CitiBank Bans Purchase of Bitcoins; Malware Hijacking Phones To Mine Cryptocurrencies!
Amidst rising uncertainty, security concerns and lack of clarity, Citibank has banned the purchase of Bitcoins using their debit and credit cards.
The curious case of bitcoins and cryptocurrencies is becoming even more unpredictable, and somewhat interesting.
CitiBank has just issued a notice to all their Indian customers, which states that they cannot buy bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency using their debit or credit cards.
Meanwhile, a dangerous malware has surfaced, which is hijacking Android phones all over the world to mine cryptocurrencies, illegally.
Can deregulated currencies like bitcoins survive the next 50 years?
CitiBank: Sorry, You Are Not Allowed To Buy Bitcoins!
CitiBank has become the first banking institution to ban the purchase of cryptocurrencies using their debit and credit cards.
In a notice sent to all their customers, they said,
“Given concerns, both globally and locally including from the Reserve Bank of India, cautioning members of the public regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies, Citi India has decided to not permit use of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies.”
Earlier, Citigroup along with Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase had stopped buying of bitcoins in the US, using credit cards, due to the risks involved.
In the UK, Lloyds Banking Group had also banned bitcoin purchases using credit cards.
If we observe the notice from CitiBank, we will find that the ban basically has been put into place due to rising ‘cloud of uncertainty’ and lack of action from the Govt. regarding this issue.
Interestingly, payment processing biggies: MasterCard and Visa haven’t banned such bitcoin purchases. Visa said, “Issuers make authorization decisions and apply their own risk policies when evaluating each authorization request,”
It would be interesting to observe how other banks in India react now.
Android Malware Taking Over Phones For Mining Cryptocurrencies!
Meanwhile, a deadly Android malware has surfaced, which is targeting phones, and hijacking them to mine cryptocurrencies.
Around 60 million phones have been found to be infected with this virus, which mines Monero cryptocurrency, without any knowledge of the phone user.
This has been described as one of the largest such hijackings of phones for mining cryptocurrencies.
Jérôme Segura, lead malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes said,
“No platform is immune to crypto mining, and although mobile devices may indeed be less powerful than full-fledged desktops, there is a greater number of them out there,”
One of the symptoms of being hacked is slowed down processing speed of your phone, as the malware works in the background.
This attack on phones for mining cryptocurrency was discovered by malwarebytes.com; and in their blog post, they have described the attack in detail.