Morning Report: Really like talking about cryptos? Perhaps consider locking your accounts down.
A critical selling point of blockchain is to ensure the financial security of a decentralized and trustless crypto community. While the technology theoretically can prevent a hacker takeover of the network, given the 51% rule, it has no measure in place to protect individual coin holders from attacks.
And the risk of using cryptos among individuals may be rising. The New York Times reported that some hackers are hijacking cellphone accounts of crypto owners:
So how do these attackers infiltrate the “impregnable” blockchain? Well, they get around it.
Though blockchain has set up high security walls against technical hackers, it failed to consider social engineering attacks, where human psychology comes into play.
The hackers call mobile carriers until one phone operator gives in and agrees to move the target phone number to their device. Then, they can just reset password over phone, and empty someone’s crypto wallet in a split second.
Crypto transactions, once entered the blockchain (an online ledger), are unchangeable— whereas banks can still investigate dubious transactions and reverse them. In this way, a key feature of cryptos is weaponized against its users and fans.
The burgeoning crypto ecosystem has a lot to catch up on setting regulatory and security standards. To prove its superiority over traditional financial institutions, a path forward would be a crypto with higher security measures.
Maybe another wild ICO will solve that problem.
From the Crunchbase Daily:
Cisco buys Springpath for $320M
- Cisco announced that it is acquiring Springpath, a provider of enterprise storage and data management software, for $320 million in cash plus retention-based incentives. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Springpath, founded in 2012, previously raised $34 million in venture funding.
Databricks raises $140M
- Databricks, developer of an AI-powered enterprise analytics platform, has closed on $140 million in a Series D funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and joined by New Enterprise Associates and Battery Ventures. The new round brings total funding for the four-year-old San Francisco company to $247 million.
Prodigy Finance secures $240M in debt and equity
- London-based Prodigy Finance, which operates an online service for international students to secure loans, raised $240 million in debt and equity funding to expand its lending business. The financing includes a $40 million Series C round led by Index Ventures, along with $200 million in bank credit.
SoundCloud erred chasing big labels
- SoundCloud’s recent financial troubles can be blamed to a large degree on its decision a couple years ago to offer more music from major labels, according to a Crunchbase News analysis. Previously, the music streaming service primarily subsisted on independent music and user-generated content, currently fast-growing segments. In other news, we take our time machine back to 2012 for a look at Facebook’s groundbreaking IPO.