15
May
2017

Cyber Attacks Show Vulnerability of Digital Systems and Digital Currencies

Cyber Attacks Show Vulnerability of Digital Systems and Digital Currencies

– Cyberattacks expected to spread today in “second phase”
– UK intelligence says scale of threat significant
– Microsoft slams NSA for letting hacking tools cause global malware epidemic

– Ransomware attack already crippled more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries
– 1.3 million computer systems believed to be at risk
– Europol warns many computer systems simply won’t start
– Businesses, banks and government agencies around world told to prepare
– Renault, FedEx among companies affected by cyber-attack
– Banks in China including ATMs were affected

– Hackers could shut down banks and cut off power and water supplies
– “Biggest threat to civilisation” since the Second World War – Cyber security expert
– Risks posed to digital deposits and digital wealth are the “new case for gold”

The threat posed by cyber attacks, cyber terrorism and cyber war to our increasingly complicated, technologically dependent financial system is something we have covered numerous times and becomes more clear by the day.

British and US agents have carried out mock cyber attack or ‘cyber war games’ on the Bank of England and commercial banks in the City of London and on Wall Street as part of tests on critical, but vulnerable financial infrastructure.

Should banks be hacked and customers deposit accounts compromised then the vista of potential bail ins becomes a real one. In June of 2015, JP Morgan Chase were hacked by unknown parties who stole the personal details of 83 million customers.

In July of 2014 Bloomberg reported that malware had been detected in the system of the Nasdaq exchange. Its purpose was unclear but it was believed to have been embedded there by Russian hackers.

There is also the alleged hacking of Sony Pictures by North Korea and the alleged hacking of Facebook, Instagram and Tinder. In 2012, Iran is alleged to have devastated the computer network of Saudi Aramco in a similar attack.

We can see a panorama of human activities which grow more vulnerable as hackers and cyber-warfare grow more sophisticated.

Banks have been hacked, stock exchanges have been hacked and critical infrastructure have been hacked in recent years. It is likely that many of these small scale attacks have been merely testing of  defenses.

A concerted attack on the western financial system would likely include attempts at disabling various exchanges including stock markets and foreign exchange markets. Banks could be attacked in such a way that ATMs and wire transfers are disabled and bank balances, which are merely digital figures, could be erased.

In such an environment, our modern world, which is so dependent on technology and the monetary system, would be economically paralysed. The primary wealth would longer be primarily digital – cash, stocks and bonds – and tangible wealth would become more important.

Tangible assets include gold and silver bullion, agricultural land, water and property. We are not predicting such an outcome. We are simply looking at the facts as they are, in the context of intense geopolitical tensions, and surmising that it would be prudent to take necessary precautions and diversify into physical gold.

Related Content

Cyber Attacks Growing In Frequency – Entire Western Financial System Is Vulnerable

Cyber Fraud At SWIFT – $81 Million Stolen From Central Bank


“Cyber Security Loophole”- Bank Hackers “Unfettered Access” To Accounts

Number One Reason To Buy Gold and Silver Is “Cyber Financial Warfare”

News and Commentary

Gold firm on weak U.S. data, North Korea concerns (Reuters.com)

British hospitals, Spanish firms among targets of global ‘ransomware’ attack (Reuters.com)

Dollar starts week under shadow of underwhelming data, North Korea (Reuters.com)

Asian markets largely surge ahead despite global risks (MarketWatch.com)

Spain’s Banco Popular to sell off assets to boost depleted capital (Reuters.com)

Investors Should Care About China In 1 Simple Chart (ZeroHedge.com)

Commercials Cover All-Time Record Number Of Silver Short Positions (KingWorldNews.com)

Hit by Run on Deposits, Spain’s 6th Largest Bank Denies it’s Looking for Rushed Takeover to Avert Collapse (WolfStreet.com)

Join Buffett- Sit on your hands and avoid stock bubble (MoneyWeek.com)

Macron’s victory has opened a can of euro worms (MoneyWeek.com)

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Avoid Digital & ETF Gold – Key Gold Storage Must Haves

