Weekly Roundup – July 24-30

Weekly Roundup – July 24-30

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The biggest change in the history of Bitcoin is looming. On Aug 1, Bitcoin will split into two currencies: Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash is garnering some support, and will be available on major exchanges.

Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national, and an owner and administrator of BTC-e, was arrested in Greece on July 25 by Greek police under orders of the US Ministry of Justice. The BTC-e site has been seized by American law enforcement. The story took a surprising turn when Vinnik was accused of being behind the notorious Mt Gox hack, where about $500 million of cryptocurrencies were stolen, shutting down the largest exchange in the world at the time. See the Crypto Insider analysis on it here

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release stating that DAO tokens are securities and, “Those participating in unregistered offerings also may be liable for violations of the securities laws”. In the uncertain atmosphere created by the announcement, another DAO, Harbour, decided to indefinitely delay their ICO.

In surveillance news, Gizmodo report that Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner, sells data from mapping the interiors of people’s homes.

Kosovo got its first Bitcoin ATM last week, according to local news. Relatedly, check out our piece on Kazakhstan regulating cryptocurrency.

A new report states that 35% of small-to-medium sized business were hit by ransomware within the past year.

Two hackers, Billy Rios and Jonathan Butts, gave a presentation at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, where they demonstrated how they could hack a car wash and kill users. Rios said, “We’ve written an exploit to cause a car wash system to physically attack; it will strike anyone in the car wash. We think this is the first exploit that causes a connected device to attack someone.”

At the same conference, researchers from Alibaba Security demonstrated how to take down drones using a sonic gun.

The Black Hat Security conference also featured research on how one Russian hacker slipped up and got caught.

TOR’s new blog post from last week is worth reading; it covers various topics from integrating TOR into internet-of-things devices to real-world case studies where TOR users were de-anonymized.

A vulnerability in Serpent, a programming language used to code Ethereum apps before Solidity, was discovered. The vulnerability put $200 million worth of Augur’s tokens at risk, but was fixed without incident.

Briar, a TOR-based, end-to-end encrypted messaging app, released their Android app last week.

A Stanford course on ‘Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and smart contracts’ became available for free online last week.

Reuters reports that a U.S. congressional panel asked government agencies to share documents the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab. Two weeks ago, the U.S. government announced a move away from Kaspersky products, motivated by concerns that the products might serve a Russian agenda.

Italian researchers have detailed a method of combating ransomware that they call ShieldFS. It uses a self-healing filesystem to restore files to their previous state. You can read details in their PDF here.

Wikileaks continued their Vault7 leaks last week, leaking more CIA hacking tools and documents on July 27. The latest batch, dubbed ‘Imperial’, is the 17th leak in the Vault7 series.

The British government ordered a report into the security risks posed by the use of Chinese Huawei products in government infrastructure. One surprising finding of their PDF report is that, “CESG PGP key was not operational for a period of approximately 4.5 months preventing direct electronic receipt of evaluation reports”. CESG is the cybersecurity branch of the GCHQ.

A malicious version of an Android app store was redirecting users to a single piece of malware when they tried to install any app whatsoever.

A judge in Florida ordered Cryptsy and its founder Paul Vernon to pay $8.2 million in damages to users. Vernon is in hiding.

The Veritaseum ICO was hacked, leading to the theft of $8.4 million.

A man arrested for stealing his girlfriend’s parents laptops is now suspected of being a hacker behind a $50 million Bitcoin theft.

Renwick Haddow was arrested in Tangiers last week. Haddow is wanted for setting up a fake exchange that stole $37 million of Bitcoin.

Featured image from Pixabay.

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