MasterCard to ban issuing BTC prepaid cards outside EU

Non-residents of the EEA will no longer be able to use Bitcoin-cards from MasterCard
14 October 2017   2046

Lately, Visa announced it would suspend all crypto debit cards outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Now, it seems like MasterCard is to do the exact same thing. Existing cards will remain active for three more months, after which point they will be blocked automatically.

This news affects a lot of companies involved in the cryptocurrency debit card industry. Advcash, for instance, has already informed its customers that it cannot offer plastic and virtual cards to users in countries outside the EEA.

We regret to inform you that starting today due to recent Mastercard policy changes Wave Crest Holdings, our card provider, is unable to offer plastic and virtual cards to users in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). At the moment, we do not issue new Advanced Cash cards to countries outside the EEA/SEPA zone. Existing cards issued to non-EEA countries will remain active for 90 more days, after which they will be blocked. We are working to keep offering our cards to countries where we have the most users despite these policy changes. We will be able to tell you more about this at a later stage.We apologise for any possible inconvenience in this regard.
 

Advcash team

All existing cards belonging to people outside the EEA will remain active for another 90 days. After that time, MasterCard will block the cards automatically. Any remaining funds on one’s card must either be spent or withdrawn through the card issuer before that time. It will become impossible to register for such cards as a non-EEA citizen from now on.

Ryuk Ransomware Team to Get 705 BTC

CrowdStrike and McAfee believes the program was created and supported by Russians
15 January 2019   97

In less than six months, hackers got 705 bitcoins through Ryuk ransomware, reports The Block.

Until recently, the group of hackers GRIM SPIDER behind Ryuk was supposed to be operating from North Korea. However, according to the companies CrowdStrike and McAfee, the program was created and supported by Russian hackers.

Ryuk is distributed via email-phishing, where the TrickBot Trojan is involved. The main objectives of the ransomware program are large companies and government organizations. Ryuk blocks the victims' hard drives until they pay the ransom. The amount of the latter often depends on the size and significance of the organization.

The program is "famous" for the impressive amounts of required buybacks:

To date, the lowest observed ransom was for 1.7 BTC and the highest was for 99 BTC. With 52 known transactions spread across 37 BTC addresses (as of this writing), GRIM SPIDER has made 705.80 BTC, which has a current value of $3.7 million. With the recent decline in BTC to USD value, it is likely GRIM SPIDER has netted more.
 

CrowdStrike

705 bitcoins at the current exchange rate is about $ 2.6 million.