Top 4 Most Paranoid Ways to Store Your Bitcoins

TheMerkle bitcoin Wallet SecurityOne can never be paranoid enough when it comes to bitcoin wallet security. Keeping funds safe from harm needs to be the number one priority at any given time. There are several ways to achieve this goal, depending on how paranoid one is about doing so. Some of these measures will involve a lot more efforts than others, but in the end, security is priceless. 4. Multisignature Wallet One of the more common ways to ensure no one can hack your bitcoin wallet and transfer funds out is by using a multisignature solution. As the name suggests, these wallets require

TheMerkle bitcoin Wallet Security

One can never be paranoid enough when it comes to bitcoin wallet security. Keeping funds safe from harm needs to be the number one priority at any given time. There are several ways to achieve this goal, depending on how paranoid one is about doing so. Some of these measures will involve a lot more efforts than others, but in the end, security is priceless.

4. Multisignature Wallet

One of the more common ways to ensure no one can hack your bitcoin wallet and transfer funds out is by using a multisignature solution. As the name suggests, these wallets require multiple signatures from different users before a transaction is approved. It is quite easy to set up among friends or family members, assuming you trust them. Popular wallet solutions, such as Electrum support a multisig option as well. It is by far one of the more convenient ways to keep bitcoin funds secure.

3. The Brainwallet

Although brainwallets are not necessarily considered to be the most secure solution to store bitcoin, the concept offers some merits. A brainwallet allows users to generate a wallet residing in one’s mind. Users need to come up with a mnemonic recovery seed, which has to be both secure and original at the same time. A brainwallet is worth considering for people who do not want to rely on either software or hardware to keep their bitcoins safe.

2. Paper Wallet Steganography

A common way to generate an offline bitcoin wallet occurs by creating the so-called paper wallet. Users generate a bitcoin wallet address and its private key on a piece of paper. Rather than storing this private key and wallet in software, connect to the internet, it is kept offline at all times.  This adds more security, as the wallet becomes virtually unhackable.

For those users who seek even more protection, steganography can be a great ally. By taking the paper wallet and hiding it within an image, there is no direct trace of a person owning said wallet, to begin with. The concept of steganography has been around for many years now, albeit remains somewhat of a niche trend among bitcoin users. Storing that image is important, albeit it can be hidden in plain sight with relative ease.

1. Extreme Hardware Wallet Precautions

For those people who take the security of their bitcoins very seriously, using a hardware wallet is the only viable option. Companies such as CryptoSteel, Ledger, BitLox, TREZOR, and KeepKey have all produced hardware bitcoin wallets aimed at making the process of securely storing funds a lot more convenient. Most users will be up and running within minutes while keeping funds offline at all times.

To take this idea one step further, one could move funds to a hardware wallet and then bury the device or store it in a safe deposit box. Keeping the device away from harm usually means storing it in a location only known to the end user. This may sound rather extreme, but given the current value per BTC, one cannot skimp on security precautions. Furthermore, you can use a combination of these methods to store your funds, making your bitcoins impossible to take.

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Security Software Review – MalwareFox

malwarefox reviewMost malware protection suits focus on doing one thing right, yet do not success in providing users with the full security solution they need. MalwareFox is doing things a bit differently, as they focus on both malware removal and decrypting ransomware. Protecting computers against all possible threats is the number one priority for this company. However, can this software kit live up to its expectations? Reviewing the MalwareFox Security Suite It has to be said, installing MalwareFox is a breeze. The installation process takes less than a minute to complete, after which users can automatically execute their first system scan. It

malwarefox review

Most malware protection suits focus on doing one thing right, yet do not success in providing users with the full security solution they need. MalwareFox is doing things a bit differently, as they focus on both malware removal and decrypting ransomware. Protecting computers against all possible threats is the number one priority for this company. However, can this software kit live up to its expectations?

Reviewing the MalwareFox Security Suite

It has to be said, installing MalwareFox is a breeze. The installation process takes less than a minute to complete, after which users can automatically execute their first system scan. It does the job quite thoroughly without interfering with other processes running in the background, which is always good to see. In fact, performing a system scan takes mere minutes, making MalwareFox one of the most convenient solutions to date.

One thing users may notice right out of the gate is how MalwareFox performs a thorough analysis. Not only does it check for malicious files on the computer, but it will also look at the browser’s settings. Since most malware and ransomware is downloaded through the browser, it only makes sense security solutions would check if there are lingering suspicious settings. All of this can be done within the 15-day free trial, which is very nice.

