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Monday, February 27, 2017

Police Bust Attempted Grenade Buyer

In early February, police arrested a 21-year-old man for trying to buy a gun and several grenades from the darknet. The police arrested him and raised his home where they found other weapons. The officers confiscated the weapons along with several laptops and a cell phone. They reminded the public that the man power no threat to the public

The investigation, police say, took several weeks to carry out. He was “under the delusion” that he was completely anonymous while using the Deep Web. This was not the case, an officer emphasized. True internet—at least darknet—anonymity never existed in the first place, he added. Police watched his online activities for, according to the police, up to the weeks.

After police arrested him, they begin interrogating him and asking what he planned to do with the guns and grenades. In terms of danger and endangerment to the town or himself. They concluded, or at least told the public, that he was not a threat. They announced, however, that they found “gas weapons,” a butterfly knife, and multiple digital devices carrying incriminating information. (The digital devices included both storage mediums and cellphones.)

Officers arrested the 21-year-old before he purchased the weapons and grenades. However, they did notice that he had, in his possession, a firearms license. Officers quickly revoked it. Grenade ownership is not listed under possible reasons for a firearms license.

The weapons act or European Firearms Directive enforces strict guidelines regarding weapon ownership. Under the Netherland’s strict variations of the directive, grenade ownership is illegal. For members of the public at least. Only law enforcement is allowed to carry weaponry. The public can own weapons but they must be for, like many other countries, hunting or sport.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide explained why self defense failed as a valid argument (assuming he intended the grenade and weapons for shit defense). RNW:

“Self defence is not regarded as a valid argument for owning a gun, and only the police are allowed to carry a weapon. The main purpose of Dutch gun laws is to create a clear division between legal gun owners and people who use guns for criminal purposes. So far, the Dutch have been fairly successful in accomplishing this objective.”

After the news broke, a police spokesperson spoke to the public about the growing cause for concern on the darknet and deep web in general. Specifically, the threat that the darknet causes issues like money laundering, identity theft, and international drug trade. “The police team from the National Unit cooperates with the Royal Military Police, Customs, international police partners, public and private parties,” he said.

Officials interrogated the 21-year-old and allowed him to go free pending a decision from the national prosecutor’s office in Rotterdam. According to to the spokesperson for the Office, Thomas Aling, the small village where the 21 year-old lived had no reason to fear any danger from the defendant.

Survey – Evaluating the Vulnerabilities of Electronic Payment Systems (Part 1)

Online payment methods are gaining popularity at a furious pace. Tens of electronic payment systems are available presently with strong levels of security; however, attack procedures and hacking techniques are also advancing at a high rate. University of Paris published a survey that examined the security of various electronic payment systems. The research focused on dominant systems as well as innovative and experimental systems in an attempt to improve the current security level of various payment systems.

The survey examined Card-present (CP) transactions while reviewing its dominant system, i.e. EMV, including some studies done at Cambridge University to delineate variant attack types against this standard which has proven that “offline” authentication methods are inheritably insecure and that is the reason underlying the use of smart cards rather than magnetic stripe cards which don’t take part in the authentication process. The survey also examined the security level of the following payment systems:

1- Card-not-present transactions methods such as 3D SET, 3D Secure, SET/EMV and EMV/CAP.

2- The effect of Tokenization concept and the impact of schemes based on Blon Signatures such as E-payment systems and electronic cash.

3- Using quantum key distribution (QKD) with various electronic payment systems in order to achieve unconditional security levels rather than utilizing traditional cryptography for computational assurance of the level of security.

4- Near Field Communication (NFC) payment methods.

5- Contactless payment methods including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Google Wallet.

6- Various electronic currencies and peer-to-peer (P2P) systems such as bitcoin.

In this article, we will point out some of the security vulnerabilities associated with card present transactions and bitcoin which were presented in this survey.

Europay, Mastercard and Visa, also known as EMV, represents a complex protocol that is designed to permit communication between a credit smart card and a payment terminal. EMV cards are used to replace magnetic strip cards, possess a microprocessor that secures transactions in a manner that is not possible via magnetic strip cards and the merchant will use one terminal to transact all brands of cards.

