EncryptoTel weekly digest (5.12.19)

4 min readDec 5, 2019


Another hacker attack on crypto exchange, blockchain developer arrested in the US, and disturbing news from China

Attack on Upbit: $ 50 million in ETH stolen

On November 27, South Korean crypto exchange Upbit was attacked by hackers, who eventually hijacked 342,000 ETH from the exchange’s hot wallet, which amounts to $ 50 million. Upbit CEO Lee Sok-woo reported the theft. He promised to compensate for all funds stolen from corporate assets in the near future. Upbit turned to other trading platforms with a call to blacklist attacker’s wallet address, to which 342,000 ETH were transferred.

Replenishment and withdrawal of funds from Upbit are frozen for now and will remain unavailable for at least two weeks. Upon hacking, Upbit filed a complaint with South Korean law enforcement agencies, in particular with KISA and the National Police Agency’s cybersecurity bureau. Upbit is the South Korean second largest cryptocurrency exchange along with Korbit, Bithumb and Coinone.

Ethereum Foundation employee arrested in USA for lecture in DPRK

36-year-old Virgil Griffith, who he is a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, a US citizen and a resident of Singapore, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for participating in a blockchain conference in DPRK. He is accused of conspiracy to violate international law concerning emergency economic power. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

According to U.S. law enforcement agencies, while delivering a blockchain and peace report in Pyongyang in April 2019, Griffith described how North Korea can “launder money and evade sanctions” and “gave technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain to circumvent sanctions” . “We cannot allow anyone to evade sanctions because the consequences of North Korea receiving funding, technology and information to create nuclear weapons put the world at risk. An even more egregious fact is that a US citizen decided to help our adversary, ” said William F. Sweeney, Jr., FBI Deputy Director General.

Rumors: Shanghai raids on crypto companies

IDAX Crypto Exchange CEO was reported missing by the company, and with him gone the team lost access to cold wallets with custom crypto assets. According to some sources, the exchange is located in Shanghai, although Mongolia is listed as its location on Twitter account. Block analyst Larry Chermak suggested that the IDAX CEO could be arrested in Shanghai. A week earlier, IDAX announced that it would stop providing service for Chinese users for “political reasons”, noting that the platform will continue to work in other jurisdictions.

The disappearance of the IDAX CEO coincided with rumors of police raids at the Binance crypto exchange office in Shanghai. The exchange immediately stated that it does not have an office in mainland China, and announced plans to sue The Blocks, who spread the news around the media. The publication clarified that it was not about the raids, but about the visits to the crypto-exchange office by representatives of Shanghai authorities. A well-known Bellingcat investigation team confirmed that Binance has an office in Shanghai: it is formally registered with Babi Finance, which in fact is managed by Binance top managers (Babi Finance CEO is Binance co-founder Yi Hye, and vice president is Binance Spokesperson Li Chiayi). Perhaps a new wave of persecution of cryptocurrency companies has begun in Shanghai.

Cyber ​​fraudsters switched to Black Friday

According to Kaspersky Lab, the company’s security systems recorded almost twice as many fraudulent resources mentioning “Black Friday” between November 18 and 24, twice as many than a week earlier. The share of phishing attacks on online stores has also increased.

Cryptocurrency users discovered a suspicious sale dedicated to Black Friday. Crypto KeepKey wallets were sold for only $ 5 apiece, instead of the usual $ 40 on the manufacturer’s site. Buying a crypto wallet from a reseller always carries risk that the buyer will receive either a fake device or a wallet with the compromised password.

Former Go Champion Quits Sports Due to AI

South Korean go player Li Sedol announced a decision to end his professional career. In the late 2000s, he was considered the best player in go. But then he suffered a series of defeats in competitions against AI. “With the debut of AI in Go, I realized that I was no longer the best. And even if due to incredible efforts I become number one, now there is an entity that cannot be overcome, ”Sedol explained his decision to end his career.

In 2016, the AlphaGo algorithm, created by the DeepMind lab at Google, was able to defeat Sedol in four out of five matches. In one match, Li defeated AI. A more advanced version of the AlphaGo Zero algorithm has already managed to defeat Sedol in all 100 matches without losing a single match. The South Korean player publicly apologized to his fans for losing.

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