In this week’s edition of Trickster Tuesday, we explore the recent whirlwind of crypto chaos, from a deceptive hosting scheme to the shocking hack of Huobi Global and Mixin Network, the unexpected arrest of a renowned crypto influencer, Ben Armstrong, during a live stream and more. It’s also noteworthy that MGM’s hotels and casinos in Las Vegas were recently shut down due to a cyber attack that exposed vulnerabilities in everything from slot machines to hotel room access. These incidents never fail to surprise us with their unpredictability and the constant need for vigilance and security. As we navigate through these events, let’s uncover the details and explore the implications of each incident, ensuring you stay informed and prepared in this ever-evolving space.
Exposing a Hustle: AsicZ Uncovers a Deceptive Scheme
Recently, AsicZ’s team visited Jad, the CEO of Exahertz in Oman, and toured his mining facilities. The visit was followed by an announcement of Jad’s partnership with Bitmain at WDMS 2023, marking a significant stride in his accomplishments. However, a surprising discovery in an insider Telegram group for hosting opportunities raised concerns and suspicions. The post showcased a video of Jad’s site, offering “S19XP hydro 257t at around $24 per T,” with hosting at 7.5c, including water, or 6.8 cents if a container is purchased. The post promised an online status within 45 days in Oman, with a minimum order quantity of 200 pieces, equivalent to one container.
This unexpected offer raised eyebrows, as it was unlikely for Jad to host, especially after announcing a partnership with Bitmain to expand his self mining operations. Seeking clarity, AsicZ contacted Jad directly, unveiling a deceptive hustle in play, most likely a bait and switch. Jad confirmed the falsehood of the hosting offer, revealing that a team from Iran had taken the videos to create prop videos of the site. He expressed his gratitude to AsicZ for bringing this to his attention. The post was promptly reported to the group admin for further investigation and removal.
This incident highlights the critical importance of vigilance and direct communication in the mining industry. It underscores the presence of deceptive schemes and the continuous efforts by individuals and groups to exploit others. The incident also emphasizes the significant consequences of such fraudulent activities, especially in regions like the GCC, where authenticity and transparency are highly valued. AsicZ’s proactive approach in addressing this issue reflects its commitment to ensuring integrity and reliability in the industry, protecting its partners and clients from potential fraud and deception.
The Huobi Global’s HTX exchange was reportedly hacked on September 24, leading to a loss of $7.9 million in digital assets. The exchange claims to know the identity of the attacker, offering them a chance to keep 5% of the drained funds as a “white-hat bonus” if they return the remaining 95%. The suspicious transaction was detected by a machine learning-powered system, which noted the transfer of 5,000 Ether, worth approximately $7.9 million, to an address with no previous history. Despite efforts to reach out, there was no response from the exchange. Huobi Global investor Justin Sun confirmed the attack, assuring that user funds are safe and the exchange is functioning normally. The losses from the attack have been fully covered by HTX. The hack is part of a series of attacks in 2023, with many believed to be orchestrated by the North Korean affiliated Lazarus Group, which has amassed $40 million in Bitcoin from these attacks over the course of the year.
The Mixin Network experienced a significant security breach, leading to a loss of approximately $200 million from its mainnet assets. The hack, which occurred on September 23, 2023, prompted the immediate suspension of all deposits and withdrawals on the Mixin Network. The compromise involved the database of a third-party cloud service provider. Mixin Network has enlisted the help of blockchain investigator SlowMist and Google to aid in the investigation and recovery efforts. The total portfolio at the time of the hack included $94.48 million in Ether, $23.55 million in Dai, and $23.3 million in Bitcoin. The hacker’s address had a historical relationship with Mixin Network, having received 5 ETH from Mixin in 2022. The hacker converted the stolen Tether to DAI to avoid the freezing of funds. Deposits and withdrawals will resume once the vulnerabilities are confirmed and fixed.
Crypto influencer Ben Armstrong, also known as “BitBoy,” was arrested during a livestream outside the house of Carlos Diaz, a former business associate, who he alleges is in possession of his Lamborghini. Armstrong’s tirade included claims that Diaz “wanted to kill him” and had connections with the Houston mafia. The police intervened almost 19 minutes into the stream, questioning Armstrong about possessing a weapon, which he denied. The stream went blank, but audio of a conversation between Armstrong and the police officers continued. According to the Gwinnett County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, a Benjamin Charles Armstrong was booked on Sept. 25 and remains incarcerated. This incident follows Armstrong’s separation from Hit Network, which controls the “BitBoy Crypto” brand, citing issues surrounding substance abuse and financial damage to employees. Armstrong had appealed for donations to cover his legal battles, causing even further unrest. The arrest has been confirmed by Diaz and celebrated by some in the crypto community as karma for Armstrong’s past actions.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, is embroiled in a significant legal battle, facing charges related to the operation and collapse of FTX and Alameda Research. The U.S. Department of Justice has leveled accusations of wire fraud, conspiracy, and other serious charges against him, asserting intentional deception towards customers, lenders, and investors. Despite the severe allegations that theoretically could lead to a 115-year prison sentence, legal experts predict a more lenient outcome if a conviction is made. The defense is likely to challenge the charges by scrutinizing the credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented by the DOJ. They may also argue that Bankman-Fried had obtained legal approval for his actions at the exchange, further complicating the case. The final sentence, contingent upon a conviction, will be influenced by various factors, including the total financial loss involved, with potential estimates suggesting a 10 to 20-year prison term given the gravity of the alleged offenses.
In a bizarre turn of events, Jatinder Singh, an Australian man, is facing theft charges after spending an erroneous refund of approximately $6.7 million from Crypto.com. The substantial sum was mistakenly sent to Singh due to an accounting error when a Crypto.com employee inadvertently entered Singh’s account number into a spreadsheet tracking customer refunds. Singh, upon discovering the unexpected windfall, promptly bought four houses, cars, artwork, and other luxury items. He also transferred a significant portion of the funds to a joint account and a bank account in Malaysia. His partner, Thevamanogari Manivel, has already been sentenced to 18 months after pleading guilty to theft. Singh is scheduled to attend a plea hearing on October 23 at the County Court of Victoria in Australia. The incident highlights the potential vulnerabilities and the need for meticulous oversight in the handling of digital assets and transactions.
As we conclude this week’s Trickster Tuesday, the cryptoverse once again proves its unpredictability, underscoring the importance of staying informed and vigilant. The incidents of the past week highlight the critical need for robust security measures and the continuous scrutiny of our digital assets and platforms. At AsicZ, we prioritize your security and awareness by posting daily blogs, ensuring you always have access to the latest information. You can also visit AsicZ.com for a comprehensive range of mining hardware and our industry-leading MaaS (Mining as a Service), featuring power rates lower than .03/kWh.