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

15 May: USD 1,231.50, GBP 952.32 & EUR 1,124.61 per ounce
12 May: USD 1,227.90, GBP 955.06 & EUR 1,129.55 per ounce
11 May: USD 1,221.00, GBP 945.66 & EUR 1,122.95 per ounce
10 May: USD 1,222.95, GBP 944.61 & EUR 1,124.99 per ounce
09 May: USD 1,225.15, GBP 948.51 & EUR 1,124.20 per ounce
08 May: USD 1,229.70, GBP 948.71 & EUR 1,123.45 per ounce
05 May: USD 1,239.40, GBP 958.06 & EUR 1,130.33 per ounce
04 May: USD 1,235.85, GBP 958.15 & EUR 1,131.05 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

15 May: USD 16.59, GBP 12.83 & EUR 15.12 per ounce
12 May: USD 16.30, GBP 12.68 & EUR 14.99 per ounce
11 May: USD 16.37, GBP 12.70 & EUR 15.06 per ounce
10 May: USD 16.29, GBP 12.59 & EUR 14.99 per ounce
09 May: USD 16.22, GBP 12.55 & EUR 14.88 per ounce
08 May: USD 16.38, GBP 12.64 & EUR 14.96 per ounce
05 May: USD 16.27, GBP 12.58 & EUR 14.85 per ounce
04 May: USD 16.50, GBP 12.80 & EUR 15.09 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

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– Irish Property Bubble – 38pc Believe Housing Market Will Crash
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– London Property Bubble Vulnerable To Crash
– Silver price manipulation, is regulation putting a stop to it?
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– Gold Bullion Imports Into China via Hong Kong More Than Doubles in March
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– Gold Sovereigns – ‘Treasure’ Trove Found In UK – Don’t Be The Piano Owner

Access Award Winning Daily and Weekly Updates Here

Mark O'Byrne
Executive Director

  • Peter Dwire

    Dear Mr O’Byrne,
    this is another “great” piece of fake news. First of all, this is an ATTACK (not a “hack”), and it was done by ATTACKERS (not “hackers”). The attack has apparently targeted Microsoft-Windows-based systems.

    In other words, only dumb users (and dumb corporations with a sufficient level of incompetence to run mission-critical applications on buggy Microsoft platforms, known throughout the industry to be insecure) are likely to be victims of that attack.

    Please show evidence of any Linux or Unix systems affected (including other Unix-flavour platforms like FreeBSD-based Mac OS X). Also kindly provide proof of PKI technologies (such as SSL or proper E-mail certificates) being compromised or broken as a result of that — admittedly severe — attack.

    As of this writing, there is no technology available for breaking SSL and related technologies with key-lengths of over 128 bits. Kindly note that Bitcoin and all other Crypto coins or “digital assets” use SHA-256 or better encryption technology which is state-of-the-art. (Using a monolithic Windows operating system, on the other hand, is not!)

    Therefore, most digital assets are safer than cash in a bank (because hundreds of banks are using Microsoft IIS and other Windows rubbish, you can openly see this if online banking pages show the “.asp” or “.aspx” file name extension in the URL; this is the line of text appearing in your web reader when browsing the internet)…

    As long as only basic security measures are observed (not using Windows, storing Crypto coins in cold storage or, ideally, paper wallets offline; search the internet to learn what this is!) these assets are very secure and not exposed to political, systemic, nor counterparty risk. (Remaining risks in the digital asset realm are technology risk and physical attack/theft risk only.)

    While I appreciate that you, as a salesperson, are trying to make a case for precious metals and other tangible (real) assets (which I am aware digital assets are certainly not), there is no room for scaremongering or fake news about “all digital assets being bad” or similar.

    I am also aware (and as a holder of precious metals, very disappointed myself) that Bitcoin and other digital assets are used as “safe havens” these days and that this causes gold and silver to under-perform severely over the last 7 years. (In fact, falling precious metals prices since summer 2011 may be attributable to Bitcoin’s rise beginning around these same weeks.)

    This is not a “selling point for gold and silver” though, as isn’t the entire ransomware attack against the Windows-run portion of computers in most countries all over the world. On the contrary, this incident shows that both precious metals and also portions of wealth stored in digital assets offer both a good way of protection against these risks.

