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Security

Multimillion-dollar Solana crypto theft linked to Slope mobile wallet

Earlier this week, thousands of crypto wallets connected to the Solana ecosystem were drained by attackers who used owners’ private keys to steal both Solana (SOL) and USD Coin (USDC). Solana now says that, after an investigation “by developers, ecosystem teams, and security auditors,” it’s linked the attack to accounts tied to the Slope mobile wallet app.

A chart set up on Dune to track the attacks tallies the amount of crypto stolen at just over $4 million, taken from over 9,000 unique wallets.

Slope Finance, which calls itself “the easiest way to discover web3 applications from one secure place,” has issued a statement advising all Slope users to create “a new and unique seed phrase wallet, and transfer all assets to this new wallet.” The blog post says “many” wallets belonging to Slope staff were also drained but notes that hardware wallets (also known as cold wallets, which are not connected to the internet) were unaffected.

Slope did not provide details of how the attack happened, but outsiders have uncovered evidence that the company’s mobile apps were transmitting users’ private keys unencrypted as part of their logging and telemetry.

In a tweet, the Solana group said, “The details of exactly how this occurred are still under investigation, but private key information was inadvertently transmitted to an application monitoring service.” The company added: “There is no evidence the Solana protocol or its cryptography was compromised.”

Some Solana users keeping funds on wallets operated by third-party Phantom were also affected, but Phantom itself has placed blame for the breach firmly at Slope’s doorstep.

“Phantom has reason to believe that the reported exploits are due to complications related to importing accounts to and from @slope_finance,” the company tweeted. “In the meantime, if any Phantom users have also installed other wallets, we recommend you try to move your assets to a new non-Slope wallet with a fresh seed phrase.”



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Tech News

Square Bitcoin hardware wallet floated by Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey revealed that Square was considering creating a Bitcoin hardware wallet this week. He suggested that “if we do it”, they’ll build it “in the open, from software to hardware design, and in collaboration with the community.” Jack suggested that if they do it, they’ll do it with principals like “bitcoin is for everyone” and “no keys, no cheese.”

What does “no keys, no cheese” mean? In this case, it means Square wants to make the actual “custody” of the Bitcoin as clear as possible. To do this, they’ll be attempting to simplify the process with some sort of “assisted self-custody” system.

They’ll also be attempting to “blend availability and security.” They’ll have to consider that safety failures stem from one of three types of events. As Jack suggested, these are availability failures (“sunken gold”), security failures (“pirated gold”), and discretionary actions (“confiscated gold”).

They’ll likely integrate this hardware wallet with their own Cash App. They’ll likely be creating a custom-built app, but “it doesn’t need to be owned by Square.” Jack suggested that they’re able to “imagine apps that work without Square and maybe also without permission from Apple and Google.” The entire Tweet string makes the case for the wallet – and asks whether it should exist in the first place.

This should prove interesting. Making an app that doesn’t rely on permission from Apple or Google AND works reliably on mobile devices – that’s not easy. That might not even be possible. Would you trust a hardware wallet for your Bitcoin that follows all the guidelines as listed above? Even if it was made by Square?



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Tech News

EU unveils plans for digital ID wallet for accessing services across the bloc

The EU has unveiled plans for a digital ID wallet that people in the bloc could use to access services across the 27 member states.

Citizens will be able to use the wallets to prove their ID and share electronic documents “with the click of a button on their phone,” the European Commission said on Thursday.

“The European digital identity will enable us to do in any Member State as we do at home without any extra cost and fewer hurdles,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president for digital.

Under the proposals, the bloc’s 27 member states will offer citizens and businesses digital wallets that can link their national digital IDs with documents including driving licenses, diplomas, and bank accounts.

They could then use the wallets to rent cars, enroll in colleges, or open bank accounts in other member states.

Online platforms such as Google and Facebook would also be required to accept the wallets to access their services.

“Because of that, you can decide how much data you want to share — only enough to identify yourself,” Vestager said during a virtual media briefing.

The EU says the wallets will be available to any citizen, resident, and business in the bloc, but they will not be mandatory.

€9.6 billion ($11.7 billion) in extra revenue to the bloc and generate up to 27,000 new jobs over five years.

The Commission hopes to reach an agreement with member states on the proposals by September 2022 before commencing pilot projects.

Critics have raised concerns about potential security risks, but the EU has big hopes for the system. The bloc says it could generate €9.6 billion ($11.7 billion) in extra revenue and up to 27,000 new jobs over five years.

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Tech News

PayPal and Venmo are getting third-party crypto wallet support

PayPal and Venmo, two popular financial apps, will soon allow users to send their cryptocurrency assets to a third-party wallet, eliminating the need to hold the digital coins on either platform. This is a more secure option for people who may have a considerable amount of cryptocurrencies, though others who prefer the convenience can leave the coins on their PayPal or Venmo accounts.

