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[Table] IAmA dark web expert, investigative journalist and true crime author. I’ve met dark web kingpins in far flung prisons and delved the murky depths of child predator forums. I’ve written six books and over a dozen Casefile podcast episodes. AMA (part 1/2)
Source | Guestbook Note: Some answers were repetitive, but were not edited out.
Have you ever gotten into legal trouble by exploring the dark places of the internet? Like, "sorry, officer, I was only surfing drug markets and child molester forums for my next journalism piece..." Do you worry about that? Do you have to take extra steps to protect yourself?
I'm very careful not to go anywhere that it is illegal to visit. You will hear loads of stories about how easy it is to "stumble upon" child porn, but the fact is that those sites usually have names like "Preteen cuties" so you know exactly what they are, and in order to access them you have to register. So you have to make a very deliberate choice to log into them. I have no interest whatsoever in viewing any child abuse material, so I don't go into those places. When I was researching The Darkest Web, I went to the discussion forums that didn't allow any images (though they did link to sites that did), and even there I turned off images.
As for the drugs, weapons etc, there is nothing illegal about surfing them and looking around.
I do get a bit nervous every time I visit the US, especially when I was invited to a "friendly" lunch with Homeland Security once (it was reasonably friendly as it turns out, it was also terrifying)
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Why did homeland security want to talk to you?
They said it was about the murder-for-hire stuff, but some of the questions leaned toward something else
Is there anything that really concerns you about the dark web? Some of the things already discussed are beyond barbaric and that is only the stuff that has been found out about and been picked up by the media and your fantastic work. Do you think the public should expect worse and more horrific revelations from the dark web or is it just "more of the same" for lack of a better term and do you think the authorities are getting better in shutting this inhumanity down and catching the people responsible?
I am definitely not against people taking back their online privacy and I actually think that buying drugs from the darknet markets is a safer and more sensible option than buying them from the dodgy dealer down the road. However the one thing that is really disturbing is that the dark web has provided a place for child predators to find each other and form communities where they support and egg each other on. Imagine a few years ago, someone who was into hurtcore could never tell anyone else and would be unlikely to ever come across another person with the same perversions. Now it is as simple as finding the relevant site on the dark web. When there are suddenly hundreds of people who all think and act in the same way, it normlalizes what they are doing.
One of the guys who got caught, Matthew Falder, was a sadist who used to crowdsource "ideas" for torturing the children and teens he was blackmailing into doing heinous things for him online. But apparently he was a "normal" intelligent popular guy
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But how does everyone participate in those illegal sites without getting caught? You said in other comments that you tried to stay away from underaged sites because they were illegal. Can't they be tracked down, even with tor and a vpn? The thing that I don't understand is that even on the dark web people say you should stay away from illegal sites, but how are pedos not getting caught?
they are getting caught, but the way they are getting caught is through painstaking detective work, looking for clues in photos, befriending them online and getting them to reveal things about themselves (what is known as social engineering). It takes a long time and many resources.
I say don't go there because (a) it is illegal and (b) you really shouldn't want to go there
Iirc you attended the trial of the person behind the horrific hurt core website that was exposed a few years back. I was wondering if there was anything in particular that happened during the trial that particularly shocked or horrified you that isn't really public knowledge or talked about? Reactions from the judge or perpetrator during the trial etc. As I remember it the guy was a fairly young loner who lived with his parents but would probably never have been expected to be behind the horrific vile things which he was found to be. Also, how did you get into investigative journalism/writing?
I wrote in one of the other replies above about the little mute girl that has stayed with me. Also, at the insistence of the prosecution, the judge had to watch "Daisy's Destruction" which was a video of torture of a toddler. He put it off for two days and when he came back he was white. He didn't have the sound on, which is considered the worst part, but he still looked shell-shocked. I don't envy him.
I'll cut'n'paste re your last question: I was in London, working for one of the most conservative law firms in the world when the Global Financial Crisis hit. I liked the job but it struck me when people were losing their livelihoods that I was working for the bad guys. I'd always wanted to be a writer so when I came back to Australia I quit law and enrolled in a writing course planning to be a novelist, but I discovered I was better at journalism. I first wrote for newspapers here about Silk Road and it grew from there
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Thanks for the reply.. that really must've been horrific for all involved from investigation to trial and for all of the victims (apart from the scum responsible of course). I guess it would be naive to assume that the end of this site did anything other than drive this depraved community even further underground. That is the part which is really scary to me but I suppose all we can do is have faith that the authorities are always close on the tail. Thank you for your work on reporting on this and raising this stuff more into the public consciousness and making people more aware of what kind of evil still lurks.
It was the most disturbing two days of my life, made all the worse because they read out hours of interactions from the site where the children still had not been identified or the predators caught.
Hurt2theCore was not the last site of its kind and there are still hurtcore sites to this day on the dark web. The one hopeful thing is that there are international task forces that seem to work together really well (unlike when it comes to drugs and every law enforcement agency wants to take the lead and they all withhold info from each other). There are a lot of resources allocated to identifying predators and their victims. Sometimes this has involved some very controversial tactics, such as taking over the sites and letting them run, so that they can use social engineering techniques to identify those who are using the sites and who are actually abusing children
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So daisy's destruction is real? Was it referred to by that name court? I always thought it was a myth
Yes, Daisy's Destruction is real, it was referred to by name in court and the judge had to watch the 12 minutes of it that were hosted on Hurt2theCore.
The "myth" part is that it shows a murder. The toddler, Daisy, lived, though she suffered such horrific injuries she will never be able to bear children. Hopefully she was young enough that she will grow up without the memory.
However, Scully did murder at least one child, whose body was found under the floorboards of his house. it is not known whether he filmed her murder as no video evidence of it has come to light.
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Thanks for answering. I actually watched a really good video on Hurt2theCore on youtube once, I think it was by a guy called Nexpo. It was really detailed and informative about the whole case - I forgot those details. Thanks again for replying, this AMA is really informative!
I think I recall that one, it was from a few years ago.
An excellent podcast that came out recently is "Hunting Warhead", highly recommend a listen. It is a tough listen, but exceptionally well-told and respectfully handled
How do you detach yourself from your work? I'm an investigator for a law firm and I've had a lot of difficult working on wrongful death cases recently. Also, how did you first end up getting published? Any tips for people interested in that field? Thanks!
I don't detach. When I was researching hurtcore, it was harrowing and affected me deeply. Writing that part of the book was a very slow process because I just couldn't be in that headspace for very long at a time. Once the book was written I didn't go back there.
I already had a reputation as a blogger and a freelance journalist when i pitched my book on Silk Road. I got an agent and it was auctioned off, with Pan MacMillan getting the rights. At the time, Silk Road was still going strong, and the book I wrote was about this new frontier of drug dealing that was changing the world. I was writing it "from the inside" as I had been an active part of the community for two years. However, right as I submitted the final manuscript to my publisher, Silk Road was busted and Ross Ulbricht arrested, so i had to quickly change the narrative to a "Rise and Fall" thing!
How many times have you approached law enforcement with information and how many times has the approach resulted in action? and... are there times where you know something nefarious is happening but history and the evidence at hand tells you it's not worth the effort?
There is no point in approaching law enforcement to say "I have come across this site". If I've found it, you can guarantee law enforcement has found it as well.
The only time I've approached law enforcement was when I had information that they did not, which was when a friendly hacker provided me with a back door into the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire site. I got to see all the messages and orders etc. Of course LE knew about the site, but they did not have the details of the people who had hits taken out on them. We tried desperately to tell police in several countries that real people had paid real money to have other real people killed, but they just weren't interested. We sounded like crazy people talking about dark web hitmen, who were scams anyway and nobody was dead, so why should they be interested? They became much more engaged when one of the people WE HAD PREVIOUSLY TOLD THEM ABOUT later turned up dead
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By law enforcement, do you mean only local or else the big agencies? I feel like I wouldn't tell my local police department because they wouldn't really know what to do. It would have to the the bigger agencies.
FBI in US. NCA in UK. AFP in Australia. Nobody was very interested, although the FBI did visit at least one of the targets to let her know she was a target. She still wound up dead
What are some of the most prevalent uses of the dark web that AREN'T all shady and nefarious?
We might be getting into semantics here, but people use Tor, which is the most possible darknet that is used to access the dark web, just for private browsing and ensuring that commercial interests aren't following them everywhere to bombard them with ads for some thing they looked up.
Some of the news organizations have a dark web presence so that whistleblowers can upload information safely. Even the CIA has a site on the dark web so that people can anonymously tip off matters of national security.
Other than that, there are just forums, where you don't have to worry that every single stupid thing you post will be saved in posterity forever, to be trotted out years later when you run for congress or something
After everything you've seen, does anything surprise you anymore or are you just numb to it at this point? Do you think there should be more education/exposure about the dark web than there is now or would that just be counter-productive as people would just find another place to hide? I'm curious to hear any favourite stories about the Psychonauts.
I am not numb and I hope I never become numb. I really don't visit the horrible dark places very often, unless I'm researching something specific, and even then I don't look at pictures or videos. Most of the crime is pretty benign - I'm not fazed by people wanting a safer way to buy drugs.
I think there needs to be ongoing discussions about online activity and its misuse in general, but most crime still happens on the clearnet. The dark web is not nearly as large or prevalent as people fear.
For a long time, a dealer provided free LSD to anyone who wanted it for personal use (ie not sale) and to any organizations who were doing psychedelic therapy.
One psychonaut got busted and spent time in prison... only he still had bitcoin in a wallet and by the time he was released he was a millionaire. He would have just spent it on drugs otherwise :)
I know law enforcement has to delve into the predator side of the dark web. With what you've seen do you think it should be mandatory or an industry standard that law enforcement officials seek professional help? I couldn't imagine investigating that daily and not thinking less of humanity at some point.
I'm pretty sure they do. I worked for Legal Aid for a while, and i know there were pretty strict rules in place for the lawyers who had to defend child abusers.
When I was at the trial for Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, I met a cop whose job it was to watch all the videos and befriend the predators in an attempt to get them to slip up and reveal something of themselves. She said she had a little filing cabinet in her brain where she put all that stuff, and that making an arrest made it all worthwhile. She had made several arrests personally. She was a sex offender's worst nightmare :)
What’s one of your personal favorite investigations and what made it unique for you?
By far the Besa Mafia murder-for-hire case. What made it unique was that, first, I was provided a back door into the Besa Mafia site by a friendly hacker, so i had information that nobody else had. But then I became "friends" for want of a better word with the owner of the site, Yura. Besa Mafia, of course, was not killing anyone, but Yura made a LOT of money scamming would-be murderers out of their money. We entered into a weird relationship over the years where i would report on his activities and he would try every trick under the sun to stop me from doing so, so that he could keep scamming people. He even offered me a job, helping him, because he had become so busy. He also provided me with names and details of people who had hits taken out on them so I could pass them on to law enforcement.
It all became horribly real when one of the people who had a hit put out of them wound up dead. It wasn't Yura of course, but the guy had paid him $13K before giving up on the site and doing it himself. The thing was WE HAD TOLD THE FBI about the hit and the $13K and they visited the victim, but then put it into the too-hard basket when she couldn't think who might have paid that much to kill her.
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Wow. That’s actually pretty cool. Reminds me of an old saying. “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
It's a seriously bizarre relationship. When I was hired as a consultant by CBS for a 48 Hours expose on dark web hitmen, he actually agreed to meet me in London. But he thought that CBS was going to advertise his site as the real deal and he got excited and sent them details of two people who had hits put out on them. CBS sent them straight to the police and very shortly after two arrests were made and it was all over the news, where they called his site a scam. Yura got so pissed about it, he never turned up to our meeting. They had even hired an Academy Award-nominated master of disguise makeup artist to disguise him!
are "red rooms" actually a prevalent thing, or just a widespread misconception or rumor? I ask in part because it's very easy to see, for instance, Mexican cartels dismembering people alive, etc, just on the clearnet. Hell, a couple days ago I saw a video posted of a cartel member cutting out a dude's heart while the guy was alive, and he ATE it. He fucking ATE it. So it seems plausible...
