Managing Crowds as Virus Restrictions Ease Will Take GUTS

Managing Crowds as Virus Restrictions Ease Will Take GUTS

A Dutch blockchain ticketing company has come up with a way for the public to return to safely return to public places

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As more and more countries seek to ease strict lockdown restrictions, challenges lie ahead managing social distancing in public places to mitigate the risks of a second wave of infections.

GUTS, a Dutch blockchain ticketing company, revealed on April 22 that it has devised a digital access system to regulate crowds and demographics in public spaces. The system is a modification of its existing system and app, which has been in use since 2016. The company said it can be up and running at new sites in as little as one week. 

How does it work?

The system works by providing a unique digital wallet tied to a mobile phone and a verified phone number. Users request access to a specific public space while waiting at home and then receive a digital entrance ticket valid for a specific period.

Access can be granted or denied depending on how crowded the public place is at the time or based on various demographics — elderly people may get priority access during specific time slots for example. Members of the public can also use the app to see which spaces are busy or not and receive recommendations on whether they should visit depending on their own risk profile. 

Privacy matters 

The Amsterdam company says the application complies with security requirements and all data can be deleted easily when certain measures are no longer necessary. However they acknowledge there are privacy concerns around tracking apps:

“When it comes to the invasion of fundamental rights there is always a consideration about what matters more: our health or our privacy. In this specific case we have come to the conclusion that our health prevails, but we are of wholehearted opinion that this is only the case under strict conditions.”

As Cointelegraph reported previously, Chiliz, a blockchain startup, has also started working on a solution to allow soccer fans to gradually return to the stadiums using digital passes.


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A Dutch blockchain ticketing company has come up with a way for the public to return to safely return to public places

Bitcoin-Seeking Ransomware ‘Ryuk’ Virus Found and Studied in China

Bitcoin-Seeking Ransomware ‘Ryuk’ Virus Found and Studied in China

A known type of ransomware virus has spread to China, and the hackers behind it have recently asked for 11 Bitcoin in ransom

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Tencent Yujian Threat Intelligence Center says that a Ryuk ransomware virus has been spotted in China.

The intelligence center released information on the outbreak in a report on July 16.

According to the report, Ryuk viruses are a family of malware aimed at infecting government and enterprise machines holding valuable data. According to the report, a Ryuk virus derives from the Hermes virus, with code that is directly modified off of the latter.

As noted in the report, Ryuk is the name of a death spirit in the popular manga Death Note. As per its title, Ryuk possesses a notebook that can be used to kill a person by writing their name on one of its pages.

Researchers at the intelligence center were reportedly able to capture and study the virus in action. According to the report, this virus came attached with a ReadMe note containing two email addresses. Upon replying to the first email address, the researchers received instructions and a ransom demand set at 11 Bitcoin.

The intelligence center advised personal users to run Tencent PC Manager and enable file backups, turn off Office macros, and to stay away from unfamiliar emails.

The report also referenced a number of Ryuk ransom cases. In the United States, for instance, the public administration of La Porte County, Indiana paid a $130,000 ransom to get rid of the virus. In Lake City, Florida, the local government paid a $460,000 ransom after Ryuk infected the city’s computer systems. 

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, research in January suggested that Ryuk originated in Russia. The virus was originally thought to have come out of North Korea, but McAfee Labs and Crowdstrike have suggested that Russia is the more likely source. According to these cybersecurity companies, Ryuk may in fact have come from the Russia-based group “GRIM SPIDER.”


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A known type of ransomware virus has spread to China, and the hackers behind it have recently asked for 11 Bitcoin in ransom

Report: Record-Breaking Coincheck Hack Perpetrated by Virus Tied to Russian Hackers

Report: Record-Breaking Coincheck Hack Perpetrated by Virus Tied to Russian Hackers

The personal computers of employees at hacked crypto exchange Coincheck have allegedly be found to have been infected by a virus associated with Russian hackers

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The personal computers of employees at hacked Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck have allegedly been found to have been infected by a virus associated with a hacker group of Russian origin. The allegation was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on June 16.

As Cointelegraph has reported, in January 2018, Coincheck suffered an industry record-breaking hack when $534 million worth of NEM was stolen from its wallets.

Cointelegraph Japan cites a report from Japanese media agency Asahi Shimbun, which claims that fresh research has cast doubt on prior assumptions that the high-profile hack had been perpetrated by attackers with a North Korean connection.

Experts are now considering the possibility that the crime was committed by “an unknown group of hackers,”  Cointelegraph Japan notes.

According to Asahi Shimbun, „Mokes“ and „Netwire“ viruses have been identified in recent investigations into employees‘ personal computers, which may have been disseminated via an email that installed the viruses to gain unauthorized access to the exchange’s private keys.

Given that both viruses are known to have been previously deployed by Russian hackers, a United States expert told the media agency:

„From the analysis of the virus, Eastern Europe and Russia may be related to the server criminal group of the base.“

As Asahi Shimbun reports, both viruses enable hackers to take over the infected PC and operate it remotely. While Morks was first promoted on a Russian forum in June 2011, Netwire is reported to have been known to cybersecurity investigators for 12 years.

As reported this May, as yet unidentified hackers used phishing and viruses to withdraw 7,000 bitcoin (BTC) from compromised Binance hot wallets in a premeditated attack that went undetected by the exchange’s security systems.

This spring, a South Korean cybersecurity firm claimed that North Korean hackers were behind a phishing scam targeting users of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange UpBit.


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The personal computers of employees at hacked crypto exchange Coincheck have allegedly be found to have been infected by a virus associated with Russian hackers