Poramin Insom, the founder of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency Zcoin (XZC) is allegedly being targeted by “government-backed attackers” who are attempting to steal his Google account login credentials, the tech giant has warned.
Zcoin is a cryptocurrency that notably uses zero-knowledge proofs, which allow users to prove ownership of a token without having to reveal which token they owns. The proof-of-work based cryptocurrency is an implementation of the Zerocoin protocol, which “guarantees anonymous transactions.”
Some believe Insom is being targeted for creating the cryptocurrency, after someone added to Zcoin’s blockchain a piece of anti-government content that, given the technology’s nature, cannot be censored.
Via Facebook, Insom shared that Google warned him state-backed attackers were going after him, and advised him to join Google’s Advances Protection Program, created for “users at risk of targeted attacks.”
#Zcoin founder Poramin Insom is apparently being targetted by government-backed hackers. #XZC— Francisco Memoria (@FranciscoMemor) January 27, 2019
While it may be a false alarm, some believe its related to the cryptocurrency's blockchain having anti-Thai government content pic.twitter.com/NN6pTAjTey
According to crypto news outlet CoinGape, Thailand’s government could be behind the attack. This, as last year a Thai rap collective called “Rap Against Dictatorship” released a single against the country’s authorities that saw Thailand’s deputy national police chief, Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, imply the artists behind it could be prosecuted for sedition.
It notes there were “whispers about the Thai junta leaning on Google to take the video off YouTube,” and shortly after these surfaced, someone used Zcoin’s blockchain to embed a copy of the single in a transaction.
Given Insom created the cryptocurrency, some believe he is now being targeted by the government, presumably as it looks for answers on how it can compromise the cryptocurrency’s blockchain or figure out whether he was behind the transaction.
Google’s warning reads:
“This happens to less than 0.1% of all Gmail users. We can’t reveal what tipped us off because the attackers will take note and change their tactics, but if they are successful at some point they could access your data or take other actions using your account.”
It also notes, however, there’s a chance it’s a false alarm. This would mean the fact Insom created a privacy-centric cryptocurrency and saw the warning are merely a coincidence.