Attack against Static Data Authentication SDA:

Static Data Authentication (SDA) represents the simplest way to authenticate a card, yet it doesn’t protect against message replay. The card consists of a certificate, signed by its issuing bank, to validate authenticity of its data. As a static certificate is used, it can be copied and used via a counterfeited card which comes with an application that accepts any PIN; these cards are known as “Yes-cards”.

With, SDA only a symmetric key is used and after PIN verification by the card, the terminal sends to the card the transaction data and then the card calculates a MAC over this data which is known as a transaction certificate‖. It is not practical to give all terminals this key due to the possibility of forgery if the key is revealed. Accordingly, the a card’s authenticity can be proven, only if the point-of-sales connects to the bank. As such, in case of offline transactions, SDA smart cards are even less secure when compared to magnetic stripe cards, due to no need to know the PIN, due to the fact that the purpose of the card is to verify the PIN and the attacker is able to create a counterfeit card that can verify any PIN.

MITM Man-in-the-middle Attack Against EMV:

Before delving into the MITM attack against EMV, the study described the card holder verification process in which in case of correct PIN, the card‘s response is 9000 and otherwise is 63Cx, (x: number of PINs entered by the client). However, the main vulnerability and flaw in this process is the inability of the terminal to accurately identify who has sent the response of the card. This flaw makes plan of a MITM attack. The below figure illustrates this attack.

The authenticated data which is sent to the bank includes “Terminal Verification Results” (TVR) and the “Issuer Application Data” (IAD). TVR consists of all possible failed card authentication states which are demonstrated in the below tabble. But one of the flaws of this process is that in case of successful authentication, it is not mentioned which method‖ has been used (ex. PIN or signature)

Accordingly, an attacker exploiting this flaw is able to perform a MITM attack to intercept the connection between the card and the point-of-sale to conceive the terminal by sending a 9000 response, without sending the PIN to the genuine card and thereby the genuine card will assume that the point-of-sale does not have “PIN verification” method and uses the signature method to verify the cardholder. Nevertheless, because the card has not received the false PIN, the number of attempts to enter the PIN (i.e. x) will not increased. Accordingly, the TVR bits are not set, because there are neither attempts nor failure, so

German Authorities Fighting Against Child Porn

The spread of child pornographic content on the internet has always been a big issue law enforcement authorities in the world had to cope with. Like many countries already, including the United States and Australia, Germany is waging a war against online pedophiles.

After the incident in the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, authorities in the country started to turn more focus on darknet pedophiles. The office manager of the Limburg bishop allegedly stored child porn material on the computer at his workplace. The investigation is still going in the case. However, Limburg has enough scandalous surroundings, including the flagrant dismissal of bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.

Georg Ungefuk, Chief Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt, along with the Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT), is fighting against child porn rings and individual perpetrators.

“Today there are many ways to exchange and attain child pornography. On the Internet, there are some platforms that can only be reached via initiates and via links,” Ungefuk said in a statement. The chief prosecutor most probably refers to darknet child porn websites, however, relevant picture and video material also circulate on messaging services, such as ICQ or WhatsApp.

According to Ungefuk, pedophiles “do not necessarily have to belong to secret groups on the darknet” to acquire such illicit material. Sometimes, cybercriminals obtain child porn from easily accessible online exchanges.

“The size varies greatly. Child pornographic boards come and go, and investigative authorities also cover them and take them off the web,” the prosecutor explained.

By the German law, the possession or the procurement of child pornographic content could be punished with up to 15 years of imprisonment.

According to law enforcement authorities, since the amount of child porn circulating on the internet is vast, there are well-established internationally oriented networks, which language is English in most cases. During the investigations, police regularly find old material that has been circulating for years. However, investigators always discover new photos and videos.

“Then we try to determine which country and which children are affected,” the chief prosecutor added.

Police regularly ask teachers to assist them with identification. This measure is extremely important since it greatly helps authorities in the prevention of such cases. Because child porn rings are also active across the borders, investigators often ask their colleagues abroad for assistance.

The five prosecutors, who specialize in the persecution of pedophiles in the ZIT, also examine each case individually. However, the police and the customs investigation authorities are the ones who do most of the work. The ZIT often receives critical information on child pornography cases from the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).

