story Credits: cnbc.com

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Prevent your bitcoin account from hackers  

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Sometimes you have to face different issues with your funds. They may be snatched or hacked by someone. Whereas, bitcoin is a digital currency and addresses may be hacked by someone. To prevent from hacker, bitcoin must be kept behind multiple layers of security. In this article, we will discuss the ideas, how you can prevent your accounts as well as your addresses.

The most important feature of the bitcoin is transactions aren’t reversible. This means that once you do transactions either receive or send coins, they don’t have revers back feature. But, if your bitcoin account gets hacked then also you are not able to get back them.

Make sure first while you are dealing with someone via bitcoin technology. That person should be reliable and well-reputed. These precautions are necessary, but this is incomplete security.

To secure your accounts some basic personal checks, which may reduce the chances of your account being hacked or compromised. They are;

  1. Secure your email account
  2. Secure your technology related social media accounts
  3. For all the online accounts, use unique and strong password
  4. Enabling two-factor authentication

The Main Issue:

Someone breaks into an unlocked house and take precious diamond jewelry away. This is not jeweler’s fault. You were not able to keep your things secure from a robber. Same with the email accounts. People says that their accounts got hacked. The reason is they don’t completely put security to their accounts.

If a hacker has access to your email account, he will see the history of websites you log in. In addition, will visit the sites one by one and ask to reset the new password. Once the password gets restart, you will easily cut off from your account.

Secure Your Email Accounts:

Following are some terms by which you can secure your account.

  • use the strong and unique password
  • keep eye on login activity
  • review and remove email auto forwarder
  • the review linked accounts
  • 2-factor authentication

Use Strong And Unique Password:

Now, its technology era and you have to follow its rules and regulations. When you make an account on social media you have to use unique and strong password consisting of letters, words or capitals. In addition, especially in a case of bitcoin. You have to make sure that your password is strong, tricky and unique.

Keep Eye On Login Activity:

well-reputed email provider websites allow you to see which locations and devices recently accessed your email account. If your email account is open on both laptop and mobile, sites will show you double login sessions. And, you don’t recognize your login session, immediately sign out of all other sessions.

Review And Remove Email Auto Forwarder:

Most of the email sites provide a feature where email can be forward to different addresses automatically. If you monthly received the invoice from telephone company then your spouse or housemate will receive the copy of the same email. Which is more secure for your email accounts.

Here, the issue is, if the hacker got access to your accounts in past. Possibly they have auto-forward setup. Accordingly, the one for sensitive emails to be forwarded to them. These saved emails can be used against you.

Review Linked Accounts:

Review links accounts may be used for good and bad both purposes. We humans like new changes in our routine life. The problem is when we don’t want to log-in and after switching to new one, emails still send to the old addresses.

In that sense, you simply link to two accounts. And, you also have the accesses to both accounts, you can log into the new one, link the old one and all emails sent to the old account will still arrive in your new account. You can send email from a new account by using the other addresses. while you are doing small business it is useful for you. Where you can receive, and send the email to the same inbox. But, the problem is still the same. If your account gets hacked and hacker receives and send the emails same as you. In that scenario, you don’t have another option. So, keep your accounts secure by adopting different ways of security.

2-Factor Authentication:

Two factors authentication needs two things to get access to your email account.

  • your password
  • your mobile phone

If two-factor authentications are enabled, no one can get access to your email account.

Secure Your Technology Related Social Media Accounts:

People are friendly with the social media they do the same with email accounts. They won’t need a new password or new email account.

 

 

For all the online accounts, use unique and strong password

your password should be strong and unique. The reason behind is,

Why Should Password Be Strong And Unique?

we already discuss that password of your accounts should be strong. It is simple, that your login different accounts with same and simple password. You are leaving your account open to hacking.

Especially, when you are treating with bitcoin wallet addresses. you need more security for your funds. Hundreds of time we log in with hundreds of the sites. Which may have an option of encrypting. So, it’s totally up to you to choose a suitable and reliable site for your transactions.

It very simple for the hackers to hack bitcoin wallet. So, use password management tool for a strong and unique password. It will help you surely.

Enabling Two-Factor Authentication:

One of the best and free ways to secure your accounts is two-factor authentication with the time period of two minutes only. 2F-authentication create an extra layer to any account by requiring two things. Are, • something you know which is your password. And,

  • something you have is your device

Now, many sites support two-factor authentications including google, Luno, and Facebook etc. It is possible that you already receive a message with the one-time pin for certain transactions from your bank or credit card provider. These are the type of 2F authentication.

How To Enable 2FA?

  1. Download and install 2FA app:    

You need to install well reputed and reliable 2FA app on your device. Like, freeOTP, authy, google authenticator, And, set it up on supported sites.

  1. Set up 2FA on your online account:

There is a large number of sites who support 2FA authentication. For setting up, please contact the supporting sites. For example, I am giving you the example of Luno. Below is some instruction for Luno,

 

 

You have to,

  • Add a new account
  • Scan QR code as shown by site
  • Save that account

Luno will send you six-digit code,

  • Store this code and store it in safe place
  • Type it into your 2FA app
  • Click enable

Above code changes in every 20-30 seconds. Your device and Luno now connected. As a result, if someone wants to get access your account, he/she have to get Luno password first.

Closing:

There are too many ways to secure your bitcoin account from hacking. In the end, a decision is yours.

Good luck!

 

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