01-27-2018: CoinHive Monero Mining Malware Attacks YouTube Ads

A self-regulatory association in China is warning citizens against participating in overseas initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading. In a public statement published on Jan 26, the National Internet Finance Association (NIFA) writes that, after China issued a ban on ICOs last September and ordered closure of cryptocurrency exchanges, it has seen investors moving their funds to overseas platforms. NIFA states: “Recently, as worldwide governments are tightening regulations on cryptocurrencies, some overseas ICO and trading platforms may also face the risk of being forcefully closed due to compliance issue. Therefore, domestic investors are advised to be cautious of the risk” (coindesk).

Wyoming is stepping up to welcome the blockchain community with open arms. A grassroots group, the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, has garnered significant momentum to pass a package of legislation that would bring significant benefits to both the blockchain community and the State of Wyoming. The package of blockchain bills, which will be introduced during the upcoming session in February, will build on two characteristics of Wyoming that make it particularly attractive to the blockchain industry: zero corporate income or franchise taxes, and strict privacy laws governing LLCs formed in the state. Companies don’t need to move to Wyoming physically to take advantage of the benefits (coindesk).

Litecoin creater Charlie Lee admits his ambition to work with Monero in a series of tweets he posted yesterday, claiming that Litecoin’s liquidity would be a great fit for Monero’s anonymity and fungibility. Monero (XMR) creator Riccardo Spagni and Litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee would appear to be taking tentative baby steps in potentially bringing their two coins closer.  This the future direction for cryptocurrency: on-chain atomic swaps, where two different coins can theoretically be exchanged in a secure and instant manner. On-chain atomic swap technology is set to revolutionize the current crypto industry, as it was enabled by the recently enacted SegWit changes that Litecoin first tested and Bitcoin finally adopted late last year (bitcoinist).

YouTube ads have been hijacked for crypto mining. The affected ads were from Google’s DoubleClick platform. Basically, the ads contained JavaScript that enabled cryptocurrency mining through Coinhive. YouTube users found their computer resources being consumed at a high rate (80%!) to mine Monero. YouTube was likely targeted because users are typically on the site for an extended period of time. This is a prime target for cryptojacking malware, because the longer the users are mining for cryptocurrency the more money is made (bitcoinist).

And lastly, with the Lightning Network now available to be run on the Bitcoin mainnet, at least two users have reported losing bitcoin as a result of one or more bugs related to the closing of payment channels. Payment channels are (in Bitcoin’s case) multi-signature wallets that allow two users to transfer value back and forth between them. The Lightning Network, which is still under development, is the web formed by connecting many payment channels together, which allows users to send funds to other users with whom they don’t have a direct payment channel open (ethnews).

NOTE: This is an emergent and evolving highly technical space. You should understand how involvement in this space impacts you and acknowledge all risks before participating or implementing any recommendations. Disclaimer: Content displayed may be that of their original news source publishers.

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