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Weekend Reads 061518: A 51% attack materializes

In recent days the nightmare scenario for any cryptocurrency is playing out for Bitcoin Gold, as an attacker has taken control of its blockchain and proceeded to defraud cryptocurrency exchanges. All the Bitcoin Gold in circulation is valued at $786 million, according to data provider Coinmarketcap. Blockchains are designed to be decentralized but when an individual or group acting in concert controls the majority of a blockchain’s processing power, they can tamper with transactions and pave the way for fraud. This is known as a 51% attack.—Joon Ian Wong @Quartz

We have also discovered a new stage 3 module that injects malicious content into web traffic as it passes through a network device. At the time of our initial posting, we did not have all of the information regarding the suspected stage 3 modules. The new module allows the actor to deliver exploits to endpoints via a man-in-the-middle capability (e.g. they can intercept network traffic and inject malicious code into it without the user’s knowledge). With this new finding, we can confirm that the threat goes beyond what the actor could do on the network device itself, and extends the threat into the networks that a compromised network device supports. @Cisco TALOS

It is probably a myth that Bill Gates said “640 KB ought to be enough,” and whether or not he said it the truth is that it has never been enough. Ever since we first started building computers, no amount of memory has ever has been enough – and it never will be. Data is a gas, and it rapidly expands to fill any and all available space and then continues to apply direct and significant pressure to the walls of the container. —James Cuff @The Next Platform

Guardicore Labs team has uncovered a traffic manipulation and cryptocurrency mining campaign infecting a wide number of organizations in industries such as finance, education and government. This campaign, dubbed Operation Prowli, spreads malware and malicious code to servers and websites and has compromised more than 40,000 machines in multiple areas of the world. Prowli uses various attack techniques including exploits, password brute-forcing and weak configurations. @Gaurdicore

A bipartisan trio of lawmakers introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act pushing back on national security threats posed by Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) sponsored an amendment that would prohibit U.S. government agencies from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment or services from Huawei, ZTE or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries, according to a release. —David Rutz @Free Beacon

In light of the limited DPA or jurisprudential guidance concerning the legitimacy of providing any non-public WHOIS data to any class of third party, third parties are dependent on ad hoc determinations as to whether their legitimate interests are outweighed by privacy rights in any given case. While certain contracted parties appear to be providing limited guidance as to what information they require in order to respond favorably to a data access request (of course with no guarantee of success), the vast majority have not provided any such guidance, and all decisions are made on a case-by-case basis with no transparent or predictable criteria. —Brian Winterfeldt @CircleID

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