Atlanta's computer network infected with Bitcoin ransomware

Hackers breached the governmental computer network in Atlanta to infect with ransomware and demand payment in Bitcoin
23 March 2018   899

Cryptocurrency ransomware of different flavors has been around practically as long as cryptocurrencies themselves. And now the city of Atlanta, US has come under the attack.

The governmental computer system has been infected by the ransomware virus early in Thursday, and this has caused a massive disruption in several departments. In particular the bill payments and court information services has been affected. Later in the morning several city employees found a ransom letter on their computers with demands for $51,000 in Bitcoin.

In the afternoon of the same day officials held a press-conference, but were unable to provide any particular information about the attack since the investigation was just commenced and in the early stages. The question whether or not they were going to pay the ransom were also left unanswered.

Atlanta is one the major economics hubs in the Southern US with several large international companies and the world's busiest airport located in the city. Apparently, the city officials have no qualms about going for all the available help in such a high-resonance case, hence the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and even the Secret Service authorities are now on the ground.

Of course, there is little chance of systems being unlocked even if the ransom is paid, the security experts say. So, the city is probably in for a long road to full recovery of its computer facilities. The officials have even started making plans in preparation for long and tedious recovery process.

Kraken to Add Bech32 Support for BTC and QTUM

Bech32 format corresponds to addresses that support sending transactions using SegWit scaling technology
08 November 2018   181

The popular American cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced the long-awaited integration of Bech32 addresses for Bitcoin and QTUM.

To date, Bech32 addresses have been integrated only for withdrawal operations. Bech32 addresses start with “bc1” and “qc1” for bitcoin and QTUM, respectively. Support for Bech32 addresses for depositing operations will be implemented soon, the company promises.

The Bech32 format corresponds to addresses that support sending transactions using SegWit scaling technology, activated in the Bitcoin blockchain about a year ago. According to the transactionfee.info portal, by now the share of SegWit transactions in the Bitcoin blockchain has again dropped to 42%, after being briefly close to 50%.

Earlier, the Kraken exchange stated that it supported the launch of SegWit in the bitcoin blockchain and uses the Bech32 format to make transfers in its internal systems, but refused to provide customers with access to such addresses until the technology is integrated into large wallets such as Bitcoin Core. Release of Bitcoin Core 0.16.0 with support for SegWit was held in February of this year.

Get more info on Bech32 at GitHub.