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Hackers publish ExecuPharm internal data after ransomware attack



U.S. pharmaceutical giant ExecuPharm has become the latest victim of data-stealing ransomware.

ExecuPharm said in a letter to the Vermont attorney general’s office that it was hit by a ransomware attack on March 13, and warned that Social Security numbers, financial information, driver’s licenses and passport numbers, and other sensitive data may have been accessed.

But TechCrunch has now learned that the ransomware group behind the attack has published the data stolen from the company’s servers.

It’s an increasingly popular tactic used by ransomware groups, which not only encrypts a victim’s files but also exfiltrates the data and threatens to publish the data if a ransom isn’t paid. This new technique was first used by Maze, a ransomware group that first started hitting targets in December. Since then, a number of new and emerging groups, including DoppelPaymer and Sodinokibi have adopted the same approach.

The data was posted to a site on the dark web associated with the CLOP ransomware group. The site contains a vast cache of data, including thousands of emails, financial and accounting records, user documents and database backups, stolen from ExecuPharm’s systems.

When reached, a company executive confirmed to TechCrunch that CLOP was behind the attack.

“ExecuPharm immediately launched an investigation, alerted federal and local law enforcement authorities, retained leading cybersecurity firms to investigate the nature and scope of the incident, and notified all potentially impacted parties,” said ExecuPharm operations chief David Granese.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, some of the ransomware groups have shown mercy on medical facilities that they have pledged not to attack during the pandemic. CLOP said it too would not attack hospitals, nursing homes or charities, but said ExecuPharm would not qualify, saying that commercial pharmaceutical companies “are the only ones who benefit from the current pandemic.”

Unlike some strains of ransomware, there is no known decryption tool for CLOP. Maastricht University found out the hard way after it was attacked last year. The Dutch university paid out close to $220,000 worth of cryptocurrency to decrypt its hundreds of servers.

The FBI has previously warned against paying the ransom.

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How Digital Signature and Blockchain Technology Can Help the Growth of Businesses?



Businesses today are quickly adapting to digital transformation. Whether it is something as simple as having a website or something as complicated as hosting applications over the cloud, business leaders are leaving no stone unturned to grow along with the evolving technology.

Inculcating digitization in business activities not only vouch for the proactiveness of the organization but at the same time lead to improved productivity and enhanced customer experience. From going digital to adapting to a cashless mechanism, organizations are gearing towards a whole new level of automation.

A major influence of the involvement of technology in day to day business operations has been the elimination of paperwork and replacing mundane arduous activities with automated tools. Sharing documents, papers, agreements, and getting them signed is fundamental to every business organization, and has become a bit complex in the business world during COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, all of these were done manually. Meaning that managers or employees would generate documents, sign them, and then send it to the other party. Upon receiving the document, the party would print the document, validate the same, and scan it back to the sending party. This process isn’t just consuming a great deal of time but also straining out energy from both ends. Not to forget the fact that manual processes are prone to errors.

We may take an example of CocoSign here. It does everything related to e-signature that a business might need to do.

Keeping all of this in mind, organizational leaders are now eyeing upon advanced tech to streamline the above process. The amalgamation of digital signatures and blockchain is an ideal example of the above.

Now, this is where we introduce the concept of digital signatures. But what are digital signatures?

What is a digital signature?

Unlike the traditional method of sending documents and getting them signed physically, digital signatures are powered as electronic signatures that can be accessed from any device and across the globe. Put simply, if you are the manager of a company sending an agreement say a sales agreement to a company named ABC. They can access and view the document online over the laptop or smartphone. In addition to the above, they can also sign the document electronically without having the need to print or scan them.

To know more about it, you may also read further details from CocoSign website.

Softwares that allow you to sign digitally come with multiple choices starting with the ease to simply type your name, or draw a sketch of the signature or even upload a photocopy of the original physical signature. Either way, you are relieved of the need to manually sign the document.

But that’s not the only advantage of using digital signatures as a replacement for manual ones. When a document is signed electronically it gets stored in the cloud for easy access and quick management. Now anytime a change is made to the document, both of the intervening parties are notified about the same and an alarm is raised. This ensures that under no circumstances is the document tampered or the content compromised.

In legal offices where every paper holds as much importance as the other, digital signatures serve the need for security as well as simplicity. Considering the fact that all of the documents are stored in the cloud, it further eliminates the need to stack piles of paper. The turnaround time reduces and productivity increases.

Fascinating, right?

This was digital signatures working alone. When this tech is fused with the blockchain technology, it further adds another layer of verification to the entire system. No doubt that e-signatures add authenticity to the document. With blockchain into play, organizational leaders can have much more flexibility over the document.

Ethereum, one of the most popular open-source platforms of blockchain technology is being used along with digital signatures. It adds am evidence to the document pinning the date and time when the document is signed. Leaders can easily gain access to the Ethereum public blockchain when faced with the need to confirm a document signature.

Additionally, blockchain also renders additional security to the document with encryption and protection protocols. The use of the hash algorithm makes it difficult to tamper a document without getting noticed. No wonder why the tech has garnered such huge attention.


Having said all of the above, it is pretty obvious that the fusion of digital signatures and blockchain technology will transform the way businesses validate agreements. If you are looking for a similar solution, contact a genuine e-signature service provider such as CocoSign.