The most popular myth of all is Red Rooms, where people – usually women – are tortured to death live on camera while those who have paid to watch type in torture commands in a chat box. Think the movie Hostel, with webcams. In this sense these have never been proven to exist. I get where you are coming from with the cartels, and the recent news item where they found those shipping containers set up with torture rooms freaked me out and made me wonder!
There is some truth to this rumour, but the execution is not like you see in the movies. Most notably, because it involves children, not adults abused on demand for paying pedophiles, but not to the point of death
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The news about those shipping containers really made me speculate, since for every one person who gets caught doing something evil, there must be at least several more people who are very honed in their 'profession' doing the same evil deeds and worse, yet who evade being captured for decades. Anyway, based on morbid things I've seen, karma comes around eventually...
I know, right? It really freaked me out, and then when I read that they already had intended victims for them but the police got to them first and put them in protected custody.. IMAGINE SEEING THOSE PICTURES AND KNOWING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THEM!! I would retire to a deserted island somewhere
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Your line of work could easily result in something like C-PTSD down the road a little ways. I have a morbid curiosity, and have seen worse than those shipping containers had to offer. I'm sure you have as well. So one more question from you, if you don't mind: what are some proactive approaches to mental health you take to safeguard your sanity?
A lot of wine. Cuddle my dog
Hi, there! This has been fascinating to read; thank you so much for sharing! I'm curious: why do you think so many people who don't want to engage with disgusting and illegal content like hurtcore find it so interesting to read about? Do you have any insight into your readership and the ethics associated with reading about these kind of topics?
I think morbid fascination with the dark is exceedingly common - just look at how many people can't get enough about serial killers! In some ways it is probably a self-defense mechanism - the vast majority of true-crime readers are women. People like to be armed with knowledge. We also like to be spooked and scared.
As for my books, I don't really go into much gory detail, but the horror still shines through
Out of all 9-5 jobs out there, why this? What’s your motive?
I got disenchanted by being a lawyer and I had wanted to be an author since childhood. The lawyering put me in a strong enough financial position that I could quit to do a uni course for a couple of years. My plan was to become a best-selling novelist, but my first chick-lit novel was nothing special. However, during the course, I found I did really well at journalism and was soon making a living as a freelance journo before I finished the course. My first major feature was on the Silk Road drugs market, which I had discovered thanks to a friend who was using it. Once I got in there I became fascinated by everything about it and started contacting the owner, users, vendors etc asking for stories (I was upfront about who I was). I began the first serious dark web blog - allthingsvice.com - and also became the go-to freelancer for Australian dark web stories. Then I pitched my first book and got a healthy advance for it.
I like working for myself, working from home and delving into things. Right now I have my dream job (though it wouldn't hurt to pay a bit more. I'm certainly not making anywhere near what I used to make lawyering, but I make enough to get by and I live pretty simply)
Did you ever do any writing on Brian Farrell and his role in Silk Road 2.0? I was Brian's cellmate for all of 2017 at Sheridan Federal Prison and heard all of his crazy stories. Was just curious as to the validity of them all.
DoctorClu! I did write briefly about him in Silk Road, but it wasn't all positive. I remember being frustrated by the shitshow that was Silk Road 2.0 in the beginning, right after SR1 shut and when DPR2 took off and Defcon got all dramatic. It settled down after a bit and lasted a year, when it was revealed THEY HAD A FUCKING UNDERCOVER HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICER ON STAFF THE WHOLE TIME. But yeah, anyhow, they are probably true. I'd love to hear them :)
Was there ever something on the dark web that made you surprised ( in a good way) and smile ?
So many things. Back in the day of the original Silk Road, I became obsessed with the forums, the people behind it, the intelligent discourse about the War on Drugs and philosophy. I found it amusing that drug dealers ran sales and giveaways. There were book clubs and movie clubs.
One of the most important people from that era was Dr Fernando Cauevilla, who became a member of Silk Road as "DoctorX". He was a real doctor who provided genuine, free, non-judgmental advice about drug use to the members of the site. It was quite an amazing time.
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Did Ulbricht get taken down the way we were told in the news? What happened to all the Bitcoins?
His arrest went down the way we were told in the news. How they located the server has never been disclosed (other than a fanciful explanation that NOBODY could believe). This explanation may be tested if Variety Jones runs a Fourth Amendment argument at his trial
The bitcoin in the wallet on Ross' computer was auctioned off by the Feds. He may have other bitcoin wallets stashed somewhere but nobody knows
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Book/movie clubs on the silk road?
Yeah, they would set reading and then everyone would come back and discuss the book, or they would have a time when everyone watched the same movie at the same time and chatted about it in real time
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Haha that's amazing! I don't suppose you remember any of the books in question?
They used to be a lot of philosophy books, especially on agorism. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men was one of the books. I remember V for Vendetta on a movie night
You don't seem to be pushing your most recent project and you're actually answering all the questions people ask, so I've got ask...are you some sort of government plant meant to destabilize reddit? This isn't how AMAs are supposed to work. You come in, you half ass a few questions, hawk whatever you're here to hawk, and then leave after 20 minutes. That's how it's done.
lol I'm a genuine redditor from way back, and I love talking about the stuff I do. I did find that after I answered a question in an AskReddit thread a while back that blew up, the sales followed. But that was organic and I don't think you can force it to happen - Reddit can spot that a mile awy
What are some of the best things about the dark web? And can anyone get on it? Things you can buy that you can’t buy normally online?
I really enjoy some of the forums, especially the psychonaut forums where people who like to trip on psychedelics get together and talk drugs and philosophy. There's a real "be kind to one another" vibe.
Getting on the dark web is easy, but not getting scammed when buying things takes a lot of homework. Yes, you can buy most things, but the most popular things are drugs and digital goods, i.e. things that depend on repeat custom and are easily transferable from seller to buyer
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You're doing the Good Work my man. I'd give you one of those awards if i knew how
What would you define the word "Safe" when it come to the internet (both www and dark web) world and are there any tips that I should follow to keep myself safe?
It really depends on what YOU mean by safe. Tor, which is the darknet that provides access to the dark web will keep you safe from prying eyes and surveillance.
If you mean keep your information safe, the old-fashioned advice is to never reuse your password and to enable 2-Factor authentication wherever you can. Your information is quite likely somewhere on the dark web thanks to high-profile hacks of major organizations, but provided you don't re-use usernames and passwords, you really don't have to worry too much about it.
If you mean keeping yourself and/or any kid safe from predators, the only thing is to ensure you are educated about the approaches and methods they use.
Has Covid affected the Dark Web in any real way? Also I just read through all of the post comments, what incredible story’s. I would totally buy a book about the Silk Road or Yaru!
re covid on the dark web, here's some notes I made for an interview I did recently:
* when Trump first hyped hydroxychloroquine as a potential miracle cure for COVID-19, drug dealers on the dark web seized on the claim.
* Listings quickly popped up on the most popular darknet markets
* A vendor on Whitehouse Market sells 100 Pills for $90, calling it a “Miracle Drug For Coronavirus” and suggesting buyers purchase in bulk to sell at a mark-up locally.
* Another makes the dubious claim “This drug will help people to beat Corona Virus” There are 11 listings on Empire Market currently, although more than half are from the one seller, who is a well-known and trusted vendor on the site.
* There were also people claiming to be selling infected blood or plasma of recovered COVID victims
* The infected blood stuff is just bullshit IMO Just because something is listed doesn’t mean it is genuinely for sale
* There's been some claims to be selling vaccines
* At the beginning there were also loads of listings for PPE
* some just used it as a marketing tactic - “fight off the virus with edible cannabis” or “relax with Xanax” and others as an excuse to raise their prices
* However, sales are low compared to sales of other drugs on the site, so it is difficult to say whether it’s something that will really catch on
* It didn’t take long for complaints to come in and market owners to clamp down on anything claiming to be a miracle cure or vaccine
* users were discouraging other users from profiting off the pandemic and requested markets provide health and safety information
* All the major markets forbid anything being sold as a cure for COVID. They flagged keywords and vendors would be told to take any listings down. They also put out PSAs telling people not to buy
* Monopoly: threatened to ban and.. “You are about to ingest drugs from a stranger on the internet - under no circumstances should you trust any vendor that is using COVID-19 as a marketing tool to peddle already questionable goods”
* It was a business decision. They don’t want anything that will attract attention or that might cause desperate people who wouldn’t normally use the DNMs to find their way there
* The idea behind DNMs generally is educated and responsible drug use. They really don’t want people dying - bad publicity and no repeat custom
* However the dark web is rife with scammers and people willing to prey on the desperate so there are still scams out there
* The only way I could ever see it becoming a thing is if there is a well-known potential cure/vaccine that is not being made widely available and could plausibly find its way onto the black market
Hi Eileen :) My question is about how you construct your Casefile episodes - I assume there is an extensive amount of outlining but do you write the final draft like a script specifically thinking about his voice? And about how long are they as far as - for example - does one hour equal 50-60 pages? Thank you.
I initially write them as if I'm writing an article or book, but then go back and edit them to be read out and yes, when I do that, I do have his voice in my head lol. One episode is usually around 12,000 words. It then goes to another editor who edits the episode to be even more "casefileaa' before it finally goes to Casey
Have you been exposed to things in your investigations that have made you second-guess what you do? If so, what has made you keep going back?
i've definitely had days where I question everything, but to be honest, I don't really hang around the horrible really dark places much. I did delve into the child predator forums when I was writing The Darkest Web, but I don't make it a habit to go there. The psychonauts are much more friendly
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To continue with that- have you clicked images, links that make you a suspect in certain scenarios?
Oh absolutely. Sometimes I go to a "Fresh Onion" site, which is a site that crawls all the .onion addresses (dark web URLs end in .onion rather than .com, org etc) and alerts you to any new ones. Sometimes they don't have any description, so you take a big risk clicking on any of those. The most dangerous button on the dark web is the "Random Onion" button, so I avoid that.
I'm pretty careful about what I click, but the moment something looks questionable I nope the fuck right out of there
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Have you ever felt that you may be a suspect whether it be ok a drug site, a pedo site, etc. Have you ever been contacted by someone regarding your surfing habits?
Well my actual surfing habits are protected by Tor, which means they are hidden from prying eyes, so no I haven't been contacted about them. I am very open on the dark web about who I am and what I'm doing there - I use the name OzFreelancer on all of the markets and forums. I don't go to the sites that host child abuse images - you can't un-see that shit and I don't need it in my head.
As noted in another reply, I was contacted by Homeland Security on one of my visits to the US and taken for a "friendly" lunch.
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Psychonauts are more friendly than most people. Something about regular mind altering experiences makes you want to be less of a cunt.
Yeah, I call The Majestic Garden a little corner of sunshine and rainbows on the dark web :)
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More about The Majestic Garden please? What is grown there?
It's a place where people talk about and source psychedelics - most notably LSD, the 2C family, DMT and MDMA. Talk about and sourcing harder drugs is forbidden. In fact the admins snuck in an autocorrect so that any time someone wrote the word "cocaine" it would post as "a raging hardon" :D
Do you fear that seeing all this stuff might turn you emotionally blunt? I'm not watching any of this stuff on purpose (even the clearnet stuff), because I fear that the more you see of it, the more normal it gets, and ultimately, the more it will fuck you up. To quote the movie 8mm... "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you."
No, I can't even watch "3 Guys 1 Hammer" in its entirety, let alone look at the really dark materials on the dark web. When I was researching The Darkest Web, going into the predator forums did the opposite of making me blunt. It was the shortest section of the book but took the longest to write because it was so emotionally draining
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I have to ask, what is "3 Guys 1 Hammer"?
It's a video of two teenagers murdering an innocent man with a hammer that went viral on the gore sites of the regular internet. It's truly horrible.
The teens killed over 20 people. I wrote about them in my book Psycho.com (excuse the plug)
I heard somewhere that you foster dogs. Is that something you do to counter all the terrible humans you encounter in your research - everyone knows how dogs are better than people. How many dogs have you fostered and which one was your favourite?
