Tor Project Now Accepts Bitcoin Over Lightning Network

The organization announced on Nov. 19 that it will accept Lightning Network donations as part of Bitcoin Tuesday, a fundraising initiative led by the crypto-for-charity organization The Giving Block.

The Tor Project, the nonprofit organization behind the anonymous network Tor, announced that it now accepts Bitcoin (BTC) donations via the Lightning Network.

Tor recommended the BottlePay wallet for donations, which allows users to search for The Tor Project inside it and send crypto without copying and pasting addresses.

The Lightning Network is a layer-2 payment protocol for the Bitcoin network that aims to expedite payments and address the network’s scalability problem.

Fiat currencies also supported

Alternatively, the service also allows public donations through a tweet. The wallet also enables its users to donate Bitcoin directly, or automatically convert United States dollars, euros, pound sterlings, Australian dollars, Brazilian reals, Canadian dollars, Swiss francs and 15 more fiat currencies.

The development of the Tor network is mostly financed by U.S. government agencies after its parent technology, onion routing, was first funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research in 1995.

Despite financial support from official organizations, the technology has been widely applied on the dark web for illicit sites and services like the Silk Road.

On the other hand, the network is also used by political dissidents living under oppressive regimes and by whistleblowers looking for a way to anonymously expose official wrongdoing to WikiLeaks and similar services.

Since the Tor network is used as a way to ensure privacy both in communications and transactions by the use of cryptocurrency – often by people who rely on its efficacy for their safety – its users are frequently targeted by hackers.

As Cointelegraph reported in mid-October, major antivirus software supplier ESET discovered a trojanized Tor Browser designed to steal Bitcoin from buyers in the darknet.

Finland Prepares For Bitcoin Ransomware Attack With Cyber Fire Drill

The Finnish Population Register Centre is coordinating a simulated ransomware cyberattack on more than 200 Finnish cities and public organizations.

On Nov. 22, Finnish news outlet Yle reported that participating cities and organizations are rehearsing how to respond when a group of hackers demands the participants pay ransomware during a series of simulated cyberattacks.

As part of the operation, 235 public organizations were faced with an activist hacker group that threatened to carry out cyberattacks unless it was paid a ransom fee in Bitcoin by a certain date.

According to the organizers, the aim of the exercise is to strengthen the cities’ and organizations’ abilities to handle a cyber attack more effectively. The Population Register Centre, which operates under the Ministry of Finance, already organized two such practice days, with the third scheduled for next week.

Crypto-ransomware is still the most prominent cyber attack

In October, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) released its 2019 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) report, in which it painted a troublesome picture showing that cryptocurrency-ransomware remains the most prominent cyber attack that European cybercrime investigators are confronted with. According to Europol, cybercrime must be approached in a holistic sense, saying:

“Countering cybercrime is as much about its present forms as it is about future projections. New threats do not only arise from new technologies but, as is often demonstrated, come from known vulnerabilities in existing technologies.”

Ransomware attacks up 118%

In August, Cybersecurity company McAfee Labs released its August 2019 threat report, which noted a significant increase in ransomware attacks in Q1 2019. McAfee Labs explained that one of these ransomware campaigns used the Ryuk malware family, which broke out early on in the first quarter of 2019 and proceeded to halt newspaper printing in the United States.

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