TGIF! Which means leaving work behind and enjoying the weekend for most of us. It’s that time of the week when we play catch up on some tech trending stories from around the world.
Trump’s social media app goes live
Following a ban from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in 2021, former US President Donald Trump’s social-networking platform, Truth Social, has gone live in the United States Apple App store.
Some users have reported being unable to register accounts or receiving error messages while attempting to do so. Others were encouraged to sign up on a waiting list.
The app went live following a screenshot shared last week by Donald Trump Jr. of his father’s first “truth” on the social network: “Get ready. Your favourite president will see you soon”.
Still, after becoming available to download on Monday, Truth Social topped the list of most downloaded apps in Apple’s US App Store, beating out TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, among others.
In the run-up to the 2024 elections, Trump is hoping that Truth Social will help him make up for the fact that he was banned from other networks and will give him a new platform to enhance his profile.
The tech giants barred Trump from using the social networks amid allegations that he used social media to inspire his supporters to use violence in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Scam victims get back Ethereum worth millions
A total of £4 million in cryptocurrencies has been restored to 23 victims who were defrauded by a fake trading scheme, according to reports.
This reversal happened following the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) seizing Ethereum and other digital assets valued at more than £16 million in July 2021.
A 23-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were arrested and later released under investigation on accusations of fraud and money laundering. The police force stated that it was attempting to return the remaining seized money to a total of 127 fraud victims.
According to a GMP representative, 150 persons from the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, China, Australia, and Hong Kong put money into an online savings and trading account.
He claimed that individuals behind the service waited till a large sum of money was deposited before shutting down the website and transferring the money to their own accounts.
Officers obtained information that the scheme’s masterminds were in Manchester, and raids were carried out.
An encrypted USB stick carrying roughly £7 million in stolen Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency after BitCoin, was recovered, according to the spokesman, while another £9 million in cryptocurrency was discovered in an “online safe” a few days later.
Cyber attacks rocks Ukraine amidst crisis with Russia
According to sources, Ukraine was reportedly hit by a massive cyberattack on Tuesday, just hours after a statewide state of emergency was imposed in preparation for a feared Russian invasion.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Security Service, and Cabinet of Ministers all had their websites down on Wednesday afternoon.
Several government buildings received bomb threats, which are assumed to be part of a psychological pressure operation by Moscow.
In what analysts describe as the initial stage of a Russian attack, Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said banks were also targeted in a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which employs computer networks to bombard websites with information until they crash.
It happened just hours after the country was put in a state of war, with 200,000 military reservists called up, border zones restricted, and three million Ukrainians ordered to flee Russia, with Kiev recognizing for the first time that an attack could happen anywhere, at any time.
These were not the first cyber strikes of their kind, as last week, a similar attack brought a smaller number of websites offline in the country.
The UK and US cyber agencies quickly blamed the attack on Russian hackers acting on directions from the Kremlin. Moscow, on the other hand, denied any involvement, and no official responsibility has been placed on Russia for the recent attacks.
Bitcoin donations to the Ukrainian military surge as Russia invades
Bitcoin donations to the Ukrainian army have skyrocketed after the large-scale offense launched by Moscow against Ukraine early Thursday.
According to reports from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, approximately $400,000 in bitcoin was donated to Come Back Alive, a Ukrainian non-governmental organisation that supports the armed forces, in a 12-hour period on Thursday.
The new round of crypto donations builds on a trend seen in previous weeks, in which hundreds of thousands of dollars have rushed into Ukrainian NGOs and volunteer groups attempting to fend off a Russian invasion.
Activists have used the cryptocurrency for a number of objectives, including providing military weapons, medical supplies, and drones to the Ukrainian army, as well as supporting the development of a facial recognition tool to determine whether someone is a Russian mercenary or spy.
Volunteer organisations have traditionally complemented the military’s efforts in Ukraine by providing additional resources and people.
Volunteers stepped up to support demonstrators after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed in 2014.
According to Elliptic, volunteer groups and NGOs have raised over $1 million in cryptocurrency, but that number is rapidly rising as donations pour in despite Russia’s newly initiated attack.
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