Hackers used a zero-day exploit to attack a flaw in the popular social messaging app Telegram installing malicious malware on devices. A Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Labs undercover this ‘in the wild’ attack explaining that the malicious malware is designed to either provide a backdoor into your system or install cryptocurrency mining software depending on the computer. Only the desktop version of Telegram was targeted during this attack.
For those not familiar with zero-day exploits or zero-day attacks, its when hackers use a flaw to exploit or launch an attack on the same day or close to the time when the flaw is located. The term ‘in the wild’ refers to viruses that spread from device to device as part of normal day to day activity or business.
According to the report by Kaspersky Labs, the mining malware installed via the Telegram app was designed to mine privacy based coins such as Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and more. Though the attack has been isolated only to Russia, this vulnerability has been actively used since March of 2017.
During their analysis, experts found several zero-day exploits. The first being used to deliver the mining malware. This can be extremely damaging to the victim’s system, causing operational slowdowns and possibly overworking the machine eventually leading to hardware damage. Kaspersky Labs, also noted they found archives containing local cache that had been stolen from the Telegram users.
The second exploit being far more malicious, providing hackers a backdoor that used the Telegram API. This provided remote access to victim computers allowing the silent installation of further spyware on the devices.
The vulnerability utilized a flaw in Telegram’s Unicode used for translating languages written right-to-left such as Hebrew and Arabic. Hackers were able to replace a hidden character in the code allowing the files to be renamed.
The firm contacted Telegram in October and the exploits were reportedly fixed by November. In statements about the attack, Telegram has been clear that this was an isolated event and a form of social engineering. It only worked if the victim downloaded the file itself.
As previously reported, Telegram is currently working on “Gram” a cryptocurrency that will be the native token for the Telegram Open Network (TON). It has been speculated that Telegram’s ICO will be the largest in history, breaking $2 billion.
Coinbase CEO reveals his top crypto predictions for the next decade.
Prominent crypto personality and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong has revealed the top trends which he believes will define the next decade of blockchain technology.
Outlining 11 areas of development for blockchain and cryptocurrency during the 2020s, Armstrong predicts that blockchain will reach one billion users by the end of the decade, and also sees a future where governments make a mass move into crypto.
Armstrong predicts that over the course of the decade, new layer-two scaling solutions will be developed that may increase blockchain scalability by “several orders of magnitude”, which would allow decentralised applications (dApps) to be developed more rapidly.
Discussing scalability challenges, Armstrong said:
“Just like broadband replacing 56k modems led to many new applications on the internet (YouTube, Uber, and so on), I believe scalability is a prerequisite for the utility phase of crypto to really get going.”
Armstrong also addressed issues of privacy, predicting that a privacy coin would emerge during the 2020s which would attract mainstream adoption, and he also shared that trading and speculation would give way to real utility for blockchain assets.
CBDCs in the spotlight
Interestingly, Armstrong also included central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, in his predictions for the next decade.
He argued that while Facebook’s Libra coin had largely been met with derision from the global regulatory community, other digital fiat currencies were gaining traction.
Principal among these new CBDCs is China’s digital yuan, which Armstrong says has left the US playing catch up, exploring new ways to digitise the dollar.
However, Armstrong argues national-level CBDCs may not be the promised digital currencies of the future:
“I think we will then see basket digital currencies come out, either by a consortium like Libra or CENTRE, or possibly the IMF itself.”
Armstrong’s last prediction is based on what he terms the “billionaire flippening”. The Coinbase CEO predicts a scenario where BTC will reach $200,000 and more than half of the world’s billionaires will have their fortunes in crypto.
This theory was made popular by Polychain Capital founder Olaf Carlson-Wee and angel investor Balaji Srinivasan, who are good friends of Armstrong.
Discussing the potential effects of such a scenario, Armstrong shared:
“It would mean that more pro-technology people will have access to large amounts of capital in the 2020s. Presumably, this will increase the amount of investment made in science and technology, and I think we’ll also see more crypto folks turn to philanthropy.”
