Fiat, a government-issued currency, is still the best choice of financial criminals. Concerns have always centered on the possibility of crypto assets being used for nefarious reasons, however the US Treasury department just released something that dispels these anxieties. Despite widespread fears that cryptocurrency could be used for criminal purposes, a newly published report by the US Treasury indicates that the bulk of financial crimes are still committed using fiat money. The US Treasury presented a three-year report on money laundering, proliferation financing, and terrorist financing early this month. And they were all based on digital assets. And crypto detractors may believe this is all about digital assets being widely employed in these sectors. Related Story | Shiba Inu Exodus: 32,000 Holders Lose Interest In The ‘Dogecoin Killer’ It’s Fiat, Not Crypto Nevertheless, fiat currencies and traditional money are still more often utilized in this circumstance, thus they are more likely to come into play. The Treasury’s findings include a detailed discussion of virtual currencies, stating that both their user base and market capitalization have expanded dramatically since the previous risk assessment in 2020. However, these reports found that criminal flows via fiat currency and established networks continue to outnumber those involving cryptocurrency. Crypto total market cap at $1.805 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com The US Treasury disclosed the following: “The use of crypto assets for money laundering continues to be significantly less prevalent than the use of fiat cash and other more traditional means.” Crypto Still A Good Choice For Crime According to the National Money Laundering Risk Assessment, “virtual assets” are an ever-evolving domain within money launderers’ expanding armory for concealing their finances. It singled out DeFi and “anonymity augmenting technology” as possible perpetrators. Throughout the pandemic, virtual assets have apparently been used extensively in phishing assaults and ransomware scams. Related Article | Bitcoin Breaks Past The $40,000 Barrier Again – Can It Sustain The Momentum? Shady operators may use pledges of profit from the unpredictable cryptocurrency market to entice victims into disclosing personal information or infecting their devices with viruses. The attackers may then demand payment in crypto following the attack, which is both pseudonymous and irreversible. In a recent Chainalysis Crypto Crime Report, many criminals use over-the-counter brokers to launder their cryptocurrencies. OTC brokers are individuals or businesses that assist transactions between buyers and sellers who do not wish to (or are unable to) conduct business on a cryptocurrency exchange. A Staggering Amount Meanwhile, a United Nations report says that money laundering costs the global economy between $800 billion and $2 trillion per year. This equates to between 2% and 5% of gross domestic output. Today, almost 90% of money laundering remains undetected. However, technological advancements have led in the development of more effective tools. Criminals continue to use these advancements to move dirty money. Simultaneously, government agencies and fintech firms utilize technology to identify transaction characteristics and assist in exposing fraud. Featured image from India Today, chart from TradingView.com
Did you know that 42% of businesses were affected by cyberattacks in 2020? That figure is going to rise as cybercriminals use AI to attack businesses more efficiently. Artificial intelligence technology has led to some tremendous advances that have changed the state of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity professionals are leveraging AI technology to fight hackers. AI-driven solutions […]
Cryptocurrency has grown in popularity in recent years. Bitcoin is the most well-known, valuable, and well-established virtual currency. For a variety of reasons, cryptocurrency is preferred over traditional currencies. They are easy to use, with low fees, no government regulations, and complete control. Cryptocurrencies are a popular and decentralized option, but they also pose a security risk. It is the responsibility of the owner to keep them secure. A new generation of software has emerged that looks for the digital wallet where virtual currencies are kept. If your cryptocurrency is lost or stolen, there is no one to contact. Many crypto enthusiasts who are concerned about security have turned to cold storage to keep their coins safe.It is widely used by major cryptocurrency exchanges as well as some of the most successful companies operating in the space behind the best cryptocurrency stocks. What is cold storage in Cryptocurrencies? When cryptocurrency is not in use, it is kept in cold storage. Every cryptocurrency wallet, whether it is for Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, has a private and public key. Cold storage helps to protect your crypto assets against hacker and malware attacks. If a thief attempts to steal the hardware, you can prevent him from gaining access to your funds by creating a PIN code. You can even get your money back by entering a backup code or recovery phrase. Here’s an example: Bitcoin typically allows for instant withdrawals. To reduce the risk of an intruder stealing the entire reserve and breaching security, the operator keeps the bitcoin reserved in cold storage, which means that it is not present on the webserver or computer. As a result, the operator only keeps a limited amount or the desired amount on the webserver. Advantages of Cold Storage: It is an excellent location for storing large amounts of coins for an extended period of time. It can keep money away from the webserver, keeping it safe. Disadvantages of cold storage: There is a chance of external damage as a result of carelessness, but it is recoverable if you have a recovery seed. For beginners, setting this up can be a daunting task. When compared to an online exchange, this is not ideal for quick and daily transactions. Best Cryptocurrency Cold Storage Options The following are some of the most popular cold storage options: 1. Hardware Wallets for Cryptocurrency (safest) A hardware wallet is an electronic device that uses private keys that are stored offline to sign transactions. It also allows you to recover your funds if the device is damaged or lost by using a backup seed key. Hardware wallets are the most secure cold storage option for cryptocurrencies, but they are not cheap. 