Review Category : Security

 
 

TGB 3Q Review & 4Q Outlook Now Available

The third quarter of 2013 proved to be one of significant transition for bitcoin. After the remarkable increase in bitcoin’s price and public notoriety earlier this year, the last three months have provided a much-needed regrouping period. New information about issues at existing exchanges became available and dozens more have or will soon come online. Security of the bitcoin network grew dramatically as ASICs increased the network speed exponentially, while a host of new entrepreneurs and investors continue to support the market with ever-increasing infrastructure. The result will be a more structurally sound ecosystem as bitcoin enters its next wave …

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Gliph Raises $200,000 To Expand Secure Messaging And Bitcoin Features

Gliph, a secure messaging application with bitcoin integration, announced today that they recently secured $200,000 in funding, led by Tim Draper. Gliph is one of seven companies with a heavy focus on bitcoin in the latest Boost.vc Accelerator class. Boost’s Demo Day is today, offering companies from the program an opportunity to present to an audience of investors and press. Gliph began in early 2012 as an encrypted messaging app, focused on securing communications across iPhone, Android and web users, protecting all messages with SSL and/or AES-256 encryption. The service also offers the ability to reveal only as much personal …

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Trezor Bitcoin Hardware Wallet On Pace for October Deliveries

Trezor is the first mass-produced bitcoin hardware wallet and is on pace to reach customers’ hands next month. Hardware wallets, as opposed to the software wallets currently in use, allow users to store their bitcoins off of personal computers but maintain the ability to transfer bitcoins conveniently. The wallet is able to sign bitcoin transactions while connected to a computer via USB, without allowing the computer access to private information. Gavin Andresen, the lead developer of bitcoin-Qt, stated in June that wallet security is the largest concern in the coming year and that hardware wallets will be hugely beneficial. Bitcoin’s …

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[Op Ed] The Evolution of Financial Privacy and Bitcoin’s Ability To Restore Rights

Today is a somber day in the United States, particularly for New Yorkers. The events of this date 12 years ago are still fresh in many people’s minds, as are the memories of extreme heroism from fellow residents. Knowing that 9/11 was coming up, I recently visited the memorial at Ground Zero for the first time with some friends visiting from out of town. The space was vibrant and reflective of the events that occurred, but it was impossible for one thing not to stand out above all else: the unbelievable security detail at the venue. For those who haven’t …

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Bitcoin 0.8.4 Update Offers Security Improvements

An upgrade to Bitcoin-qt was released today and consists of several security and bug fixes bundled for release as version 0.8.4. It is recommended that all users upgrade immediately, since the release of these fixes makes finding the vulnerabilities in older code trivial. Included in this release are three security updates as well as several small bug fixes that were causing the application to crash or databases to become corrupted. Denial of Service Fix Bitcoin-qt 0.8.0 introduced Bloom Filters which allow for more flexibility with respect to how much of the block chain must be downloaded. Bloom Filters are a …

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Blockchain.info Random Number Flaw Leads to Additional Bitcoin Thefts

For a second time in as many weeks, users of mobile bitcoin wallets have become vulnerable to a random number generator that exposed their private keys in transactions. Transferring bitcoin requires signing a transaction with a private key, in combination with a random number that is generated by whatever software is sending the transaction. The private key is what allows a user sole access to spending bitcoins in their address. If a random number is not actually random but predictable or repeated, then a careful observer can reverse-engineer the user’s private key and gain access to all bitcoins in that …

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Bitcoin Block Time Halved To Five Minutes Amid Exponential Network Growth

By now, bitcoin enthusiasts and professionals alike are aware of the tremendous growth of the bitcoin network so far this year. As millions of dollars (and bitcoin) are invested in increasingly powerful mining equipment, the cumulative hash rate of the network has continually blown by the periodic difficulty adjustments. Earlier this year we explained the long-term implications of this, but the near term effects are being felt as well. Since that piece was published, the network has continued to grow, as has the growth rate, creating profound near-term effects. In particular, the average time between blocks has fallen to approximately …

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55 BTC Stolen Through Security Vulnerability in Android Bitcoin Wallets

A few days ago a severe vulnerability in the Android implementation of the Java SecureRandom random number generator was discovered. The result of this vulnerability is that private keys used in transactions on Android devices can be determined. All bitcoins in addresses used on Android devices need to be immediately rotated to a new address. Bitcoin uses public/private key cryptography to sign bitcoin transactions. The security of the system relies on each address having it’s own private key that is only known by the owner of the address. If a malicious party were to gain control of the private keys …

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Bitcoin Protocol Implementation of Native Two-Factor Authentication

At a town-hall style discussion in June, Bitcoin Foundation Chief Scientist Gavin Andresen cited wallet security as the most pressing issue in the bitcoin community. Though his solution at the time was hardware wallets, such as Trezor, he recently posted an alternative on GitHub: 2-factor authentication built into the client. The challenge facing users hosting wallets on their own computer is that their PC becomes a single point of failure. Once a security vulnerability occurs, a sophisticated attacker will have little trouble locating a wallet file, transferring it to their own computers and logging keystrokes to determine the password. Hardware …

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$300M Credit Card Fraud Case Highlights Role of Regulators and Bitcoin’s Unique Security Advantages

Yesterday, U.S prosecutors charged six foreign nationals with the largest cyber fraud case in U.S. history. The men allegedly orchestrated more than $300 million in credit and debit card thefts by illegally accessing computers at Citigroup, Nasdaq, PNC Financial, Visa Jordan, an additional Visa Inc licensee, Discover, Dow Jones, and retailers including JetBlue, Carrefour, Hannaford Brothers, 7-Eleven, J.C. Penny and more. The group executed its spree over nearly a decade, even landing one of the members in jail in 2008 on a 20-year prison sentence. The other five members included four Russian nationals and one Ukrainian, all between the ages …

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