A new phishing sextortion campaign is now asking for ransom demands of alternative coins.
“Typical sextortion scams claim to have installed malware on recipients’ systems and recorded their browsing history of adult websites and webcam footage. Ransom is demanded in bitcoin, upon threat of releasing damaging information to family, friends, and co-workers. Because threat actors often get recipients’ emails from password breach lists, they sometimes include passwords to lend authenticity,” Hunter Johnson, Cofense Professional Services at Cofense, wrote in a blog post.
But now the hackers are asking for alternative crypto currencies to bitcoin in their ransom demands. “This latest sextortion version is using a Litecoin wallet address instead of bitcoin to evade detection,” Johnson wrote.
In other news, the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) announced that it is joining forces with the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on a proof of concept to look into how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants.
“As the operator of the Swiss financial market infrastructure, we welcome the initiative of the SNB and the BIS to conduct more research into innovative financial technologies in Switzerland. We are pleased to contribute to this initiative and, through SIX Digital Exchange, to explore the technological possibilities with which the SNB could support token-based financial ecosystems in the future by providing digital central bank money for financial market participants,” Jos Dijsselhof, CEO SIX, said in a press release.
Bitcoin is making a comeback after its September crash.
According to Bloomberg, bitcoin gained as much as 6.6 percent to $8,662, with Josh Lim, head of trading strategy at Galaxy Digital, believing the crypto could reach into the low $9,000s.
“We are starting to see more demand pick up in the market,” Lim said. “We’ve heard a lot of buyers coming out of emerging market economies. There is certainly some interest coming out of Latin America, there’s a lot of unrest in other parts of the world.”
And the IRS has released new guidance for digital currency investors and their tax advisers, explaining how the agency expects them to report income from their holdings.
As part of the new rules, the IRS requires investors to track their crypto transactions so they can provide proof of how much they bought, as well as document transfers of coins between two accounts to prove that the transaction is tax-free. In addition, assets held for less than a year will be taxed at higher short-term capital gains rates, while those held for longer will qualify for the 23.8 percent rate.
“It’s going to encourage people who weren’t in compliance to come into compliance,” said James Creech, a tax lawyer in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg.