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Doxing & Defending

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Online conflicts over the last few months have featured a number of notable ‘doxings.’ This bit of hacker/troll slang formerly meant “identifying an anonymous persona to the point that they can be harassed in real life at a known address, or subject to identity theft.”

As online conflicts have spread, concurrent with the growth of social media, the meaning of the term has softened a bit, to the point where it merely means identifying the real owner of a given persona, while the qualified phrase “full dox” is taken to mean date of birth and social security number are available.

This practice is the ‘soft kill’ for anonymous online personas, while swatting is the ‘hard kill.’ The latter is much scarier in the moment, but a SWAT team will leave your home within the hour of arriving, while the effect of being doxed can follow you around for years.

Methodology

Social networksThis DailyDot article, I was taught to dox by a master, is a good review of how a competent amateur will go about doxing someone. Your pursuer will dig up every social media account, every email address, every phone number, the names of your friends and family, and then relentlessly apply Google, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines to the task of finding you.

The three search engines mentioned are all applied because each prioritizes results in a different way. If a pursuit stretches into more than a day or two, the searcher will likely employ a mix of Google Alerts and a similar service from Luxembourg based Talkwalker. Paid services such as LexisNexis or Spokeo may be used as well. The unwary new person may fall into the clutches of MyLife, which features poor quality information and a well nigh impossible to cancel monthly service fee. If forced to use this, be sure to use a prepaid card with no more than the monthly fee on it.

Radaris is another site that gets high marks for individuals, and if you have some employment information Yatedo will often display all sorts of business background data available nowhere else.

Social Media

Social media sites are a boon to the would-be doxer. An open Twitter will reveal your interests, an open Facebook shows where you are and whom your friends and family are while an open LinkedIn provides access to your professional associates. This entire sector is changing as both users and investors realize that social media properties follow a well-defined arc. They start, they take root, they peak, and then they fade away. LinkedIn will never be displaced from professional networking, Twitter has managed to largely eliminate RSS as a way for web sites to publish, but Facebook and every other system that didn’t carve out a defensible niche is doomed to eventually fade.

The great unappreciated hazard in this area is the dormant account. Twitter is full of accounts that were registered, permitted to find friends based on email, and then forgotten. These time capsules can reveal patterns that are inaccessible via accounts that receive daily use. Every year at least one Congressional staffer gets embarrassed when their account on Grindr, a gay hookup site, is discovered. That photo sharing site you haven’t used in two years, but which is still attached to your phone’s camera will be found at a most inconvenient moment.

Facing An Expert

That DailyDot article offers a good overview, but what it represents is by no means what one should expect when facing an expert. Those who are truly dedicated, from skip tracer private detectives, to corporate threat analysts, to political opposition researchers, to the king of the hill trolls, have a bag of tricks that far exceed what that article describes. Tools and tactics can include:

South African penetration toolkit vendor Paterva offers Maltego. This $750 tool can capture the entire details of a domain or a Twitter social network with a few mouse clicks, providing a structured repository for the data collected. Third party queries, referred to as transforms, permit the system to access other data sources, such as blockchain.info’s Bitcoin data. Complexity is no defense against a motivated adversary.

If the target is at all public, which can mean anything from a Congressional candidate to a blogger who writes about a certain niche, they are likely to have Google or Talkwalker alerts for their name. Serve up a page on a blog that mentions them, have something like Sitemeter running, and you’ll get an IP address for them. This gives you either their cellular provider or their home ISP, as well as enough data to narrow down their geographic area.

There are many other ploys available if the pursuer is willing to send a pretext email and unconcerned with the consequences of being caught spearphishing you. Actively engaging a person willing to go to these lengths will end badly, although it might take a while.

Countermeasures

Having a bit of knowledge about the sort of problems out there, how do you protect yourself?

First and foremost, protect your financial information. Your state publishes information on dealing with identity theft. Get this and read it until you find their recommendation for a credit watch. Experian’s LifeLock is an example of this. If you have the slightest hint you are facing pursuit, you should do this at once.

If you are in the habit of keeping email, look for everything you ever signed up for but do not use. Work your way through them and eliminate every single one. If any of the services you do use offer two-factor authentication, absolutely turn this on, and that goes double for anything with fiat currency or cryptocoins on the inside.