MalwareFox takes things one step further as well, as it is capable of keeping ransomware at bay. Keeping in mind how serious of a threat ransomware has become over the past few years, it is of the utmost importance to keep computers safe from harm. MalwareFox offers this protection through its lightweight client, which receives regular updates to thwart any zero-day exploits hackers may try to take advantage of. Convenience and security seemingly come together when using MalwareFox, which makes it a potent solution.

As one would expect, the free license will only get users so far. It does the job in terms of detecting and removing malware, as well as clean up the browser. However, for ransomware protection, users need to obtain the premium license for the price of US$29.95 per year. It is a very small price to pay for security, especially when considering this license can be used across three different computers simultaneously. Based on our preliminary usage of MalwareFox, getting the premium license seems to be a no-brainer at this point.

Looking over the list of ransomware types MalwareFox can protect against, it is evident the company knows what they are doing. Several dozen ransomware strains can be safely decrypted with the help of the company’s helpful links. Paying the bitcoin ransom demanded by hackers is never the answer to restoring computer access in the first place. Even when the funds are paid, no one knows for sure if and when they will receive the decryption key to access one’s files again. Protecting a computer with the proper software is the only viable course of action.

All things considered, MalwareFox is a very pleasant security tool to use that doesn’t drain computer resources. Security suites do not have to be a burden on one’s system, as that only makes the task of protecting the machine more tedious. MalwareFox is a powerful tool that works as advertised. The fair price for their Premium license is more than justifiable, especially when using multiple computers in your household.

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US Police Declines to Pay Bitcoin Ransom, Loses Years of Data

Facebook-Post-ImageEarlier this year, the office of the Cockrell Hill Police Department in Dallas was hit with a series of ransomware attacks. Data stored on local computers and servers was immediately encrypted and disabled for use indefinitely. Distributors of the ransomware requested a one-time payment worth US$4,000 in bitcoin in exchange for a decryption key to unlock the department’s data and evidences collected over the past few years. Stephen Barlag, Cockrell Hill’s police chief, released a statement on January 25, to admit that the police department lost video evidence and a cache of digital documents dating back to 2009. The data

Facebook-Post-Image

Earlier this year, the office of the Cockrell Hill Police Department in Dallas was hit with a series of ransomware attacks. Data stored on local computers and servers was immediately encrypted and disabled for use indefinitely. Distributors of the ransomware requested a one-time payment worth US$4,000 in bitcoin in exchange for a decryption key to unlock the department’s data and evidences collected over the past few years.

Stephen Barlag, Cockrell Hill’s police chief, released a statement on January 25, to admit that the police department lost video evidence and a cache of digital documents dating back to 2009. The data was encrypted by “OSIRIS,” a sophisticated ransomware variant designed to autonomously encrypt data until payments are facilitated in bitcoin.

Most modern ransomware variants have an internal time lock system which either encrypts data permanently or completely deletes compromised data if victims fail to send bitcoin payments within a given time frame. The vast majority of bitcoin-based ransomware utilize a 1 week time lock, granting users a 168-hour window to settle the payment.

Government agencies including the FBI and police departments encourage victims not to pay the ransom in bitcoin as there is no guarantee that the ransomware developer or distributor would provide a decryption key after the payment is received.

Barlag and the rest of his division in the Cockrell Hill Police Department declined to comply with the demands of the ransomware distributor, refusing to pay a $4,000 transaaction in bitcoin. As a consequence, the police department lost 8 years of data that is currently being sought after by lawyers and prosecutors nationwide.

“We were told by the FBI that paying doesn’t always get you your information back. They told us that some people whose files are infected pay, and they get their files back, but sometimes it doesn’t work. So we decided it was not worth it to pay, and potentially, not get anything back anyway,” said Barlag.

After the ransomware incident was closed by the department, Barlag and his division received requests from criminal defense lawyers in Dallas including Collin Beggs, who was seeking out for a video footage necessary for a trial involving a felony evading case.

In an interview with non-profit organization MotherJones, Beggs stated that his young client could face 10 years in prison if the police department fails or declines to recover the lost footage. Yet, the department firmly responded:

“If requests are made for said material and it has been lost, there is no chance of recovery or producing the material. All bodycam video, some photos, some in-car video, and some police department surveillance video were lost.”

Beggs further emphasized that physical copies of the video and documents available at the police department aren’t sufficient to relieve his client of his charges.

As Nick Selby, a police detective in the Dallas area and director of the Secure Ideas Response Team, notes, ransomware attacks have been targetting police departments and law enforcement agencies over the past two years. Still, US police departments aren’t making an attempt to implement cloud-based systems or overhauling their outdated infrastructures in order to prevent ransomware infection.

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