At the moment, online pedophiles are using the anonymity of the dark web to set up child porn forums and websites where they can exchange illicit content. However, law enforcement authorities in most parts of the world are focusing on taking these sites down as fast as possible.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Feds Indict A “Top Ten” Email Spammer For Wire Fraud

A 36-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, just learned of a ten-count indictment filed against his name. The indictment charged Michael Persaud of only wire fraud—ten counts of wire fraud. In addition to the charges related to computer crimes, the federal indictment called for the forfeiture of four computers used to send millions of spam emails to recipients both in the United States and overseas.

Law enforcement in Arizona arrested Persaud in January 2017; he made his first court appearance on February 7, 2017. His first court appearance, an arrangement hearing, marked the public unveiling of the indictment. The indictment, returned December of last year, became accessible to law enforcement after the January arrest, Zachary T. Fardon, US District Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. 

According to the press release from the USAO of the Northern District of Illinois, numerous officials helped read the indictment. The announcement mentioned Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and two FBI agents. Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of Chicago and R. Justin Tolomeo, Special Agent-in-Charge of Milwaukee FBI Offices.

In 2014, Brian Krebs of Krebs On Security wrote a piece titled “still spamming after all these years.” Naturally, the post covered Persaud—or what researchers knew about him at the time—which was a great deal. AOL sued the man in 1998 for mass-spamming AOL customers. The complaint alleged that American Online INC. received tens-of-thousand of complaints from customers regarding Persaud’s spam.

According to the LA Times:
America Online is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit and is asking the court to order Persaud to stop sending his mass mailings to its customers. Persaud couldn’t be reached for comment.

Persaud forged the domain name, or Internet address, on e-mail messages so AOL members would believe the solicitations were approved by America Online, the company alleges.

America Online has received tens of thousands of complaints from its subscribers as a result of the messages, and the company has lost customers because of the mailings, the company said in the suit.
Persaud managed remain on the the World’s 10 Worst Spammers list from Spamhaus, a group that monitors spam. Despite constant legal scrutiny and even raids from the FBI, Persaud maintained that his “Snowshoe Spam” fell into the same category as any other email marketing campaign. 

According to the most recent indictment, the spam emails are not the only true offense Persaud committed. “He often used false names to register the domains,” the indictment explained. “When some of the networks terminated his lease and denied him access to their networks, Persaud used aliases to contract with other networks.” He used fake names driver’s licenses under the names “Michael Prescott,” “Michael Pearson,” and “Jeff Martinez.” With the fake names and IDs, the indictment explained that he used matching falsified forms of payment—specifically debit cards.

The defendant’s next court date is scheduled for late February. Each wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Drug Distribution Suspects Admit Darknet Use

On January 7, two individuals—Daniel John Young with a lengthy list of priors and his partner, Terri Louise Graham—stood in front of a magistrate judge for both nine and seven charges, respectively. The charges, according to evidence from an officer’s testimony, stemmed from the distribution of drugs obtained on darknet marketplaces, Offices arrested Young and Graham after six people wound up in the hospital after taking drugs provided by the couple.

Daniel John Young, a 29-year-old with a lengthy list of priors that included manslaughter and drug distribution, faces nine drug related charges. The charges, according to the prosecutors, dated back to crime July 2016. They continued until February 5th, 2007. His partner Terry Lewis Graham only faces seven charges. The dates of her charges match those of her partner. 

The charges for both defendants included session Annex with intent to supply and possession of Oxycontin with intent to supply. Also, along with intent to supply charges came simple possession of Class A and Class C charges.

Despite the charges that police charged both defendants with, investigators admitted that, since the investigation was in its early stages, they found no link between both defendants and the six individuals who ended up in the hospital for Xanax overdose. One man, who remained unidentified, supplied the drugs to all six hospitalized individuals. However, information from one of the defendant’s cell phone and images on social media, officials told the court, indicated that both defendants knew the drug supplier and frequently purchased drugs from him.

Officers said that the one man—the social media suspect—already found himself in police custody. But the investigation was still in the early stages and no definitive claims could be made, a police official said.

According to the Derry Journal:

“The court heard allegations that six people have been hospitalised in the last 10 days as a result of taking Xanax. An investigating officer said one man has already been remanded in custody for supplying those six people with the drugs. He added that police believe Young and Graham are connected to this man and that he received the from them.

