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The University of Utah pays ransomware money to save the data leak.

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According to a statement issued by the University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Science, attackers left many computers inaccessible for several hours as staff took servers offline to prevent the malware from spreading to other machines on the school’s network. The college was hit by a ransomware attack on July 19. The University met the demand of hackers to prevent the data of students. Hackers seem to have got away with cybercrime.

 

The college worked with the cyber insurance provider to pay a $457,059 ransom. 

Following internal discussion, the officials decided to work with the school’s cyber insurance provider to pay a $457,059 ransom in order to prevent the data leak. Staff from the university clarified that the insurance policy paid part of the ransom and covered the rest. However, no details about the cryptocurrency involved in the transaction were disclosed.

 Earlier it was also reported that the NetWalker ransomware gang had attacked Michigan State University or MSU. While the hackers threatened to leak students’ records and financial documents, officials from the university have said that they refused to pay the ransom. 

Crypto ransomware attacks continue to rise amid the pandemic. 

Ransomware attacks have increased in recent times as cryptocurrencies continue to gain mainstream exposure. Earlier, the Singaporean government published a study called Cyber ​​Landscape 2019 that showed that there were 35 reports of ransomware incidents in the last year alone. A report published by the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky revealed that the country had seen a significant increase in attempted crypto-jacking during the first quarter of this year. Typical crypto scams have also surged in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Crypto scammers are now tailoring their pitch according to the situation and luring in victims, who eventually lose their investments. FBI and US SEC have warned people of increasing crypto scams and to beware of the same.

Source: https://coinnounce.com/the-university-of-utah-pays-ransomware-money-to-save-the-data-leak/

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After exec declares Bitcoin maximalism ‘over,’ XRP price surges

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In a podcast for Lend Academy recorded Nov. 5, Asheesh Birla called Bitcoin (BTC) a “pretty innovative alternative to gold,” but added that 2020 had shown there was room for a lot of tokens in the crypto space.

Birla said that he believed Bitcoin had not “gone after” payments, and because different projects had different use cases, the coin’s overwhelming dominance was no longer a certainty:

“I think that the days when folks believed that there’s only going to be Bitcoin, I think, are over. I think it’s clear that there’s gonna be a lot of digital assets and there’s gonna be a lot more traditional assets that are gonna be tokenized as digital assets.”

The RippleNet GM made the comments when the price of XRP was roughly $0.25. It has since tripled, surging to $0.92 last week before crashing 30% amid a wider market rout.

Despite the lack of movement in XRP at the time, Birla added he was feeling bullish over the crypto space coming back “red hot again” after the 2018 crash.

“I don’t see the traditional venture capitalists as interested as they were in 2017,” he said. “But in my mind I couldn’t be happier in terms of innovation in the space.”

Both Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen and CEO Brad Garlinghouse have recently expressed frustration at the lack of regulatory clarity for Ripple in the United States. Last month, SBI Holdings CEO and Ripple board member Yoshitaka Kitao said that the blockchain-based payments may be considering relocating its headquarters to Japan. Larsen believes authorities in the U.S. have a “regulation through enforcement” policy and are “woefully behind” in preparing for the cryptocurrency-based next generation of a global financial system.

At the time of publication, the price of XRP is $0.61, having dropped 3% in the last 24 hours.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/after-exec-declares-bitcoin-maximalism-over-xrp-price-surges

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Here’s how the Bitcoin, Ethereum markets are ahead, even if the prices aren’t

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As things stand, Bitcoin and Ethereum trail their respective 2017 peaks by 10 percent and 150 percent, respectively. Clearly, one is further away than the other, but both cryptocurrency’s markets are closer to the infamous bull market than you’d think.

According to the market intel report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, while Bitcoin might’ve seen some ‘froth,’ fundamentals remain strong. Even with BTC’s declining price, dropping from $19,000 all the way down below $17,000, inflows to exchanges are above their long term average as hodlers are still selling off their held crypto, despite the depreciating price. 

Outflows are muted compared to inflows as BTC balances held on exchanges have risen to 11,900 Bitcoin. According to the said report, the narrative has changed to speculating on exchanges, rather than taking Bitcoin for self-custody as an investment, given the rapid price increase over the past week.

BTC Exchange Inflows | Source: Chainalysis Markets

Under the radar, given Bitcoin’s price increase, is Ether, the native token of Ethereum. With the blockchain hurtling towards Ethereum 2.0, inflows have also increased. At the time of writing, around 670,000 ETH were held on exchanges, a 40 percent increase on the 30-day average. These inflows were driven from crypto-to-fiat exchanges, rather than fiat-to-crypto exchanges, with the report suggesting that ETH hodlers are shifting away from DeFi and towards fiat. 

Trade intensity, a metric that measures cryptocurrencies flowing into an exchange against order book trades, is also on the up for ETH. This finding revealed that the altcoin’s price was “weaker” than Bitcoin’s since it acted as a lagging indicator for the former’s drop from $610, a two-year high.

Looking back at the week, it began with shades of 2017 green before it ended up with deep cuts of 2018 red. The report likened this week to a ‘bull-run’ initiated by a rapid price increase in the Bitcoin and altcoin markets, followed by the love/hate element of the market  – FOMO.

Going forward, with ATHs to be tested soon enough, how will the market play out? Will holders cash out at this two-year high, or will holding on for dear life get a new definition? Hold on even in a bull market? Time will tell. 

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-etehreum-markets-prices-ahead

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Why DeFi Flash Loan Attacks Will Keep Happening: Chainlink CEO

Sergey Nazarov told Decrypt that hackers will continue to target DeFi protocols unless they reconsider the way they get data.

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In brief

  • Over $100 million was lost when hackers targeted a number of DeFi projects.
  • They were able to manipulate prices and walk away with the money because the DeFi protocols get their data from one source, which is risky.
  • The founder of top DeFi project Chainlink told Decrypt that this will continue to happen unless DeFi projects get their data from a number of sources.

Chainlink founder and CEO Sergey Nazarov has said that hackers will continue to come after DeFi protocols unless they change the way they get their price information. 

His comments on the Decrypt Daily podcast, published Friday, come after DeFi protocols lost over $100 million in a string of flash loan attacks that attacked Compound ($89 million), Harvest Finance ($34 million) and Cheese Bank ($3.3 million). 

The projects were hit by hackers who manipulated the price of stablecoins held in the protocols because they misappropriated DeFi protocol Curve as a price oracle. 

Hackers were able to target the projects because they all relied on Curve Finance’s data on the price of crypto held in its liquidity pools. 

Nazarov said on the podcast that all the attacks were “related to using a single centralized exchange as a price source”—and that these kinds of attacks will keep happening, even if protocols start getting their data from two or three sources. 

“I think it’s a serious concern that both developers of these protocols should look into.” 

Nazarov said that Chainlink has been resistant to problems because it uses multiple data sources—getting data from “hundreds of exchanges.”

For DeFi protocols to avoid problems in the future, they will have to think about how they source their data, he said. 

Since the attacks, decentralized exchange Curve Finance warned DeFi projects to use Chainlink, which uses a decentralized oracle network (it gets data from one blockchain to another safely, so it can’t be manipulated.) 

It looks like the hottest new DeFi projects will have to step their game up when it comes to security or millions more will be lost.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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