New Coinbase "security" feature is typically careless

Chris Dannen

By Chris Dannen

It's axiomatic in Bitcoin that users should hold their own private keys. Services which make Bitcoin custody "easier" introduce awful risks, and Coinbase is frequently trashed for offering such a trade-off. Now the company has announced an integration with iCloud and Google Drive, making it possible for anyone with cryptocurrency on Coinbase to back up their keys to a third-party corporate server. The problem: Apple iCloud and Google Drive are two of the highest-profile targets for email-based phishing attacks. More from Bitcoin Magazine below.

Op Ed: Why It’s Unsafe to Store Private Crypto Keys in the Cloud
"There are two primary reasons why storing your private crypto keys in the cloud is a bad idea. First, your cloud provider represents a centralized honeypot that could experience a security breach, allowing cyber criminals to access your data.... The second and more likely threat is the threat of users falling for a phishing scam."

A hacker intercepted your Wi-Fi traffic and stole your contacts, passwords, and financial data. Here’s how.
"Over the holidays, I set up an experiment harvesting public Wi-Fi traffic. Since everything on the web should be encrypted nowadays (and many people incorrectly think that all traffic is encrypted), one might expect that there isn’t much to be seen. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While the state of insecurity has improved since Firesheep’s prime, an attacker can still phish you and play games with your packets when you use a public network. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news... The scores are pretty bad: Tons of online traffic remains entirely unencrypted today, leaving the public susceptible to attack."

Privacy on Bitcoin and Why Everyone Should Care
"The banks, credit card companies and payment providers who make our lives more convenient possess a full history of our prior transactions, and have the ability to censor payments, at will, for moral or political purposes. Not only are these gatekeepers capable of unilaterally restricting payment in cases where they disagree with certain views (as they did with Wikileaks), but they can also be deputized by governments operating in the interest of national security."

Other News

Microsoft says discovers hacking targeting democratic institutions in Europe
"Microsoft Corp on Wednesday said it had discovered cyber attacks directed at democratic institutions, think tanks and non-profit organizations in Europe and would offer a cyber security service to several countries to close security gaps.... Microsoft said it discovered the hacking through the company’s Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Crimes Unit, and the hacks targeted 104 employee accounts in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Serbia."

Privacy coin Beam receives funding from Japanese internet giant
"Recruit, Japan's largest internet conglomerate, has invested in privacy-focused cryptocurrency Beam, the company has announced in a press release. Back in January, Recruit invested in Beam through its Blockchain Tech Fund established in November last year. Recruit is an internet pioneer that initially started as a job-placement firm but grew to the largest internet company in Japan providing a mix of consumer facing services."

KuCoin’s leaked ‘volume-boosting’ offers draw accusations of wash trading
"The Block has found that at least four projects received an ultimatum from KuCoin; pay up to $180,000 in volume-boosting fees, or face being delisted. After falling into the bottom 18 percent of tokens in daily trades, putting them on so-called 'Special Treatment rules,' sources say that Jibrel, Encrpgen, Publica and Unikrn were advised there was one quick route to recovery: pumping volume by 'any means necessary'."

French Court Fines UBS $4.2 Billion for Helping Clients Evade Taxes
"Boxes at the Paris Opera. Prime seats at the French Open. Luxury hunting retreats in Normandy. The financial giant UBS spared no expense in enticing wealthy French people to open bank accounts in Switzerland. The lavish spending caught up with UBS on Wednesday, when French judges ordered it to pay a record 3.7 billion euro fine, about $4.2 billion, for carrying out what prosecutors said was a long-running scheme to help French clients hide huge sums of money from the authorities."

A Tiny Gulf Nation Is Opening Its Doors to Crypto
"Bahrain, once the Middle East’s hub for financial industries, is attempting to regain its footing by allowing companies using cryptocurrency to work in the country on a trial basis, as it considers how to regulate them. ... The Bahraini central bank allows companies 'to test their solution on a limited number of users, with a limited number of transactions,' Buhejji said. The program’s purpose is for companies to find a quick way to enter the market, she added."

Company Settles Unregistered ICO Charges After Self-Reporting to SEC
"Gladius self-reported to the SEC’s Enforcement staff in the summer of 2018, expressed an interest in taking prompt remedial steps, and cooperated with the investigation. The SEC did not impose a penalty because the company self-reported the conduct, agreed to compensate investors, and will register the tokens as a class of securities. "

Zimbabwe Devalues Its Quasi-Currency in FX Regime Overhaul
"The central bank will immediately establish an interbank foreign-exchange market in which the bond notes will be denominated as electronic money known as RTGS dollars, Governor John Mangudya said at a briefing Wednesday in the capital, Harare. While the government has previously insisted that bond notes and RTGS dollars are worth the same as U.S. dollars, the units currently trade at between 3.66 and 3.8 to the dollar respectively on the black market."

America’s 1% hasn’t had this much wealth since just before the Great Depression
"In 1929 — before Wall Street’s crash unleashed the Great Depression — the top 0.1% richest adults’ share of total household wealth was close to 25%, according to Zucman’s paper, which was distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Those rates plunged in the early 1930s and continued dropping to below 10% in the late 1970s, findings show. Rates have been on the rebound since the early 1980s, and are currently close to 20%. It’s become especially hard to measure the full extent of riches these days. 'Since the 1980s, a large offshore wealth management industry has developed which makes some forms wealth (namely, financial portfolios) harder to capture,' the paper added."

Bitmain announces next generation 7nm ASIC chip for SHA256 mining, delivering breakthrough energy efficiency
"The new BM1397 chip requires lower power and can offer an energy consumption to computing ratio as low as 30J/TH. This is a 28.6 percent improvement in power efficiency in comparison with Bitmain’s previous 7nm chip, the BM1391. To achieve this, Bitmain’s engineering team has thoroughly customised the chip design to optimise its architecture, circuit and economics. The chip is made using TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process."