China’s crackdown on the crypto economy intensified this week after a former government official was sentenced to life in prison for bitcoin mining and a string of corruption charges. Meanwhile, the Terra.money website was temporarily shut down over the weekend after hackers attempted to trick users with a phishing attack, and social media app Friend.tech denied reports that its user database had been “leaked”.
Chinese Officials Face Life in Prison for Bitcoin Mining, Other Charges
According to reports, Xiao Yi, a former party member of the Jiangxi Provincial Political Consultative Conference, was sentenced to life in prison on a series of charges including corruption, abuse of power and bitcoin mining.
The abuse of electricity bills stems from Yi’s financial and electricity subsidy to Jomoo Chuangshi Technology, a Fuzhou-based company that operates more than 160,000 bitcoin mining machines. According to prosecutors, Yi “covered” the mining operation by falsifying statistical reports on electricity consumption. The prosecution found that from 2017 to 2020, Jomoo Group was responsible for 10% of Fuzhou’s electricity consumption.
The Hangzhou Municipal People’s Court ruled that “Yi pleaded guilty and repented, actively returned the stolen funds, and his bribery money and proceeds have been seized.”
China has been expanding its enforcement actions against the crypto economy. Earlier this month, a Chinese national was sentenced to nine months in prison for helping an acquaintance acquire Tether (USDT).
Terra.money website frozen to prevent more phishing scams
Layer-1 blockchain Terra has temporarily shut down its website to protect users from an ongoing phishing scam on the platform.
Terra official stated: “The terra(dot) currency domain name has been successfully frozen to prevent further user phishing scams, but a comprehensive resolution is still in progress” Announce Posted on X (formerly Twitter) on August 22.
Terra advises all users to refrain from interacting with any sites under the above domains until the Foundation issues an official “all clear” notice from the account. Tyra added:
“Our team has been working around the clock to correct this issue, but we have experienced some delays in the response from third parties.”
In the announcement, Terra also mentioned some details and updates about its multi-chain wallet Station Wallet, which allows users to access decentralized applications on different platforms and blockchain networks, including Terra, Juno, and Kujira.
On August 21, Station Wallet released a major update to the wallet to improve user security. Station Wallet urges users not to use the Station desktop and mobile applications until the wallet has verified its safety. “We will make an announcement as soon as it is updated,” it states.
Station Wallet also provides links to several updated browser extensions and apps that allow users to interact with the wallet.
The network was frozen shortly after Terra’s website was hacked over the weekend in an attempt to trick users with a phishing attack. Terra initially issued a warning to users on Aug. 19, urging users not to interact with any website with the Terra currency domain name until further updates are released. Terra quickly issued a similar warning the next day, August 20.
For all Terra users,
Please do not interact with any sites with terra(dot)money domains until we release another update.
Although the website is back online, the team is still working hard to ensure full access to the domain.
In the meantime, please refer only to our…
— Terra powered by LUNA (@terra_money) August 19, 2023
The latest issue Terra has encountered comes more than a year after the previous version of the Terra ecosystem collapsed in May 2022. The incident cost the crypto ecosystem $40 billion and sparked massive contagion in the industry as Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin, TerraUSD (UST), collapsed. .
Despite all the failures, a part of the Terra community led by Terra co-founder Do Kwon decided to work on reviving the project. Enthusiasts then launched Terra 2.0, promising to help recover lost funds.
As of this writing, the Terra (LUNA) token has a market capitalization of $152.7 million, according to CoinGecko. After news of Terra Money’s recent hack broke, the token fell sharply, losing 22% of its value in the past seven days. The token has also fallen by more than 70% over the past year.
Given the long history of Terra’s problems, some online industry observers have shown little sympathy for those affected by Terra’s latest problems.
“If you have a terra.money domain, it should be hacked,” wrote one Reddit user in a thread discussing Terra Money’s latest hack. “If you’re still in the Terra ecosystem, I have little sympathy for you,” another Reddit user said.
Friend.tech denies reports that database of over 100,000 users was leaked
The team behind the viral decentralized social media platform Friend.tech has refuted a report claiming that the personal information of more than 100,000 of its users was “leaked”.
The redacted report, first published by The Block, reports that the data posted by Banteg, the anonymous developer of Yearn.finance, is “leaked” information.
However, the Friend.tech team clarified that this information came from scraping its public API.
It’s just someone scraping our public API, showing an association between a public wallet address and a public Twitter username.
It’s like saying someone hacked you by viewing your public Twitter feed.
—friend.tech (@friendtech) August 21, 2023
“It’s like saying someone hacked you by looking at your public Twitter feeds,” argues the official friend.tech account.
Banteg initially published a public crawl data repository on GitHub containing user details on the Friend.tech platform.
The data included wallet addresses on Base, linked to the corresponding Twitter usernames of more than 101,000 users.
“According to the leaked db (database), 101,183 people gave friend.tech permission to post,” Banteg wrote.
Bantegger, however, appeared to agree that the report misinterpreted his tweet.
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