Coinhoarder Phishing Scheme Brought $50m to Hackers

Attackers created fake Blockchain info websites and promoted them thru Google AdWords
15 February 2018   109

Researchers at Cisco published information about the new phishing scheme. Organizers of  distributed fake copies of the Blockchain.info website thru a Google AdWords service.

Dave Maynor and Jeremiah O'Connor reported that they monitor the activity of the scheme called Coinhoarder for 6 months together with the cyber police of Ukraine. According to their estimates, for a three-year period of their activity, scammers were able to steal about $ 50 million in the crypto currency.

The campaign was very simple and after initial setup the attackers needed only to continue purchasing Google AdWords to ensure a steady stream of victims. This campaign targeted specific geographic regions and allowed the attackers to amass millions in revenue through the theft of cryptocurrency from victims. This campaign demonstrates just how lucrative these sorts of malicious attacks can be for cybercriminals. Additionally, the revenue generated by these sorts of attacks, can then be reinvested into other cybercriminal operations. 
 

Cisco Researchers

The attackers created similar to Blockchain websites and assigned similar domain names to them, for example block-clain. info or blockchien. info, counting on the fact that the user does not distinguish a fake from the original. Then they "used Google Adwords to distort the search results of users and steal money from their wallets".

Fake Blockchain info
Fake Blockchain info 

Cisco found that the group operates from 2015, and assess the damage amount "tens of millions of dollars." According to their estimates, the attackers could steal about $ 50 million, and $ 2 million was stolen during the four-week period last year.

Wyoming Passed Bill Exempting Utility Tokens from Securities Laws

The Wyoming House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill exempting utility tokens from securities laws  
20 February 2018   78

On Monday, House Bill (HB) 70 passed the House 60 to 0 and will now head to the Senate. The bill exempts utility tokens from securities laws. This will attracts ICO’s launches to the state and will make the state a favorable environment for blockchain startups.

According to the bill, the utility token must meet three conditions:

  1. The token’s issuer must not market it as an investment;

  2. The token must be exchangeable for goods and services, for example, startups must have a working product or service at the time the tokens are issued;

  3. The token’s issuer must not actively make efforts to create a secondary market for the token by entering into a repurchase agreement or agreeing to locate buyers for the token.

It is important to note that there are four more cryptocurrency and blockchain-related bills currently moving through the Wyoming legislature.

HB 19 passed the House of Representatives on Monday and is now awaiting introduction in the Senate. The bill exempts cryptocurrency from the state’s money transmitter act.

HB 101 has passed its second reading in the House and, if it passes its final hearing, will then go to the Senate. This bill will allow companies to create and use blockchains for the purpose of storing records and conducting inter-office communication.

HB 126 has just passed its second reading in the House. It will allow the creation of series LLCs.

Senate File (SF) 111 passed a vote to introduce on Friday and is now headed to a committee hearing. This bill will exempt cryptocurrency assets from state property taxes.