North Korea Behind Recent YouBit Hack?

Cybercrime experts are attributing the most recent Bitcoin heist to North Korea. The Wall Street Journal report that the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange YouBit is the latest victim of a malicious hacking, and that their northern neighbours are to blame. YouBit have been forced to declare themselves bankrupt after 17 percent of their digital assets were stolen. They are allowing customers to immediately withdraw three quarters of the funds in their accounts. The remaining sums will be paid out following the liquidation of the exchange.

The allegations come just one day after the US laid the blame for the WannaCry cryptographic worm attack on North Korea. ARS Technica report that White House National Security Adviser Tom Bossert stated yesterday:

“We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with our findings, either. Other governments and private companies agree. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government.”

The WannaCry ransomware attack targeted users of the Windows operating system this Spring. It’s estimated to have infected over 300,000 computers across the globe. Computers and their contents were frozen and a demand of Bitcoin was then made to those affected.

These examples are not the first time that the communist dictatorship of North Korea have been implicated in such heists. Just this year, three additional attacks have been made against South Korean exchanges that are being blamed on operatives working under Kim Jong Un. The largest of which was on Yapizon, YouBit’s predecessor. They were compromised back in April. This digital heist saw even larger sums of cryptocurrency lifted.

A report issued back in September by cyber security firm FireEye acknowledged the motive behind North Korea’s interest in digital currency. The fact that cryptocurrencies offer permission-less movement of funds across the planet makes them ideal for the purpose of laundering money and evading sanctions. Hackers can then use coin tumbling services to “clean” funds. Alternatively, they can exchange Bitcoin involved in a hack for a much less traceable currency like the anonymity coin Monero. It’s believed that this is what occurred following the WannaCry outbreak.

For a country trying to fight off aggressive international sanctions and continue their militarisation, cryptocurrency seems to present an obvious solution to traditional financial channels being closed off to them. ARS Technica estimate that some $16 billion have been lifted by North Korea to finance their foreign policy objectives. Whilst this is pittance when compared with the over $612 billion market cap of all of cryptocurrency, for a nation that are currently in the midst of economic strangulation, it’s certainly worth going after.

 

Image: PixaBay

 

 

 

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We are closing in on the end of the session in the bitcoin price space for Europe on Wednesday and – yet again – we’ve had something of a wild ride in the markets. Numerous fundamental inputs, ranging from exchange issues to reports of manipulation, are driving volatility right now and exactly where the day is going to take us as we move forward remains to be seen.

One thing we can be sure of right now, however, is that volatility is a good thing for our intraday efforts.

When we get the sort of volatility we are seeing right now, it means we – in turn – get plenty of opportunities to jump in and out of the markets. With our risk management parameters in place, the more opportunities we get, the better.

So, with this all said, let’s put some levels in place that we can use to jump into the markets when we get any movement this evening.

As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand right now and where we’re looking to enter if we get any signals. The chart is a one-minute candlestick chart and it’s got our key and primary range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range we are looking at for the session this evening comes in as defined by support to the downside at 16572 and resistance to the upside at 16773. If we see price close above resistance, we’ll try and get in long towards an immediate upside target of 16850. Looking the other way, if we get a close below support, we’ll get into a short trade towards a downside target of 16500.

Let’s see how things play out and we will update our levels first thing in the morning.

Charts courtesy of Trading View

As a Bitcoin owner, one of the worst feelings is losing access to your wallet or private key. After all, storing your Bitcoin is done in such a way they can’t be recovered without key information. This is only normal for most people, but it is confusing for others. Thankfully, there may be a solution in sight to recover lost passphrases and passwords. Although hypnotherapy is not necessarily the best way to go, it seems to work quite well for some.

Not everyone would go to great lengths to recover a Bitcoin wallet password or recovery seed. Noting this information down is of the utmost importance. However, people can still lose access to this information for many different reasons. The file containing this information is lost, stolen, or destroyed. Thankfully, a Bitcoin wallet can often be imported into a new solution if you have the necessary information. Hypnotherapy can be of great help to remember passwords and recovery seeds in this regard.

Hypnotherapy to Recover Lost Bitcoins

More specifically, there is a hypnotist in South Carolina specializing in this type of activity. This person helps people recall forgotten passwords or find misplaced storage devices. It can be well worth checking out if you have a Bitcoin wallet on a USB device you can no longer find. Jason Miller, the hypnotherapist, does charge a fee of one Bitcoin plus 5% of the money recovered. This means he has to be very certain about his skills. It is an interesting business model, though, and some people seemingly want to explore in a time of need.

Especially people who bought BTC years ago will benefit from this solution. We often hear stories about people losing access to a wallet. In most cases, they misplaced the device or can’t remember the password. Using hypnotherapy to recover this information makes a lot of sense. At the same time, hypnotherapy is still “frowned upon” in social circles these days. That’s a bit unusual, considering this method has scientific roots. It’s not just smoke and mirrors, nor does it require any “belief” in the system either.

