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OpenSea fixes vulnerabilities against NFT hacks, research finds

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Non-fungible tokens (NFT) marketplace, OpenSea has finally anchored its platform by fixing any vulnerabilities that could potentially expose accounts to NFT hacks on digital wallets and drain it, Check Point Research finds.

NFT’s fame spread on all fronts as a crypto trend that transforms any digital asset into a distinctive blockchain asset or provides users with a significant digital receipt representing the ownership of the NFT.

Famous NFT crypto market platform, OpenSea, which operates billions of dollars with its digital tokens’ transactions all around the year, experienced some issues in recent times as reports of scams hitting its customer base increased.

Check Point researchers revealed that it initiated an examination into probable security defects in the platform.

Initially, the security firm researchers did not find any vulnerability in OpenSea’s security framework. However, one thing was unsheltered, which is a method where an NFT hacker could mislead the crypto users to practically unveil their digital wallets. A conniving technique known as a “social engineering scheme.”

If succeeded, the social engineering scheme implements malicious NFTs to attract users to open their financial accounts to an anonymous person on the internet.

Check Point’s research exhibited the process. “An image file, airdropped onto OpenSea’s platform and offered for free to a user, can be pre-loaded with a payload that allows the thieving of that user’s funds. When viewed, the NFT subsequently deploys a series of malicious pop-ups, styled to look like they are from OpenSea itself, which requests that the user connect their digital wallet,” Gizmodo elaborated.

Once the user signs off to the prompts, his account is exposed to any genre of malicious activities that would result in their financial wallet drainage by an NFT hacker.

The NFT crypto platform notes that receiving such prompts would be unnatural for users since the third-party photo on the platform does not lead to a “request for a wallet connection.” In parallel, Check Point highlighted Open Sea’s point, stating that this sort of hoaxes would heavily rely on “unexpected behavior” from the person deceiving the user.

For the scam to succeed, users will have to overlook a multitude of red flags displayed on the OpenSea platform to, eventually, obtain their promised prize.

A scenario that can easily occur with some individuals.

To summarize, if this attack truly happened according to Check Point, then it is very unlikely to be successful since OpenSea has revealed that in most of these cases, the company was not able to detect any occurrences where this scam flourished.

“Security is fundamental to OpenSea. We appreciate the CPR team bringing this vulnerability to our attention and collaborating with us as we investigated the matter and implemented a fix within an hour of it being brought to our attention,” OpenSea said in a statement.

On another note, the NFT marketplace publicized Monday that it would conceal gifted NFT prompts from any account by default. This is only the case if it discovered unconfirmed compilations and included an option to halt any account’s activity from acquiring or selling NFTs once the platform confirms that the digital wallet is compromised.

Daryn is a technical writer with thorough history and experience in both academic and digital writing fields.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies reach post record inflow, rise of the Omicron asset

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CoinShares revealed Monday a heavy institutional investor flow into cryptocurrency products and funds despite a substantial drop in the past weeks, as a new digital asset emerges to the scene, carrying the same title after the new coronavirus variant, the Omicron.

Despite its rising record inflows in 2021’s first 11 months, cryptocurrency has marked a new all-time low with the arrival of a new COVID-19 variant.

As of November 26th, digital assets’ total incursions into the cryptocurrency sector reached a whopping $9.5 billion, compared to 2020’s Bitcoin inflow of $6.7 billion, with a matter of one week reaching $306 million.

According to data from digital asset manager CoinShares, Bitcoin witnessed its heftiest inflow of $247 million after releasing another investment asset in Europe. During that time, European Investment management firm Invesco issued its bitcoin exchange product in the continent, according to media reports.

Concurrently, asset manager WisdomTree also registered a trio of cryptocurrency basket exchange-traded products (ETP) into the Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) and Frankfurt-based Börse Xetra, as stated by CoinDesk. 

In parallel, CoinShare also unveiled that cryptocurrency has attained global inflow tallying to $2.7 billion for 11 consecutive weeks. Last week, the world’s largest crypto asset, Bitcoin, endured a heavy price drop by 2.3 percent, following a 10.4 percent from a prior week.

Last Friday, Bitcoin endured another plunge of almost 9 percent as investors abandoned the decentralized currency with fear of heavy impact support by the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, with last value fluctuation rising to 2 percent, with Bitcoin value reaching $58.483.

