Weekly Roundup – July 31-Aug 6

Weekly Roundup – July 31-Aug 6

After eight years in existence, the Bitcoin blockchain split in two on Aug 1, at 1:20 p.m., forming Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The market seemed buoyed by the scaling solution, with Bitcoin hitting an all-time high over $3300 later in the week.

The world’s largest Ethereum hackathon was announced. Judges include Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin, Joey Krug, and Jeff Coleman.

The White Hat Group has returned 100% of the funds it grabbed for safekeeping when a vulnerability in Parity multisig wallets was exposed.

TechCrunch reported last Sunday on a statement issued by ten members of the United States Congress on net neutrality.

Here is some new research in defense against Stingrays (fake mobile phone towers used for surveillance).

The security researcher who stopped the WannaCry attack was arrested last week on suspicion of creating an unrelated piece of malware.

On August 2, the Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and the British startup Provenance announced a partnership to use the blockchain to track meat from farm to fork.

Dether a new, decentralized way to trade Ether for fiat currencies, was announced last week.

Filecoin raised $52 million in a tokensale last week.

In a sign of the mainstream adoption of cryptography, this television ad for TOR browser hit the airwaves last week.

Wikileaks announced on August 6 that they will be accepting donations in ZCash.

Belgian police have made a series of arrests and seized €400,000 from dealers who sell bitcoins for cash.

The government of China announced that they are looking into ways to use blockchain technology, including for tax invoices and similar paperwork.

One of Thailand’s largest banks is conducting research with IBM on using blockchain to allow customers to file documents with no fees.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation write, “Bassel Khartabil, the Syrian open source developer, blogger, entrepreneur, hackerspace founder, and free culture advocate, has been executed by the Syrian authorities”. Khartabil was killed in 2015, but what happened to him was unknown until now.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation have a new fight on their hands; the United States Congress is considering a new bill called SESTA that would require online platforms to censor third-party content, and expose them to liability for content posted on their platform.

One American bill was welcomed by the cryptography community; the Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Improvements Act aims to free hackers to conduct research into vulnerabilities in Internet-of-Things devices like the one in the next paragraph.

Hackers at the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas showed how an internet-connected fish tank to penetrate a casino’s security network, The Washington Post reports.

Other research presented at Def Con showed how regular internet users’ private lives can be exposed. “A judge’s porn preferences and the medication used by a German MP were among the personal data uncovered by two German researchers who acquired the “anonymous” browsing habits of more than three million German citizens”, The Guardian reports.

Bruce Schneier posted this collection of links about Def Con research on hacking voting machines. There is not much good news there.

Here is a curated selection of other interesting research from the conference.

Last week, Mozilla launched an application called Send that allows people to share large files securely.

The UK Home Secretary wrote on July 31 that secure communications are unimportant.

In the USA, the FBI announced that their biometric database will not be subject to the Privacy Act.

It appears the Bitcoin wallets which received the random money from the WannaCry attacks have been emptied into Monero. Shapeshift announced that they were blacklisting all Bitcoin addresses associated with WannaCry.

IOTA is researching support for timestamped transactions. The team released a PDF explaining the new feature.

Google censored links to a website promoting socialism.

About The Author

Conor O'Higgins

Conor O'Higgins has been a digital nomad for seven years. He learned the internet marketing game with Google and Facebook ads, but in the wake of the Snowden revelations, abandoned that to help marketing and communications for a more decentralized, encrypted internet. He is not a fan of current implementations of social media, but can be contacted through conorohiggins.com

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