Despite Coinbase’s role as a trading platform and exchange, Armstrong has long been a proponent of blockchain utility, and has previously indicated a wish to move beyond trading and drive innovation.
The post Coinbase CEO reveals top crypto predictions for the next decade appeared first on Coin Rivet.
Top 10 Best Performing Cryptos Of 2019, Not Named Bitcoin
Since the start of 2019, the crypto market has been on the receiving end of an insane amount of financial volatility.
For example, in January, the total market capitalization of this burgeoning sector was around $130 billion. However, by July, the market at large had witnessed an influx of bullish momentum that pushed the total capitalization value of this space to a whopping $373 billion. Following this period, the aforementioned bull run proceeded to subside quite a bit, with the market now hovering a tad under the $200 billion threshold.
A few cryptocurrencies maintained a strong financial standing all year long and were able to stave off the various economic slumps that were observed throughout 2019. Here are the standout cryptos not named Bitcoin.
While a fair few people may be surprised to see ChainLink (LINK) in the list of the best-performing cryptocurrencies of 2019. The platform essentially seeks to bridge the gap that exists between blockchain-based smart contracts and real-world applications.
From an economic standpoint, LINK started the year relatively slow — with the price of a single token rising from $0.31 to just over $0.45 over a five-month period. However, by the first week of July, the currency reached its financial apex, with a single LINK token being traded for as high as $3.74. And while the currency has lost a bit of its insane financial momentum over the last couple of months, LINK is still trading slightly above the $1.90 mark.
All in all, the LINK/USD trading pair has surged by over 500% since the start of the year, and the LINK/BTC pair has also gained more than 300% over the same time period — which is quite an impressive feat, to say the least.
Released onto the market back in mid-2017, Binance Coin (BNB) is a token that can be used for trading purposes as well as for the facilitation of various fee-related payments within the Binance exchange platform. Not only that, but Binance also provides BNB holders with various incentives and discounts for making use of the digital currency for internal transactions.
In regard to BNB’s performance, the currency started the year at a price point of around $6. However, by the final week of May, the price of a single BNB token rose to $35.20 — thereby signaling a growth of more than 450%. During the third quarter of 2019, BNB’s value slid from $33.10 to $15.79, thus showcasing a drastic reversal in the currency’s fortunes. However, over the last couple of months, BNB’s value has remained relatively stable, with the asset’s average value in December currently floating just below the $14 mark.
Since the start of the year, the overall value of the BNB/USD pair has increased by over 140%.
Tezos (XTZ) is a decentralized computing platform that makes use of a formal verification protocol as well as a proof-of-stake consensus module for its internal governance-related matters. In regard to how the system works, XTZ holders who stake their tokens are eligible to receive additional tokens as an incentive for creating and verifying blocks.
From a financial performance standpoint, XTZ started off the year at a price point of $0.47. However, by the end of the first quarter of 2019, the value of a single token had scaled up to an impressive $1.06. XTZ’s performance continued to surge between April and June, with the currency touching its annual high of $1.88 on May 19. During this year’s third quarter, XTZ’s value continued to hover around the $1–$1.20 region. However, since the start of December, the crypto asset has once again picked up momentum, with a single token currently trading for $1.51.
Over the course of 2019, the value of the XTZ/USD trading pair has increased by over 190%.
Synthetix Network Token
The Synthetix Network Token (SNX) is an ERC-20 token that is meant to facilitate all of the native transactions associated with the Synthetix exchange. Additionally, SNX tokens are traded using a peer-to-contract model and are also used as collateral to back SNX synthetic assets, called Synths, that are employed within the Synthetix Network to track the market value of any basic asset.
Between January and April, the price of a single SNX token touched a maximum of $0.07. However, since May, the digital currency has continued to soar in value — with the only major slip coming on Nov. 26, a time when the crypto market at large experienced a major financial pullback.
