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| August 20, 2018

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UN experts: Armed groups threaten Libya political transition

August 11, 2018 |

U.N. experts say “predatory behavior” by armed groups in Libya is posing a direct threat to forming a national government and ending lawlessness that has fueled Islamic militancy, human trafficking and instability in the wider region.
FOX News

Experts Question the Security of Telegram’s New Passport Service

August 3, 2018 |

Experts Question the Security of Telegram’s New Passport Service

Security experts have called the integrity of Telegram Passport into question. The identity scheme, which launched last week, provides a KYC service for ICO applicants, with personal documents protected by end-to-end encryption. Telegram’s decision to roll its own cryptography, however, has seen the communications giant come in for criticism.

Also read: Bitcoiners Hope to Have a Friend in Top US Regulator Jay Clayton

Never Roll Your Own

Rolling one’s own crypto is regarded as a big no-no in the infosec industry, as it’s liable to introduce vulnerabilities; just ask IOTA, who learned the hard way that crafting a bespoke algorithm is a recipe for disaster. Jackson Palmer was one of the first to call Telegram out for the practice, shortly after news of Telegram Passport broke, tweeting “You might want to think twice before uploading your identity documents to a service who rolled their own crypto and don’t support E2E encryption by default.”

Experts Question the Security of Telegram’s New Passport ServiceWhile Passport does have end-to-end encryption, it is reliant on Telegram’s proprietary algorithm to encrypt the data that’s uploaded – extremely valuable data such as passport and bank statement scans that are sure to form a honeypot for hackers. A new report from Virgil Security has exposed much of the inner workings of Telegram Passport, and based on what its team have turned up, things don’t look encouraging. While hacking the service would not be a formality, even for a sophisticated team, there are enough vulnerabilities to give a determined attacker a possible entry point.

The report concludes: “Cryptography’s most famous anonymous quote says “Don’t roll your own crypto!” Back in 2015, Telegram ran into similar criticism. In 2016, 15 million Telegram users’ phone numbers were revealed in Iran due to a user authentication flaw. Now it’s 2018 and with Telegram’s Passport, the quote has never been more true.”

If Your Telegram Data Is Accessed There Would Be No Way to Tell

One of the problems with Telegram’s system for encrypting and storing user data with Passport is that there is no digital signature used. This is commonly applied to software updates released by project teams, for example, allowing anyone installing it to make sure that the package they’re unbundling is genuine and has not been tampered with. As Virgil Security notes, “The security of the data you upload to Telegram’s Cloud overwhelmingly relies on the strength of your password since brute force attacks are easy with the hashing algorithm chosen. And the absence of digital signature allows your data to be modified without you or the recipient being able to tell.”

Telegram Passport may not be intrinsically flawed, but there are evidently ways in which it could be reinforced for the reassurance of its users, and to enhance Telegram’s own reputation. As noted when first reporting on the scheme, “some Telegram users will naturally be concerned about entrusting their most intimate details to the platform, even with the promise of end-to-end encryption.” CEO Pavel Durov is a man of few words publicly, having tweeted to his 1.45 million followers less than 2,000 times since joining Twitter a decade ago. If he wishes to fend off fears about the security of Telegram’s encryption methods, he’ll need to break that silence.

Do you think concerns about the security of Telegram Passport are justified? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The post Experts Question the Security of Telegram’s New Passport Service appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News


Experts say full survival rates in air crashes grow more common

August 2, 2018 |

An Aeromexico flight carrying 103 people crashed shortly after takeoff from an airport in northwestern Mexico, forcing passengers to escape via emergency slides before the aircraft went up in flames. No one died. – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say

July 28, 2018 |

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say

According to a survey conducted among finance professionals, ‘crowd psychology’ is the main factor determining the movements of bitcoin market prices. More than half of the polled experts shared this opinion. Many of the individuals surveyed also expressed concerns about the issue with crypto custody, saying that the way cryptocurrency is stored now prevents BTC from becoming a global reserve asset.

Also read: PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

The Phenomenon Behind the Recent Price Spike

Cryptocurrencies have been through a lot of downturns this year but the latest upward trend on the back of positive expectations has provided ground for optimism. Bitcoin core markets are recuperating from this year’s lows of less than $ 6,000 USD per one BTC in June to more than $ 8,000 USD this month (~40 percent increase). Now a new survey has revealed what finance professionals think about the major factors that are moving the price of the digital asset.

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts SayMore than half of the respondents in the poll conducted by Data Trek Research believe the recent market developments are closely correlated to the so-called “crowd psychology” phenomenon, also known as herd or pack mentality. 52 percent of the questioned said that’s the main driver of the price of the cryptocurrency with the largest market capitalization.

According to Nicholas Colas, co-founder of Data Trek Research, this is the single most surprising response of the whole survey, Market Watch reported. Commenting on the results of the study, he said:

Finance professionals make their livings by analyzing asset values through the lens of fundamental/quantifiable factors. That more than half of respondents believe valuation in the crypto space is “purely a function of crowd psychology” is refreshing in its honesty.

Usage Not a Significant Factor

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts SayOn the other hand, only 15 percent of the polled experts think the price of bitcoin core (BTC) is a function of the growing usage of the cryptocurrency.

The survey also found that the issue with crypto custody, or the way cryptocurrencies are held and stored, is a major concern for many investors. 38 percent of the questioned said BTC would never become a reserve asset on a global scale.

Of the 216 professionals that have participated in the Data Trek poll, 42 percent are employed in the traditional money management industry and another 24 percent are working as brokers.

Just in the past two weeks, BTC markets have gained approximately 30%. After a brief descent below $ 8,000, at the time of writing bitcoin (BTC) is again trading above this threshold.

What is your opinion about the major factors influencing the prices of cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Michael Novogratz (Twitter).

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The post Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Forensics experts work on identifying the dead in Greek fire

July 27, 2018 |

The head of the Athens Forensics Department says all autopsies on the dozens of people who died in Greece’s deadliest wildfire in decades have been completed, although the identification process continues.
FOX News


Trump’s immigration policies were supposed to make the border safer. Experts say the opposite is happening.

July 19, 2018 |

Before US immigration authorities detained him and took his son, the Honduran migrant said he spent three days in the hands of armed men who identified themselves as members of the Gulf Cartel. – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

U.S. nuclear energy industry faces collapse, experts warn

July 9, 2018 |

The United States is on the verge of losing more than half of its low-carbon energy as the fight against climate change reaches a crucial point — a reality the country hasn’t fully grappled with.

That’s according to findings recently published by researchers at UC San Diego, Harvard University…

L.A. Times – Business

Supreme Court’s Janus ruling will end cash cow for liberal activists: experts

July 3, 2018 |

The battle over unions collecting money from non-members moved from the Supreme Court to the court of public employee’s opinion.
FOX News

With jet fuel prices up nearly 50%, fliers eventually will pay more, experts say

June 9, 2018 |

Jet fuel prices have shot up 40% to 50% over last year, but airline passengers in the U.S. don’t need to worry about airfares following that trend — yet.

Two of the nation’s largest airlines warned this week that rising fuel prices are cutting into their profits but suggested that air travelers…

L.A. Times – Business