    Please do not confuse the the technical facts and different kinds of computer technology and please do not mislead readers with incorrect conclusions of a layperson, ignoring the intricacies of the real tools, technologies and reasonable security measures involved.

    The fact, that governments and state-run health services or pension funds are too stupid to protect us (and themselves) and do not even use ubiquitous security measures does not mean everyone had to be worried now nor rush and buy from GoldCore right away. Other measures, as described above, will also reasonably and sufficiently protect your wealth, alongside intelligent allocations of wealth into precious metals like gold and silver.

  • Peter Dwire

    Please don’t just censor me away, even if you do not necessarily agree with my expertise…

    Dear Mr O’Byrne,

    this is another “great” piece of fake news. First of all, this
    is an ATTACK (not a “hack”), and it was done by ATTACKERS (not
    “hackers”). The attack has apparently targeted
    Microsoft-Windows-based systems.

    In other words, only dumb users (and dumb corporations with a
    sufficient level of incompetence to run mission-critical
    applications on buggy Microsoft platforms, known throughout the
    industry to be insecure) are likely to be victims of that
    attack.

    Please show evidence of any Linux or Unix systems affected
    (including other Unix-flavour platforms like FreeBSD-based MacOS
    X). Also kindly provide proof of PKI technologies (such as SSL
    or E-mail certificates) being compromised or broken as a result
    of that — admittedly severe — attack.

    The worst part of the misinformation I am taking issue with
    here is the “And-Digital-Currencies” portion, as included in
    your headline.

    As of this writing, there is no technology available for
    breaking SSL and related technologies with key-lengths of over
    128 bits. Kindly note that Bitcoin and all other Crypto coins or
    “digital assets” use SHA-256 or better, sometimes wholly
    different, encryption technology which are state-of-the-art.
    (Using a monolithic Windows operating system, on the other hand,
    is not!)

    Therefore, most digital assets are safer than cash in a bank
    (because hundreds of banks are using Microsoft IIS and other
    Windows rubbish, you can openly see this if online banking pages
    show the “.asp” or “.aspx” file name extension in the URL; this
    is the line of text appearing in your web reader when browsing
    the internet)… Only a fraction of banks are running their
    mission-critical applications on Unix-derivatives and apply
    adequate additional IT security procedures.

    As long as only basic security measures are observed (not using
    Windows at all, storing Crypto coins in cold storage or,
    ideally, paper wallets offline; search the internet to learn
    what this is!) these assets are very secure and not exposed to
    political (or, as it is called in the figure above, “global
    policy uncertainty” — same thing), systemic, nor counterparty
    risk. (Remaining risks in the digital asset realm are technology
    risk and physical attack/theft risk only.)

    While I appreciate that you, as a salesperson, are trying to
    make a case for precious metals and other tangible (real) assets
    (which I am aware digital assets are certainly not), there is no
    room for scaremongering or fake news about “all digital assets
    being bad” or similar.

    I am also aware (and as a holder of precious metals, very
    disappointed myself) that Bitcoin and other digital assets are
    used as “safe havens” these days and that this causes gold and
    silver to under-perform severely over the last 7 years. (In
    fact, falling precious metals prices since summer 2011 may be
    attributable to Bitcoin’s rise beginning around these same
    weeks.)

    This is not a “selling point for gold and silver” though, as
    isn’t the entire ransomware attack against the Windows-run
    portion of computers in most countries all over the world. On
    the contrary, this incident shows that both precious metals and
    also portions of wealth stored in digital assets offer both a
    good way of protection against these risks.

    Please do not confuse the the technical facts and different
    kinds of computer technology and please do not mislead readers
    with incorrect conclusions of a layperson, ignoring the
    intricacies of the real tools, technologies and reasonable
    security measures involved and freely available to anyone who
    knows how to deploy them.

    The fact, that governments and state-run health services or
    pension funds are too stupid to protect us (and themselves) and
    do not even use ubiquitous security measures does not mean
    everyone had to be worried now nor rush and buy from GoldCore
    right away. Other measures, as described above, will also
    reasonably and sufficiently protect your wealth, alongside
    intelligent allocations of wealth into precious metals like gold
    and silver as well.

