Jun 28, 2019

Scammers flock to buy Libra web domains

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

With Facebook's announcing its Libra cryptocurrency, scammers have flocked to purchase domains that could easily be mistaken for legitimate Libra sites, say threat intelligence group Digital Shadows.

The big picture: Not all of the roughly 250 Libra and 100 Calibra sites that were registered within 24 hours of Facebook's June 18 announcement are scams.

  • "A lot of them are parked domains," said Digital Shadows' Harrison Van Riper, but the company has already found several sites deliberately trying to trick consumers into giving up cash.

Background: If regulators let Libra launch, Facebooks' entry into cryptocurrency will be released in 2020. The company will also offer a cryptocurrency holding service, known as a wallet, called Calibra.

Details: Digital Shadows has found several sites that copy the formatting of Facebook's own Libra site, sites selling access to the still unreleased cryptocurrency, and one that decided to give up midway through its scam. ("[S]orry Zuck. All funds are refunded," read a goodbye message.)

What they're saying: A Facebook spokesperson emailed: “We’re aware of the issue and will work with the Libra Association to take appropriate action.”

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 691,867 — Total deaths: 32,988 — Total recoveries: 146,613.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 125,433 — Total deaths: 2,201 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record, bringing its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked people"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference Sunday that President Donald Trump's unexpected Saturday announcement of a possible "short-term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut to curb the spread of the coronavirus "really panicked people."

Why it matters: Though Trump ruled out the mandatory quarantine later that day, Cuomo said people still called "all night long" asking about the comments and many likely fled the New York area — possibly spreading the virus further.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Fauci suggests death toll could top 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN Sunday that models suggest COVID-19 will infect millions of Americans and could kill 100,000–200,000, though he stressed that the projections are "a moving target."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, reported influxes of cases on Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health