Global Crypto News by Killerwhale
Welcome to the Global Crypto News hub! Articles by Killerwhale go over the news you may have missed that involves crypto, but had a real world effect. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! News is gathered throughout the week and posted every Saturday!
Israeli Police Take Down Major Crypto Fraud Scheme
A massive cryptocurrency fraud involving the deployment of harmful software to steal millions of dollars from investors was recently shut down by the Israel Police Cyber Crime Unit (ICPCU).
The cryptocurrency investment scam mainly targeted European investors from Germany and Spain, but particularly in Eastern Europe such as Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Bulgaria. The scammers used methods known to all such as outbound phone calls promising quick and high gains to victims, along with providing to the victims login details that appeared to belong to a legitimate investment portfolio.
However, the portfolio was without any doubt, fake, and the software developers who controlled the operation manipulated the profit figures to make it seem like a successful investment.
The tricky thing about these methods is that victims only discovered that they had been scammed when they attempted to withdraw money and found nothing in their accounts. By then, the scammers have already transferred the victims' funds to bank accounts in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
“The investigation involved officials from the Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority, the Israeli Tax Authority, and the Bavarian Cyber-Warfare Unit of the German police, who arrived in Israel and took part in the raids alongside their Israeli counterparts.”
They accomplished a raid at the alleged headquarters of the fraud, making multiple arrests. The report states that because the people apprehended were young and had no past criminal histories, they did not match the traditional profile of cybercriminals.
“The raid made it clear that most of those who operated on-site were very young, had no criminal records, and were likely trying to make some easy money.”
According to the report, prominent Israeli citizens with ties to organized crime may have been engaged in planning the swindle. There are reportedly connections between the operation and the Jarushi and Musli crime families.
The ICPCU is still attempting to identify and prosecute all those involved in the fraud as the mastermind of the fraud is still at large.
$1.5 Million Tether Scam Busted in Taiwan
In Taiwan, a total of four individuals have been arrested on allegations of orchestrating a $1.5 million Tether fraud. To persuade victims to invest in Tether, a stablecoin that is supposed to be backed by one US dollar, the suspects pretended to be financial experts. The suspects have admitted to prosecutors that they participated in organized fraud, money laundering, and other crimes. The Keelung District Court has approved the detention of the four.
It is through LINE chat groups that the thieves initially sought out their victims.
After earning their trust and persuading the victims to make stock investments, the four scammers would start having conversations about cryptocurrency. The suspects would then instruct and help the victims on setting up a wallet and purchasing Tether. To validate transactions and increase confidence, they also developed phony websites and applications.
Once the victims had transferred funds to buy Tether, the suspects would withdraw the money and hand it over to unknown addresses. At least 10 victims have been identified so far, with the largest single loss exceeding $144,000.
This fraud is only the most recent in a long line involving Tether. Two individuals were detained in the United States in June on suspicion of orchestrating a $30 million Tether fraud. In addition, a guy was detained in the UK in July on suspicion of orchestrating a $10 million Tether fraud.
As a matter of fact, Tether is a controversial stablecoin, and there have been doubts about whether it has enough dollar reserves to back all the tokens in circulation.
This fraud was exposed just days after Tether CTO Paolo Ardoino offered confusing justifications for the absence of an audit of the issuer, citing their reliance on what many consider to be unreliable endorsements. According to Ardoino : “People make fun of us because we are taking too long, but the reality is that if you look at the top four auditing firms, they are afraid to accept a stablecoin as a client, especially one as big as Tether.”
The fear was linked by Ardoino to US lawmakers' opposition to crypto. a reference to the SEC's present management, which takes a strict attitude to regulation and is ready to launch legal proceedings. Ardoino continued, "Reputation is the issue.”
Lazarus Group is back at it with a $41 million hack from an online Casino
We've already talked in this weekly report about the Lazarus group and how Korean hackers have already swindled over $200 million this year. Guess what? They're back with a new $41 million fraud, as the FBI points out. The North Korean hackers’ group has been identified as responsible for stealing $41 million worth of crypto from the online crypto casino Stake.
The infamous group used 33 hot wallets so as to drain funds over the blockchain networks Ethereum, BNB Chain (formerly Binance Smart Chain/BSC), Polygon, and Bitcoin.
The transactions were first spotted by blockchain security firm PeckShield, which shared a link to the on-chain activity on Twitter. Other blockchain security firms followed up, with Beosin estimating the total loss to be around $41.35 million.
The casino has since resumed its services, which is pretty insane considering they simply told their Twitter followers that they "apologize for any inconvenience" with no further comment on either the hack or the potential breach which had just occurred.
Nevertheless, Edward Craven, a cofounder of Stake.com, told the outlet DL News that the cyberattack was a "sophisticated breach." He said that the hackers did not compromise the casino's private keys, but rather exploited a vulnerability in the software.
The attack on Stake is the latest in a string of high-profile crypto hacks. In recent months, hackers have stolen millions of dollars worth of crypto from exchanges, wallets, and DeFi protocols.
The FBI stated this week that it will continue to expose North Korea's use of illicit activities to generate revenue for the regime, including cybercrime and virtual currency theft.