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Reuters

U.S.’s Pompeo plans to meet Chinese officials in Hawaii: Politico

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint briefing about an executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump on the International Criminal Court at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2020. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Pool

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to travel to Hawaii to meet with Chinese government officials, Politico reported on Friday, citing two unnamed sources.

Pompeo, who has been vocal in criticizing China on a range of issues from the origins of the coronavirus pandemic to its Hong Kong policy to the treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities, was planning the trip “quietly” and the arrangements were not finalized, Politico said.

The U.S. State Department and the Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Relations between the world’s two biggest economies have deteriorated in recent months, and U.S. President Donald Trump has said he could even sever relations.

Pompeo said last week that China could have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world by being more transparent about the coronavirus and accused it of refusing to share information.

He said last month Chinese plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong would be the “death knell” for the former British colony’s autonomy.

Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/topNews/~3/TGlIzV68-Ek/u-s-s-pompeo-plans-to-meet-chinese-officials-in-hawaii-politico-idUSKBN23K02R

Private Equity

KKR passes $11bn for fourth flagship Asia fundraise, could raise $12.5bn – report

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KKR has hauled in more than $11bn through the first close of its latest mammoth Asia private equity fund, putting it wel

Source: https://www.altassets.net/private-equity-news/by-region/asia-by-region/kkr-passes-11bn-for-fourth-flagship-asia-fundraise-could-raise-12-5bn-report.html

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Cyber Security

NY Charges First American Financial for Massive Data Leak

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In May 2019, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that the website of mortgage title insurance giant First American Financial Corp. had exposed approximately 885 million records related to mortgage deals going back to 2003. On Wednesday, regulators in New York announced that First American was the target of their first ever cybersecurity enforcement action in connection with the incident, charges that could bring steep financial penalties.

First American Financial Corp.

Santa Ana, Calif.-based First American [NYSE:FAF] is a leading provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries. It employs some 18,000 people and brought in $6.2 billion in 2019.

As first reported here last year, First American’s website exposed 16 years worth of digitized mortgage title insurance records — including bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and drivers license images.

The documents were available without authentication to anyone with a Web browser.

According to a filing (PDF) by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), the weakness that exposed the documents was first introduced during an application software update in May 2014 and went undetected for years.

Worse still, the DFS found, the vulnerability was discovered in a penetration test First American conducted on its own in December 2018.

“Remarkably, Respondent instead allowed unfettered access to the personal and financial data of millions of its customers for six more months until the breach and its serious ramifications were widely publicized by a nationally recognized cybersecurity industry journalist,” the DFS explained in a statement on the charges.

A redacted screenshot of one of many millions of sensitive records exposed by First American’s Web site.

Reuters reports that the penalties could be significant for First American: The DFS considers each instance of exposed personal information a separate violation, and the company faces penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.

In a written statement, First American said it strongly disagrees with the DFS’s findings, and that its own investigation determined only a “very limited number” of consumers — and none from New York — had personal data accessed without permission.

In August 2019, the company said a third-party investigation into the exposure identified just 32 consumers whose non-public personal information likely was accessed without authorization.

When KrebsOnSecurity asked last year how long it maintained access logs or how far back in time that review went, First American declined to be more specific, saying only that its logs covered a period that was typical for a company of its size and nature.

But in Wednesday’s filing, the DFS said First American was unable to determine whether records were accessed prior to Jun 2018.

“Respondent’s forensic investigation relied on a review of web logs retained from June 2018 onward,” the DFS found. “Respondent’s own analysis demonstrated that during this 11-month period, more than 350,000 documents were accessed without authorization by automated ‘bots’ or ‘scraper’ programs designed to collect information on the Internet.

The records exposed by First American would have been a virtual gold mine for phishers and scammers involved in so-called Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, which often impersonate real estate agents, closing agencies, title and escrow firms in a bid to trick property buyers into wiring funds to fraudsters. According to the FBI, BEC scams are the most costly form of cybercrime today.

First American’s stock price fell more than 6 percent the day after news of their data leak was published here. In the days that followed, the DFS and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission each announced they were investigating the company.

First American released its first quarter 2020 earnings today. A hearing on the charges alleged by the DFS is slated for Oct. 26.



