Hacking and data breaches have been in the public mindset for a long time. But as more technology is integrated into our daily lives and the workplace, you and your firm have become even more susceptible to a hack – highlighting the importance of cybersecurity, an industry Arizona is on the frontline of shaping. You’ve probably seen the splashy headlines about data breaches hitting big names like Banner Health, Chick-fil-A, Equifax, Target, the U.S. Postal Service, Sony, Yahoo! and the list goes on. Like many other people, you might have brushed off those headlines or yawned, thinking you’re glad not to have to manage those damage control teams. But in this growing world of cybercrime and technology, it’s no longer a matter of if you’ll be playing damage control after a data breach at your firm, it’s a matter of when. “Small and medium-sized businesses are drastically underestimating the risk by just thinking, ‘They’re not interested in me,’” says Michael Cocanower, founder and president of Phoenix-based itSynergy. “In fact, hackers are very interested in you. They realize, ‘I can spend six months hacking into Target, or I can spend this afternoon hacking into your 20-person company and make $10,000 off that.’” Cybercrime has cost businesses, individuals, governments and the world game-changing amounts of money. Cost of cybercrime Cybersecurity Ventures, a research and market intelligence firm, reports the cost of cybercrime will grow from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion by 2021. United Kingdom-based research firm Juniper Research predicts cybercrime will cost businesses alone more than $2 trillion by 2019. However you cut it, cybersecurity will only get more serious and more important as time moves on. Many businesses are unprepared, with 87 percent of small businesses reporting that they do not have a formal written Internet security policy, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Also, The National Cyber Security Alliance reports that 60 percent of small companies are unable to stay in business six months after a cyberattack. Cocanower says business owners need to be much more aware of cybercrime and the importance of having their cybersecurity systems up to snuff. There are a variety of ways hackers can infiltrate your business and you need to be aware of them, Cocanower says. Phishing scams and downloading malware or viruses are probably the most common and known. But you could also be compromised by inputting your password on a website you think is real, using open Wi-Fi, the list of risks goes on. Nothing Web-connected is safe either. Your smart phone, watch, car and Web-connected toaster oven are just the newest items susceptible to attack. Sure, you can download the latest anti-virus software, hire a skilled cybersecurity team (if you can find people who are qualified and available) and do 100 different things to keep your company secure, but that’s still not enough. Why? “The weakest link in any system is the human being,” Cocanower says.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, the country’s top Wall Street regulator, announced Wednesday that hackers breached its system for storing documents filed by publicly traded companies last year, potentially accessing data that allowed the intruders to make an illegal profit.
The agency detected the breach last year, but didn’t learn until last month that it could have been used for improper trading. The incident was briefly mentioned in an unusual eight-page statement on cybersecurity released by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton late Wednesday. The statement didn’t explain the delay in the announcement, the exact date the system was breached and whether information about any specific company was targeted.
“Notwithstanding our efforts to protect our systems and manage cybersecurity risk, in certain cases cyber threat actors have managed to access or misuse our systems,” Clayton said in the statement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Wednesday told U.S. government agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab products from their networks, saying it was concerned the Moscow-based cyber security firm was vulnerable to Kremlin influence and that using its anti-virus software could jeopardize national security.
The decision represents a sharp response to what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a national security threat posed by Russia in cyberspace, following an election year marred by allegations that Moscow weaponized the internet in an attempt to influence its outcome.
In a statement, Kaspersky Lab rejected the allegations, as it has done repeatedly in recent months, and said its critics were misinterpreting Russian data-sharing laws that only applied to communications services.
“No credible evidence has been presented publicly by anyone or any organization as the accusations are based on false allegations and inaccurate assumptions,” the company said.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive to federal agencies ordering them to identify Kaspersky products on their information systems within 30 days and begin to discontinue their use within 90 days.
The order applies only to civilian government agencies and not the Pentagon, but U.S. intelligence leaders said earlier this year that Kaspersky was already generally not allowed on military networks.
In a statement accompanying its directive, DHS said it was “concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks.”
It continued: “The risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.”
The department said it would provide Kaspersky with the opportunity to submit a written response to address the allegations. The agency said other entities claiming commercial interests affected by the directive could also submit information
Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied that it has ties to any government and said it would not help a government with cyber espionage.
However, the company has not been able to shake off the allegations. Last week, Best Buy Co (BBY.N), the No.1 U.S. electronics retailer, said it was pulling Kaspersky Lab’s cyber security products from its shelves and website.
Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, said Wednesday at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit that the Trump administration made a “risk-based decision” to order Kaspersky Lab’s products removed from federal agencies.