The officer said police searched Graham’s home at the weekend and seized a number of mobile phones. It is alleged these phones contain information on who the couple bought drugs from and who they were supplying them to. There is also allegedly photographs on the defendant’s social media account from the person police believe the couple are sourcing the drugs.”

Because of Daniel John Young’s long history of criminal activity, he made no attempt to receive bail. His partner, Terri Louise Graham, found herself in a different position. Both Young and Graham admitted to buying drugs from vendors on darknet marketplaces and reselling them to others—but, not the six in question. However, Police officers argued against Graham’s temporary freedom until the next court appearance.

Graham abused drugs, they explained, and even though she could not contact the main local supplier, she would make orders from darknet marketplaces. (She was addicted to Oxycontin – a drug readily available on the darknet marketplaces.)

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay, though, took her lack of criminal history into account. She set a $251 bail for the partner, restricted all contact with young, banned the use of both mobile number phones and the internet. Graham must check in with the police three times a day and must avoid the police investigation.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tried To Buy Phone With Counterfeit Notes – Four Arrested In Lyon

Four men from Lyon, France were arrested for trying to purchase a phone using counterfeit bank notes.

The event took place in Lyon on Monday, when the four suspects, aged between 17 and 22, tried to buy a phone with seven counterfeit 50 euro notes. After their detention, the suspects admitted that they ordered the counterfeit money from the dark web.

During the search of their apartments, law enforcement authorities found an additional seven fake 50 euro notes. Two of the defendants were released from custody since their lesser involvement in the crime. The other two suspects will be presented at the prosecutor’s office later this week. They are charged with forgery, the use of forged items, and fraud.

Earlier in January, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian issued a nationwide warning on cyberattacks. Le Drian pointed out that the major civil infrastructure providers, including electricity, transport, water, and telecommunication, may face breaches in the future.

“We should not be naive [thinking France could not face a cyber attack]… The number of cyber attacks against my ministry doubles every year. In 2016, about 24,000 external attacks had been blocked by our security services,” Le Drian said in an interview with French weekly Journal du Dimanche.

The Defense Minister described the breaches as sophisticated hacker attacks. According to him, the number of cyberattacks could increase in the future, and infrastructure providers should be ready to deal with such threats.

Le Drian added that the cyber security market is booming. The number of experts in the industry is growing at an exponential rate, and companies should take advantage of this.

The French Defense Minister expects that similarly to the rate of the hacker attacks against the ministry, the number of cybersecurity specialists will double too. Considering the magnitude and intensity of the cyberattacks the ministry and government agencies faced last year, the minister emphasized the importance of facilitating the growth of the cybersecurity sector, with improving the security measures at infrastructure providers.

Civil infrastructure providers store sensitive personal and financial information of millions of consumers in France. This is the reason why hackers are focusing on this sector. If they managed to acquire such data, they could easily sell the information to third parties that could use it for criminal activities.

According to a Duo report, one in three US citizens were affected by hacker attacks at state-supported service providers, such as healthcare. To avoid such breaches, the French Defense Minister urged the improvement of the whole IT infrastructure.

As ransomware becomes more popular, and even less-tech savvy hackers could get access to such services and software, these kinds of attacks resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousand dollars to the affected companies and institutions. If hackers would be able to launch a successful ransomware attack on the infrastructure providers that hold the data of millions of persons, the ransomware lockdown could be fatal and could cost the government millions of dollars to retrieve the information from the cybercriminals.

Update In Swedish Vendor Case: One Of The Suspects Confessed

Earlier this week, four men were detained in Halmstad, Sweden, who are suspected of running a vendor shop on the dark web. Now, one of the accused persons confessed.

According to official documents at the Halmstad District Court, the four suspects were selling narcotics on the dark web. They are charged with aggravated drug trafficking and serious drug offenses. The vendor group ordered (possibly from the dark web) bulk quantities of narcotics and resold them on dark net marketplaces for profits. The suspects allegedly sold substances to around 20 customers, police says. They accepted bitcoins and shipped the narcotics in vacuum sealed packages using the national postal system.

Law enforcement authorities were already ahead of the vendor group. As they caught the trail, they started investigating them. Authorities managed to intercept some of the parcels the vendors sent to their customers containing narcotics. The seized packages are considered as part of the evidence in the trial.

Police immediately detained two of the suspects after they picked up a package containing five kilograms of amphetamines from a postal delivery point in Åled, a municipality outside Halmstad.

