Security
July 16, 2020

Alt Coin Movements and a Major Twitter Hack

In this Newsletter, we will be highlighting some of the more notable Alt Coin movements and touching on a very controversial Twitter hack.
5 min

Notable Market Movers:


It has been an exciting July and while some major projects have been rather flat, plenty have experienced major movement. Over the last 30 days the top 5 Cryptocurrencies by Market Capitalization have experienced relatively little volatility, with movements in these last 30 days ranging from – 3.8% to 3.2% at the time of writing.

Source

It is odd to see such little movement, particularly given how volatile global markets have been over the course of 2020. However, volatility has been ripe for the Alt Coin Market. Some specific movers can be found below:

Chainlink (LINK): LINK reached a new All Time High in July of $8.74. It has surpassed the Market Cap of Litecoin, making it the 8th most valuable Cryptocurrency in the market. LINK is up over 100% in the last 30 days, continuing the growth which was seen in previous months.

Cardano (ADA): Amidst the optimism and speculation brought on by Cardano’s imminent move to a ‘Proof of Stake’ protocol, the project has seen over a 50% price increase over the last 30 days. It is now sitting just below Bitcoin Cash on the Market Cap rankings.

Reserve Rights Token (RSR): RSR has seen over 100% growth in the last 30 days, bringing the project greater attention and a major rise in trading volume. The project has received support from Coinbase and Billionaire Peter Theil, you can read more about this here.

Vechain (VET): VET has secured another month of positive price movement, up nearly 100% in the last 30 days. At present, VET is only 33% below its all time high. This is remarkable considering the project reached its all time low on the 13th of March 2020.

Today’s major Twitter hack:

As many of you would’ve seen on the News by now, very recently some of the world’s most influential Twitter accounts were hacked. This included accounts held by Kanye West, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and many more. In this attack, all compromised accounts made a post much like the photo below:

Regrettably, just over 12 BTC were sent to this address. This ‘double your BTC’  type scam is one of the older and most common scams in the Cryptocurrency space.

Twitter has since revealed that it was its own internal employees that were compromised and used in the hack. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, said “Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened. We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”

What can we learn from this in terms of our own Cryptocurrency security?


Whilst we are still unclear on the exact details of how this hack occurred, we can note that the BTC that was sent to the scammer’s wallet address was done so voluntarily by the victims. BTC itself was not hacked, nor were the wallets of those that sent it. Rather, much like the vast majority of BTC scams, it came down to social engineering.

The principal is that most system vulnerabilities are due to people and not computers. One of the earliest hacks in the Cryptocurrency space was Bitstamp, which lost 19,000 bitcoin in 2015 when: "According to the report, the earliest phishing attempt took place on 4th November, when one of the attackers contacted Bitstamp Chief Technology Officer Damian Merlak offering free tickets to a punk rock festival." Read More
The principal way in which someone will compromise a system is through coercing the user to freely give them access to their accounts or operating system. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid if you're educated on the matter.


Some key strategies include:

  • Having a ‘Canary wallet’, where you keep say $50 with a private key freely accessible on your computer, if those funds disappear you know that someone has compromised your system.
  • Be vigilante, scams come in many shapes and sizes, but they have a common theme - they are too good to be true. Always get objective advice before buying into a seemingly golden opportunity. Scepticism is a good starting point.
  • If someone calls you requesting personal information, sanity check them. Ask for a publicly verifiable contact number you can call to ensure who you are speaking to is legitimate. Do your research.


As Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".