The Case for Iota, the cryptocurrency to power the third industrial revolution

I  recently  bought Iota crytocurrency because it was very clear that if we had to have a digital currency it’s properties had a greater advantage over the blockchain variations that will have serious issues scaling in the modern world. Investing  in cryptocurrency is risky but those who took that risk with web giants Amazon, Microsoft , Google, Facebook, Ebay have done very well for themselves. They key is to do the research initially and to keep doing the research to make sure the company your investing is achieving the goals as laid out in the published road map. Iota receives a lot of FUD from it’s blockchain cousins, who seemingly want to get rid of there FREE from fees baby cousin before it matures to  it’s full potential.  After watching this video in which Jeremy  Rifkin (Economist) lays out a road map to usher in a new economic system. It covers, climate change , declining productivity, IOTA devices and  there savings. Retro fitting  old infrastructure with IOT monitors and renewable energy technology to increase productivity globally.

For me it’s a confirmation that Iota has all the benefits to be the financial backbone for the smart devices for the new emerging economic models described in the speech by Jeremy Rifkin. He makes a great point that  currently 62 individuals who have amassed a net worth equal to 3.5 BILLION people. Which is half the worlds population to highlight the imbalance of the current system.  The only thing  about the video which I find annoying, as is seems to be holding on to theory of evolution. For a man that is so knowledgeable in the sciences, how is it he is completely unaware of the blueprint code in every cell called DNA. Any programmer on the planet would be to explain that complex code can not be brought about by chance or natural selection. A code with built in error checking does not come about by chance, 1 single plant cell has code more complex  then any spacecraft man has ever built, are we to believe  that NASA Orion Space merely evolved!! Aside from that it’s very good insight into where were heading in the third industrial revolution!

 

 

 

The Anatomy of the Ian Balina Hack of 2 million in cryptocurrency

This week a popular youtuber Ian Balina a cryptocurrency evangelist was hacked of almost 2 million in Ethereum tokens and other alt coins a snapshot of his portfolio is below. This news was quite shocking for many people in this space as Ian does have a reputation as savvy ICO investor reputedly turning an initial investment of $90,000 US dollars into $4 million in under a year. Due to his transparency in showing his methods and showing his success he has built up a large social media following across YouTube , Facebook, twitter and Instagram. People are clearly looking to Ian for guidance, so I and others were quite surprised to discover how weak his defence system was in light of the resources he could deploy to have come up with a better system. Most individuals in the space with large portfolios usually keep their lucrative crypto gains on a hardware wallet such as a Trezor wallet or a ledger blue. Attacking these devices is difficult for an online hacker as they are seldom attached to the network and usually have mechanisms which make it difficult to establish through an infected computer which password the user is typing. I hope the other half of his portfolio is spread on 10 of these and locked away in a bank security vault! I can only assume that he chose to have these items in an online file as he planned to trade the tokens and did not want to carry a hardware wallet around the world with him as that would make him vulnerable to a “wrench attack” or an “evil maid attack”.  

So let’s have a look at how it was done, and inexpensively learn from poor old Ian’s mistakes. Ian kept the private and public keys to his Ethereum wallet in an encrypted file on the Evernote online platform. As long as he remembered the password to evernote.com he would be able to access  the files he created there to store his private keys. The hacker must of picked up a list of Ian’s most commonly used emails by researching his online content. They then must of probed each one by requesting a password reset request which possibly challenged the hacker to state which recovery address or method the email provider should use to perform the request. Even if they only showed a partial address it may have been enough for the hacker to guess the complete email address which turns out to be his old college address. So now they have the recovery address of his main email address but as yet cannot enter it. So, they need to put together a very authentic looking college admin email pretending to be from the college and claim there had been some unusual activity on his account and could he login via a link. Clearly you should be aware that this is spearfishing. This is where you prepare a bespoke email targeting one high net worth individual or a prominent person in a company with a view to get them to compromise their login password. I do feel for Ian Balina here because if the email is put together well and your in a bit of a lazy  mood you might not check the url and login on the link. I have done it myself when Btc-e went down and I received a timely email from WEX.nz admin. Fortunately I had no funds in that trading exchange so my guard was down and I took the bait and they stole my password, but like I said nothing was lost. 

Now here’s where the Hacker must have had patience or Ian neglected to realise the college email was the password recovery email of his main email account and had been compromised. Getting control of his main account would then mean they would have access to the evernote.com account if they initiated the password reset they would then be able to access the files containing the cryptocurrency private keys to his Ethereum wallets and tokens. Now the actual methods used are not disclosed in detail by Ian I have on extrapolated information from the very grey details I was able to pick up from posts online. 

Clearly if he had two factor authentication on all of these accounts and Authy (Password locked) instead of the popular Google authenticator it would of gone a long way to restricting the Hackers and perhaps given him the time to react. For example The hack took place while he was on a live YouTube stream  which seems the popular with hacks against YouTubers. I believe this is more about the victim being distracted and therefore not able to take the necessary steps to lock-down the affected accounts.

Hopefully we can learn from this crime and better protect ourselves and get help in accessing our security systems. If your interested in assessing your computers systems and security methods get in contact with us. We are also given out a free “Recovery email checklist” use the contact us form to request yours free.

 

Litecoin mining my experiences, the good the bad and the ugly.

rg2b Litecoin mining my experiences, a place to discuss my own foray with Litecoin mining.

If you’re new to the world of Bitcoin, Litecoin and crypto currencies in general. A simple definition would be to say that they are a new form of digital currency. In very much the same way that we have adopted the credit card after years of using physical paper money (Cash), it is hoped that Litecoin and other crypto currencies will gain acceptance on the basis of their significantly lower transaction charges in comparison to credit cards and interbank cash transfers. This is achieved by a decentralised system where the transactions are checked and verified by the computers of ordinary members of the public. Typically referred to as “Litecoin miners”. All the transactions are secured with the highest forms of encryption, it’s very design makes the system almost impossible to take advantage of as it would mean an attacker would have to have the combined processing power of the entire Litecoin network at their disposal to even begin to attempt to compromise its security.

What’s in it for the Litecoin miners you may be asking yourself. Well the system is designed so that those members of the public using Litecoin mining machines made by companies such as Alpha Tec and KNC miners would themselves be given a reward of FREE coins as long as they kept their machines running on the network. This process is called mining as you are in fact generating new coins as well as assisting transactions between two parties. Possibly a buyer and a seller of Litecoins or simply the movement of Litecoins between two different accounts. These accounts can sometimes be referred to as your Litecoin address or wallet address. As this is a decentralised currency, securing  the PC with which your account is most commonly accessed is fairly important as with any form of currency. Securing a digital wallet is very simple it just requires  a few clicks on your mouse acknowledging you want the wallet encrypted and providing a passcode.  I would always recommend securing the wallet first before actually moving coin to it. Once encrypted the process of compromising it is very difficult. There are other options to use an online wallet  with 2 factor authentication and have them provide much of the security for you. There security policies will be in line with the global ISO 27001 standard.

The primary reason for starting this blog post is to publicly review my recent purchased Alpha Tech Viper mining machine in January 2014. Prior to this date I had built a couple of Litecoin minings rigs using 7950 and R290 I will be documenting my success and failures  in attempting to enter the crypto currency market at such a late stage. Come back to review later post and see how I am getting on with the project.

Litecoin Dream

 

The Litecoin mining Dream!