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   1451

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.

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   132

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.