Whether or not people will use such a method to recover their bitcoins, remains to be seen. It is certainly true a lot of coins have been lost forever. Or that is what we think, at least, unless the wallets have recovered over time. Jason Miller may certainly be onto something in this regard. He claims the collection of techniques used should yield satisfactory results. Only time will tell if that is the case, though. There are other ways to recover lost bitcoins, but hypnotherapy may be the least “intensive” way to go about things.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

CoinLion is a powerful trading platform that makes managing digital assets easy and efficient. The platform contains a unique portfolio management tool combined with a publishing and promotional toolset that rewards users for building and sharing portfolios, strategies, and information relating to the management of digital assets.

“CoinLion will make managing hundreds of digital currencies easy and efficient and will empower the everyday user to take control of their digital holdings,” said CEO Joshua DeWitt

The CoinLion Platform consists of three main components working together to maximize the user trading experience. The first is a digital currency exchange focused on giving users the best trading experience possible. The second is a portfolio management tool that allows for the creation and management of cryptocurrency portfolios. The third component is a publishing and promotional toolset that allows users to grow and build their following by creating and share portfolios, strategies, and information with other users.

The CoinLion Portfolio Management Tool allows users to create and manage multiple portfolios simply and efficiently. A user may use the portfolio management tool to purchase multiple cryptocurrencies allocated by quantity, amount or percentage. Features within the portfolio management tool allow users to reallocate portfolios and submit multiple orders with a single click.

 

Using the Publishing & Promotional Toolset users can choose to publish portfolios, strategies, and content for others to track or use in exchange for LION. The portfolio management tool lets users create portfolios, share them with other users and or across their social media channels. Portfolio creators can define a cost in LION for allowing users the right to track and duplicate a shared portfolio.

CoinLion has its own token, LION, and will be launching the token sale December 18, 2017.

“LION is quite a powerful token,” said CTO Justus Luthy.

Lion is the native token that interacts within the platform helping users learn, build, and grow. LION creates an ecosystem that rewards and incentivizes users to share and create portfolios, strategies and research related to the management of digital assets. CoinLion says they will generally not limit the uses of LION.

Within the platform users can use LION to track and duplicate portfolios, trade for free within the LION market, receive discounted trading when holding LION, create and manage multiple portfolios using the portfolio management tool, access research and analytics within the CoinLion research library, access to ICOs launched on the platform at a discounted rate, promote portfolios and content on CoinLion and other platforms and the list goes on.

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DASH/USD

DASH has gone parabolic during the trading session on Wednesday, slicing through the $1500 level at one point. It looks as if short-term pullbacks will offer buying opportunities though, so therefore I think being careful bullish is probably the best way to go in this market as it looks like a market that is ready to launch much higher.

 

LTC/USD

Litecoin had a very quiet session on Wednesday, but it looks as if we are continuing to try and form a bit of support just below, with $300 being a very important level overall. I believe that buying the dips continues to be the way going forward as Litecoin looks very bullish.

Thanks for watching, I’ll be back tomorrow.

ETH/USD

Ethereum dips initially during the trading session on Wednesday, but bounce enough to reach towards the $830 level. I believe that we are going to continue to go higher, perhaps reaching towards the $875 level again. The buyers returning is a good sign as value hunting continues. Volatility will continue as volume drops ahead of Christmas, but longer-term we should go higher.

 

ETH/BTC

Ethereum has gone sideways against Bitcoin over the last 36 hours as we are topping out near the 0.046 level. If we can break down below the 0.044 level, then I would be a seller. Otherwise, we may go looking towards the 0.05 handle above which is a large, round, psychologically significant number.

Thank you for watching, I’ll be back tomorrow.

BTC/USD

Bitcoin has been a bit volatile during the trading session on Wednesday, as we reached down towards the $16,000 level. We have rallied significantly since then though, so it looks as if the buyers are coming back to pick up this value. On these dips, the poor quick to buy as the markets have been so hot as of late. I believe this will continue to be the case going forward, with $20,000 being the target.

 

BTC/JPY

Bitcoin went sideways during most of the day, but did eventually reach towards the ¥2.1 million level. The ¥1.9 million level underneath has offered support, and I think we are ready to continue to go higher, but short-term pullback should be buying opportunities as they offer value.

Thanks for watching, I’ll be back tomorrow.

 

A lot of people are frustrated about the way Bitcoin works right now. High fees, slow transactions, and a lack of improvements are definitely hurting the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Nicolas Dorier thinks none of this is a problem whatsoever, though. In fact, he goes as far as stating how all of this creates a new buying opportunity for people looking to buy Bitcoin.

Using Bitcoin has become pretty problematic in the past few months. It is quite slow to use more often than not, and the fees are skyrocketing as we speak. The average user isn’t too pleased with this development, for obvious reasons. Nicolas Dorier, a Bitcoin developer, isn’t too bothered by this development whatsoever. His recent tweet paints an interesting, albeit slightly odd picture.