After my dog died I knew I didn't want to have another dog as I wanted to travel more. So I thought fostering dogs would be the answer as you give them love for a few weeks and then they go to their forever home. My first foster, Roy, was a big fat failure and now he lives here and sleeps in our bed and is the most spoiled dog alive
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Did you then just decide to quit travelling? I don't know anything about Roy, but I already think I love him.
Nah, he has family he can stay with when I go away, but any major travelling has been thwarted by COVID for now anyway. I'm in a hard lockdown city.
And I'm sure Roy would love you too, u/suckmyhugedong
Given how much you know about the dark web, what kind of crazy awful nightmares have you had? This could be a really good one. Thank you
Probably the worst thing was delving into the forums where child predators gathered. I never looked at any videos or photos, but just seeing their discussions sickened me. The one thing that keeps coming back to me came out of the sentencing hearing that I attended of Lux, owner of Hurt2theCore, considered the most heinous website in history. In court they read out a conversation between him and an abuser who made videos of torture of the mute disabled child in his care. They were joking "at least she won't be able to tell anyone" . the abuser wasn't caught, at least by that stage
As an indie author, how have you sourced freelancers? Did you seek out those that have specific expertise or did you work with editors from your time as a traditionally published author?
I learned to do everything myself before I started outsourcing.
I work with a professional editor who happens to be a friend of mine from back when we did a writing course together. I've been doing my own covers, but now that I have some royalties coming in, I've engaged a professional cover artist from Reedsy to develop a brand and more professional-looking covers for me. It is the hardest thing to find people you really want to work with and who are in budget.
I still haven't got the hang of email lists, newsletters or a website - they are all in a total mess at the moment and I'd love to find someone who can do them, but again it is that problem of finding the right person who is within budget
is it true that most of the internet is in the "dark web"? if so about how much percent is it?
By far the biggest myth is that it 10x larger than the Internet. I mean, this should be common sense anyway, but it gets propagated by tabloid media all the time. It stems a lot from people using the terms "deep web" and "dark web" interchangably when they are different things.
The statement that 90% (or thereabouts) of the internet is hidden is true, and it is called the deep web (not the dark web). The 90% that is hidden is all those pages you won’t get to using google or any other search engines. There’s nothing scary about that – in fact it works in your favour.
The easiest example is your bank. The bank’s major page is available to anyone who searches the web (part of the 10%, also known as the “clearweb”). But once you log in, all those pages you can access that contain your personal details? Not searchable on google. Each one of those pages is part of the 90% of the deep web. Business and government intranets also make up part of the deep web. Honestly, it’s nothing to worry about.
The dark web – the hidden services available through Tor and other anonymising programs – makes up a tiny fraction of the deep web. A really, really tiny fraction. It is infinitely smaller than the clearweb.
Do you think human trafficking happens on the dark web? Last year (I think) there was a really bizarre story here in the UK about a model who was supposedly kidnapped to order, drugged and transported overseas by a group called "Black Death". The official story is that BD doesn't exist, and the kidnapper was a fantasist. Is it likely that humans are bought and sold into slavery over the dark web?
There are no slick websites with auctions for slaves on the dark web, but I have no doubt that human traffickers use dark web encryption to communicate.
(here comes the second plug for the thread) - I wrote about the kidnap of Chloe Ayling and the Black Death Group in Murder on the Dark Web
What ever happened to the plural of mongoose storyline? it seems like after he was arrested in the united states, his case just fizzled away. did you ever find out any more information about yuri after he cancelled the interview with a news program? what happened with peter scully's case? i read that there was a fire where a lot of evidence against him was held and it all went up in smoke. are there any character and/or personality storylines that you feel haven't been told or are still a complete mystery? eg. tony76
1. He is still in the MCC in NY and awaiting trial. It has taken a long time because he had terrabytes of information to go through and things would have slowed down due to covid. I understand he is running the Fouth Amendment argument that Ulbricht probably should have run in the first place
2. I last heard from Yura just a few weeks ago. He is still scamming. There are some more programs in the works about him
3. Yes there was a very convenient fire, but he still got sentenced to life and i hope he rots in hell
4. I am madly curious to know what is happening with the extradition of James Ellingson, aka “MarijuanaIsMyMuse”, aka "redandwhite", MAYBE aka Tony76. I would LOVE to know that full story!
the below is a reply to the above
Wow, this shit is a blast from the past. I used to love following the darknetmarket drama. Did you write about PoM and tony76 in one of your books? Ever since reddit shut down /darknetmarket I've been out of the loop.
I was in touch with PoM/Mongoose when he went on a posting rampage on MyPlanetGanja, then visited him in Bangkok prison several times. Wrote all about it :)
This may have been answered by a previous post pertaining to native language barriers to specific sites on the dark web, but in your investigations, did you come across content/pages/forums from warzones? Middle East, Burma, Afghanistan, etc? If yes, what was the most memorable bit?
There are loads of sites in foreign languages, but it is too difficult for me (a one-language numpty) to attempt to translate through AI, and it is not worth hiring a translator when they could just turn out to be Cat Facts
Chinese authorities are testing the digital yuan: is it worth waiting for the digital dollar?
Chinese authorities are testing the digital yuan: is it worth waiting for the digital dollar? The development of the digital renminbi is proceeding rapidly: a few days ago it became known that companies and customers of the largest banks in several cities of China were testing it. Moreover, corporations such as McDonald’s and Starbucks will take part in the test, among others. + Why is China in a hurry to release a national cryptocurrency, at what stage is development and why its main opponent is not Bitcoin or Libra from Facebook, but the US dollar, DeCenter found out. For a long time, almost nothing was known about China’s national digital currency (DCEP), or the digital renminbi, except that the Chinese authorities were working on it. Information was officially confirmed only in 2018. Moreover, it turned out that research and development has been ongoing since 2014. And in the summer of 2019, the deputy head of the department of the National Bank of China (NBK) Mu Changchun, who is called the main ideologist of the digital renminbi project in power, said that he was “almost ready.” This was preceded by the sensational announcement of the cryptocurrency project Libra from Facebook, which officials in many countries took with hostility. As DeCenter wrote, cryptocurrencies have pushed the Chinese authorities to create DCEP by the growing competition with fiat currencies. Despite the formal ban on cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs, Chinese people are still actively using crypto assets. The digital yuan could be an alternative to decentralized coins. In addition, the main capacities of world mining of the Bitcoin network are concentrated in China, the blockchain startup industry is developing rapidly and with government support. Such a contradictory and motley picture. According to the professor of Fudan University, Michael Song, the real impetus for accelerating the development of the digital renminbi was not so much the Libra coin, but the keynote address by President Xi Jinping in October 2019. Then he called on officials to “make every effort” to develop the blockchain and introduce solutions based on it into the real economy. At the same time, Xi noted the importance of implementing technology in digital finance. According to Song, this was a signal for central authorities to accelerate the release of DCEP and facilitate its distribution in China and beyond. Mobile App First But the real details about the digital yuan became known recently, in April. Then, WeChat published screenshots from the test mobile application of the Agricultural Bank of China (SBC) for operations with DCEP. Some of the application’s functions were visible on the screenshots: wallet, function of payment via QR-code (a popular payment method in China), receiving and sending money, as well as “pairing” wallets of two users for transactions through convergence of devices (probably using NFC-technology) Mobile app interface for the RMB. Later, the NBK confirmed the authenticity of the screenshots and added that the digital renminbi is being tested in cooperation with several commercial banks, and its territory is limited to four major cities. As The Block later clarified with reference to Chinese media, in one of the cities — Suzhou — municipal officials in May will receive half of the subsidies for travel on public transport in “digital yuan”. The authorities did not disclose the official launch date for DCEP, but added that the next test of the digital national currency will be held in 2022, during the Beijing Winter Olympics. Probably, then the scale of the test will be much larger and will also affect foreign citizens. It is curious that on the same day, the State Committee for Development and Reforms of the PRC — the former Gosplan, now in charge of strategic economic planning, announced the inclusion of blockchain in the national technology development strategy. Now it is a priority for the state along with other promising areas, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of things. Commerce and trading in the digital yuan The NBK is not limited to banks and individual users of the digital yuan: thanks to a report from the Chinese publication InterChain Pulse, another test was revealed, but with the participation of almost two dozen companies. The project will be held on the territory of the New Xun’an District (something like a special economic zone, but an urban type). The project includes companies in the field of catering, retail, transport and entertainment. The list also includes American companies McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway, as well as a number of local chains: fast food Qingfeng Baozi, supermarkets JD (operated by the leading online retailer of the same name in China), Jinfeng cafe and others. Four state-owned banks provide financial infrastructure, as well as fintech giants Ant Financial (formerly Alipay) and Tencent. Administrative support is provided by local governments. Xun’an — a kind of testing ground for the “digital city”. All government services have already been digitized here, 5G mobile networks, unmanned vehicles and much more are used. At the end of March, a blockchain laboratory was opened in the city, which will be engaged in the implementation of DLT-based solutions in urban infrastructure and services. At the same time, InterChain Pulse did not provide data on the date of the start of the digital renminbi experiment in Xiongang or the timing of its implementation. Ram against the dollar Given that the digital yuan is a project of the Chinese authorities, it is not surprising that, in addition to domestic economic interests, they also pursue political goals. Namely, the victory over the global “hegemony” of the US dollar. So, the DCEP developer Mu Changchun in September last year said that “the digital yuan is necessary for China to protect the monetary sovereignty of the country”. The Ledger Insights portal cites an article by the Chinese political science center Zero One Think Tank, which states that the digital yuan will help “internationalize” the Chinese currency. In particular, through transactions in large-scale foreign economic projects of the PRC. Among them is the One Belt, One Road initiative, which brings together many of China’s neighbors as part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Sea Silk Projects. High scalability of DCEP will solve the problem of increasing the share of settlements in RMB in foreign trade. So far, China has failed. State-owned Chinese companies already have the infrastructure needed for cross-border operations in the digital yuan. For example, last fall, the Chinese Construction Bank (the third largest in China) released the second version of its financial blockchain platform for international settlements after the volume of operations on it exceeded $ 50 billion. The platform users are mainly foreign banks and Chinese exporters. All four major Chinese state banks, which recently announced their participation in the project for the commercial testing of the “digital yuan” in Xiongang, have their own foreign trading platforms based on a distributed registry. Digital dollar The U.S. currency really dominates global finance: in 2019, 90% of international transfers and 60% of government reserves were in US dollars, while the yuan in both segments accounted for only 2%. Such data are quoted by Voice of America. The dollar is needed by private companies and banks to hedge the risks of depreciation of national currencies in international transactions. However, the widespread use of the dollar also gives the US government leverage — for example, with the introduction of economic sanctions. The emergence of alternative international currencies could undermine US influence. In a commentary on Voice of America, Special Assistant to the President Tim Morrison expressed confidence that Beijing’s intention to “dominate this new financial technology should be alarming”, referring to cryptocurrencies. Apparently, while the US authorities do not plan to issue their own digital dollar. In late February, speaking in the Senate, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said that Washington does not intend to issue a national cryptocurrency at this time, but may return to this issue in the future. The day before Mnuchin’s statement, Jerome Powell, the head of the US Federal Reserve System, spoke in the House of Representatives. Congressmen called on him and colleagues in the government’s financial bloc to step up work on the digital dollar until they got ahead of the Chinese. To this Powell replied that the conditions in the USA and China are different: “For example, the idea of a registry where everyone will see each other’s transactions is unlikely to be attractive in the context of the United States. This is not a problem for China.” As for Libra, last year’s announcement of which was accompanied by mass criticism of Western officials, on April 20 an updated version of the white paper project was released. In the new document, the developers officially abandoned the concept of a single global stablecoin, decentralization and anonymity and pledged to comply with all regulatory requirements.
Nuvmining | Reasons That Bitcoin Cost Is So Unstable
Rate differences in the Bitcoin spot rate on the Bitcoin trading exchanges is driven by several factors. Volatility is assessed in classic markets by the Volatility Index, additionally called the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). Volatility in Bitcoin does not yet possess a totally approved index since cryptocurrency as an actual possession class is still in its starting phases, yet we do comprehend that Bitcoin is able of volatility in the type of 10x changes in rate contrasted to the United States buck, in a rather short amount of time. In this post are just a handful of the different factors in back of Bitcoin's volatility: nuv mining
Price of possession is influenced by negative press.