Overall, since the start of 2019, SNX’s value has increased by over 200%, with the currency currently trading for $1.33.
Currently one of the market’s top 10 cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is basically a hard fork of Bitcoin.
From a financial perspective, one BCH was trading for $135 during the second week of January. However, by the beginning of April, the currency had soared to over the $300 threshold. The currency reached its annual monetary apex on June 26, when the asset was trading for $479.96. During the third quarter of 2019, BCH’s value remained relatively stable — hovering around the $300 mark — but since the start of November, the currency has been continually slipping in value, with a single coin currently trading just over $195.
All in all, over the course of the last 12 months, the value of the BCH/USD trading pair has risen by over 30%.
Cosmos (ATOM) is a decentralized network comprising of various blockchains that are independent, scalable and interoperable. The platform has gained a lot of attention over the course of 2019, especially since cryptocurrency associated with the network, ATOM, surged dramatically during the month of May. To put things into perspective, it bears mentioning that on Jan. 1, ATOM was trading for a price of $0.001.
As things stand, the currency is selling well over $4.20.
Litecoin (LTC) is a top 10 cryptocurrency that was created by Charlie Lee to serve as a more resource-friendly version of Bitcoin.
LTC was trading for $32 during the first week of January. But by June 22, the altcoin had risen to an impressive price point of $141.73. Since then, LTC’s performance has continued to decline, with the currency trading for an average price of around $43 throughout December.
All in all, the value of the LTC/USD trading pair has increased by around 40% since the start of the year.
Basic Attention Token
BAT started off the year trading at around $0.13. However, by the second half of April, the currency had already scaled up to its annual high of $0.44. Following this period, the top 50 asset continued to slide in value until September, after which it once again began a financial ascent, reaching a relative high of $0.27 on Nov 17. Since the start of December, BAT’s value has remained relatively stable around the $1.70 region.
Over the course of 2019, BAT’s value has increased by around 35%.
Ether (ETH) is a top 10 crypto asset that is widely recognized as being the second most popular digital asset (i.e., after Bitcoin) on the market today. Ethereum developers envisioned the platform as a “world computer” for smart contracts — a digital protocol that helps facilitate, verify and enforce a contract whose terms have been predetermined. Not only that, but the Ethereum ecosystem also allows for the issuance of ERC-20 tokens.
On Jan. 13, Ether was trading for $116. However, over the course of the following six months, the value of the second-biggest cryptocurrency continued to increase, finally scaling up to its annual high of $334.66 on June 26. Following this period of bullish momentum, Ether once again continued to slide before finally settling down around a price range of $150–$180, except for a brief period in September when the currency surged above the $210 mark.
Since late November, Ether has been trading steadily between $130 and $150, thereby showcasing an overall value increase of around 20% since the start of the year.
EOS is a cryptocurrency platform that can be used by developers to devise a number of novel decentralized applications. In this regard, the EOS token is used to facilitate the eponymous system’s native transactions as well as its internal processes. Additionally, the EOS blockchain has been designed to be highly scalable and leaves a lot of room for customization — which is one of the main reasons why the project is so popular in the first place.
In terms of EOS’s financial performance, the digital currency was trading for $2.23 during the second week of January. Between the months of February and May, the asset surged quite dramatically, with the value of a single token reaching a price point of $8.54 on May 31. Over roughly the next five months, the currency’s value continued to float between $3–$3.80. However, since the last week of November, EOS has remained quite stable, currently trading around the $2.55 mark.
Presently, the EOS/USD trading pair has gained around a 10% value since the start of the year.
This Article Originally Appeared In CoinTelegraph
33 CryptoCurrencies In 4 Words Or Less
We put together this list to describe the top cryptocurrencies that are worth your time in 2019.
Each gets four words. There are many!
Hopefully this provides orientation.
Scroll Down To View An Awesome Infographic from MrBtc.org!