US to Launch BTC Price Manipulation Investigation

US Department of Justice together with CFTC will try to determine whether traders are manipulating the rate of bitcoin and other digital currencies
24 May 2018   1000

The US Department of Justice initiated a criminal investigation to determine whether traders are manipulating the rate of bitcoin and other digital currencies. This is reported by Bloomberg.

The investigation is aimed at identifying illegal practices that can be used to manipulate courses, including spoofing or filling the market with fake orders to mislead other traders and induce them to buy or sell crypto currency, an anonymous source said. They are also interested in fictitious transactions aimed at creating a false impression of active trade. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice work together with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

There’s very little monitoring of manipulative trading, spoofing and wash trading. It would be easy to spoof this market.
 

John Griffin

Finance professor, University of Texas

Authorities are concerned about the possibility of fraud in the cryptocurrency market for several reasons: they are not sure that exchanges are actively fighting those who can use dishonest practices, while opportunities for their application are present, and proper regulation is not.

The investigation is at an early stage, the source said. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the CFTC declined to comment on the situation.

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.