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President Maduro: Venezuela Seeks Opportunities To Use Cryptocurrency For Global Trade



  • Venezuela’s cryptocurrency story continues as the country’s President Nicolas Maduro has presented new use cases. 
  • A recent report informed that the South American nation is studying the possibility of using digital assets in trades alongside the national Petro. 
  • President Maduro has presented new anti-sanctions law in the Constituent National Assembly. In a recent speech, he asserted:

“The anti-sanctions law is the first response to give new strength to the use of petro and other cryptocurrencies, national and global, in domestic and foreign trade, so that all cryptocurrencies of the world, state and private, could be used. This is an important project that is under development.”

  • The news comes after Maduro suggested last year that his country could adopt cryptocurrency payments.
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  • Additionally, Venezuela signed a new tax agreement this summer that enabled the nation to start collecting taxes and fees in the Petro.
  • A study reported by CryptoPotato revealed that digital assets already play an essential role in the country’s struggling economy. Venezuela’s intensifying financial crisis has catalyzed significant interest in cryptocurrencies as people seek opportunities to escape the devaluating national currency.
  • The Bitcoin peer-to-peer volume exemplifies the growing interest in the primary cryptocurrency within the country. As per data from, the BTC P2P volume on LocalBitcoins has been continuously surging in the past several months.
Bitcoin P2P Trading Volume LocalBitcoins. Source:
Bitcoin P2P Trading Volume In Venezuela on LocalBitcoins. Source:
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Leader That Allowed Scams: TRON’s Justin Sun Responds to Claims by Ex-Employees



Yesterday The Verge published an elaborate article portraying a picture of Justin Sun’s leadership at BitTorrent post the peer-to-peer file-sharing site’s acquisition by the TRON foundation.

Sun later responded to the ‘false-claims’ made by TRON/BitTorrent’s ex-employees in the article with ‘An Open Letter to Anyone Who Cares to Read’ on Medium.

Claim: Megalomaniac Leader; Response: True Libertarian

In the supposedly expose piece, author

Refuting the above portrayal of his leadership, Sun, in his response, stated that he has devoted his entire life ‘to being a responsible, global citizen’. Adding to this, Justin said that is a true champion of libertarian principles for a significant portion of his life.

I have devoted myself to being a responsible, global citizen throughout my entire life, spending significant portions of my personal and professional life to activities promoting universal values of respect, liberty, equality, and kindness.

The TRON and BitTorrent chief impressed further on his ‘global’ approach to things. He explained that the TRON Foundation harbors a ‘global team of talented contributors and developers’. And that he takes ‘pride in working’ with this global community to make TRON ‘one of the greatest decentralized blockchain protocols’.

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Claim: Freedom Suppressor; Response: Upholder Of Human Rights, Individual Values

Dunaway reportedly engaged in conversations with folks who are/were associated with the TRON brand and the work culture. From what he gathered, Justin enforced a draconian company culture, with employees officially following the ‘9-9-6’ norm.

According to the article, TRON’s HR had Slack replaced with its Chinese counterpart DingTalk. The communication platform had an in-built surveillance mechanism that would use ‘Apple Health to count people’s steps’. Also, DingTalk used to ping employees literally all the time.

To this, Sun responded by saying that he has left no stone turned in, establishing a work culture that respects.

diversity and individuality through a culture that cherishes fundamental human values freedom of speech, user privacy, intellectual property protection, kindness, a diversified working environment, and compliance with legal standards.

Justin went on to comment that TRON and BitTorrent operate with a ‘globally collaborative team’. One that upholds and respects the ethos of cross-culture teams. Sun claimed that the folks at TRON folks have ‘worked hard’ to create a collaborative work culture. One that values freedom of speech and individual privacy.

Claim: Suppressed Criticism, Allowed Scams; Response: No Control Over Protocol Functioning

The Verge piece mentioned that ‘decentralization’ was just a facade for what was happening behind the curtains. Justin Sun and his core officials exercised strict control over content moving about and within the TRON network.

This involved allegedly paying a Redditor to ‘erase negative posts’. Which later drew the ire of the community.

Free speech is part of the ideology of decentralization, where ideas flow without gatekeepers. Tron started deleting any post it wanted.

The article also claimed that TRON’s administration team was silent and allowed the perpetration of scams on the network. While this happened, scammers and the scammed continue to grow in numbers while the management did nothing to interfere.

Justin, in his Medium post, said that he and the entire TRON administration team function sans control. Even though the team at TRON works to upgrade the platform, they do not exercise any censorship/regulation.

…we have no control or discretion over what applications use the protocol, what data is transmitted, or how its community members use it.

Sun went to add that he and his team are proud of TRON and BitTorrent’s achievement over the years. He went to quote that both have collectively ‘served 2 billion users around the world. These include ‘numerous enterprises, universities, and governments’.

Lastly, the TRON and BitTorrent boss struck down all claims made by ex-employees Lucasz Juraszek, Richard Hall, and Cong Li. Justin declared that the TRON foundation’s legal counsel has submitted all the requisite proofs and evidence pieces to the court. “We believe the decision will speak for itself”, he said.

BTT and TRX’s price didn’t seem to undergo any correction following the release of the bitterly scathing Verge piece. On the contrary, BTT is actually up 2.3% in the last 24 hours.

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