The Bitcoin exchange portal Bitstamp warned users over the weekend that a Google Chrome browser extension had been caught stealing Bitcoin and users should avoid the BitscoinWisdom Ads Remover extension that at the time still was available in the Play store. The good news is that Google since banned the app from the store, but you’ll probably still need to remove it from your browser yourself if you were a user of this extension.
The Chrome extension was caught stealing Bitcoin when users made transfers. The extensions malicious code would redirect payments made to their own Bitcoin address instead of the intended target without the user noticing anything until it was too late. What Bitstamp discovered was later confirmed by Bitcoin app developer Devon Weller.
@bitstamp Confirmed. I looked at the source code. It replaces QR code images on bitcoin exchanges with its own addresses.
The method used to steal your Bitcoin is essentially very easy. Bitcoin addresses, sometimes referred to as wallets, use a very long string in order to identify themselves. That’s something that is both hard to remember and difficult to enter. After all, it’s about money and you wouldn’t want to send that to the wrong destination. QR codes can solve this with ease as you’ll just have to scan a code presented with your smartphone that contains a Bitcoin app and you’re good to go. This is what the malicious browser extension took advantage of by simply replacing displayed Bitcoin QR codes with their own in the displayed website.
On further investigation, Devon Weller discovered that the code only targeted users of the Bitstamp, BTC-E, and Hashnest Bitcoin services.
This isn’t the first time that the same extension has been caught doing so. Back in July last year, Reddit users reported similar issues with the same extension. We can only hope that it is gone for good now. This also shows that you should be very careful what browser extensions you install, they might do more harm than good.
One of Firefox’s popular add-ons has been kicked from the repository after repeated bad behavior, and it is unlikely to come back. The YouTube add-on uses a list of proxy servers to circumvent geoblocking of YouTube videos, which in itself is a very useful feature, but one that you’ll have to find another add-on for from now on.
The latest of multiple issues with the popular browser add-on that already accumulated over 250 thousand downloads started last weekend with a user reporting an issue on the Mozilla bug tracker. After installing the add-on, his anti-virus software alarmed him right away that it had blocked a download coming from a third-party website which had been flagged as malware by Avast Anti Virus.
On further examination, the user found out that the add-on was altering the browser settings and disabled the add-on signing feature preventing unauthorized installs, AKA add-ons that haven’t been signed or certificated by Mozilla. After disabling this security feature, the YouTube Unblocker add-on then went on to download another add-on called Adblock Converter from a third-party domain via an unsecured connection, an add-on that is categorized as malware and isn’t to be found in the official add-on library. To make matters even worse, users without proper anti-virus or anti malware solutions wouldn’t even know that this extra add-on was installed as it wouldn’t show up in the about:addons page either and it would reinstall itself again if a user managed to uninstall it in safe mode.
This is far from the first time that this add-on has been under investigation for bad behavior, last time in June 2015 where they were caught circumventing the official guidelines for add-ons with update code that bypassed the official Mozilla review process. Before that, they were caught tampering with search results and sending data back to the company without the users consent or knowledge, even when the user opted out of the feature.
Luckily for users who need a geo-unblocking feature for their Firefox browser, there are plenty of other alternatives to choose from.
Live streaming is a big thing these days, with anybody being able to put on a camera, share their screen and show the world everything from their video games to board game parties. Sadly the opportunity to watch others from anywhere in the world has led to some rather nasty situations, one of these is the action known as ‘Swatting’. Swatting involves someone watching a live stream, and through various technological means, finding out the address of the streamer. With the address, they ring the police and often fabricate a situation where someone’s life is in danger and so the police act on the information they have and dispatch SWAT (special weapons and tactics) to the scene to help solve the situation. Normally they are still live streaming when the police burst through their doors, causing distress to everyone bar the caller.
Recently though this was not the case as during a live stream by Mr_13ig who was asked by a policeman to keep the volume down and for his details. After refusing to provide his details, he noticed one of his neighbours walk past and informed the officer that he was feeling harassed because his neighbour was taking photos of him. As the video continues the policemen arrests him for the noise complaint and his behaviour, only to then have two minutes later another crime happen in the apartment.
The neighbour who had walked past earlier, while being filmed by the live stream not only entered the apartment and took several items from the room, but then returned to take even more stuff, all the while seemingly oblivious to the fact that he was being recorded all the time.
You can watch the video here, and you’ll be glad to know that the neighbour who stole from the apartment has been charged with burglary thanks to the viewers ringing and informing the police about the crime.
A shadow has been cast on the professional CS:GO gaming community as three players have been caught cheating in competitive play and received VAC bans last week. The outed players are Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian, Simon “smn” Beck and Gordon “Sf” Giry.
Professional players or at least semi-professional, have been banned before, but it is rare that it happens on such a high-profile level. It doesn’t just cast doubt on past performances in tournaments, but also on the entire scene. There might be other similar and yet undiscovered cheats in the wild.
KQLY, probably the most prominent of the banned players, has issued some statements via his facebook page. He said that he used the third-party tool for a seven days period and that the programmer that had offered him the tool had ensured that “lots of professional gamers user it.” The tool in question has no visual display and the only way it can be detected is during installation. No visual indication can be found on the affected systems. The cheat allegedly connects through the steam workshop.
No doubt the shame must be high and I bet they’d like to crawl up into a hole and disappear right now. And it is really bad timing with Dreamhack starting this week. The Titan and Epsilon teams have been disqualified from this years Dreamhack Winter 2014 tournaments that has a price pool of $250,000.
Thanks to PC Gamer for providing us with this information