Information situations that discourage Bitcoin customers contain geopolitical events and declarations by government authorities that Bitcoin is more than likely to be regulated. Bitcoin's first adopters covered many mal stars, creating headline newspaper article that developed worst anxieties in investors. Heading creating Bitcoin information involves the personal bankruptcy of Mt. Gox in early 2014 as well as much more recently that of the South Korean market exchange Yapian Youbit, and others like the high profile utilize of Bitcoin in medicine deals via Silk Road that completed with the FBI shutdown of the market area in October 2013. All these events as well as the public panic that followed forced the value of Bitcoins contrasted to fiat currencies down swiftly. Nevertheless, Bitcoin respectful financiers saw all those occasions as proof that the industry was growing, generating the worth of Bitcoins vs the US buck substantially back up in the short period instantly complying with the info occasions. nuvmining
Bitcoin's acknowledged worth changes.
One cause why Bitcoin might change versus fiat stock markets is the recognized shop of worth vs the fiat money. Bitcoin has components that make it similar to gold. It is ruled by a layout resolution by the designers of the core technology to max capability its creation to a taken care of quantity, 21 million BTC. Because that varies substantially from fiat money exchange, which is handled by government authorities that intend to preserve reduced inflation, high employment, and appropriate development throughout investment in funding properties, as economies established with fiat values reveal indications of power or weakness, traders might mark basically of their properties right into Bitcoin.
Way too much deviation in understanding of Bitcoin's store of worth and also method of worth.
Bitcoin changability is additionally driven in massive part by varying understandings of the implicit worth of the cryptocurrency as a conserve of worth as well as method of worth transfer. A shop of value is the action by that a possession can quickly be advantageous in the future using some predictability. A shop of value can easily be maintained as well as altered for some great or solution in the future. A method of value transfer is any example or principle used to move home in the sort of possessions from one entity to one more. Bitcoin's unpredictability at the here and now creates it a rather uncertain shop of value, yet it ensures nearly frictionless worth transfer. As these two chauffeurs of the recent area value of Bitcoin vary from the United States buck as well as other fiat foreign currencies, we see that Bitcoin's worth can move based on news occasions very much as we discover with fiat stock markets.
Little selection worth to massive owners of the currency.
Bitcoin unpredictability is likewise somewhat driven by holders of huge proportions of the overall amazing float of the money. For Bitcoin investors with recent holdings above about $10M, it is not apparent exactly how they would eradicate a placement that big right into a fiat placement with out dramatically relocating the market. Considering that Bitcoin's amount resembles a tiny cap stock, the currency has not strike the mass market possession rates that might be called for to use choice value to huge owners of the cryptocurrency.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- I'd like forewarn everyone that in about 5 days an article will be published that is likely to generate a lot of buzz around Silk Road and attract new people to the site. New information about me, the site and many things will be discussed and I have no doubt that it will produce some controversy. I will be available to answer your questions here on the forums, and hopefully we'll have a fruitful discussion. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJSBXwLAAoJEAIiQjtnt/olXuwIAJE2zOrz3GBGPr7XBN+lgK7C tBQvoEMi1ubkxL6XAAhYLhPrkLtSNSxZYll64bh8bGsgQVs2aLFGMsaOSfNYsWXL qCJpGwsw3YBXmfxoLHnjBKSJsKrf58ibLTbT4zOoyCSvxg32fmddBUL+dHTgB1Ra 7TDmW/vFlDWRvHAM2vrIoawzzHlkQCVex9ksOuGRmEdKxOng1qbdXwTerNp3aY3I 9hZ38la/9CuX3MkNpb7zvn7/ojHMtXqcd43nusKoxzlA0ZAqqLisj9oTA7pViSzz kgD/8S8AazOeXu/CiOXlITU1u1EDUpJM1bQa7HjeE6KlOrhS2BlXq/LxU2XFWoU= =W3DF -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
Well before Bitcoin and other cryptographic forms of money became computerized monetary standards, a thought showed up on one of the discussions. Before a coin pulled in the consideration of thousands and perhaps a great many speculators, common admirers of new items and the individuals who need to benefit from the following complimentary gift – known as "Satoshi Nakamoto" proposed one intriguing thought that was effectively actualized sooner rather than later. In October 2008, an article was distributed by Satoshi Nakamoto: "A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" which implies: a decentralized or fair electronic money framework. Satoshi turned into the dad of digital money or blockchain. There were various endeavors to make comparable structures, yet it was totally concentrated — like existing financial structures. The principal form of Bitcoin code was discharged in January 2009. The principal hinder in the Bitcoin blockchain was made, which offered ascend to the first Bitcoin mining. This exchange was between Nakamoto himself and one of the engineers named Hal Finney. At first, Bitcoin didn't have a conversion scale and proportionality in fiat money, yet in October 2009, one US dollar was equivalent to 1.309 Bitcoin. The conversion standard was equivalent to the expense of power to make the first Bitcoin through mining. In 2010, the first Bitcoin trade was made. It was classified "dwdollar". Florida designer Laszlo Hanetz paid 10,000 bitcoins to somebody in England, who in return purchased Laszlo pizza which cost $25. It was the most costly pizza ever. At the hour of this composition, 10,000 bitcoins is equivalent to $130,000. For instance, in mid-December 2017, 10,000 bitcoins was equivalent to practically a large portion of a million dollars. In August 2010, programmers found a powerless spot in the Bitcoin blockchain, which permitted them to produce 184 billion Bitcoins and the cost of Bitcoin dropped at that point. The Bitcoin trade stage called "MtGox" was made that year and Bitcoin; finished 2010 with a market capitalization of simply over $ 1 million. In 2011, a bootleg market was made under the name "Silk Road" in view of Bitcoin. The primary thought of this venture was unknown exchanges. Unexpectedly, the cost of Bitcoin transcended $ 1. Simultaneously, Bitcoin picked up popularity as an underground market cash or an approach to buy drugs on the web. https://preview.redd.it/3qvwwgk9rsj41.jpg?width=700&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7171343171f6e4f39e620b33e72d2f83b469f0e2 In 2012, a few organizations started to apply and acknowledge Bitcoin as a cash to pay for products and enterprises. Before the finish of 2013, the cost of one Bitcoin was somewhat more than $ 1,000. In 2014, China, USA and UK started to make rules and limitations on the utilization and tax assessment from Bitcoin, which permitted the utilization of Bitcoin by money related organizations. Numerous organizations, including Microsoft, have started to acknowledge installments in Bitcoins. In February of that year, the fundamental Bitcoin trade "MtGox", was along these lines hacked by DDOS assaults, losing a great many dollars and hurriedly shut. Notwithstanding this, the cost of Bitcoin, however dropped to $200, balanced out in the scope of $200 and 350. During 2015, the cost of Bitcoin stayed stable and Bitcoin started to secure the characteristics of an authentic cash. Ross Ulbricht, the author of the Silk Road, was condemned to life detainment, motioning to the world that Bitcoin can't be utilized for criminal purposes without any potential repercussions. Another hacking happened in 2016 on one of the cryptographic money wallet administrations, because of which around 72 million US dollars were lost. At last, toward the finish of 2017, the cost of 1 coin went up to 20,000 US dollars, beginning in 2017 with a cost of $1,000. Directly after, because of the way that numerous nations have restricted the utilization of cryptographic forms of money, and the primary informal organizations like Facebook and others have prohibited the promoting of digital currencies for different reasons. Before the finish of 2018, the cost of Bitcoin went down to $3,000, which made mining practically unrewarding. The cost went up the following year. At the hour of this composition, the bitcoin cost is $5,300.
Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? An analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). Part 3
Part 1 Part 2 So I have been subbed to /bitcoin since it had less than two thousand subs but haven't posted there in years. I think I took a break from researching bitcoin to take a foray into the world of conspiracy around 2014 and only got back in to it around the beginning of 2017 but with a bit of sense of skepticism and cynicism about everything. I think I returned to /bitcoin around that time but there had been a rift that had emerged in the community between those that said that bitcoin was censoring any discussion around big blocks but then also just censorship in general. This lead to the formation of /btc which became the main spot for big blockers to gather to talk about protocol development. Following the fork of Bitcoin Cash and SegWit (BTC) in August 2017 the camps were further divided when the fence sitters were denied their SegWit2x compromise. Many from the fence sitters then deferred back to the incumbent bitcoin as citing muh network effect, liquidity, and hashpower while some who felt betrayed by the failure of getting S2X through went to support BCH for some attempt at on chain scaling rather than through pegged side chains or Lightning Network. Bitcoin cash initially went with a modest doubling of the blocksize to 2MB but implemented some other features like a new more rapidly adjusting difficulty algorithm to protect themselves against hashpower fluctuations from the majority chain. In about July of that year I had seen what I potentially thought was someone LARPing on /biz/ but screencapped, that segwit2x which was scheduled for november 2017 would be called off and then hashpower would switch to BCH causing congestion and chain death spiral on BTC and BCH would pump massively. I was partial to the idea as the game theory and incentives on a big block bitcoin should attract miners. About a month after SegWit2x was indeed called off while the BTC blockchain was hugely congested, BCH went through a violent pump reaching 0.5 BTC/BCH on a European exchange called Kraken while it also pumped ridiculously on American exchange coinbase. Shortly afterwards the market took a giant dump all over those people who bought the top and it has since retraced to roughly 30:1 or so now. After that pump though BCH kind of gained some bagholders I guess who started to learn the talking points presented by personalities like Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Peter Rizun and Amaury Sechet. Craig S Wright by this time had been outed as Satoshi but had in 2016 publicly failed to convince the public with the cryptographic proof he provided. To which he later published the article I don't have the courage to prove I am the bitcoin creator. In essence this allowed many to disregard anything he offered to the crypto community though his company nChain was very much interested in providing the technical support to scale what he saw as the true implementation of bitcoin. Following debate around a set of planned protocol upgrades between a bitcoin node implementation by his company nChain and the developers of another client Bitcoin ABC (adjustable block cap), the two parties both dug their heels in and wouldn't compromise. As it became clear that a fork was imminent there was a lot of vitriol tossed out towards Wright, another big billionaire backer Calvin Ayre and other personalities like Roger Ver and Jihan Wu. Craig's credibility was disregarded because of his failure to provide convincing cryptographic proof but still people who wanted to pursue the protocol upgrades that nChain were planning (as it best followed their interpretation of the bitcoin white paper) pursued his variant, while others who followed the socia consensus deferred to the positions of their personalities like Wu, Ver, and Sechet but even developers from Ethereum and other protocols chimed in to convince everyone that CSW is a fraud. This was referred to as the hash war and was the first time that the bitcoin protocol had been contentiously hard forked. Hashpower is the CPU cycles you can commit to the Proof of Work function in bitcoin and the majority will generate the longest chain as they have the most proof of work. To win the contentious hard fork legitimately and make sure your chain will always be safe going forward you need to maintain your version of the blockchain with 51% of the hashpower on the network and force the other parties to continue to spend money on building a blockchain that is never going to be inserted in to the majority chain. As well as this you need to convince exchanges that you have the majority chain and have them feel safe to accept deposits and withdrawals so that they don't lose money in the chaos. This is how it would play out if both parties acted according to the rules of bitcoin and the Nakamoto Consensus. There was a lot of shit talking between the two parties on social media with Craig Wright making a number of claims such as "you split, we bankrupt you" "I don't care if there is no ability to move coins to an exchange for a year" and other such warnings not to engage in foul play.. To explain this aftermath is quite tedious so It might be better to defer to this video for the in depth analysis but basically Roger Ver had to rent hashpower that was supposed to be mining BTC from his mining farm bitcoin.com, Jihan Wu did the same from his Bitmain Mining Farm which was a violation of his fiduciary duty as the CEO of a company preparing for an IPO. In this video of a livestream during the hashwar where Andreas Brekken admits to basically colluding with exchange owners like Coinbase, Kraken (exchange Roger Ver invested in), Bitfinex and others to release a patched ABC client to the exchanges and introducing "checkpoints" in to the BCH blockchain (which he even says is arguably "centralisation") in order to prevent deep reorgs of the BCH blockchain. >"We knew we were going to win in 30 mins we had the victory because of these checkpoints that we released to a cartel of friendly businesses in a patch so then we just sat around drinking beers all day". By releasing a patched client that has code in it to prevent deep reorgs by having the client refer to a checkpoint from a block mined by someone who supported BCHABC if another group of hash power was to try to insert a new chain history, this cartel of exchanges and mining farm operators conspired in private to change the nature of the bitcoin protocol and Nakamoto Consensus. Since the fork there have been a number of other BCH clients that have come up that require funding and have their own ideas about what things to implement on the BCH chain. What began to emerge was actually not necessarily an intention of scaling bitcoin but