Nicolas Dorier Doesn’t Mind Bitcoin’s Issues

More specifically, he thinks people need to “chill out” over the Bitcoin issues. That is pretty interesting, albeit people who effectively use Bitcoin won’t necessarily agree. In fact, there’s a fair amount of friction in this regard. New topics and social media posts about fees and slow transactions pop up every single hour. It is evident this situation needs to be resolved, but that will be much easier said than done.

One thing working in Bitcoin’s favor is how the block time hasn’t been affected all that much. More specifically, the blocks are still around 10 minutes apart. It doesn’t solve the delay for transactions whatsoever, but it’s a positive factor which shouldn’t be overlooked. Nicolas Dorier makes a good point in this regard, though. Whether or not the general user will care about this “positive” aspect, remains to be seen. It is good to know some things haven’t partially degraded, though.

The big question is whether or not these issues affect the Bitcoin price. We have seen several violent fluctuations in this regard. Network problems may indeed create a buy opportunity. However, it is almost like attempting to catch a falling knife. Saying how all of this creates a buy opportunity is somewhat controversial by Nicolas Dorier. People have been looking for a cheaper buy point for Bitcoin, granted. Since no one knows what the bottom is right now, however, buying BTC might not happen until the network is stable again. Preferably on a permanent basis.

Overnight action was a real roller coaster in the bitcoin price, with things initially taking a steep turn to the downside and correcting considerably before recovering somewhat to trade pretty strongly into early morning Europe. With any luck, we will see a continuation of this strength as the European session matures and, as far as key levels are concerned, we should have some pretty solid ones in place given the strength with which we are trading right now.

So, with this said, let’s get things outlined for the forward session and see if we can jump right into the market and take profit on any action. As ever, take a quick look at the chart below before we get started so as to get an idea where things stand and where we are looking to jump in and out of the markets as and when things move. It is a one-minute candlestick chart and it has our primary range overlaid in green.

As the chart shows, the range that we are looking at for the session right now comes in as defined by support to the downside at 17457 and resistance to the upside at 17634. If we see price break through resistance, we will enter into a long trade with an immediate upside target of 17700. A stop loss on this position somewhere in the region of 17600 (current prices) will ensure we are taken out of the trade if and when things turn against us.

Looking the other way, to the downside, we will look out for a close below support to signal a short entry. The same concept applies, just in reverse, so we will target a downside profit-taking exit point in and around 17380 and we will place a stop loss somewhere in the region of 17480 to get us out in case things turn bad.

Let’s see what happens.

Charts courtesy of Trading view

Seoul-Based South Korean bitcoin exchange Youbit has admitted to suffering a major security breach that led to the loss of a fifth of user funds stored on the trading platform.

Youbit to Proceed With Bankruptcy Proceedings

In an announcement, Youbit told its users that they will only be able to withdraw 75 percent of their funds stored on the exchange. The company stated that the rest will be credited to the users after the final bankruptcy proceedings are settled.

The official statement of Youbit read:

“We sincerely apologize about the delay in the our announcement of the hacking attack and security breach we had experienced. Currently, we are cooperating with law enforcement and third party investigators to evaluate the breach. We are trying everything in our capability to minimize the losses of our users and we are considering several ways to handle this situation. We would like to apologize again for disappointing our users.”

Since 2014, Youbit has served the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market with a trading platform insured by a major South Korean insurance companies DB Insurance and Comodo. It had also partnered with KB Bank, the second largest commercial bank in South Korean behind Shinhan, to provide its clients with escrow accounts.

It amassed the interest of local cryptocurrency and bitcoin traders by marketing the Youbit trading platform as a “fast and simple” digital currency exchange for both casual and professional traders.

Third Bitcoin Exchange Hack in South Korea

Youbit is the third bitcoin exchange in South Korea to be hacked in 2017, along with the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb and Yapizon.

Bithumb and Yapizon suffered minor security breaches throughout this year and have been responsible for the theft of user identities and user funds. Bithumb in particular suffered two major hacking attacks in a span of months. In its first hacking attack, Bithumb compensated $2 million to the exchange’s users. The second security breach led to the leak of sensitive user information, and the company was fined by the South Korean government as a result.

Bithumb’s official announcement in July read:

“The employee PC, not the head office server, was hacked. Personal information such as mobile phone and email address of some users were leaked. However, some customers were found to have been stolen from because of the disposable password used in electronic financial transactions.”

Last week, during an emergency meeting focused on cryptocurrency-related regulatory frameworks, the South Korean government expressed its concerns over the lack of regulations in the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange market and the necessity of strict policies to protect investors.

South Korea’s leading exchanges Bithumb, Korbit, and Coinone have emphasized that they welcome strict regulations from the South Korean government, as it would further validate, stabilizes, and legitimize the local cryptocurrency market.

The South Korean government and its task force formed by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Financial Services Commission, Ministry of Justice, Fair Trade Commission, and Financial Supervisory Commission intend to strictly regulate the local cryptocurrency market to prevent hacking attacks and large-scale security breaches from occuring.