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18th September 2023 > > Mark Cuban.


tl;dr

Mark Cuban and another sobering tale of lax crypto security procedures.


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Market Wrap

Oil is on the rise again. Politicians who promise to halve inflation whilst having no control over global commodity prices will learn to regret such hubris. Unfortunately for us, central bankers will likely respond with inappropriate rate rises when M2 is already contracting, in the mistaken belief that they need to be seen to be doing something. “Don’t just stand there, do nothing!” should be lesson 1.0 for anyone thinking of a career at a central bank.


Occasional Series – Russell Brand

I know. He’s just boorish and has never made a funny comment in his life. Which is probably why he was given a long-term gig at the BBC.


But I still stick to this quaint, old-fashioned, notion that one is innocent until proven guilty.


Many of those people who clapped and cheered for him on his Saturday night gig at Wembley would not extend the same grace to some others. We probably know why.


The taste of double standards is bitter. So very bitter.


Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Mark Cuban and another scammer

Billionaire Mark Cuban, one of the original BTC sceptics who recently revealed that most of his investments are now cryptos or crypto related, suffered from a phishing attack, losing over $860k in various coins.


It seems that he downloaded a fake version of MetaMask. Setting it up to access one of his wallets by inputting his private key, malicious code within the fake program transmitted the private key to the scammer. In some ways he was lucky – he managed to save $2.5mm of USDC and a CryptoPunk, floor prices of which now stand at $77k.


The key take-away is not to use hot wallets or use them only for very small amounts of crypto. If I had $3mm or more of crypto assets, I would spread them over a few different wallets all secured by hardware such as the Ledger Nano X.


Curious Cryptos’ first venture into opening an overseas office in Inverie, Knoydart, has proved so wildly successful that I am in preparation for a business trip later this year in search of suitable premises for our second overseas office, in either Thailand or Australia.


To that end, I took delivery of a superfast, sleek looking, Bang & Olufsen laptop just yesterday, to keep the CCC printing press rolling.


New computer hardware always requires a good couple of hours getting everything set up properly. Towards the end, I got around to installing extensions to Brave in the form of crypto wallets which I use to access some of my alts.


One of those wallets is Phantom Wallet, through which I stake SOL (Solana).


Having popped the question into my browser, I got this response:














licking on the first of the results shown took me here:










When I clicked on the link, the all-powerful AVG anti-virus kicked into action:














If you look carefully at the first two screen grabs you will see this in the link:


Note the double mm where only one should be. This is the exact same scam that got Mark Cuban.


My cryptos were never at risk, because I so very rarely use hot wallets, and if I do it is for a very specific purpose for very small amounts.


But there is a second key take-away.


Always use anti-virus software, even on a Mac, your iPad, or your iPhone. I know many people think Apple products are immune to a virus attack, but this isn’t true. And in any case, scammers are more sophisticated than that. Mark Cuban could have saved himself nearly $1mm simply by using AVG and a hardware wallet.

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