Why hackers choose Monero instead of Bitcoin

If you haven’t been living beneath a stone for the last few months, then you have heard about Bitcoin too. It started as an internet trend, then it shocked the financial markets, and now even your grandma is buying it. The digital coin is no longer a hype, it became reality and is the first worldwide currency. Globalists love it and hope that soon we will all walk around with a chip in our arm doing fully automated payments. Dystopia is coming and you can be a part of it.

But as the crypto currency Bitcoin is embraced by the “normal” people now, hackers already moved on to the next step. Hackers use Monero. On the Darknet this is the payment method. An entire shadow economy has been created on there, using this specific crypto currency.

Why Monero instead of Bitcoin? There are multiple reasons for this. For one, Monero is anonymous, you won’t see the origin address the funds you receive came from. Where transfers at Bitcoin are transparent, and money transfers can be traced, with Monero they are not.

The second reason is that Monero can actually still be mined. The mining of Bitcoin stopped being profitable years ago. Only big companies or people owning many ASIC miners can still make some income with it, but normal users are no longer mining this coin. However, Monero is a so called CPU coin. The algorithm it uses is called Crytonight, and it is built to be mined with CPU’s (processors).

Where Bitcoin gave an advantage to GPU (graphic card) miners and later ASIC miners, Monero does not. The advantage these people have over CPU miners is minimal. For this reason it is popular among hackers, website owners, but also botnet controllers. Because the more CPU’s you have, the more Monero you will mine. And the Monero coins are, like Bitcoin, increasing in value. Infact, this is going a lot faster than with it’s bigger brother. At the moment we are writing this, the Monero coin is worth around 280 dollars. While a month ago it was worth 28 dollars. So it increased ten fold.

And the third big difference between Bitcoin and Monero is that the latter is not yet influenced by big investors manipulating the market. Due to the anonymous character of the coin it is hard to be used on the speculators market. Because, like we said, it is impossible to trace where transfers come from and where they go to. This doesn’t mean Monero is not being traded. If you believe this, then you have never been on the Darknet.

So what is our conclusion about it? Would we choose Bitcoin or Monero? If you are looking to invest your money and you want to make some real profit? Then go for Monero. If you are looking to use crypto currencies for your daily payments? Then Bitcoin is probably the right choice for you, as it is being accepted more and more by the big stores.

Source: The Internet

How will our lives change when we lose net neutrality?

Net neutrality helps to balance the internet in such a way that internet service providers can’t use the laws to their benefits. This year (2017), a repeal against net neutrality is to be decided upon by the FCC in the United States. The United States is a country where the internet service providers are mostly monopolies created by the government. Therefore, the government, which controls the internet, will be biased in favour of these big businesses. And these businesses, owned by wealthy businessmen, will want to take advantage from removing such regulations and safeguards.

Despite the fact that the FCC in the United States is asking for net neutrality to be gone, the aftermath effects the whole world. The supporters of the repeal against net neutrality spread a list of countries which lack net neutrality in their law, trying to convince the public that even without net neutrality, such countries are doing great in regards to free and cheap internet use.

However, these European countries they keep listing never had a bandwidth or network issue, due to their strong enough internet infrastructure. The United States internet infrastructure, on the contrary, has been like a cheddar cheese. It is exploited by the ISPs to such a degree that the US can’t meet the quotas anymore, since they oversold the lines. Even the public funding that was used by such ISPs on public lands was never returned by these big business owners. Subscriptions were also oversold and all profits went to these companies. All ISPs laid the internet infrastructure with public funding on public land because they were allowed to. And nothing was ever paid back.

As a result, the internet infrastructure of the US was weakened, and will soon be handed over as private property to these ISPs, if they would be succesful at appealing the net neutrality law. This draconian overtake is expected to happen on 14 December 2017.

Without real competition among ISPs, the internet is nothing more than a heavily regulated tool of the elite and the people in power, for controlling news and discourse. Isn’t that what happened with your TV channels as well? Being subjected to the controlling mechanisms of the government, it is now hard to find informative and neutral news or programs and even while more TV channels become available, the price is also increasing and the quality is dropping.

When net neutrality is absent, it is ofcourse unlikely carriers would block entire services from being accessed by their customers because it will harm their business. However, they can use bandwidth throttling, since they will aim to force the users to select the carrier’s preferred alternative, to earn more on the packages they will be selling. If smaller companies wanted a better deal, ISPs like Comcast would ask for fees in exchange for such services.