2. Paper Wallet Paper wallets are an offline way of saving cryptocurrencies. It involves printing the public and private keys on a piece of paper. These printed keys are in the form of QR codes. Every time you need to make a transaction or exchange, you can do so by scanning the code. Since you are storing the keys with you away from the web server, there is the least possibility of it being stolen. It is imperative to note here, that paper wallets are not well-suited for transmitting funds partially. For transferring or spending partial funds, the private key of your paper wallet shall have to be imported into a desktop wallet. Some paper wallet providers offer tamper-proof designs to increase security. Paper wallets are completely safe from malware, viruses, and hacks due to their offline nature. After setting up the paper wallet, you need to ensure that the website code can be run in offline mode. Once the paper has been printed, you can place it in a sealed plastic folder, laminate it, or store it safely in a bank vault. 3. Cryptocurrency Storage on a USB Drive One of the simplest ways to cold store your coins is to use a USB drive as a cold wallet. You can use this to export and save your private keys to a USB drive. However, this option has drawbacks, as anyone with access to your USB could gain access to your crypto coins. 4. Desktop Wallets Desktop wallets are clients that can only be accessed through your computer. In an offline environment, they can be used to export files containing encrypted private keys. The private keys are stored offline on your machine in these pieces of software. However, you are online while receiving or sending funds through them. Digital (hot) wallet vs. cold storage wallet A digital wallet, also known as a hot wallet, is another type of crypto storage that is connected to the internet. Here are some key differences between cold and hot wallets: Security: Cold wallets are more secure than hot wallets. Although hot wallets can provide … Continued
To much of the world, it seemed like the Covid-19 vaccines were whipped up in less than a year—an amazing feat of science and biotechnology if ever there was one. While the vaccines did get fast-tracked through clinical trial and regulatory approval phases, the truth is that the technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines—mRNA—had […]
T cells are fierce warriors. With just a hint of an attack—be it an infection or a nascent cancer—they rally, ramp up in numbers, and launch a full-scale defense. But they’re not invincible. Sometimes the cellular soldiers become overzealous, attacking friendly tissues. Or their defenses are wiped out by particularly heinous foes, like HIV and […]
The Exodus wallet is a multicurrency cryptocurrency wallet that has generated a great deal of buzz since its launch back in 2016. It is a well-designed wallet that is aesthetically pleasing and packed with numerous features such as an option that allows users to stake assets directly within the wallet to earn passive income, and […]
Last week Nvidia confirmed that it had been the victim of an internal hack, though it claimed no customer information was compromised. While the hackers have made some very strange demands, threatening to release sensitive corporate data if Nvidia doesn't unlock some of its most powerful graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining, regular users didn't need to worry much. Today we're seeing one of the first effects of the hack on end-users: Nvidia GPU driver packages with malware hidden inside.
While it was always possible for malefactors to host links pretending to be drivers in the hopes of installing viruses, trojans, and other nasty stuff on a user's PC, this situation is more concerning. The hackers appear to have leaked Nvidia's official code signing certificates, a means by which users (and Microsoft) can verify that a downloaded program comes from the publisher it says it's from.
That's allowing files containing a host of popular malware suites to be posted and downloaded, bypassing Windows Defender's built-in executable verification and slipping past anti-virus software. BleepingComputer reports that two now-expired (but still usable) verification codes have been compromised and used to deliver remote access trojans. Another example, using the Nvidia verification to sign a fake Windows driver, was also spotted.
While it's possible to block the installation of packages with the expired codes using Windows Defender, it's an advanced technique that's probably only of interest to your company's sysadmin. For regular users looking for the latest graphics card drivers (or any driver, for that matter), the advice is the same as always: be careful to only download it from the official source—the Nvidia website or your installation of GeForce Experience, in this case.