rather to implement Schnorr signatures to obfuscate transactions and to date the ABC client still has a default blocksize of 2MB but advertised as 16MB. What this demonstrates for BCH is that through the collusion, the cartel can immediately get a favourable outcome from the developers to keep their businesses secure and from the personalities/developers to work on obfuscating records of transactions on the chain rather than scaling their protocol. After the SegWit fork, many from the BCH camp alleged that through the funding to Blockstream from AXA and groups that tied to the Bilderbergs, Blockstream would be beholden to the legacy banking and would be a spoke and hub centralised model, so naturally many of the "down with central banks anarcho capitalist types" had gathered in the BCH community. Through these sympathies it seems that people have been susceptible to being sold things like coin mixing and obfuscation with developers offering their opinions about how money needs to be anonymous to stop the evil government and central banks despite ideas like Mises’ Regression Theorem, which claims that in order for something to be money in the most proper sense, it must be traceable to an originally non-monetary barter commodity such as gold. What this suggests is that there is an underlying intent from the people that have mechanisms to exert their will upon the protocol of bitcoin and that if obfuscation is their first priority rather than working on creating a scalable platform, this demonstrates that they don't wish to actually be global money but more so something that makes it easier to move money that you don't want seen. Roger Ver has often expressed sentiments of injustice about the treatment of Silk Road found Ross Ulbricht and donated a large amount of money to a fund for his defence. I initially got in to bitcoin seeking out the Silk Road and though I only wanted to test it to buy small quantities of mdma, lsd, and mescaline back in 2011 there was all sorts of criminal activity on there like scam manuals, counterfeits, ID, Credit Card info, and other darknet markets like armoury were selling pretty crazy weapons. It has been alleged by Craig Wright that in his capacity as a digital forensics expert he was involved with tracing bitcoin that was used to fund the trafficking of 12-16 year olds on the silk road. There have been attempts at debunking such claims by saying that silk road was moderated for such stuff by Ulbricht and others, but one only has to take a look in to the premise of pizza gate to understand that there it may be possible to hide in plain site with certain code words for utilising the market services and escrow of websites like the silk road. The recent pedo bust from South Korea demonstrates the importance of being able to track bitcoin transactions and if the first thing BCH wanted to do after separating itself from Satoshi's Vision and running on developer and cartel agendas was to implement obfuscation methods, this type of criminal activity will only proliferate. Questions one must ask oneself then are things like why do they want this first? Are some of these developers, personalities and cartel businesses sitting on coins that they know are tarnished from the silk road and want to implement obfuscation practices so they can actually cash in some of the value they are unable to access? Merchants from the silk road 1 are still being caught even as recently as this year when they attempted to move coins that were known to have moved through the silk road. Chain analytics are only becoming more and more powerful and the records can never be changed under the original bitcoin protocol but with developer induced protocol changes like Schnorr signatures, and coinjoin it may be possible to start laundering these coins out in to circulation. I must admit with the cynicism I had towards government and law enforcement and my enjoying controlled substances occasionally I was sympathetic to Ross and donated to his legal fund back in the day and for many years claimed that I wouldn't pay my taxes when I wanted to cash out of bitcoin. I think many people in the space possess this same kind of mentality and subsequently can be preyed upon by people who wish to do much more in the obfuscation than dodge tax and party. Another interesting observation is that despite the fact that btc spun off as a result of censorship around big block scaling on bitcoin, that subreddit itself has engaged in plenty of censorship for basically anyone who wants to discuss the ideas presented by Dr Craig Wright on that sub. When I posted my part 2 of this series in there a week ago I was immediately met with intense negativity and ad hominems so as to discourage others from reading the submission and my post history was immediately throttled to 1 comment every 10 mins. This is not quite as bad as cryptocurrency where my post made it through the new queue to gather some upvotes and a discussion started but I was immediately banned from that sub for 7 days for reason "Content standards - you're making accusations based on no evidence just a dump of links that do nothing to justify your claims except maybe trustnodes link (which has posted fabricated information about this subreddit mods) and a Reddit post. Keep the conspiracy theories in /conspiracy" My post was also kept at zero in bitcoin and conspiracy so technically btc was the least censored besides C_S_T. In addition to the throttling I was also flagged by the u/BsvAlertBot which says whether or not a user has a questionable amount of activity in BSV subreddits and then a break down of your percentages. This was done in response to combat the "toxic trolls" of BSV but within bitcoincashSV there are many users that have migrated from what was originally supposed to be a uncensored subreddit to discuss bitcoin and many such as u/cryptacritic17 has have switched sides after having been made to essentially DOXX themselves in btc to prove that they aren't a toxic troll for raising criticisms of the way certain things are handled within that coin and development groups. Other prominent users such as u/jim-btc have been banned for impersonating another user which was in actual fact himself and he has uploaded evidence of him being in control of said account to the blockchain. Mod Log, Mod Damage Control, Mod Narrative BTFO. Interestingly in the comments on the picture uploaded to the blockchain you can see the spin to call him an SV shill when in actual fact he is just an OG bitcoiner that wanted bitcoin to scale as per the whitepaper. What is essentially going on in the Bitcoin space is that there is a battle of the protocols and a battle for social consensus. The incumbent BTC has majority of the attention and awareness as it is being backed by legacy banking and finance with In-Q-Tel and AXA funding blockstream as well as Epstein associates and MIT, but in the power vaccum that presented itself as to who would steward the big block variant, a posse of cryptoanarchists have gained control of the social media forums and attempted to exert their will upon what should essentially be a Set In Stone Protocol to create something that facilitates their economic activity (such as selling explosives online)) while attempting to leverage their position as moderators who control the social forum to spin their actions as something different (note memorydealers is Roger Ver). For all his tears for the children killed in wars, it seems that what cryptoanarchists such as u/memorydealers want is to delist/shut down governments and they will go to any efforts such as censorship to make sure that it is their implementation of bitcoin that will do that. Are we really going to have a better world with people easier able to hide transactions/launder money? Because of this power vacuum there also exists a number of different development groups but what is emerging now is that they are struggling for money to fund their development. The main engineering is done by self professed benevolent dictator Amaury Sechet (deadalnix) who in leaked telegram screen caps appears to be losing it as funding for development has dried up and money raised in an anarchist fashion wasn't compliant with laws around fundraising sources and FVNI (development society that manages BCH development and these donations) is run by known scammer David R Allen. David was founder of 2014 Israeli ICO Getgems (GEMZ) that scammed investors out of more than 2500 Bitcoins. The SV supported sky-lark who released this information has since deleted all their accounts but other users have claimed that sky-lark was sent personal details about themselves and pictures of their loved ones and subsequently deleted all their social media accounts afterwards. There are other shifty behaviours like hiring Japanese influencers to shill their coin, recruiting a Hayden Otto that up until 2018 was shilling Pascal Coin to become a major ambassador for BCH in the Australian city of Townsville. Townsville was claimed to be BCH city hosting a BCH conference there and claiming loads of adoption, but at the conference itself their idea of demonstrating adoption was handing a Point of Sale device to the bar to accept bitcoin payments but Otto actually just putting his credit card behind the bar to settle and he would keep the BCH that everyone paid. In the lead up to the conference the second top moderator of btc was added to the moderators of townsville to shill their coin but has ended up with the townsville subreddit wanting to ban all bitcoin talk from the subreddit. Many of the BCH developers are now infighting as funding dries up and they find themselves floundering with no vision of how to achieve scale or get actual real world adoption. Amaury has recently accused Peter Rizun of propagandising, told multiple users in the telegram to fuck off and from all accounts appears to be a malignant narcissist incapable of maintaining any kind of healthy relationship with people he is supposed to be working with. Peter Rizun has begun lurking in bitcoincashSV and recognising some of the ideas coming from BSV as having merit while Roger has started to distance himself from the creation of BCH. Interestingly at a point early in the BCH history Roger believed Dr Craig Wright was Satoshi, but once CSW wouldn't go along with their planned road map and revealed the fact he had patents on blockchain technology and wanted to go down a path that worked with Law, Roger retracted that statement and said he was tricked by Craig. He joined in on the faketoshi campaign and has been attempted to be sued by Dr Wright for libel in the UK to which Roger refused to engage citing grounds of jurisdiction. Ironically this avoidance of Roger to meet Dr Wright in court to defend his claims can be seen as the very argument against justice being served by private courts under an anarchocapitalist paradigm with essentially someone with resources simply being able to either flee a private court's jurisdiction or engage a team of lawyers that can bury any chances of an everyday person being able to get justice. There is much more going on with the BCH drama that can be explained in a single post but it is clear that some of the major personalities in the project are very much interested in having their ideals projected on to the technical implementation of the bitcoin protocol and have no qualms spouting rhetoric around the anti-censorship qualities of bitcoin/BCH while at the same time employing significant censorship on their social media forums to control what people are exposed to and getting rid of anyone who challenges their vision. I posit that were this coin to become a success, these "benevolent dictators" as they put it would love their new found positions of wealth/dominance yet if their behaviour to get there is anything to go by, would demonstrate the same power tripping practices of censorship, weasel acts, misleading people about adoption statistics and curating of the narrative. When the hashrate from Rogers bitcoin.com minging operation on BCH dropped dramatically and a lot of empty blocks were being mined, his employer and 2IC moderator u/BitcoinXio (who stepped in to replace roger as CEO) was in the sub informing everyone it was simply variance that was the reason when only a few days later it was revealed that they had reduced their hash power significantly. This is not appropriate behaviour for one of the primary enterprises engaged in stewarding BCH and encouraging adoption nor is the inability to be accountable for such dishonest practices as well. It seems bitcoin.com treats btc as their own personal spam page where Roger can ask for donations despite it being against the sub rules and spin/ban any challenge to the narrative they seek to create. Let's see how the censorship goes as I post this around a few of the same places as the last piece. Stay tuned for the next write up where I take a deep dive in to the coin that everyone doesn't want you to know about.
A few stories about Brian Krebs: The independent cybercrime journalist who exposes criminals on the internet
First, a bit of introduction before we get into the living drama that is Brian Krebs. Brian Krebs has been a journalist for decades, starting in the late 90s. He got his start at The Washington Post, but what he's most famous for are his exposes on criminal businesses and individuals who perpetuate cyber crime worldwide. In 2001, he got his interest in cybercrime piqued when a computer worm locked him out of his own computer. In 2005, he shifted from working as a staff writer at The Washington Post's tech newswire to writing for their security blog, "Security Wire". During his tenure there, he started by focusing on the victims of cybercrime, but later also started to focus on the perpetrators of it as well. His reporting helped lead to the shutdown of McColo, a hosting provider who provided service to some of the world's biggest spammers and hackers. Reports analyzing the shutdown of McColo estimated that global spam volume dropped by between 40 and 70 percent. Further analysis revealed it also played host to child pornography sites, and the Russian Business Network, a major Russian cybercrime ring. In 2009, Krebs left to start his own site, KrebsOnSecurity. Since then, he's been credited with being the first to report on major events such as Stuxnet and when Target was breached, resulting in the leakage of 40 million cards. He also regularly investigates and reveals criminals' identities on his site. The latter has made him the bane of the world of cybercrime, as well as basically a meme, where criminals will include references like Made by Brian Krebs in their code, or name their shops full of stolen credit cards after him. One of his first posts on his new site was a selection of his best work. While not particularly dramatic, they serve as an excellent example of dogged investigative work, and his series reveal the trail of takedowns his work has documented, or even contributed to. And now, a selection of drama involving Krebs. Note, all posts are sarcastically-tinged retellings of the source material which I will link throughout. I also didn't use the real names in my retellings, but they are in the source material. This took way too long to write, and it still does massively condense the events described in the series. Krebs has been involved with feuds with other figures, but I'd argue these tales are the "main" bits of drama that are most suited for here.
