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Vulnerable: Kraken reveals many US Bitcoin ATMs still use default admin QR codes

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Kraken Security Labs has said that a “large number” of Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs are vulnerable to hacking, as the administrators never changed the default admin QR code.

In a Wednesday blog post, Kraken posted research from its Security Labs team, which found that there are “multiple hardware and software vulnerabilities” in the General Bytes BATMTwo ATM range.

“Multiple attack vectors were found through the default administrative QR code, the Android operating software, the ATM management system and even the hardware case of the machine,” the post read.

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Kraken’s security team stated that if a hacker gets their hands on the administrative code, they can essentially “walk up to an ATM and compromise it,” while also highlighting issues with the BATMTwo’s lack of secure boot mechanisms, as well as “critical vulnerabilities” in the ATM’s management system. However, General Bytes has reportedly already alerted ATM owners to the vulnerabilities:

“Kraken Security Labs reported the vulnerabilities to General Bytes on April 20, 2021, they released patches to their backend system (CAS) and alerted their customers, but full fixes for some of the issues may still require hardware revisions.”

The team also found that it was able to gain full access to the Android operating system behind the BATMTwo ATM by simply attaching a USB keyboard to the machine and warned that “anyone” could “install applications, copy files or conduct other malicious activities.”

General Bytes is headquartered in the Czech Republic and, according to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently 6,391 General Bytes ATMs installed worldwide, which represents 22.7% of the global market. However, those figures also account for BATMThree machines that weren’t reported on by Kraken.

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The majority of the BATM ATMs are located in the United States and Canada, with a combined figure tallying in at around 5,300, while Europe has around 824 ATMs installed.

Kraken is calling on BATMTwo owners and operators to change the default QR admin code, update the CAS server, and place the ATMs in visible locations for security cameras.

Bitcoin ATM scams

While reports of hacked Bitcoin ATMs appear to be minimal, there is a history of crafty individuals building scams around crypto ATMs.

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In March 2019, the Toronto Police issued a public statement calling on the community to locate four men suspected of carrying out a series of “double-spending” transactions that fetched $150,000 worth of funds over a 10-day window. Double-spending consists of canceling transactions before the ATM has had a chance to confirm but keeping the dispensed cash.

The Oakland Press reported on June 22 of this year that two women from Berkeley were scammed out of a combined $15,000 after fraudsters posed as public safety officers and federal employees. The scammers reportedly told the victims that they had outstanding warrants and tax violations and ordered them to pay fines via local Bitcoin ATMs in the area.

And Malwarebytes posted research in August that uncovered a trend of gas station Bitcoin ATM scams in which threat actors would post fake jobs listings to dupe applicants into money laundering.

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Solana set to be the ‘Bitcoin Killer’?

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A blockchain with the ability to perform thousands of transactions per second must be the next Bitcoin. Sam Bankman-Fried believes SOL has the potential to become the next Bitcoin since the Solana blockchain can execute 50,000 transactions per second. 

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), in a recent interview with Kitco, praised Solana for its potential to expand to millions of transactions per second. According to the FTX CEO, this makes Solana a critical component of cryptocurrency acceptance and the next Bitcoin.

The scalability of Solana could aid its evolution into a new Ethereum or Bitcoin. 

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“I am optimistic about Solana. She has every chance of doing this, which is very interesting, I think.’

Analyst bullish on SOL

Influential investors are positive on Solana, which is helping altcoin gain traction. 

With a growth in institutional acceptance, venturefounder, a cryptocurrency analyst, feels that Solana could end up competing with Ethereum. 

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“More Crypto Online” cryptocurrency analysts are positive on Solana. As the cryptocurrency price trend reverses, analysts forecast a price rise to a new all-time high of $305. 

During the crypto massacre on Black Friday, the price of Solana fell below $200. The price of the altcoin has recovered and is now trading near $200 at the time of writing. Over the last two months, there has been a surge in institutional intake and capital rotation into Solana.