All of the defendants denied the allegations against them. However, one of the suspects admitted that he picked up the narcotics from the postal delivery point on the behalf of another person. The accused person also added that he did not know that the amount of drugs in the package was so much and that there were substances other than amphetamines in the parcel.

Swedish news outlet,, conducted a brief interview with Charlotte Österlund, the prosecutor in the case.

“It started with reconnaissance and then after they were arrested, we have interrogated them,” the prosecutor said.

Österlund, when asked about the “evidence situation”, she said that she believes there is enough evidence in the case.

“This is new information for us, but it changes nothing for us”, the prosecutor said regarding the confession of one of the suspects.

The trial is expected to be continued on February 17.

In January, the Skaraborg District Court sentenced three suspects who were charged with drug trafficking. According to the officials, the accused persons ran Sweden’s largest vendor shop selling narcotics on the dark web. Sofia Karlsson, the chief prosecutor in the case, requested 14 years in prison for the two primary suspects. Chief Inspector Lars Johannson similarly opted for the same punishment. However, the judge sentenced both primary suspects, a 30 and a 35-year-old man, to eight years and six months in prison.

“In a similar case, the Court of Appeals sentenced two drug dealers to six and ten years,” Johannson told the media. “This [case] should have an even higher penalty given how extensive their trade was. Though of course, it is the district court’s discretion.”

The girlfriend of one of the primary suspects was also sentenced. She only appeared in connection with the group rarely and received lesser charges. For only “complicity in the narcotics crimes,” the judge sentenced the woman to one year in jail. The fourth member of the group avoided this sentencing—his court date remains unannounced.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Swiss Convict’s Ex-Girlfriend Released From Custody

The ex-girlfriend of Tobias Kuster, a convict in Switzerland, was released from custody.

Tobias Kuster, a 23-year-old man currently serving five and half years in prison for violent crimes, did not return to the Pöschwies Prison Office from an unaccompanied parole on June 23, 2016. According to official court documents, the suspect was involved in the murder of a 43-year-old in the Seefeld area on June 30. At the time, the Zürich Canton Police offered a reward of 10,000 Swiss Francs for catching the criminal. However, on January 18, law enforcement authorities detained the convict in Bern after he tried to purchase a firearm from the dark net. Police arrested two other persons with Kuster, including the ex-girlfriend of the criminal. Law enforcement authorities claim that the two other suspects helped the convict in his escape. Now, the ex-girlfriend, who Kuster has a four-year-old daughter with, has been released from custody.

Corinne Bouvard, spokeswoman for the cantonal public prosecutor’s office, confirmed the release of the ex-girlfriend.

“There is currently no information available on the concrete grounds of the dismissal or the accusations against her,” Bouvard said when asked about the role of the ex-girlfriend in the case.

According to a source who was close to Kuster, the convict was still in touch and had a good connection with his ex-girlfriend after their relationship ended in early 2014. The source also spoke of an “unfortunate symbiosis” between the two persons.

What Kuster did not know when he tried to buy a weapon from the dark net, the website he used was under the surveillance of Swiss authorities. Unfortunately, due to the lack of information, it is unclear which website or vendor did the convict try to purchase a firearm from.

It still remains a question why authorities in the Pöschwies Prison Office issued an unaccompanied parole for the dangerous convict. According to the Swiss news outlet, Kuster was previously categorized as “not at all risky and retrogressive”. Authorities did not recognize the mistake they made even after the murder of the 43-year-old.

According to Adrian Kägi, the chief prosecutor, the accused confessed in connection with the Seefeld homicide after his arrest.

As in most of Europe, including Germany, Austria, and Sweden, the number of dark net cases had seen an increase in Switzerland too. Earlier this month, two Swiss citizens, a 20-year-old and a 28-year-old, were sentenced for using counterfeit euros they ordered from the dark web. According to official court information, the two men ordered ten 50 euro notes from the dark net on April 20, 2016. After they received the bills on May 17, they traveled to Weil Am Rhein, Germany with the purpose to use the fake notes. However, law enforcement authorities detained them after they tried to pay with one of the bills in a restaurant. Police found a plastic bag containing the remaining nine 50 euro bills in the underpants of the 28-year-old. After their arrest, both suspects confessed their crimes and showed full cooperation with authorities.