Such deals will make the services small companies are selling to their customers more expensive, while paying for internet use as one fixed price package will be a thing from the past. Monopolized by the government, ISPs will be able to ask whatever price they want from site owners. Those not able to meet the demands, will see their sites slow down to a degree they can’t reach their followers anymore. In this case, both users and the site owners would have to pay for the services. Users for the internet access, and site owners to make sure the ISPs will not be not slowing down their website speed or the speed at which their videos stream.

In addition, customers will be accessing features like social media through service providers. Such redirected routes will make the internet experience for users complicated, even slower and more expensive.

Bigger companies like Google and Netflix (as they had to pay for Comcast in the past), will be able to pay for the fees ISPs will demand. For small companies, like alternative news sites and personal bloggers (for example, activists), it will be much harder to afford such fees..

ISPs, as big businesses, already have been abusing the internet while working with the government, by functioning as a regulator. Now in the US it will be even easier to block social media and any site unpopular with the big businesses or government. While small companies and a lot of sites all over the world may disappear, the big corporations will control the internet, even growing bigger and now armed with an effective strategy of creating an everlasting monopoly.

Sources:

The inside story of how Netflix came to pay Comcast for internet traffic

https://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-agrees-to-pay-comcast-to-improve-its-streaming-1393175346

http://viapopuli.com/what-is-net-neutrality-and-why-is-it-important-for-a-free-internet-simplified-version

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2007/08/pearl-jam-censored-by-att-calls-for-a-neutral-net/

http://bsalert.com/news/853/Comcast_Caught_Filtering_Political_E-Mails.html

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A Bug Bounty Hunter Gets Threatened With CFAA For Sharing Evidence

A Chinese drone manufacturing company called DJI had their private keys both the “wildcard” certificate for all the company’s web domains and the keys to cloud storage accounts on Amazon Web Services exposed publicly in code posted to GitHub by company developers for years.

Kevin Finisterre used this data to reach important private information uploaded by DJI customers such as images of flight logs, government IDs and passports, even associated with military domains. When he found out there was a bounty program by the company, he applied for it. The program was launched after the US army issued a ban on using DJI drones for any military purpose due to ‘operational security’ concerns. Firmware of DJI drones were also hacked, reports said.

DJI appreciated the finding by Finisterre of the company’s SSL certificates and firmware encryption keys having been exposed via GitHub for years and rewarded the bounty hunter with $30,000 top prize. However, after exchanging 130 email messages with the IT department of the company and communicating with the legal department which offered no legal protection for Finisterre’s research about the exposed data, the company stated if the bounty hunter did not destroy all his findings he was going to face prosecution under the CFAA. Finisterre did not accept the agreement since it included a threat and also being silenced, he decided to go public about it. He got called a ‘hacker’ for this and company acted as if they barely knew who he was despite the 130 exchanged email messages concerning the exposed data.

DJI’s Phantom brand quadcopter drone

As you all will remember, last April, Marcus Hutchins, a British cybersecurity researcher, was arrested by the FBI at a Las Vegas airport while he was returning home from the annual Def Con hacking conference. He was the researcher who discovered a hidden ‘kill switch’ for Wannacry to stop this worldwide ransomware attack which resulted in a lot of damage. The authorities blamed him by being a part of this attack as the creator of the Kronos malware that caused the attack.

Cases like these are discouraging for security researchers towards finding out about a problem and reporting it. While the issue got resolved in both cases by researchers, they were threatened, silenced and even got punished with a trial for a jail time.

There is a high threat by drones used by the military on areas where civilians live, causing many lost lives. When the sensitive data cannot be protected, it would even be more dangerous by any malicious attacks. Security researchers are an important part for preventing such threats.

Sources:

http://www.realclearlife.com/technology/marcus-hutchins-wannacry-ransomware-arrested/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kevincollier/wannacry-malware-hero-likely-considering-plea-deal-on

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/11/dji-left-private-keys-for-ssl-cloud-storage-in-public-view-and-exposed-customers/

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20171117/11504938638/drone-maker-dji-offers-bug-bounty-program-then-threatens-bug-finder-with-cfaa.shtml

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2017-01-17/obamas-covert-drone-war-in-numbers-ten-times-more-strikes-than-bush

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-civilian-deaths-syria-iraq-middle-east-a7649486.html