Google and Talkwalker alerts are not just for the bad guys. Set up a few of your own – your name, your street address, your cell phone number, and so forth. Once you have them working, see if you can zero out any responses. If you are fairly quiet, you can expect a week or two of these systems finding dated information, which you should inspect for hazards.

The world is awash in privacy violation news, with the Sony intrusion, a Morgan Stanley insider leaking personal information of 10% of their wealth management customers, and a thousand other smaller events. Even American Banker says we need to rethink identity; a clear sign that not just law enforcement, but legislation that will compel those who hold identifying information to be more diligent in their security.

Images from scyther5 and Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Altcoins

Monero Price Analysis: Stronger Malware to Mine Monero; XMR/USD Has Room for Another Potential Squeeze South

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  • Researchers: a stronger malware has been uncovered, which can mine Monero.
  • XMR/USD price action remains stuck in a narrowing range, subject to an imminent breakout.

The XMR/USD price has seen some upside on Saturday, holding gains of around 3% towards the latter stages of the day. Despite the press higher from the bulls, a move which has been observed across the cryptocurrency market, vulnerabilities remain. Price action has been ranging for the past nine sessions. Once again, this isn’t specifically just XMR, as this type of behavior is witnessed across the board. The narrowing in play came after the steep drop that rippled across the market on 10th January.

Price action was initially well-supported to the upside by an ascending trend line, which was in play from 15th December. This at the time was a very promising recovery, as XMR/USD had gained as much as 55%. Unfortunately, however, the bulls were unable to break down supply heading into the $60 region and were eventually dealt a big hammer blow. On 10th January, the market bears forced a heavy breach to the downside, smashing through this support. The price had dropped a big double-digits, some 20%.

Stronger Malware Mining Monero (XMR)

There is a dangerous form of malware that can bypass being detected and mine Monero (XMR) on cloud-based servers. A recent notice was put out by Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, an intelligence team that specializes in cyber threats, regarding a Linux mining malware. This was detailed to have been developed by Rocke group, which has the ability uninstall cloud security products. It can do this to the likes of Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud, to then illegally mine Monero on compromised machines.

The two researchers from Palo Alto Networks, Xingyu Jin and Claud Xiao, detailed the findings of their studies. Once the malware is downloaded, it takes administrative control to initially uninstall all cloud security products. Shortly after, it will then then transmit code that will mine the Monero (XMR). Further within their press release, they said, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first malware family that developed the unique capability to target and remove cloud security products.”

Technical Review – XMR/USD

XMR/USD daily chart.

Given the current range block formation, eyes should be on the key near-term technical areas. Firstly, to the downside, $43, which is the lower part of the range. A breach here will likely see a retest of the December low, $38. To the upside, resistance be observed at around the mid $46 level. Should a breakout be observed here, then a potential retest of the broken trend line will be watched.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 126 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Crypto-Security Testnet Surpasses Key Milestones

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Security and has been combined with micro-compucomputing are a combination which ascended to greatly relevant, both economically and financially, since the early days of commercial internet technology, the John McAfee associated era of anti-virus software, and fears of ‘millennium-bug’ (‘Y2K’)-induced societal meltdowns.

As a market player, ‘cybersecurity‘ is hailed for its continuedvalue and growth, with recent implementations advancing in tandem with technological development. With ‘blockchain’ having become a key buzzword in recent years, it comes as little surprise that digital security providers have been attempting to identify and provide protection against cryptocurrency related scams.

Examples of these include ‘malware‘ AKA ‘malicious software’. They are often created with the aim of illicitly subvert the processing power of the victim’s device for use towards the mining of cryptocurrencies, or lock and potentially delete highly sensitive data (such as Ransomware’).

Cybersecurity and Blockchain

Crypto attacks can affect almost any person or institution: from private wallets and exchanges, to cryptocurrency operators, and even sometimes unsuspecting users of internet browsers with no relation to blockchain based services.

In an article published at CCN in August 2018, I wrote about the large prolificity and news coverage of cyber-attacks carried out against cryptocurrency organisations: with a majority of them involving the theft of high-value quantities of tokens or sensitive data.