The juvenile court of justice sentenced the 28-year-old to six months of probation without a financial charge. The younger defendant has to pay 800 euros in fine.

Trial Started In Swedish Dark Net Vendor Case

Four men (aged around 25) are standing trial at the Halmstad District Court in Sweden for allegedly running a vendor shop on the dark web selling narcotics.

According to official court documents, law enforcement authorities arrested two of the suspects when they tried to pick up a parcel containing five kilograms of amphetamines from a postal delivery point in Åled.

The four suspects are charged with serious drug offenses and aggravated narcotic trafficking. According to law enforcement authorities, the accused persons allegedly sold narcotics on a dark net marketplace. Police claim the suspects had around 20 customers. The vendor group shipped the substances via vacuum sealed packages to not emit any odor. Also, according to the indictment, the accused persons allegedly ordered large quantities of narcotics from abroad (possibly from the dark net), which they resold for a profit on the dark web.

Previously to their arrest, law enforcement authorities caught the trail of the suspects and started investigating them. Police managed to intercept some of the narcotics packages the vendor group sent to the buyers. The seized parcels are considered as part of the evidence used in the trial.

The suspects, all from Halmstad, deny all charges against them.

As Swedish authorities see the growth of dark net cases in the country, they realized something has to be done to prevent such crimes. According to a news outlet in Sweden, Dagenssamhä, the largest issue law enforcement face, is the postal law in the country. Since the dark net trade is increasing in Sweden, more and more narcotics packages are delivered via the postal system. The Scandinavian country now wants to prevent this. Lars Lustig, the author of the article regarding this problem, said the Postal Service Act “failed law enforcement in any conventional way”. According to him, the law aimed at helping the postal workers and the government, when it was legislated in 1993.

“When the Postal Services Act was written in 1993, [drug dealers] were not selling drugs on the Internet, and the number of shipments of drugs sent by mail was small. The Postal staff is involuntarily part of drug distribution. Since April 2015, close to 200 people died from fentanyl intoxication. Most of the products came from the mail flow,” he explained.

The Swedish government had seen the problem in 2015, where they launched a training for postal employees in the northern part of the country on how to handle such situations. However, the training proved to insufficient to prevent drug deliveries by mail.

Lustig listed some fundamental changes and their positive outcomes that he and members of the Swedish government believe that would prevent drug trafficking using the postal system:

“Increased cooperation between police, customs, and postal staff would reduce the staff’s concern about the threat situations they face today.”

“Law enforcement authorities should recognize ongoing violations.”

“Reduced availability of drugs via the internet.”

“The Increased risk of detection could discourage those who want to experiment with drugs.”

“Streamlining the discovery and classification of new substances of abuse.”

Judge Breaks Precedent and Orders Google to Hand Over Foreign Emails

In a potentially huge blow against privacy rights, in the case of In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, a US Magistrate in Philadelphia has ruled that forcing Google to turn over e-mails stored outside of the United States, in order for the FBI to review them as part of a domestic fraud investigation, does not count as seizure. In his ruling, Judge Thomas Reuter stated that,“Google regularly transfers user data from one data center to another without the customer’s knowledge,” adding, “Such transfers do not interfere with the customer’s access or possessory interest in the user data. Even if the transfer interferes with the account owner’s control over his information, this interference is de minimis and temporary.”

Judge Reuter’s ruling breaks a precedent that was set by the US Second Court of Appeals on January 24th, 2017, where that court ruled in a split decision to uphold a lower court’s ruling from July 16th, 2016, that Microsoft could not be forced to turn over e-mails stored on a foreign server. In that case, Microsoft successfully challenged a warrant issued by a New York judge, which requested e-mails Microsoft was storing in Ireland, which the Department of Justice was seeking for a drug case involving a Silk Road admin. Google said in court documents that it occasionally splits up e-mails into pieces to improve network performance, and that they did not necessarily know where specific e-mails are stored. Based on the ruling in the Microsoft case, Google felt that they had complied with the warrant they had received, by turning over e-mails that they knew were stored in the United States. Google pointed out the ruling in the Microsoft case, but Judge Reuter responded that Google stores it’s data overseas in a way that makes it impossible for law enforcement in the United States to ask for and receive legal assistance from a foreign state.