Asked by Reuters whether there was a smoking gun showing Kaspersky Lab had provided intelligence to the Russian government, Joyce replied: ”As we evaluated the technology, we decided it was a risk we couldn’t accept.”
Some cyber security experts have warned that blacklisting Kaspersky Lab could prompt a retaliation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Joyce said those concerns were a factor but that a “tough decision” ultimately had to be made to protect government systems.
The direct financial impact of the decision will likely be minimal for Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s leading anti-virus software companies, which was founded in 1997 and now counts over 400 million global customers.
Federal contracting databases reviewed by Reuters show only a few hundred thousand dollars in purchases from Kaspersky, and an employee told Reuters in July the company’s federal government revenue was “miniscule.”
But Kaspersky also sells to federal contractors and third-party software companies that incorporate its technology in their products, so its technology may be more widely used in government than it appears from the contracting databases, U.S. officials say.
The decision by the Trump administration came as the U.S. Senate was planning to vote as soon as this week on a defense policy spending bill that includes language that would ban Kaspersky Lab products from being used by U.S. government agencies.
Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who had led efforts in Congress to crack down on Kaspersky Lab, applauded the Trump administration’s announcement.
“The strong ties between Kaspersky Lab and the Kremlin are alarming and well-documented,” Shaheen said, adding that she expected Congress to act soon to reinforce the decision by passing legislation.
Also on Wednesday, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote to DHS asking whether the agency used Kaspersky products in relation to any critical infrastructure, such as election equipment, banks or energy suppliers, and if it knew whether any voting systems used the company’s software.
Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, attended a KGB school, and the company has acknowledged doing work for the Russian intelligence agency known as the FSB. But he has adamantly denied charges his company conducts espionage on behalf of the Russian government.
Reporting by Dustin Volz, additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Jim Finkle; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman
The NEO price surged 50% on Thursday following its listing on bitcoin exchange Bitfinex. NEO is now trading above $30, despite the fact that the China ICO ban remains in full force and the startup has begun issuing refunds to ICO contributors.
NEO Price Surges 50%
On Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) ruled that initial coin offerings (ICO) are illegal and that startups must refund all ICO investments to contributors. This ruling brought temporary devastation to the crypto markets, but it particularly affected NEO, an open-source blockchain startup that has been dubbed the “Chinese Ethereum.” Between September 2 and September 4, the NEO price plunged from $34 to $19–a decline of nearly 50%. This crash was made more significant by the fact that the NEO price was already in decline, having peaked at an all-time high of $50 in mid-August.
Today, the NEO price began to recover to its pre-ban levels. The advance was sudden; in just 8 hours, NEO increased by nearly 50%, rising from about $20 to a high of $34. This restored NEO’s market cap to about $1.7 billion, putting it within striking distance of 10th-place ethereum classic.
London, August 30, 2017 – LAToken, the first tokenized assets platform, has completed the Round 1 of its Public Token Sale way ahead of schedule at $330 million valuation*. We sold 30,000,000 LATs, raising $9,54 million in 3 days.
LAToken Public Token Sale will be completed in 4 Rounds with the proceeds used for tokenization and trading development of the key asset classes. The price will increase in each round. Round 2 starts on September, 5. We will sell 50,000,000 LATs at 0,0011 ETH. The proceeds will be used for tokenization and trading development of Real Estate. The price for Round 3 will be 0,0013 ETH.
LAToken is a blockchain platform that tokenizes and makes tradeable assets ranging from equity and debt to real estate and works of art. Crypto investors can already trader Apple, Amazon, and Facebook shares, as well as gold and oil on our platform and diversify their portfolios with blue chips, safe haven assets, and commodities, using cryptocurrencies.
«LAToken bridges the crypto- and real economies by enabling our clients to trade real assets in cryptocurrencies. This will make markets more efficient, transparent and cost effective. We are happy that so many people share our vision and believe in LAToken», — says Valentin Preobrazhenskiy, CEO of LAToken.
LAToken attracted top-notch experts from global financial institutions, IT and security companies to its Advisory Board, that now includes Bradley Rotter (Rivetz), Anish Mohammed (Hyperloop), Hague Van Dillen (Franklin Templeton). Just a few days ago the former COO of UBS and Senior Regulatory officer of Deutsche Boerse Cecilia Mueller Chen joined our team to advise on legal and regulatory compliance.
LAToken transforms access to capital and enables cryptocurrencies to be widely used in the real economy by making real assets tradable in crypto.
We decentralize capital markets, making them more transparent, efficient and sustainable while removing the cost of traditional middle men and “too big to fail” institutions.
