Singapore PM tells followers to ‘remain vigilant’ on crypto after seeing name used to sell tokens

“I have nothing to do with the platform,” said Lee Hsien Loong. “It is misleading and done without my permission.”

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, claims someone set up a profile on the social token platform BitClout to sell tokens using the information from his Twitter account. 

In a Facebook post Friday, Loong urged Singaporeans to “to remain vigilant when dealing with cryptocurrency platforms.” He said that someone had used BitClout to create one of the platform’s Creator Coins using his name, Twitter account bio, and photo. According to the screenshot Loong posted, there were 27.4088 of his tokens with a market capitalization of more than $9,800, with at least one user holding $4.77 worth.

“I have discovered that my Twitter profile (and others as well) has been used without my permission or knowledge on a blockchain platform that allows users to buy and speculate with its proprietary cryptocurrency,” said the prime minister.

He added:

“The site’s creators are anonymous, but I have sent an open tweet out to ask that my name and photo be removed from the site immediately, as I have nothing to do with the platform. It is misleading and done without my permission.”

Loong’s account has since been removed, but could have been added to the platform at launch. According to BitClout, the site pre-loaded the top 15,000 Twitter influencers — purportedly based on the number of followers — allowing users to “buy and sell their coins even though they’re not on the platform yet.” The Singapore PM has more than 792,000 followers.

However, it appears that the figures behind the BitClout accounts do not have to reserve their profiles for the buying and selling of the tokens to start. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s BitClout profile shows he has not officially joined the platform, but many users are currently holding his tokens, worth $89,379.39 each at the time of publication. When creators activate their accounts by tweeting out their BitClout address, they’re entitled to claim a certain number of their own tokens.

The prime minister’s warning went out to his 1.6 million Facebook followers in addition to his Twitter followers, but was purportedly intended for all 5.7 million people living in Singapore. Loong seemed to imply investing in the crypto platform was akin to “falling prey to scams,” and encouraged users to only deal with companies regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

BitClout has also attracted the attention of former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, who is handing out signed copies of her final 2016 Playboy magazine cover to the three biggest holders of her Creator Coin. Anderson’s token is currently valued at $6,749.89 with a market cap of more than $800,000.

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Half a billion people just had their Facebook data leaked

Leaked information includes phone number, Facebook ID, full name, location, past locations, birthdate, email address, relationship status, and bio.

According to a security analyst, sensitive personal information for over half a billion Facebook users was leaked on a well-trafficked hacking forum earlier today — a potential risk to millions of cryptocurrency traders and hodlers who now may be vulnerable to sim swapping and other identity-based attacks. 

The trove of information was first discovered by Alon Gal, CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, who posted on Twitter about the leak earlier today:

According to Gal, the leak is related to a security vulnerability first discovered in 2019. In January 2021, it became known that hackers were able to use the information to access user’s phone numbers; the leak has now expanded to include “Phone number, Facebook ID, Full name, Location, Past Location, Birthdate, (Sometimes) Email Address, Account Creation Date, Relationship Status, Bio.”

According to Gal, the information could now enable hackers and scammers to deploy a variety of social manipulation exploits and other nefarioustactics:

“Bad actors will certainly use the information for social engineering, scamming, hacking and marketing.”

Cryptocurrency users are at particular risk of such attacks. Earlier this year, a victim of a sim-swapping attack sued mobile phone company T-Mobile for $450,000, and in 2018 Kaspersky Labs found that hackers were able to steal 21,000 ETH, currently worth over $43 million, in social engineering attacks over a 12-month period. 

The data breach is also orders of magnitude larger than the Ledger breach late last year. Shortly after over 270,000 users’ information was leaked online, users reported extortionist threats, and considered lawsuits against the hardware wallet company. 

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A Look at Facebook’s Diem Wallet- Token Sale Accepts 3 Cryptos, Strict KYC, Hefty Data Collection

A Look at Facebook's Diem Wallet- Token Sale Accepts 3 Cryptos, Strict KYC, Hefty Data CollectionDuring the last two years, there’s been a lot of interest in Facebook’s cryptocurrency diem (formally libra) and rumors of a nearing launch date went viral last November. Now the social media giant is advertising the crypto asset’s pre-sale heavily on the platform, as people can now purchase diem with U.S. dollars and three different […]
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Privacy-Centric Messaging App Signal Experiments With Stellar-Based Mobilecoin Project

Privacy-Centric Messaging App Signal Experiments With Stellar-Based Mobilecoin ProjectOne of the most popular privacy-centric messaging applications Signal has seen explosive growth during the last two months over things like the Whatsapp acquisition and the recent Big Tech censorship. According to a number of reports, the company has been experimenting with monetization and more recently Signal has been reportedly testing the crypto network Stellar. […]
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Australia’s eSafety Commissioner touts blockchain as a solution to trolls

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has suggested blockchain-based digital IDs as a potential solution to fight online abuse and trolling.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has suggested a blockchain-powered ID solution could help tackle cyber abuse and trolling while allowing users to maintain a level of anonymity.

Speaking to New South Whales media outlet The Sydney Morning Herald, Grant said that while anonymity was beneficial for general online use, people hiding behind anonymity online to harm others remained a big problem in society. She said blockchain-powered digital IDs could help strike a balance by hiding user’s details unless requested by law enforcement.

Inman Grant stated that:

“There’s more that they can do in terms of their intellectual capability, their access to advanced technology, their vast financial resources, to come up with better systems to identify who’s on their platforms and violating their terms of service.”

Ms Inman Grant worked at Microsoft during the 1990s and was involved in shaping the controversial Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the U.S. which provides social media companies with immunity from liability for user content.

Facebook and Twitter’s decision to deplatform former U.S. President Donald Trump following the riots on the U.S. Capitol highlighted the difficulties social media companies face in balancing the desire to protect the public from harmful content while allowing freedom of expression and opinion.

Blockchain-based pseudonymity could play a part in helping users feel comfortable expressing themselves while enabling the authorities to take action against users inciting violence or harassing others.

The use of blockchain technology to develop digital ID solutions is being trialed by companies in numerous countries around the world including Japan, Korea, U.S., and China.

Japanese firm Layer X is building an electronic voting solution using blockchain technology for digital ID in partnership with xID.

Blockchain-based ID has also been explored by Ontology as a tool to improve its in-car payment solutions, such as automatic insurance claims in the event of an accident.

In an effort to bring a degree of normality back to the tourism and travel industry after COVID-19, technology companies including ShareRing have developed blockchain-based tracing systems that also double as a traveler’s digital passport and proof-of-health.

Adoption of these solutions is increasing with one million South Koreans opting into a blockchain-based drivers license solution only four months after it was launched. According to Statista, this represented more than 3% of the entire driving population for that country.

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