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Daily Byte: Thursday, December 13, 2018




Ethereum may be under attack, the Netherlands sets up crypto licensing scheme, and Allianz chief has no time for crypto.

Ethereum Miners May Be Exposed to Mass-Scan Hack

According to a report from cybersecurity firm Bad Packets, an attack on Ethereum's miners is active. The hackers are scanning for wallets and mining rigs that have failed to protect port 8545.

Hackers could exploit the open port by sending commands to move funds from managed Ethereum addresses to the hackers' addresses. ZDNet is reporting that this scam has been active for at least a week.

Worse, the vulnerability has been known about since August 2015, when the Ethereum Foundation issued a security advisory and recommended setting up a password for the interface or using a firewall to filter incoming traffic for port 8545. Some manufacturers have acted on the warning and either added protections for port access or removed the port altogether. However, this was not an industrywide effort and many devices remain with the critical flaw.

Per a tweet from Bad Packets, scanning activity has been on the rise, despite the collapsing Ether price. It is thought that around 4,700 Parity wallets and Geth mining rigs currently have exposed 8545 ports.

Allianz Chief on Crypto: "You Should Outlaw It"

During a panel discussion in London, Andreas Utermann, chief executive officer and global chief investment officer for Allianz Global Investors, said that crypto should be outlawed because of its current market slump.

"I am personally surprised that regulators haven't stepped in harder," Utermann said, according to Reuters.

Utermann's comment was countered by Andrew Bailey, head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, who was also on the panel. Arguing that Utermann's comment was "quite strong," Bailey pointed out that crypto has no intrinsic value and that the FCA is monitoring cryptocurrencies and ICOs closely.

The FCA is currently considering a ban on certain crypto derivatives over concerns that retail investors are being offered "complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products" with "underlying market integrity issues."

Dutch Crypto Service Providers to Require Central Bank License

Dutch news outlet De Telegraaf is reporting that crypto service providers in the Netherlands will soon be required to secure a license from the Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank. The bank is hoping that the measure will help in its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) efforts.

To qualify, providers must show that they have know-your-customer (KYC) protections in place and that they are willing to report suspicious activity to the bank.

The Netherlands does not recognize crypto as money, though the bank has reportedly confirmed that it has no plans to ban crypto use in the country. The country's largest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, revealed a plan in September to use blockchain to track orange juice shipments, while Samsung is working with major Dutch bank ABN AMRO to test blockchain for shipping in the port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe.

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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