Fly on the Wall
By 2013, Krebs was no stranger to cybercriminals taking the fight to the real world. He was swatted previously to the point where the police actually know to give him a ring and see if there'd actually been a murder, or if it was just those wacky hackers at it again. In addition, his identity was basically common knowledge to cybercriminals, who would open lines of credit in his name, or find ways to send him money using stolen credit cards. However, one particular campaign against him caught his eye. A hacker known as "Fly" aka "Flycracker" aka "MUXACC1" posted on a Russian-language fraud forum he administered about a "Krebs fund". His plan was simple. Raise Bitcoin to buy Heroin off of a darknet marketplace, address it to Krebs, and alert his local police via a spoofed phone call. Now, because Krebs is an investigative journalist, he develops undercover presences on cybercrime forums, and it just so happened he'd built up a presence on this one already.
Guys, it became known recently that Brian Krebs is a heroin addict and he desperately needs the smack, so we have started the "Helping Brian Fund", and shortly we will create a bitcoin wallet called "Drugs for Krebs" which we will use to buy him the purest heroin on the Silk Road. My friends, his withdrawal is very bad, let’s join forces to help the guy! We will save Brian from the acute heroin withdrawal and the world will get slightly better!
Fly had first caught Krebs' attention by taunting him on Twitter, sending him Tweets including insults and abuse, and totally-legit looking links. Probably either laced with malware, or designed to get Krebs' IP. He also took to posting personal details such as Krebs' credit report, directions to his house, and pictures of his front door on LiveJournal, of all places. So, after spotting the scheme, he alerted his local police that he'd probably have someone sending him some China White. Sure enough, the ne'er-do-wells managed to raise 2 BTC, which at the time was a cool $200 or so. They created an account on the premiere darknet site at the time, The Silk Road under the foolproof name "briankrebs7". They found one seller who had consistently high reviews, but the deal fell through for unknown reasons. My personal theory is the seller decided to Google where it was going, and realized sending a gram of dope into the waiting arms of local law enforcement probably wasn't the best use of his time. Still, the forum members persevered, and found another seller who was running a buy 10 get 2 free promotion. $165 of Bitcoin later, the drugs were on their way to a new home. The seller apparently informed Fly that the shipment should arrive by Tuesday, a fact which he gleefully shared with the forum. While our intrepid hero had no doubt that the forum members were determined to help him grab the tail of the dragon, he's not one to assume without confirmation, and enlisted the help of a graduate student at UCSD who was researching Bitcoin and anonymity on The Silk Road, and confirmed the address shared by Fly was used to deposit 2 BTC into an account known to be used for money management on the site. By Monday, an envelope from Chicago had arrived, containing a copy of Chicago confidential. Taped inside were tiny baggies filled with the purported heroin. Either dedicated to satisfied customers, or mathematically challenged, the seller had included thirteen baggies instead of the twelve advertised. A police officer arrived to take a report and whisked the baggies away. Now, Fly was upset that Krebs wasn't in handcuffs for drug possession, and decided to follow up his stunt by sending Krebs a floral arrangement shaped like a cross, and an accompanying threatening message addressed to his wife, the dire tone slightly undercut by the fact that it was signed "Velvet Crabs". Krebs' curiosity was already piqued from the shenanigans with the heroin, but with the arrival of the flowers decided to dive deeper into the сука behind things. He began digging into databases from carding sites that had been hacked, but got his first major breakthrough to his identity from a Russian computer forensics firm. Fly had maintained an account on a now-defunct hacking forum, whose database was breached under "Flycracker". It turns out, the email Flycracker had used was also hacked at some point, and a source told Krebs that the email was full of reports from a keylogger Fly had installed on his wife's computer. Now, because presumably his wife wasn't part of, or perhaps even privy to her husband's illicit dealings, her email account happened to be her full legal name, which Krebs was able to trace to her husband. Now, around this time, the site Fly maintained disappeared from the web, and administrators on another major fraud forum started purging his account. This is a step they typically take when they suspect a member has been apprehended by authorities. Nobody knew for sure, but they didn't want to take any chances. More research by Krebs revealed that the criminals' intuition had been correct, and Fly was arrested in Italy, carrying documents under an assumed name. He was sitting in an Italian jail, awaiting potential extradition to the United States, as well as potentially facing charges in Italy. This was relayed to Krebs by a law enforcement official who simply said "The Fly has been swatted". (Presumably while slowly removing a pair of aviator sunglasses) While Fly may have been put away, the story between Krebs and Fly wasn't quite over. He did end up being extradited to the US for prosecution, but while imprisoned in Italy, Fly actually started sending Krebs letters. Understandably distrustful after the whole "heroin" thing, his contacts in federal law enforcement tested the letter, and found it to be clean. Inside, there was a heartfelt and personal letter, apologizing for fucking with Krebs in so many ways. He also forgave Krebs for posting his identity online, leading him to muse that perhaps Fly was working through a twelve-step program. In December, he received another letter, this time a simple postcard with a cheerful message wishing him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Krebs concluded his post thusly:
Cybercrooks have done some pretty crazy stuff to me in response to my reporting about them. But I don’t normally get this kind of closure. I look forward to meeting with Fly in person one day soon now that he will be just a short train ride away. And he may be here for some time: If convicted on all charges, Fly faces up to 30 years in U.S. federal prison.
Criminals are none too happy when they find their businesses and identities on the front page of KrebsOnSecurity. It usually means law enforcement isn't far behind. One such business was known as vDOS. A DDOS-for-hire (also known as a "booter" or a "stresser") site that found itself hacked, with all their customer records still in their databases leaked. Analysis of the records found that in a four-month time span, the service had been responsible for about 8.81 years worth of attack time, meaning on average at any given second, there were 26 simultaneous attacks running. Interestingly, the hack of vDOS came about from another DDOS-for-hire site, who as it turns out was simply reselling services provided by vDOS. They were far from the only one. vDOS appeared to provide firepower to a large number of different resellers. In addition to the attack logs, support messages were also among the data stolen. This contained some complaints from various clients who complained they were unable to launch attacks against Israeli IPs. This is a common tactic by hackers to try and avoid unwanted attention from authorities in their country of residence. This was confirmed when two men from Israel were arrested for their involvement in owning and running vDOS. However, this was just the beginning for this bit of drama. The two men arrested went by the handles "applej4ck" and "Raziel". They had recently published a paper on DDOS attack methods in an online Israeli security magazine. Interestingly, on the same day the men were arrested, questioned, and released on bail, vDOS went offline. Not because it had been taken down by Israeli authorities, not because they had shut it down themselves, but because a DDOS protection firm, BackConnect Security, had hijacked the IP addresses belonging to the company. To spare a lot of technical detail, it's called a BGP hijack, and it basically works by a company saying "Yeah, those are our addresses." It's kind of amazing how much of the internet is basically just secured by the digital equivalent of pinky swears. You can read some more technical detail on Wikipedia. Anyway, we'll get back to BackConnect. Following the publication of the story uncovering the inner workings of vDOS, KrebsOnSecurity was hit with a record breaking DDOS attack, that peaked at 620/Gbps, nearly double the most powerful DDOS attack previously on record. To put that in perspective, that's enough bandwidth to download 5 simultaneous copies of Interstellar in 4K resolution every single second, and still have room to spare. The attack was so devastating, Akamai, one of the largest providers of DDOS protection in the world had to drop Krebs as a pro bono client. Luckily, Google was willing to step in and place his site under the protection of Google's Project Shield, a free service designed to protect the news sites and journalists from being knocked offline by DDOS attacks. This attack was apparently in retaliation for the vDOS story, since some of the data sent in the attack included the string "freeapplej4ck". The attack was executed by a botnet of Internet of Things (or IoT) devices. These are those "smart" devices like camera systems, routers, DVRs. Basically things that connect to the cloud. An astounding amount of those are secured with default passwords that can be easily looked up from various sites or even the manufacturers' websites. This was the start of a discovery of a massive botnet that had been growing for years. Now time for a couple quick side stories: Dyn, a company who provides DNS to many major companies including Twitter, Reddit, and others came under attack, leaving many sites (including Twitter and Reddit) faltering in the wake of it. Potentially due to one of their engineers' collaboration with Krebs on another story. It turned out that the same botnet that attacked Krebs' site was at least part of the attack on Dyn And back to BackConnect, that DDOS protection firm that hijacked the IP addresses from vDOS. Well it turns out BGP Hijacks are old hat for the company. They had done it at least 17 times before. Including at least once (purportedly with permission) for the address 126.96.36.199. Aka, "leet". It turns out one of the co-founders of BackConnect actually posted screenshots of him visiting sites that tell you your public IP address in a DDOS mitigation industry chat, showing it as 188.8.131.52. They also used a BGP Hijack against a hosting company and tried to frame a rival DDOS mitigation provider. Finally, another provider, Datawagon was interestingly implicated in hosting DDOS-for-hire sites while offering DDOS protection. In a Skype conversation where the founder of Datawagon wanted to talk about that time he registered dominos.pizza and got sued for it, he brings up scanning the internet for vulnerable routers completely unprompted. Following the publication of the story about BackConnect, in which he was included in, he was incensed about his portrayal, and argued with Krebs over Skype before Krebs ultimately ended up blocking him. He was subsequently flooded with fake contact requests from bogus or hacked Skype accounts. Shortly thereafter, the record-breaking DDOS attack rained down upon his site. Back to the main tale! So, it turns out the botnet of IoT devices was puppeteered by a malware called Mirai. How did it get its name? Well, that's the name its creator gave it, after an anime called Mirai Nikki. How did this name come to light? The creator posted the source code online. (The name part, not the origin. The origin didn't come 'til later.) The post purported that they'd picked it up from somewhere in their travels as a DDOS industry professional. It turns out this is a semi-common tactic when miscreants fear that law enforcement might come looking for them, and having the only copy of the source code of a malware in existence is a pretty strong indicator that you have something to do with it. So, releasing the source to the world gives a veneer of plausible deniability should that eventuality come to pass. So who was this mysterious benefactor of malware source? They went by the name "Anna-senpai". As research on the Mirai botnet grew, and more malware authors incorporated parts of Mirai's source code into their own attacks, attention on the botnet increased, and on the people behind it. The attention was presumably the reason why Hackforums, the forum where the source code was posted, later disallowed ostensible "Server Stress Tester" services from being sold on it. By December, "Operation Tarpit" had wrought 34 arrests and over a hundred "knock and talk" interviews questioning people about their involvement. By January, things started to come crashing down. Krebs published an extensive exposé on Anna-senpai detailing all the evidence linking them to the creation of Mirai. The post was so big, he included a damn glossary. What sparked the largest botnet the internet had ever seen? Minecraft. Minecraft servers are big business. A popular one can earn tens of thousands of dollars per month from people buying powers, building space, or other things. It's also a fiercely competitive business, with hundreds of servers vying for players. It turns out that things may have started, as with another set of companies, two rival DDOS mitigation providers competing for customers. ProTraf was a provider of such mitigation technology, and a company whose owner later worked for ProTraf had on at least one occasion hijacked addresses belonging to another company, ProxyPipe. ProxyPipe had also been hit with DDOS attacks they suspected to be launched by ProTraf. While looking into the President of ProTraf, Krebs realized he'd seen the relatively uncommon combination of programming languages and skills posted by the President somewhere else. They were shared by Anna-senpai on Hackforums. As Krebs dug deeper and deeper into Anna-senpai's online presence, he uncovered other usernames, including one he traced to some Minecraft forums where a photoshopped picture of a still from Pulp Fiction contained the faces of BackConnect, which was a rival to ProTraf's DDOS mitigation business, and another face. A hacker by the name of Vyp0r, who another employee of ProTraf claimed betrayed his trust and blackmailed him into posting the source of another piece of malware called Bashlite. There was also a third character photoshopped into the image. An anime character named "Yamada" from a movie called B Gata H Hei. Interestingly, under the same username, Krebs found a "MyAnimeList" profile which, out of 9 titles it had marked as watched, were B Gata H Hei, as well as Mirai Nikki, the show from which Mirai derived its name. It continues on with other evidence, including DDOS attacks against Rutgers University, but in short, there was little doubt in the identity of "Anna-senpai", but the person behind the identity did contact Krebs to comment. He denied any involvement in Mirai or DDOS attacks.