At the time of writing, SOL is trading at $196.63, up 0.6% in the last 24 hours.the resistance on the upside is at $199.94. However in case of a decline, the support on the downside is at $190.68.  

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El Salvador’s President Has A few Words For Bank Of England’s Chief

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El Salvador’s President has a few words for Bank of England’s chief who recently expressed worries about the country’s Bitcoin adoption.

Check out his relevant tweet below.

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A commenter said: “Before bitcoin nobody around the world cared about El Salvador now there are competing interests either supporting or attacking El Salvador. El Salvador is now relevant.”

Someone else posted this: “Exactly what i been saying! My family is from el salvador, and my whole life not a single soul i ever met here in the U.S even knew about the country, and if they did, they only heard of it because of gang affiliation… nothing else. Bukele is making waves!!!”

On the other hand, a follower said: “The Bank of England’s Point of Concern: “….It concerns me that a country would choose it as its national currency. What would worry me most of all is, do the citizens of El Salvador understand the nature and volatility of the currency they have.” Seems a legitimate worry.”

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Bitcoin adoption concerning?

CryptoSlate notes the fact that Bailey said the move to adopt Bitcoin within a dual currency system was concerning, while also adding that volatility would impact most detrimentally.

This isn’t the first time that Bailey warned of the “dangers” of crypto.

Back in May, Bailey said cryptos have no intrinsic value and that investors should be prepared to lose all their money.

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At the moment of writing this article, BTC is trading in the red and the king coin is priced at $54,667.

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Bitcoin skeptic Saule Omarova to be rejected as Biden’s nominee for OCC in win for crypto

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  • Saule Omarova was nominated to head OCC and it looked bleak for the future of cryptocurrencies as she is an outspoken critic of Bitcoin.
  • New reports reveal that some Democratic senators in U.S Congress will reject her, and with all Republicans united against her, she will most likely not assume office.

Saule Omarova, a Bitcoin critic who was nominated for one of the most important financial regulatory jobs in the U.S, is looking unlikely to go through Senate confirmation. According to new reports, some Democratic Senators have rejected the Biden pick, particularly opposing her hardline stance against big banks. With Republican Senators all against her, she looks unlikely to be the next Comptroller of the Currency.

Omarova was nominated by the White House in September to take over from the Acting OCC, Michael Hsu. As CNF reported at the time, the cryptocurrency community joined the banking fraternity to ask questions of what would be of her reign. Omarova is an outspoken critic of the big banks, having consistently criticized government bailouts. She has also suggested that the Federal Reserve should be allowed to serve Americans, effectively wiping out the commercial banks.

For cryptocurrencies, the future looked just as bleak. She has previously stated that she believes they “benefit mainly the dysfunctional financial system we already have.”

In her Senate grilling two weeks ago, she held on to her anti-Bitcoin views. Responding to crypto-friendly Senator Cynthia Lummis‘ question on whether Bitcoin threatens national security, she stated:

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I’m not an expert on Bitcoin but I’d worry if all our financial transactions were up to some blockchain system where various actors who might actually be located in other countries, not particularly friendly to us, control the functioning of the system.

Omarova to be rejected

According to reports in Washington, Omarova is set to be rejected in Senate. Already, virtually all Republican senators have said they will reject her. Many of them have even attacked her on personal terms, as well as her ‘socialist-leaning’ beliefs.

Axios reports that five Democratic Senators have joined the anti-Omarova bandwagon as well. The five told Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who heads the Senate Banking Committee of their dissent. If they vote against her, the Kazakhstan-born academic will stand virtually no chance as the house is almost divided in half between Republicans and Democrats.

However, despite the opposition, the White House continues to back her publicly. A White House official told Axios:

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The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination. Saule Omarova is eminently qualified for this position. She has been treated unfairly since her nomination with unacceptable red-baiting from Republicans like it’s the McCarthy era.

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