North Korean Hackers May Be Behind Malware-Spreading Cryptocurrency Trading Site

Hackers from North Korea could be behind a newly discovered malware-spreading cryptocurrency trading site that would infect macOS users if they downloaded a supposed arbitrage platform.

The malware was first spotted by security researcher Dinesh Devadoss, who tweeted out the discovery. Bleeping Computer picked up on it and found that the malware went nearly undetected on most virus detection engines, with only five of those tested finding it.

The malware, according to security researchers, was designed to retrieve a payload from a remote server and run it in the memory of the victims’ machines, which makes it harder for researcher to analyze it.

The malicious files, however, have no certificate and as such raise an alert from macOS itself. Moreover, the remote server doesn’t appear to be active as it doesn’t distribute the payload. This could mean the hackers used the website to test out potential attacks, or that the malware was discovered before they were ready to spread it.

Another security researcher, Patrick Wardle, noted there were “clear overlaps” between the malware found on the supposed cryptocurrency exchange “unioncrypto.vip,” and other types of malware attributed to Lazarus, a well-known North Korean hacking group.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Lazarus is believed to have managed to steal $882 million worth of cryptoasset since 2017, making it the “most successful” cryptocurrency hacking organization ever. In 2018 alone, the group stole over $570 million worth of cryptoassets, as they are believed to be behind high-profile hacks to Asian crypto exchanges.

A report from March of this year from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky pointed out that Lazarus had an ongoing campaign targeting cryptocurrency firms with malicious documents that could downloads and install malware on victims’ devices.

According to a UN Panel the Lazarus group’s goal is to help North Korea bypass sanctions. South Korea, as reported, has directly accused Pyongyang of stealing millions from its cryptocurrency exchanges, with investigations going into whether Lazarus was involved in the theft of $530 million worth of NEM from Coincheck.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Cardano (ADA) on Fire: Surges Above $0.10 to Get Into Top 6, Up 206% in 2020

At 16:00 UTC on Friday (July 3), shortly after IOHK, the company developing the Cardano (ADA) protocol, announced a custody agreement with Coinbase, the price of the ADA token went over $0.10 for the first time since October 2018, thereby making ADA the sixth most valuable cryptoasset by market cap.

Yesterday, on day two of the two-day "Cardano Virtual Summit: Shelley Edition", IOHK Co-Founder and CEO Charles Hoskinson announced that from Q4 of this year, Cardano blockchain users would be able to store their ADA holdings at Coinbase Custody "without losing the ability to delegate their stake."

On Tuesday (June 30), IOHK announced that the Shelley codebase had been released to Cardano’s mainnet (but note that the actual hard fork is not expected until around July 29):


Hoskinson had this to say about his company's agreement with Coinbase Custody, which "operates as a standalone, independently-capitalized business to Coinbase, Inc.":

"With Cardano, we believe we can create a revolutionary solution which will be able to offer access to finance and investment to swathes of the population who have previously been shut out of the system.

"This custody agreement allows us to offer the same secure storage solutions that can be found in traditional finance to ada holders, without sacrificing what makes Proof of Stake blockchains special - being able to participate in the network.

"We look forward to this partnership with Coinbase, and to continuing to bring cryptocurrencies closer and closer to mainstream adoption."

As for Sam McIngvale, Head of Product at Coinbase Custody, he said:

"We have been following the success of the Cardano incentivized testnet, with over a thousand registered stakepools during the testing period.

"We are pleased to have been selected as the custodian and we’re proud to be a full-service, regulated, comprehensively-insured, and 100% offline staking provider in crypto.

"The ability to successfully operate within a regulatory framework is essential for the long-term survival of cryptocurrencies.

"We are overseen by the same regulators, and held to similar capital requirements and audit requirements as a traditional financial custodian, which removes many of the perceived barriers to global acceptance of crypto."

IOHK's announcement was made just before 14:00 UTC on Friday (July 3). By 16:00 UTC, the ADA price had broken through the $0.10 resistance level for the first time since October 2018.

Currently (as of 07:34 UTC on July 4), Cardano's token is trading at $0.1003 (up 6.94% in the past 24-hour period), which makes it the sixth most valuable cryptoasset by market cap:

24 Hour CC Chart for ADA-USD on 4 July 2020.png

So far in 2020, Cardano's ADA has gone up over 206% vs. the dollar.