"I don’t think there are enough facts to definitively point the finger at me," [Anna-senpai] said. "Besides this article, I was pretty much a nobody. No history of doing this kind of stuff, nothing that points to any kind of sociopathic behavior. Which is what the author is, a sociopath."
I don't have the time or energy to write another effortpost, and as is I'm over 20,000 characters, so here's a few other tidbits of Krebs' clashes with miscreants.
A source and security researcher he was talking to started blabbing about him working with Krebs, and also was selling data to hackers on the side. His example data in his sales post was fucking Brian Krebs'.
Which type of curren(t) do you want to see(cy)? A analysis of the intention behind bitcoin(s). [Part I]
Bitcoin was released to the world in 2009 by someone (or a group) who authored a technical whitepaper, released the source code to the protocol and commented on a few p2p forums and mailing lists under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto for a few months prior and a few years afterwards before leaving the project. The project was left in the hands of Gavin Andresson who was another cryptographer that satoshi communicated regularly with on the forums and had been one of the first people involved in the project. Some time after satoshi left, one of his accounts was allegedly hacked and bitcointalk (the primary forum) itself was hacked so a meme kind of emerged that satoshi wouldn't be able to post again from his accounts or that posting from them would be dubious. In 2016 an Australian by the name of Craig S Wright was exposed by Wired and Gizmodo as potentially being the inventor of bitcoin. Craig then signed privately for Gavin Andreson, Jon Matonis but then when he was supposed to cryptographically sign to a journalist the method performed did not hold up to public scrutiny because he could have copy pasted a fragment from an earlier known signed message from satoshi and not generated it himself with the private keys. This cast a lot of doubt from many on the man's claims and he published an article saying he wasn't brave enough to sign. Since then the term cryptocurrency has blown out massively to include anything with a distributed ledger technology, a token, a security, and has really just devolved into a cesspit of buzzwords and disinformation. Once satoshi disappeared in 2011 and left the repo in the hands of Gavin and the open source community, it left a power vacuum in the space for how to interpret the protocol, whitepaper and handle the development. Gavin Andresson brought some other developers on board from the forums and mailing lists, Shortly after Gavin gave some other developers commit access, bitcointalk was hacked and these new developers somehow deleted gavin from the github repo due to apparent concern that his account was compromised from the hack and afterwards once he validated his identity in certain accounts he was never given access again. Gavin stopped being involved with the project after that. In the time following satoshi's departure a meme had evolved that satoshi had left because Gavin had met with the CIA to discuss bitcoin. This meme combined with the interpretation of what satoshi meant when he included the quote "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" in the genesis block, the subsequent rise and fall of silk road and darknet markets, and the general lore of the space, his cypherpunk mailing list associations had led the scene to paint/project upon him as some kind of government hating tax dodging l33t h4xor demigod. Although in the title of the whitepaper it was described as p2p cash, bitcoin as most know it is now is marketed as a store of value. Although it was defined as the longest Proof of Work chain of digital signatures, bitcoin as most know it in actual fact has segregated witnesses (signatures) in the protocol. Although satoshi attests to how bitcoin is designed to scale to giant block sizes hosted and mined in data centers that never really hits a scaling ceiling, it is being sold as that even at 1MB size, the damage has already been done and the blocksize should be 300kB because every user needs to be able to run a full node for bitcoin to validate their own transactions with the lowest hardware and bandwidth requirements possible. A high vertice count with everyone running a (non-mining) full node is said to protect the network against malicious actions by the big bad government while graph theory states that it is the degree of inter connectivity of the vertcies (edge number) that confers security of the network against sybil attacks as it brings the number of hops down. This decoupling from the original vision has led to development and scaling of bitcoin stalling for many years which led to the proliferation of many alt coins rising up to claim they possess superior attributes to bitcoin or can work in conjunction with bitcoin in a gold and silver type relationship, or serve a different use case to bitcoin. The debate between the groups that represented the opposing roadmaps reached a climax with bitcoin itself forking into two now separate blockchains with the minority chain being declared the imposter by social media claiming hashpower and the market had chosen despite their chain changing on the protocol level to implement segregated witnesses and reject the block size increase. These two now separate chains both forked again to birth bitcoin gold and diamond on the segwit chain and bitcoin cash and bitcoin sv on the non segwit chain. At the non segwit chain fork, bitcoin cash implemented checkpointing at the protocol level whereas bitcoin sv maintained the original nakamoto consensus and sought to scale greater than the 32MB blocksize limit BCH maintained with 64MB blocks. Following these forking events both BTC (segwit) and BCH (checkpoints) also implemented Schnorr signatures which was marketed as economising the size of a typical bitcoin transaction though in actual fact it can be used to obfuscate signatures and allow for the mixing of coins to mask the chain of digital signatures and essentially "anonymously" launder money. The BSV chain (now Stewarded by Dr Craig Wright) was then declared the loser of that hash war by people heralding the power of the market and the miners to democratize money. The problem with such a claim though is just like current polical democracy, this apparent democratisation of money was just as susceptible to the influence of those who control the cryptocurrency media and just like in politics, there is a cabal like group that exerts a disproportionate influence over the narrative and appears to serve the interests of those in on the racket rather than those it is allegedly informing. The main forums for discussion of cryptocurrency originally were bitcoin.org, bitcointalk.org and /Bitcoin with all three of them for some time sharing the same moderator theymos. Coindesk and the bitcoinmagazine (started by ethereum devs) were some early sources, talking heads like andreas antonopolos (andreasma), peter todd (petertodd) and greg maxwell (nullc) being propped up as sources of knowledge on what is the best course of action for scaling and endorsing solutions like small blocks, second layer solutions and segwit as a necessarry bitcoin improvement protocol (BIP) while people like Roger Ver (memory dealers) and Dr Craig Wright (craig_s_wright) endorsing a block size increase. Because the core developers had chosen to scale with small blocks and lots of nodes on the network were signalling in support of Segwit any discussion of a big block alternative was considered discussion of an alt coin and deleted and eventually users banned from /bitcoin. Out of that incident /btc emerged as an apparently censorship free forum for the discussion of all scaling plans for bitcoin but was ultimately a partisan sub populated with dejected big blockers. After the BCH fork, discussion for bitcoin sv exists on a few subs /bsv (modded by BCHers), /bitcoinsv (moderated by the lead technician at nChain (Craig Wright's company) and /bitcoincashsv where many users have been banned from both /bitcoin and /btc. Now this so far is just kind of a synposis of the history of bitcoin covering all three of the main contenders for the legitimate claimant of the name but the part 2 will look more at what kind of drastically different societies would be built upon the different versions of the protocol and what may seem like their subtle differences and which one is likely to succeed.
This articleis provided for informational purposes only. Your decision to invest in cryptocurrency cannot be made on the basis of this text. At the time when cryptocurrencies gather pace and many new altcoins appear, it seems hard to decide which one to choose for the investment. There are some notions that can help to make a decision. https://preview.redd.it/49vonh8kv1y31.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b6b1ec1e200632fedc1e56a7af8f4d5139852ce6 What affects the value of cryptocurrency? The price of cryptocurrency depends on different factors. First of all, the basic economic principle of demand and supply works here. High demand for limited coins will raise their prices. The more coins are mined, the harder it is to get new ones. As a result, they become more precious. Usefulness of coins also matters. When people understand that they can solve specific cases using cryptocurrency it may be in demand. For this reason, DASH became famous in countries which suffer difficulties with official banking system. Mass media and historical events affect the value of cryptocurrency too. If negative publicity appears or the government puts a strict regulation against the use of coins, their price goes down. It works the opposite way too. Microsoft started accepting BTC as a payment method in 2014. They set an example for many other global companies and promoted the cryptocurrency. Rise and fall As it has already been mentioned, notable cases influence the market. In 2013 the Bitcoin price raised to 266$ but crashed and it costed 109$ in October. It happened because of the Silk Road arrest. This anonymous trading floor sold illegal goods and commonly used BTC for getting payments. Cryptocurrency market has capped the climax several times in 2017. The price of BTC was growing from April and in the middle of December gained its maximum reaching 20 000 dollar mark. Meantime the price of BTC was close to 11 000$ at the beginning of September 2019 but came down to 8 000$ at the end of the month. Coin market capitalization Cryptocurrency capitalization is an integrated cost of all issued digital coins at the market. US Dollar usually serves as a monetary indicator. This characteristic helps to understand if cryptocurrency is attractive to invest in or not. Two main factors affect the capitalization. One of them is a coin emission (the amount of coins in turnover) and another is a coin rate. In most cases, the emission always grows because of the mining process. The more coins have been mined the harder to get some new ones. This process affects the rate too. For example, this scheme works with BTC. There are some cryptocurrencies (such as NXT) with initial emission. Capitalization here is directly related to the rate and market activity because the total amount of coins is unchangeable. Who risks nothing, gains nothing? When one tries to choose cryptocurrency for the investment, attention should be paid to its capitalization. High level of capitalization tells about better market fluctuation tolerance of the currency. It is more stable but a rapid increase in the rate can not be expected. On the other hand, assets with lower capitalization show significant swings in a short period of time. Famous quotes
“It is not a speculative investment even though it is being used as such by other people. As Bitcoin network grows the value of Bitcoin grows. As people move into Bitcoin for payments and receipts they stop using US Dollars, Euros and Chinese Yuan which in the long-term devalues these currencies.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google“Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Interesting fact One of the world’s most famous and successful investment in cryptocurrency was made by Norwegian student Kristoffer Koch in 2009. He got to know about bitcoins while he was writing a thesis on encryption. Kristoffer purchased 5 000 bitcoins for 150 Krones ($26.60) and forgot about them soon afterwards. “Cryptography and computer security interests me: I’m a technical guy, not an investor. So I just bought a few at that time.” – said Mr. Koch. In 2013 cryptocurrency was vividly discussed in mass media and it made the Norwegian remember about his investment. The idea of how much his coins had come to be worth struck him. 150 Krones turned into 885 000 dollars and some part of this money was used to buy a spacious apartment in a prestigious district of Oslo. Cryptocurrency investing can be really profitable. It bring its benefits if one takes into account all moments which influence the market and stays aware of changes in this sphere. No matter which cryptocurrency you choose to invest in, you can always exchange one coin for another using StealthEX. It is an anonymous and limitless cryptocurrency exchange with the top concern about user’s privacy. Follow us onMedium,Twitter,Facebook, andRedditto getStealthEX.ioupdates and the latest news about the crypto world. For all requests message us via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
This articleis provided for informational purposes only. Your decision to invest in cryptocurrency cannot be made on the basis of this text. At the time when cryptocurrencies gather pace and many new altcoins appear, it seems hard to decide which one to choose for the investment. There are some notions that can help to make a decision. https://preview.redd.it/i390wllao1y31.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=edf040c91bbb928dad681c9c091733475bb00139 What affects the value of cryptocurrency? The price of cryptocurrency depends on different factors. First of all, the basic economic principle of demand and supply works here. High demand for limited coins will raise their prices. The more coins are mined, the harder it is to get new ones. As a result, they become more precious. Usefulness of coins also matters. When people understand that they can solve specific cases using cryptocurrency it may be in demand. For this reason, DASH became famous in countries which suffer difficulties with official banking system. Mass media and historical events affect the value of cryptocurrency too. If negative publicity appears or the government puts a strict regulation against the use of coins, their price goes down. It works the opposite way too. Microsoft started accepting BTC as a payment method in 2014. They set an example for many other global companies and promoted the cryptocurrency. Rise and fall As it has already been mentioned, notable cases influence the market. In 2013 the Bitcoin price raised to 266$ but crashed and it costed 109$ in October. It happened because of the Silk Road arrest. This anonymous trading floor sold illegal goods and commonly used BTC for getting payments. Cryptocurrency market has capped the climax several times in 2017. The price of BTC was growing from April and in the middle of December gained its maximum reaching 20 000 dollar mark. Meantime the price of BTC was close to 11 000$ at the beginning of September 2019 but came down to 8 000$ at the end of the month. Coin market capitalization Cryptocurrency capitalization is an integrated cost of all issued digital coins at the market. US Dollar usually serves as a monetary indicator. This characteristic helps to understand if cryptocurrency is attractive to invest in or not. Two main factors affect the capitalization. One of them is a coin emission (the amount of coins in turnover) and another is a coin rate. In most cases, the emission always grows because of the mining process. The more coins have been mined the harder to get some new ones. This process affects the rate too. For example, this scheme works with BTC. There are some cryptocurrencies (such as NXT) with initial emission. Capitalization here is directly related to the rate and market activity because the total amount of coins is unchangeable. Who risks nothing, gains nothing? When one tries to choose cryptocurrency for the investment, attention should be paid to its capitalization. High level of capitalization tells about better market fluctuation tolerance of the currency. It is more stable but a rapid increase in the rate can not be expected. On the other hand, assets with lower capitalization show significant swings in a short period of time. Famous quotes
“It is not a speculative investment even though it is being used as such by other people. As Bitcoin network grows the value of Bitcoin grows. As people move into Bitcoin for payments and receipts they stop using US Dollars, Euros and Chinese Yuan which in the long-term devalues these currencies.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google “Bitcoin is a technological tour de force.” – Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft
Interesting fact One of the world’s most famous and successful investment in cryptocurrency was made by Norwegian student Kristoffer Koch in 2009. He got to know about bitcoins while he was writing a thesis on encryption. Kristoffer purchased 5 000 bitcoins for 150 Krones ($26.60) and forgot about them soon afterwards. “Cryptography and computer security interests me: I’m a technical guy, not an investor. So I just bought a few at that time.” – said Mr. Koch. In 2013 cryptocurrency was vividly discussed in mass media and it made the Norwegian remember about his investment. The idea of how much his coins had come to be worth struck him. 150 Krones turned into 885 000 dollars and some part of this money was used to buy a spacious apartment in a prestigious district of Oslo. Cryptocurrency investing can be really profitable. It bring its benefits if one takes into account all moments which influence the market and stays aware of changes in this sphere. No matter which cryptocurrency you choose to invest in, you can always exchange one coin for another using StealthEX. It is an anonymous and limitless cryptocurrency exchange with the top concern about user’s privacy. Just go to StealthEX.io and follow these easy steps:
Choose the pair and the amount for your exchange. For example, BTC to ETH.