However, the globally renowned asset quickly recovered from its demise, following global markets attaining a smoother and soother bearing in valuation on Monday.

“Inflation is skyrocketing, and people are searching for more alternatives for their money in the bank,” chief of cloud-based automated crypto trading bot Cryptohopper, Ruud Feltkamp, said in a statement.

“I don’t think it’ll take long until investors see this as a ‘cheap’ buying moment. We are still in the midst of the bull cycle, and I think rising inflation will lead to more money being allocated to stocks and crypto,” he further added. 

Shortly after presenting itself to the investor registry, the value of the newly risen digital asset hit $688 from Friday till Monday, before witnessing a plunge of approximately 75 percent, CoinGecko revealed.

Omicron, defined as “a decentralized treasury-backed cryptocurrency protocol,” initiated trading at around $371, and by Thursday, it marked an estimated value of $65.

Last week, the World Health Organization branded the latest coronavirus variant Omicron, with an expanded list of countries broadcasting the hazardous intensity of it carrying “very high” worldwide threats of waves, even though scientists revealed that would take weeks to fully comprehend the severity of the variant spread on a global scale.

While the ambiguity of Omicron’s launch date lingers, data from GoinGecko demonstrated that the token emerged on the scene on November 8th, with a Telegram channel labeled OmicDAO was launched a day before.

Currently, there is no official and direct representative of the Omicron token.

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U.S. federal agencies aim to clarify crypto legality

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U.S. regulators uncovered their future plan to address the rise of cryptocurrency for the upcoming year, with focus directed at the “greater clarity” concerning the legality of decentralized transactions, reported by Bloomberg.

The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) unveiled their future scheme to address the uprise of cryptocurrency, placing the digital asset with utmost priority for 2022.

The plan could potentially focus on stablecoin issuance via loan collateral and the manifestation of cryptocurrency on enterprise balance sheets. The three federal entities aim to examine the needed means to employ bank capital and liquidity standards to U.S.-based banking organizations.

The shared roadmap has yet to be finalized, given that the agencies are looking into different issues to accommodate the market’s changes. It will adhere to crypto policy “sprints” to assist in structuring regulatory priorities for the upcoming year.

The OCC, the Reserve, and the FDIC’s goals are to determine any potential threats and establish the efficacy of current rules. While there is no certainty that the roadmap will create fundamental changes, however, one thing is certain though, it will not work in favor of holders of decentralized assets.

The American regulatory move on cryptocurrency will proceed with caution, with crypto users having to proceed with cautions and hold back on specific activities to adhere to the word of law.

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Cryptocurrency

Consortium of Japanese firms assesses digital currency for 2022 launch

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A consortium of almost 70 Japanese firms revealed on Wednesday in a conference its plan to initiate an experimental phase of testing a yen-based digital currency to be ready for launch in early 2022.

Three of the country’s mega-banks have always shown intentions of joining on the decentralized currency, which will mainly be supported by bank deposits, while utilizing a known platform to hasten a transfer of massive funds and settlement between companies, including cutting costs.

The consortium will incorporate Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. Tmizhuhese companies have had meetings regularly for the past year to examine the required measures to create a widespread infrastructure for digital payments.

In parallel, Japan’s three mega-banks also represented their private digital payment systems but have failed to mirror the same effort provided by financial technology entities, such as Softbank Group-backed PayPay – the multinational conglomerate is not a part of the consortium.

“A digital currency system built on a bank deposit-backed common platform will fit the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that could be planned and implemented in Japan,” special advisor to DeCurret and former head of Japan’s Financial Service Agency, Toshihide Endo, said during Wednesday conference.

The Japanese consortium will also incorporate a multitude of lenders, including Japan Post Bank Co Ltd, brokerages and insurers, and non-financial companies, such as Nippon Telegraph Corp, Kansai Electric Power Co Inc, and East Japan Railway Co.

In addition, other companies will also investigate options to gauge a currency such as this, all while experimenting with different uses for the digital currency in various industries, from energy to retail.

From another aspect, the consortium’s approach to releasing its own plan to digital currency will most likely trickle down the Bank of Japan’s scheme of launching its own CBDC, with regulators revealing they are working in synchronization with the BOJ if a digital currency is to be issued.

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