Tags: First American Financial Corp., New York State Department of Financial Services, Reuters

Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2020/07/ny-charges-first-american-financial-for-massive-data-leak/

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Blockchain

Coinbase Reportedly Eyeing Stock Exchange Listing in Latest Power Move

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U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase might be going public if reports from inside sources are to be believed.

The San Francisco-based company has undergone a significant evolution since its inception eight years ago but remains one of the major players in the cryptocurrency exchange scene.

In recent times, the platform has been riddled with controversy over issues around token listings, privacy violations, and government agency affiliations.

Coinbase Going Public?

According to Reuters, inside sources at Coinbase say the exchange is exploring the possibility of a stock exchange listing. The platform could pursue the move later in the year. Or at the start of 2021.

There’s no official confirmation yet as Coinbase has not notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, anonymous sources told Reuters that Coinbase is working on modalities behind the scene, including arrangements with law firms and investment bankers.

A U.S. stock exchange listing could further catapult Coinbase’s valuation in what would be the latest in a string of power moves by the giant exchange. Back in October 2018, the platform raised $300M in a Series E funding round, which took the company’s valuation to $8 billion.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Coinbase might opt for a direct listing instead of an initial public offering (IPO). If confirmed, the move will eliminate the need for potentially expensive underwriters and lockup agreements that come with the dilution of shares in an IPO.

Coinbase’s reported IPO plans reveal an emerging theme for major crypto businesses. From mining firms to cryptocurrency hedge funds, public listings appear to be the next logical step in the evolution of big virtual currency companies, especially against the backdrop of increased institutional investment.

Mining giants like Bitmain and Canaan pursued IPO plans in the past, with the latter scrapping its underwhelming share sale back in late 2019. The Canaan IPO, too, only raised $90M out of a $400M projection. Meanwhile, Bitmain has had to endure a couple of its own false starts.

At the start of 2020, the Grayscale Bitcoin

BUY NOW Trust (GBTC) also obtained SEC approval to act as a reporting company.

From Crypto Exchange to Digital Asset Business

Apart from its exchange services, Coinbase now hosts other business elements like custody and commerce. The latter tool allows businesses to easily accept crypto payments. It already has over 8,000 merchant customers. In May, Coinbase announced plans to acquire Tagomi, a crypto brokerage firm.

The move signaled further intentions to pivot towards institutional players. The exchange reportedly holds over 1 million BTC. Coinbase has radically shifted its strategy over the last few years. Initially sticking to a limited token listing regime, the exchange now has a more liberal policy towards altcoins.

The platform lists 27 different assets and in mid-June, it announced plans to consider 18 more tokens.

coinbase libra

Some of these listings resulted in parabolic price spikes which just as quickly disappeared. Critics have consequently handed down some heavy comments regarding its new listing policy, particularly for tokens associated with the Digital Currency Group (DCG).

Despite their relatively small market cap, these ‘coins’ found their way to the Coinbase trading catalog prompting critics to label the listing as rather questionable. On separate occasions, #DeleteCoinbase and #BoycottCoinbase were trending on Twitter.

The company’s acquisition of controversial analytics firm Neutrino also sparked outrage in the crypto community owing to Neutrino’s association with government-sanctioned spyware programs.



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Disclaimer. Read MoreRead Less

As a leading organization in blockchain and fintech news, BeInCrypto always makes every effort to adhere to a strict set of editorial policies and practice the highest level of journalistic standards. That being said, we always encourage and urge readers to conduct their own research in relation to any claims made in this article.
This article is intended as news or presented for informational purposes only. The topic of the article and information provided could potentially impact the value of a digital asset or cryptocurrency but is never intended to do so. Likewise, the content of the article and information provided within is not intended to, and does not, present sufficient information for the purposes of making a financial decision or investment. This article is explicitly not intended to be financial advice, is not financial advice, and should not be construed as financial advice. The content and information provided in this article were not prepared by a certified financial professional. All readers should always conduct their own due diligence with a certified financial professional before making any investment decisions. The author of this article may, at the time of its writing, hold any amount of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, other digital currency, or financial instruments — including but not limited to any that appear in the contents of this article.

Source: https://beincrypto.com/coinbase-reportedly-eyeing-stock-exchange-listing-in-latest-power-move/

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