Press the “Start exchange” button.
Provide the recipient address where the coins will be transferred.
Money is the obvious one. Cryptocurrencies are unbannable forms of money. Their inherent decentralized structure means that not even china, who has complete control of their nations internet, could ban it. The weakest link in crypto space are the centralized exchanges. However, thanks to mining and stores that accept CCs like SilkRoad and OpenBazaar, it's possible to acquire CCs and spend them without going through a centralized exchange. Not to mention, decentralized exchanges will be a thing one day.
Property that you use to earn money
This one is solved by boths Smart Contracts and DAOs, but I'm going to focus on Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts are awesome. If you haven't read my article on them, check out what I wrote here. They can compute anything that a normal program can, but are also unbannable thanks to being decentralized. For our purposes, we can think of Smart Contracts as unbannable programs. Programs are property. Even open source programs are property. When a programer creates a program, they have the freedom to open source the code or not because they own their code(assuming they haven't agreed to give up ownership of the code in exchange for something else). If they do decide to open source their code, they also have the freedom to attach a license(any license) onto their code or not- because they own their code. It's their property. In fact, software in general can be thought of as just digital factories- it takes in inputs, and spits out some outputs. And like physical factories, someone owns them. So we've established programs and code are property. But is it private property? Going by the leftist definitions, yes, it can be. Take CryptoKitties for instance. CryptoKitties is a SmartContract that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. The idea is you can trade and breed these digital cats with other users, while the company earns a fixed percentage of each trade. CryptoKitties was in fact created by an entrepreneur who hired people to help him make the product. His employees probably get paid a salary, while his company gets paid directly through the SmartContract. In fact, we can see the exact addresses that CryptoKities sends its revenue to, along with who has control over which parts of the Smart Contract: https://etherscan.io/address/0x06012c8cf97bead5deae237070f9587f8e7a266d#code The "contract KittyAccessControl" is particularly interesting. CryptoKitties was made by a team, but you could imagine if it was made by a single person. There's nothing really stopping a single person from making CKs. Either way, CKs is property that is owned by an individual or a few individuals, and is used to make a profit. And it's unbannable. The revenue from CKs will always go to the owner of the contract. That makes CKs an unbannable form of private property by their own definition.
Instruments/Tools/Means of production
But what about the physical computers and keyboards that the programmers use to create the unbannable programs? Couldn't those at least be seized? Nope. That's where DAOs come in. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations mother fucker. DAOs are a beast. Imagine a company with no headquarters, and no one knows who the owners or employees are, or where they're located. DAOs are built on top of Smart Contracts, but instead of a cute game like CryptoKitties, they allow an entrepreneur to codify a business structure in such a way that anyone can perform a task and get paid for it in a completely decentralized fashion. In such a business, it would be impossible to "seize the means of production". Even if the government tracked down one employee and stole their computer, the DAO would still automatically find a new employee to do work, potentially in a completely separate country. And even if the government tracked down the owner of the DAO, the DAO itself still might not be seizeable, assuming the owner stores their private keys in their head. Think of the Uber business model, but on steroids. Or think 'working from home' taken to the extreme. Here's a good article on DAOs. Uber by itself actually is very interesting. Uber doesn't own any cars, the drivers own their own car. However, the Uber App isn't on the blockchain, so technically it could be banned or seized. However, if Uber were a DAO, it would become an unbannable form of private property. Far leftists would point out that DAOs also enable "woker owned businesses", which is true. A DAO could be programmed to fit any sort of business structure. Unfortunately for them, capitalism doesn't care at all what individuals do, as long as they don't steal or damage other people's private property, or break a contract that they agreed to. Worker co-ops like Mondragon Corporation are as capitalist as Chicken McNuggets. Far leftists on the other hand don't extend this same level of freedom to us, which is why their ideologies are predicated on violence. In order for them to succeed, private property must be completely banned, and their very specific business model must be enforced at gunpoint. Luckily for us, we have cryptography and economics on our side. They may be able to ban certain forms of physical private property like apartments(although even that could be solved by an AirBnB Smart Contract), but they will never be able to ban all of it, or even a fraction of it. Other far leftists such as left-anarchists believe that if we get rid of the government, private property won't be enforceable, and will just automatically disappear. They believe a government is required for private property enforcement. They're completely wrong. Cryptographically-enforced private property is here to stay. They can scream and shout exploitation all they want, but their ideology is completely and utterly unenforceable, and is thus effectively dead.
Any ideology predicated on completely banning private property is dead
Any ideology predicated on the idea that private property will disappear if the government does as well is dead.
WARNING: If you try to use the Lightning Network you are at extremely HIGH RISK of losing funds and is not recommended or safe to do at this time or for the foreseeable future (274 points, 168 comments)
The guy who won this week's MillionaireMakers drawing has received ~$55 in BCH and ~$30 in BTC. It will cost him less than $0.01 to move the BCH, but $6.16 (20%) in fees to move the BTC. (164 points, 100 comments)
Do you think Bitcoin needs to increase the block size? You're in luck! It already did: Bitcoin BCH. Avoid the upcoming controversial BTC block size debate by trading your broken Bitcoin BTC for upgraded Bitcoin BCH now. (209 points, 194 comments)
Master list of evidence regarding Bitcoin's hijacking and takeover by Blockstream (185 points, 113 comments)
PSA: BTC not working so great? Bitcoin upgraded in 2017. The upgraded Bitcoin is called BCH. There's still time to upgrade! (185 points, 192 comments)
This sub is the only sub in all of Reddit that allows truly uncensored discussion of BTC. If it turns out that most of that uncensored discussion is negative, DON'T BLAME US. (143 points, 205 comments)
211 points: fireduck's comment in John Mcafee on the run from IRS Tax Evasion charges, running 2020 Presidential Campaign from Venezuela in Exile
203 points: WalterRothbard's comment in I am a Bitcoin supporter and developer, and I'm starting to think that Bitcoin Cash could be better, but I have some concerns, is anyone willing to discuss them?
163 points: YourBodyIsBCHn's comment in I made this account specifically to tip in nsfw/gonewild subreddits
161 points: BeijingBitcoins's comment in Last night's BCH & BTC meetups in Tokyo were both at the same restaurant (Two Dogs). We joined forces for this group photo!
156 points: hawks5999's comment in You can’t make this stuff up. This is how BTC supporters actually think. From bitcoin: “What you can do to make BTC better: check twice if you really need to use it!” 🤦🏻♂️
155 points: lowstrife's comment in Steve Wozniak Sold His Bitcoin at Its Peak $20,000 Valuation
151 points: kdawgud's comment in The government is taking away basic freedoms we each deserve
147 points: m4ktub1st's comment in BCH suffered a 51% attack by colluding miners to re-org the chain in order to reverse transactions - why is nobody talking about this? Dangerous precident
147 points: todu's comment in Why I'm not a fan of the SV community: My recent bill for defending their frivolous lawsuit against open source software developers.
Silk Road launched in February 2011 as the darknet’s first bitcoin-based marketplace. Within four months, it would be the darknet’s most notorious site This Ohio man is accused of trying to launder $19 million of bitcoin from the dark web Published Tue, Jul 23 2019 1:14 PM EDT Updated Tue, Jul 23 2019 2:02 PM EDT Tom Huddleston Jr. In direct response to the news of the closure of the Silk Road website, the value of the Bitcoin currency crashed abruptly – falling from USD$125 to USD$99. As part of their actions against Ulbricht and Silk Road, the FBI seized a huge amount of Bitcoin – believed to 144,000 that were found in a Bitcoin wallet belonging to Ulbricht. This article originally appeared in Bitcoin Magazine‘s 10th anniversary print edition. Silk Road, the online marketplace named for the historic network of trade routes established during the Han Dynasty, went live in February 2011. Its domain was accessible only on the so-called “dark web” via the encrypted and anonymous network software Tor. This eBay for the internet’s underworld was ... However, the public is not wholly aware of the estimated 444,000 BTC ($4.8B) missing from the Silk Road and a recent study from mysteryarchive.com discusses the lost coins at length. “What many people don’t know about the Silk Road story, is that the balance sheet does not add up, and everybody just seems to be okay with this fact,” the mysteryarchive.com report notes.
Bitcoin Price Predicted to Skyrocket to $100K in 2020 by Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht BTC News
'Dread Pirate Roberts' Ross Ulbricht expects the Bitcoin price to plunge to $1K before another bull run. Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the infamous Silk Road dark web marketplace, has spotted 'a ... Justin works at one of the multi-million dollar cryptocurrency and Bitcoin mining facilities where they mine Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Dash, and many other popular crypto coins ... BCTalk Hacked Again -- Hong Kong Goo Mining Bitcoins -- $100M Sheep Fleeced - Duration: 4:21. MadBitcoins 737 views. 4:21 . One way to get your bitcoin stolen - Duration: 9:54. djp3 Recommended ... Issue 1 - Bitcoin $300 Issue 2 - Silk Road 2.0 Issue 3 - Selfish Mining Issue 4 - Bitcoin is a Joke and Predictions.... Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel Would you like to support The ... A brief explanation of what Bitcoin is in the Alex Winter documentary The Deep Web, narrated by Keanu Reeves. The Deep Web is a film about Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road, and Bitcoin. The film explores ...