This results in smarter capital flow, empowering people across the world to bring their most productive ideas to life for the ultimate benefit of society.
Tel: +44 7509 764697
* with frozen tokens taken into account
The next major cyberattack could involve artificial intelligence systems. It could even happen soon: At a recent cybersecurity conference, 62 industry professionals, out of the 100 questioned, said they thought the first AI-enhanced cyberattack could come in the next 12 months.
This doesn’t mean robots will be marching down Main Street. Rather, artificial intelligence will make existing cyberattack efforts – things like identity theft, denial-of-service attacks and password cracking – more powerful and more efficient. This is dangerous enough – this type of hacking can steal money, cause emotional harm and even injure or kill people. Larger attacks can cut power to hundreds of thousands of people, shut down hospitals and even affect national security.
As a scholar who has studied AI decision-making, I can tell you that interpreting human actions is still difficult for AI’s and that humans don’t really trust AI systems to make major decisions. So, unlike in the movies, the capabilities AI could bring to cyberattacks – and cyberdefense – are not likely to immediately involve computers choosing targets and attacking them on their own. People will still have to create attack AI systems, and launch them at particular targets. But nevertheless, adding AI to today’s cybercrime and cybersecurity world will escalate what is already a rapidly changing arms race between attackers and defenders.
Beyond computers’ lack of need for food and sleep – needs that limit human hackers’ efforts, even when they work in teams – automation can make complex attacks much faster and more effective.
To date, the effects of automation have been limited. Very rudimentary AI-like capabilities have for decades given virus programs the ability to self-replicate, spreading from computer to computer without specific human instructions. In addition, programmers have used their skills to automate different elements of hacking efforts. Distributed attacks, for example, involve triggering a remote program on several computers or devices to overwhelm servers. The attack that shut down large sections of the internet in October 2016 used this type of approach. In some cases, common attacks are made available as a script that allows an unsophisticated user to choose a target and launch an attack against it.
AI, however, could help human cybercriminals customize attacks. Spearphishing attacks, for instance, require attackers to have personal information about prospective targets, details like where they bank or what medical insurance company they use. AI systems can help gather, organize and process large databases to connect identifying information, making this type of attack easier and faster to carry out. That reduced workload may drive thieves to launch lots of smaller attacks that go unnoticed for a long period of time – if detected at all – due to their more limited impact.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning about companies making Initial Coin Offering (ICO) claims. It warns of schemes including pump-and-dump and market manipulation as well as points out how companies may use ICOs to boost their stock prices. The warning follows the trading suspension of four companies’ shares by the Commission.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy on Monday issued a warning to investors “about potential scams involving stock of companies claiming to be related to, or asserting they are engaging in, Initial Coin Offerings (or ICOs).” The Commission wrote:
These frauds include ‘pump-and-dump’ and market manipulation schemes involving publicly traded companies that claim to provide exposure to these new technologies.
“There may be situations in which companies are publicly announcing ICO or coin/token related events to affect the price of the company’s common stock,” the SEC detailed. Therefore, the trading of such stocks may be suspended “to protect investors and the public interest,” the agency added.
Some circumstances that could lead to the suspension of trading include a lack of current, accurate, and adequate information about the company. In addition, questions about the accuracy of publicly available information as well as insider trading and potential market manipulation can also lead to trading suspensions.
4 Recent Trading Suspensions
The SEC also revealed on Monday that it has recently suspended the trading of four companies’ shares for making “claims regarding their investments in ICOs or touted coin/token related news.” The four companies are First Bitcoin Capital Corp., Ciao Group, Strategic Global, and Sunshine Capital.
First Bitcoin Capital Corp
News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on the suspension of First Bitcoin Capital Corp’s shares after they rose almost 7000%. In July, the company announced that its subsidiary Coinqx Exchange Ltd acquired tokens called “the Internet of Money” which would eventually trade under the symbol XOM. The company says that it would allow a buyback at a set rate of 2 shares for 1 XOM token.
Ciao Group Inc
Ciao Group, which has changed its name to Numelo Technology, had planned an ICO for later this year. However, the SEC suspended the trading of the company’s shares on OTC Markets from August 10 to 23. The shares still have not resumed trading at press time.
Strategic Global Investments Inc
Strategic Global Investments revealed in July that it intends to sponsor over 60 Counterparty cryptocurrencies which it claims are fully SEC compliant. The first one will be the tokenized asset Troptions, expected this fall. However, the SEC suspended the trading of the company’s shares from August 4 to 17, and the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also independently requested some information from the company. Its shares have not resumed trading at press time.
