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Monero [XMR] wallets compromised as hackers target MEGA Chrome extension

Ajay Narayan

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Monero [XMR] wallets compromised as hackers target MEGA Chrome extension
Source: Unsplash

On 4th September, Monero [XMR] announced that the official MEGA chrome extension was compromised, with an update stealing the passwords and cryptocurrency wallet addresses from its users. The latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked, allowing cryptojackers to access saved passwords and usernames from Amazon, GitHub, Google, and Microsoft portals.

Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter

The Chrome extension claims to provide a secure cloud storage service that can improve browser performance by reducing loading time. The extension is currently unavailable for download at the Chrome Web Store.

Monero is a privacy coin where the addresses of the sender are hidden along with the amount of transaction which took place. Thus every transaction on the Monero network goes through a secret address which cannot be linked to the first sender.

In spite of Monero’s claims of being private and untraceable, the cryptocurrency has witnessed instances where cryptojackers have secretly mined XMR with the computer power of web visitors.

Riccardo Andsaskiaspagni, also known as fluffypony, the Lead Maintainer of Monero said on Twitter,

“Confirmed that it also extracts private keys if you login to MyMonero and/or MyEtherWallet in a browser with the extension installed.”

MyEtherWallet.com, an open-source cryptocurrency wallet for ERC20 tokens, stated:

Latest version of MEGA Chrome extension was hacked | Source: Twitter

SamsungGalaxyPlayer spotted the issue and stated:

“The MEGA Chrome extension source code has not been updates in four months, suggesting that the account responsible with updating the version given to Google was compromised”

Some of the recommendations made in his post on Reddit were to uninstall MEGA Chrome extension immediately and change important passwords. He also suggested that its users transfer funds from those accounts which could have possibly been compromised.

MEGA Chrome extension version 3.39.4 was mainly affected and all the data collected was being sent to one server. This problem was limited to Google Chrome, as the Mozilla Firefox version had not been compromised.

PWPersian commented on Reddit:

“Wow this is huge, I do not personally use MEGA however I am always afraid of extensions going rouge as I check up on updates the least often for them, sending this to everyone I know to make sure they know to change passwords etc.”

Gattacus an enthusiastic Redditor commented:

“There was an update to the extension and Chrome asked for new permission (read data on all websites). That made me suspicious and I checked the extension code locally (which is mostly javascript anyways). MEGA also has the source code of the extension on github https://github.com/meganz/chrome-extension There was no commit recently. To me it looks either their Google Webstore account was hacked or someone inside MEGA did this. pure speculation though”





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Ajay Narayan is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has majored in Economics, Political Science and Sociology. His interests are inclined towards writing and investing in cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin

Fall in Bitcoin’s market dominance may be correlated to the fortunes of the altcoin market

Biraajmaan Tamuly

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Will Bitcoin's Dominance falter for Altcoins to gain traction in the market?
Source: Pixabay

The trends set by virtual assets have always highlighted the cryptocurrency market’s inherent volatility and spontaneity. Prices lack symmetry and rarely exhibit consistent growth as different factors come into play to dictate an asset’s valuation.

At press time, the world’s largest crypto, Bitcoin, had stormed past the $11,000 mark and was consolidating to push for a surge over $12,000. The rest of the altcoin market however, apart from one or two minor hikes here and there, has been relatively quiet after collectively surging in the early part of the year.

At the beginning of 2019, a significant number of crypto-assets performed significantly well in a group, wherein most assets demonstrated a prominent hike in their values with little to minor price corrections.

A majority of tokens doubled their valuation until Bitcoin breached the $6,600 resistance. Subsequently, altcoins failed to keep pace as Bitcoin continued to test more resistance limits in the market.

Source: Twitter

At present time, Bitcoin enjoyed an unprecedented 62 percent dominance in the cryptocurrency market. As its dominance primes itself to climb over the 63 percent mark, many in the community speculate this could be red flags for the altcoin market.

Major cryptocurrency enthusiasts and analysts have stated that altcoins could significantly capitulate if it so happens. However, past events offer a sliver of hope for the altcoin market.

According to CoinMarketCap, the altcoin market has been significantly affected whenever BTC’s dominance has fallen. During the bull run of 2017, Bitcoin enjoyed a dominance of 65 percent and the global market cap hit a value of $402 billion. However, in January 2018, when BTC dominance plummeted, the global market cap peaked at around $710 billion. The dominance was down by half, whereas the global market cap had almost doubled.

A major reason for the same was money funneling into other altcoins after witnessing a shift in momentum from Bitcoin to the rest of the crypto-market. The present market situation may take a similar path once BTC’s dominance falls, opening the door for other virtual assets to take advantage of the scenario.

However, the present rise of BTC is backed by much more certainty than the bull run of 2017. Hence, a repeat of the January 2018 period may be unlikely, and will happen if and only the market sentiment shifts gears drastically towards altcoins.





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