Key points raised in the piece include the identification of wallets and exchanges as high-value targets for potential thieves, as well as a discussion surrounding a study of over 1000 participants in which none of the top exchanges were “lauded for security”.

As cybersecurity has been exposed as a fatal flaw in the unauthorised access / theft access of finances and data, it has also drawn a spotlight on the various methods employed by the companies which suffer these attacks.

Middleware, Wear and Tear

Some teams attempt to protect their data and finances through the creation and implementation of their own proprietary cybersecurity solutions whilst others seek the tender of others,

‘Middleware’ is nothing new and has long been utilised as a means of implementing third-party solutions as a means of shifting professional a legislative liability regarding essential functions of a brand technology.

It’s a creation by third party product / service providers that sits between external and internal code in order to facilitate functions or protections.

Decentralized Security Testnet

REMME is a project harnessing blockchain technology to create a distributed cybersecurity solution for enterprises.

Its now-released testnet has already demonstrated the efficacy of storing hashed Public Key Infrastructure certificates on the blockchain, and with 300 pilot program participants signed up, REMME isn’t short of applicants eager to trial its distributed identity and access management solution.

‘Distributed Identity and Access management’ (IAMd) and ‘Public Key Infrastructure’ requests (PKId) count amongst two of the primary features of the proprietary REMChain testchain network infrastructure. Both claims of which have come from CEO Alex Momot, who additionally praised “The interoperability of the public blockchain and sidechains”.

Additional features include the ‘REMchain block explorer’ – ‘node monitoring’ (connected to five nodes worldwide) – REMME WebAuth demo application.

While a pilot program reportedly attracting over 300 global enterprise applicants, REMME feels confident about the future of their long terms plans: which include full integration existing enterprise systems (ERP, CRM, Accounting software etc.).

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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MyEtherWallet Compromised in Security Breach; Users Urged to Move Tokens

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Popular cryptocurrency service MyEtherWallet (MEW) is urging users to move their tokens after the platform succumbed to its second cyber attack of the year. As the company reported earlier, hackers targeted MEW’s popular VPN service in an attempt to steal cryptocurrency.

Hola VPN Users Compromised

Rather than target MEW directly, hackers took control of the Hola VPN service, which claims nearly 50 million users. For the next five hours, MEW users who had the Hola chrome extension installed and running on their computer were exposed.

MEW took to Twitter to urge users to move their funds immediately.

“Urgent! If you have Hola chrome extension installed and used MEW within the last 24 hrs, please transfer your funds immediately to a brand new account!” the company said. It added the following message shortly thereafter:”We received a report that suggest Hola chrome extension was hacked for approximately 5 hrs and the attack was logging your activity on MEW.”

At the time of writing, MEW’s Twitter feed had no further updates.

MyEtherWallet is used to access cryptocurrency wallets, where users can send and receive tokens from other people.

The company reportedly told TechCrunch that the attack originated from a Russian-based IP address.

“The safety and security of MEW users is our priority. We’d like to remind our users that we do not hold their personal data, including passwords so they can be assured that the hackers would not get their hands on that information if they have not interacted with the Hola chrome extension in the past day,” MEW said, as quoted by TechCrunch.

It’s not yet clear how many users were compromised in the attack or how much, if any, was stolen from their wallets. MEW suffered a similar incident in February after a DNS attack wiped out $365,000 worth of cryptocurrency from users’ accounts.

Cyber Attacks on the Rise

The attack on MEW came less than 24 hours after Hacked reported another major cyber breach involving Bancor, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The security breach compromised roughly $23.5 million worth of digital currency, including Ethereum, NPXS and BNT, Bancor’s native token.

Last month, a pair of South Korean exchanges fell prey to cyber criminals, prompting local regulators to expedite their approval of new cryptocurrency laws.

It has been estimated that a total of $761 million has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges in the first half of the year, up from $266 million in all of 2017. That figure is expected to rise to $1.5 billion this year.

CipherTrace, the company behind the estimates, told Reuters last week that stolen cryptocurrencies are mainly used to launder money and aid criminals in concealing their identities.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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