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Bitcoin protocol rules: critical vulnerability discovered

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bitcoin protocol rules

The Bitcoin-based Lightning Network scaling protocol is vulnerable to a hypothetical attack by network validators. Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered a critical vulnerability in Bitcoin protocol rules, namely the Lightning Network scaling protocol. The findings were published in a research paper.

According to the paper, a group of just thirty validators could steal about 750 BTC (~$17.2 million) through a so-called “zombie attack.” It is reported that a group of negotiated validators can block cryptocurrency that passes through them, and the only form of protection against such an attack is to disconnect from the protocol.

In addition to a “zombie attack,” attackers can conduct a coordinated double-spending attack. Such an attack results in receiving more cryptocurrency than the validator is entitled to. In this case, the solution could be to double-check false transactions, which, however, as the researchers note, would hit the protocol’s throughput.

What is a bitcoin protocol vulnerability?

This is not the first vulnerability discovered in the Lightning Network in the last couple of years. For example, in the summer of 2020, researchers Yona Harris and Aviv Zohar of Israel’s University of Jerusalem discovered that attackers could use Lightning Network overload to steal funds from wallets.

Users of the protocol can send payments through intermediate validators. These validators can try to steal bitcoins, but they will only have a short window of time to do so. However, hackers could extend the time interval by resorting to flooding, the researchers believe.

As the university found out, attackers can get victims to send multiple requests for their funds simultaneously in the protocol. Once the Lightning Network becomes overloaded, attackers can steal funds.

We previously reported that creditors of the bankrupt Celsius Network will investigate the head of the firm.



Cryptocurrency

China has uncovered a money laundering scheme involving the digital yuan. How does money laundering work? 

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how does money laundering work

Chinese authorities have uncovered a 200 million yuan (~$28 million) money-laundering scheme where criminals used the digital yuan. Local newspaper Renmin Jibao writes about it. How does money laundering work?

It is reported that the criminals were detained in Fujian province. According to law enforcement authorities, the criminal group, led by Lai Moumou and Zheng Moumou, provided illegal services for the settlement of money to support gambling businesses. It is also noted that the group formed entire cells throughout China and worked on money laundering.

This is the second reported case of the digital yuan appearing in illegal activities. Earlier, the editorial board wrote that the People’s Bank of China decided to amend the digital yuan model after authorities uncovered an eleven-person criminal cell that used the digital state currency to launder money.

According to local media reports, the scammers used phishing to obtain the digital state currency, which they later ran through banks and payment systems. The amount of the fraud was not disclosed. However, it remains unclear whether the incident was the reason for the digital currency changes.

Work on the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or DCEP, as representatives of the financial regulator themselves call the project, has been underway since 2014. In this case, the head of the Chinese Central Bank Yi Gang, noted that the financial institution has no clear timetable for the launch of the digital yuan. The banker drew attention to the fact that information about the pilot release of the digital asset and related initiatives should not be equated with the official release of the virtual yuan.

We previously reported that the creator of Fortnite has invested in a metaverse company.

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Cryptocurrency

FBI tracked Colonial Pipeline hackers through Chainalysis

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Colonial Pipeline hackers apologize

Recently, Colonial Pipeline has been hacked again. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could identify Colonial Pipeline hackers through analytics firm Chainalysis. It is reported by Bloomberg, citing representatives of the firm.

It is not clear how exactly the FBI could identify the attackers. It is alleged that Chainalysis collects a large amount of data from the blockchain and also relies on off-network information received from customers. The analytics firm uses machine learning and statistical analysis to figure out where and to whom cryptocurrency might be sent.

In May 2021, a group of hackers called DarkSide hacked and shut down the Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest oil pipelines in the United States, causing a fuel shortage on the East Coast. As a ransom, the hackers demanded that 75 BTC be transferred to an anonymous wallet. Colonial Pipeline hackers then apologized.

Earlier in September, analysts at Group-IB found that the number of cryptocurrency-related fraud sites rose to 2,000 in the first half of 2022, a 335% increase over the entire 2021. At the same time, just over 60% of all fraudulent crypto-sites are registered through Russian providers.

Earlier we reported that Cardano Vasil should be fully completed to activate all features.

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Is Kraken a good crypto exchange? Kraken has no plans to change its listing due to SEC complaints

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cryptocurrency exchange kraken ceo

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is not going to remove from its listing tokens that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compares to securities. Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken CEO Dave Ripley told Reuters.

Is Kraken a good crypto exchange?

Recall, earlier media revealed that the U.S. exchange regulator has organized an investigation into the actions of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to list tokens. The reason for launching the investigation was the SEC’s suspicions that Coinbase opened American users’ access to transactions with cryptocurrencies, which can be classified as securities.

However, despite the investigation, the exchange regulator did not sue Coinbase, which has already surprised Ripple, which has long been in litigation with the SEC over the altcoin XRP.

The SEC sued Ripple back in late 2020. The regulator argues that XRP falls under the definition of securities, but the California-based startup disagrees. While the verdict on the lawsuit between the SEC and Ripple probably won’t appear until late 2022, Coinbase was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to remove XRP from its listing.

We previously reported on researchers finding vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency exchanges.

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