  • Peter Dwire

    If you cannot stand the facts behind your pointless claims, better do not write rubbish like that. Should be fair enough.

    Please don’t just censor me away (very poor style!), even if you, as a
    salesperson, do not necessarily agree with
    or even understand my expert opinion…

    Dear Mr O’Byrne,

    this is another “great” piece of fake news. First of all, this was an
    ATTACK (not a “hack”), and it was done by ATTACKERS (not “hackers”). The
    attack has apparently targeted Microsoft-Windows-based systems.

    In other words, only dumb users (and dumb corporations with a sufficient
    level of incompetence to run mission-critical applications on buggy
    Microsoft platforms, known throughout the industry to be insecure) are
    likely to be victims of that attack.

    Mr O’Byrne, after making your claims, instead of simply deleting my
    post, please show evidence of any Linux or Unix systems affected
    (including other Unix-flavour platforms like FreeBSD-based MacOS X) or
    admit that you did not porperly research the subject. Also kindly
    provide proof of PKI technologies (such as SSL or E-mail certificates)
    being compromised or broken as a result of that — admittedly severe —
    attack.

    The worst part of the misinformation I am taking issue with here is the
    “And-Digital-Currencies” portion, as included in your headline.

    As of this writing, there is no technology available for breaking SSL
    and related technologies with key-lengths of over 128 bits. Kindly note
    that Bitcoin and all other Crypto coins or “digital assets” use SHA-256
    or better, sometimes wholly different, encryption technology which are
    state-of-the-art. (Using a monolithic Windows operating system, on the
    other hand, is not!)

    Therefore, most digital assets are safer than cash in a bank (because
    hundreds of banks are using Microsoft IIS and other Windows rubbish, you
    can openly see this if online banking pages show the “.asp” or “.aspx”
    file name extension in the URL; this is the line of text appearing in
    your web reader when browsing the internet, in case you’re wondering)…
    Only a fraction of banks are running their mission-critical applications
    on Unix-derivatives and apply adequate additional IT security procedures.

    As long as only basic security measures are observed (not using Windows
    at all, storing Crypto coins in cold storage or, ideally, paper wallets
    offline; search the internet to learn

    what this is!) these assets are very secure and not exposed to political
    (or, as it is called in the figure above, “global policy uncertainty” —
    same thing), systemic, nor counterparty risk. (Remaining risks in the
    digital asset realm are technology risk and physical attack/theft risk
    only. These need to be overcome by low-tech backups on paper and
    sufficient protection, e g personal safe or safe-storage at a third
    party; not too hard to adhere to).

    While I appreciate that you, as a salesperson, are trying to make a case
    for precious metals and other tangible (real) assets (which I am aware
    digital assets are certainly not), there is no room for scaremongering
    or fake news about “all digital assets being bad” or similar.

    I am also aware (and as a holder of precious metals, very disappointed
    myself) that Bitcoin and other digital assets are used as “safe havens”
    these days and that this causes gold and silver to under-perform
    severely over the last 7 years. (In fact, falling precious metals prices
    since summer 2011 may be attributable to Bitcoin’s rise beginning around
    these same weeks.)

    This is not a “selling point for gold and silver” though, as isn’t the
    entire ransomware attack against the Windows-run portion of computers in
    most countries all over the world. On

    the contrary, this incident shows that both precious metals and also
    portions of wealth stored in digital assets offer both a good way of
    protection against these risks.

    Please do not confuse the the technical facts and different kinds of
    computer technology and please do not mislead readers with incorrect
    conclusions of a layperson, ignoring the intricacies of the real tools,
    technologies and reasonable security measures involved and freely
    available to anyone who knows how to deploy them.

    The fact, that governments and state-run health services or pension
    funds are too stupid to protect us (and themselves) and do not even use
    ubiquitous security measures does not mean everyone had to be worried
    now nor necessarily rush and buy from GoldCore right away. Other
    measures, as described above, will also reasonably and sufficiently
    protect your wealth, alongside intelligent allocations of wealth into
    precious metals like gold and silver as well.