Sunshine Capital Inc
Sunshine Capital’s shares were suspended from trading from April 12 to 26, due to questions about “the liquidity and value of the company’s assets, namely Dibcoins.” A few days after the suspension, the company was converted into a private one. Its shares have not resumed trading press time.
ICOs Subject to Federal Securities Laws
Nonetheless, the SEC’s warnings were not ignored. A number of cryptocurrency exchanges responded by reviewing their listings and policies. Bitfinex, for example, announced its exit from the U.S. Market, citing the strict regulatory environment. “Bitfinex is taking the proactive step of barring U.S. customers from trading certain digital tokens that may be deemed securities in the eyes of the SEC,” the exchange noted.
Shapeshift announced that “in light of the SEC’s statements, we will need to adapt our service offering to ensure it’s not mischaracterized as a ‘securities exchange’, adding that “we may need to delist some types of tokens from the platform.” Poloniex responded by stating that “as part of our compliance processes, we periodically assess listed tokens, and some may end up delisted as a result.”
More than 10% of ether holdings for ICOs this year missing
More than 30,000 have lost about $7,500 each from ether crime
Here’s another reason to be leery of the initial coin offerings being done at a staggering pace in the cryptocurrency world: there’s a one-in-10 chance you’ll end up a victim of theft.
Phishing scams have helped push up criminal losses to about $225 million this year, according to Chainalysis, a New York-based firm that analyzes transactions and provides anti-money laundering software. In such scams, investors are tricked into sending money to internet addresses pretending to be funding sites for digital token offerings related to the ethereum blockchain technology.
More than 30,000 people have fallen prey to ethereum-related cyber crime, losing an average of $7,500 each, with ICOs amassing about $1.6 billion in proceeds this year, Chainalysis estimates.
“It’s a huge amount of money to generate in such a short period of time,” said Jonathan Levin, co-founder of Chainalysis, whose software and database are used by some of the largest bitcoin companies and U.S. law enforcement agencies. “The cryptocurrency phishers are doing pretty good against all the other types of criminals that are out there.”
Indeed, the huge amount of wealth that has fallen prey to cyber criminals is approaching the losses incurred by robberies in the U.S. for the entire year of 2015, which stood at $390 million, according to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
ICOs are digital token sales typically that raise ether, with users transferring the funds to addresses provided by startups. Investors, sometimes eager to get early access to new token offerings have been tricked into providing their credentials to fake websites through targeted email campaigns, twitter posts and Slack messages, said Levin.
Ether rose 0.3 percent to $324.92 on Thursday, according to data from coindesk, while bitcoin rose 0.4 percent to $4,151.47.
Most attacks involve creating websites or social media accounts that sound similar to the real ICO project. Levin gave the fictional example of a project named “illuminate,” which an imposter might fake by spelling it as “iIIuminate.” Using the fake account, they would solicit potential investors to send money to the criminal’s address.
His firm compiled the data by identifying so-called digital wallets used by scam artists. That information is usually public because criminals widely circulate it, hoping to fool investors into sending them money.
Other common forms of crime involve tapping into project loopholes. The DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, is a smart contract project built on top of ethereum that was intended to democratize how ethereum projects are funded. A bug in the system was exploited and that led to the theft of $55 million worth of ether at the time.
Levin didn’t provide data for bitcoin-related cybercrime, and not because it is any safer. He said such data is harder to track as scams are usually specific attacks on individual holders, rather than ICO-related campaigns which try to dupe many people at once.
“The overall figures mean there are infrastructure that we need to build to help prevent people from getting abused,” said Levin.
The price of XRP is up more than 40 percent in the past 24 hours, a move that comes amid a period of heightened volume in global cryptocurrency markets.
Data from CoinMarketCap reveals that of XRP – the cryptocurrency of the Ripple network – is trading between $0.23 and $0.24. Much of the trading volume, over $1 billion in the last day, has occurred on exchanges that offer Korean won trading pairs.
Bithumb accounts for roughly 44 percent of the global market’s activity at press time (reporting more than $500 million in volume), followed by Coinone and Korbit. All told, those exchanges make up just over 70 percent of the past day’s total XRP volume.
XRP’s price is still below the market high hit in May, when the cryptocurrency’s price exceeded $0.33. On the other hand, CoinMarketCap data indicates that the last 24 hours have seen the most volume recorded for XRP in a single day.
Other cryptocurrencies have seen in excess of $1 billion in trading volume, including both bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Bitcoin is trading at approximately $4,069 according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), and bitcoin cash’s price is at an average of $635 at press time.