PayPal’s Jose Fernandez da Ponte revealed the news during the recent Consensus 2021 event held by CoinDesk. Both PayPal and Venmo only recently added support for cryptocurrencies, but it has been limited to buying, selling, holding, and Checkout with Crypto — meaning that if you purchase crypto with either platform, the digital coins can’t be sent to your third-party wallet.

Though keeping a certain amount of cryptocurrency in your PayPal or Venmo accounts is convenient for those who use them often, it is inadvisable to keep a large sum of crypto anywhere but a wallet you fully control, such as a hardware wallet or one set up on your private computer.

PayPal launched with support for only a few of the big cryptocurrencies, but they’re the same ones you’re likely to use when making a purchase — bitcoin, etherium, and litecoin. Exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase enable users to acquire, sell, trade, and hold a greater variety of coins, but may be more intimidating for those new to the world of digital money.

The ability to easily purchase one of these major coins using your existing PayPal account is far easier than making a wire transfer to a big crypto exchange. Now that third-party wallet support is inbound, it’ll make PayPal and Venmo two major options for the average consumer who wants to acquire some crypto and for enthusiasts who want the ease of buying things with it.

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Tech News

A Pink iPhone 13 could let Apple shock your eyes and your wallet

It could be time, at long last, for a Pink iPhone. It’d be the most major color release for an iPhone since the original big-time color release, in white! That was a big deal, back then, because Apple was just on the bleeding edge of colors and materials for devices with releases as wide as the iPhone. Now, here in 2021, Apple has the whole world of color at their fingertips.

In the latest round of iPhone 13 leaks, we caught a glimpse of the future of iPhone in color. If we take a peek at what has been released with major Apple products in the last few months, paired with what Apple’s done with color in the past, we come to the conclusion that at least one “new” color will come to the next iPhone release.

It’s expected that the iPhone 13 release will surpass its predecessor with color options. The iPhone 12 was offered in blue, green, red, silver, and most recently: purple. The 2021 iMac was released in a variety of colors including all of the colors the iPhone is out in (save red), plus yellow, orange, and pink!

Apple released an iPhone in yellow before – when the dropped the colors included with iPhone 5c. We’ve never seen a proper orange or pink just yet. Unless you’re counting iPods, and odd iPods, and customizations, but who does?

If we take a peek at the Apple store online and look for accessories, we see the “color” selector shows all of the colors listed above, plus gray and brown. It’s less likely that Apple would release an iPhone in “brown” than it is that they’d do something slightly more red, like a burnt sienna – that’d probably be best for a higher-end iPhone 13 Pro.

If Apple releases an iPhone 13 in pink and/or orange, would you find yourself unable to avoid finding a way to own said device? Or would it be like the iPhone 12 in purple – just paving the way for the eventual return to the ultimate color: Slime?

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Tech News

This first-of-its-kind smart wallet controls all your cryptocurrencies with your fingerprint

TLDR: The D’CENT Biometric Crypto Hardware Wallet is the world’s safest crypto handling device, using your own fingerprints to securely save and access all of your digital currency.

Programmer Stefan Thomas has a big problem. Back in 2011, he was given over 7,000 in a new fangled currency called Bitcoin, which he stashed in a digital wallet and mostly forgot about. But years later, that Bitcoin is now worth almost $400 million. Unfortunately, Thomas long ago lost the password to that wallet — and now has only two tries left to unlock the wallet before the encryption tech inside erases everything, including Thomas’ $400 million windfall.

As it turns out, Thomas’ problem isn’t unique. Cryptocurrency firm Chainalysis estimates about 20 percent of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin — valued at around $140 billion — are in lost or otherwise stranded digital wallets.

The D’CENT Biometric Crypto Hardware Wallet ($105 after code WALLET14 from TNW Deals) is the first hardware wallet that protects cryptocurrencies using biometrics…so no one will ever lose a fortune over a password again.

Of course, the D’CENT doesn’t actually hold the digital currency itself. It holds the all-important public and private transaction keys that actually give a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin its value. Sized no bigger than your garage door remote, this Bluetooth and USB-connected wallet is the world’s most advanced cryptocurrency hardware wallet, utilizing Multi-IC architecture to enact ultra-tight security over the contents of your wallet.

But rather than enter passwords and codes to access your transaction keys, the D’CENT is the first device of its kind to actually read your fingerprint instead. That insures only you and you alone can ever access and use your funds. Even if someone picked up and walked off with your $400 million D’CENT wallet, they could never get to the money in your account without your unique fingerprint.

Unlike other devices that make you do all your transactions through an app, the D’CENT actually has a large OLED display of its own, giving you a full view of your accounts and recent transactions, right from the device.

As for compatibility, the D’CENT is playing in the big leagues, capable of holding and securing all of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, Ethereum, ERC20, and many more with new ones added regularly.

Retailing for $119, you can now save $14 off the price of the D’CENT Biometric Crypto Hardware Wallet just by using the code WALLET14 when you make your purchase. That will drop your final price down to only $105.

Prices are subject to change.



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