Industry Report: Bitcoin Thieves Abound As Popularity Skyrockets
Kraken grows its empire, a new strain of malware is spreading, and a bitcoin auction occurs in Australia. Want to catch up on the latest digital currency news? Take a look at the stories below.
Cerber, regarded as one of the most dangerous types of bitcoin ransomware existing today, has been cloned as an undisclosed type of malware that targets Office 365 users, and millions of businesses are believed to be infected.
Though not fully understood, the malware can bypass Office security protocols where it then executes large-scale phishing attacks. A voice-recorded message soon follows, informing users on how to proceed.
Since the beginning of the year, Cerber developers have been quite busy. So far, they have managed to infect ad networks and released malicious documents infected with Dridex to companies in May.
San Francisco-based bitcoin exchange Kraken has obtained Dutch cryptocurrency platform CleverCoin. The company is moving to expanding its digital empire after taking over New York-based Coinsetter and Canadian CAVirtex earlier this year.
CleverCoin is slated to halt its services on June 29, and all present accounts will then be transferred to Kraken’s possession.
CEO Jesse Powell spoke positively of the move, explaining:
“Our M&A plans have been accelerated by encouraging news throughout the industry… Prices are rising, the regulatory picture is rapidly clarifying, and clients from around the globe are joining us in record numbers… The acquisition of CleverCoin will empower Kraken with greater liquidity and a significant expanded customer base in Europe, our flagship market.”
AUSTRALIAN BITCOIN AUCTION
Not since the collapse of the first Silk Road has a bitcoin auction of this magnitude taken place, but Australia is proving itself to be the world’s latest bitcoin haven through a recent auction that saw about $22 million in bitcoins sold to five separate buyers.
The auction took place from June 20 through the 21st, and the funds came directly from a 32 year-old Silk Road user who was arrested in 2013 for selling drugs online.
11 blocks of 2,000 bitcoins apiece were up for grabs, as well as an additional block exceeding 2,500 coins.
Adam Nikitins of financial services firm Ernst & Young explained that the event attracted interest from individuals and businesses alike:
“The process was very competitive and demonstrates the growing appetite for digital assets such as Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin increased significantly over the past month. However, bidding remains strong.”
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Image courtesy of Kraken.