It is not known if Judge Reuter’s ruling means that turning over the e-mails would only become a violation of privacy if the information is disclosed in court. Judge Reuter said in his opinion that, “When Google produces the electronic data in accordance with the search warrants and the Government views it, the actual invasion of the account holders’ privacy- the searches – will occur in the United States. Even though the retrieval of the electronic data by Google from its multiple data centers abroad has the potential for an invasion of privacy, the actual infringement of privacy occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States.” If the ruling by Judge Reuter stands, it could put the US in violation of international treaties. The warrants in both the Microsoft case and the Google case were issued under the Stored Communications Act of 1986, an act which many view as outdated. “We recognize at the same time that in many ways the [Stored Communications Act of 1986] has been left behind by technology. It is overdue for a congressional revision that would continue to protect privacy but would more effectively balance concerns of international comity with law enforcement needs and service provider obligations in the global context in which this case arose,” Judge Susan Carney wrote in her opinion on the Microsoft case.

Privacy activists remain hopeful that Judge Reuter’s ruling will be overturned on appeal. A statement issued by Google in response to Judge Reuter’s ruling said that, “The magistrate in this case departed from precedent, and we plan to appeal the decision. We will continue to push back on overbroad warrants.” Google receives around 25,000 requests from US law enforcement annually for user data.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

VirtualPatent – Tracing Online Ideas Via Decentralized Trusted Timestamping Using Bitcoin’s Blockchain

Social networks and other forms of online discussion platforms have made it possible for ideas to be disseminated in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, there are several logical justifications that render individuals hesitant to share their ideas on the internet. For example, academic researchers usually prefer not to make their contributions public, until they have been formally published to ensure receiving appropriate credit for their work. Accordingly, creative contributions and innovative ideas are often shared within a small circle of trustworthy peers, rather than with bigger audiences online. This attitude keeps other experts, in a given topic, from participating in the discussion.

VirtualPatent is a novel application that deploys a proof-of-concept implementation of an online sharing and discussion platform that addresses the aforementioned problem. VirtualPatent is designed to automatically timestamp each post, created or shared by a user, via creation of a distributed timestamp on bitcoin’s blockchain. Apart from timestamping techniques, which are managed by centralized platforms, blockchain stored timestamps are persistent and cannot be modified or tampered with. VirtualPatent’s system allows the author of an online post to retrospectively mark the exact time at which his/her contribution was first made in a tamper-proof manner.

What is Decentralized Trusted Timestamping of Digital Media?

Decentralized Trusted Timestamping (DTT) via the blockchain technology is a novel technical solution that addresses the problem of securly marking the time at which digital files existed in a specific state. According to this digital timestamping approach, the unique hash generated from a specific digital file is recorded as a transaction on a cryptocurrency’s blockchain. According to bitcoin’s blockchain protocol, it is almost impossible to tamper with transaction records; in other words, timestamps are recorded on a persistently verifiable, tamperproof medium.

VirtualPatent’s System Design:

VirtualPatent is implemented in the form of a flask web app, along with a Python backend and an SQLite database. The app is hosted, in the form of a demo, on Heroku and should be considered as a proof-of-concept. The developers of VirtualPatent invite coders to develop their unique applications via building on their idea and they made the source code available for everyone under MIT license at:

The platform enables users to create profiles and upload a wide variety of file formats. VirtualPatent formulates the unique hash for the uploaded file via hashlib’s SHA-256 function. The yielded hash is then submitted for timestamping on bitcoin’s blockchain using OriginStamp’s API. The below figure illustrates the communication that takes place between the web app and OriginStamp’s API to generate the blockchain timestamp.

To prevent overcrowding the blockchain with unnecessary transactions, and to minimize transaction fees, OriginStamp is designed to collect all received hashes within a 24 hour period and formulate one aggregate hash (SHA-256) as shown on the top right box on the above figure. A new bitcoin address is generated from this aggregate hash, to which a onetime transaction of one Satoshi (0.00000001) is sent. The transaction time at which the hash is recorded onto the blockchain becomes the file’s timestamp.

As timestamping is delayed, users can choose to keep the content of their files private, until the transaction has been confirmed. To verify a file’s timestamp, the unique file hash along with a verification link are broadcast along with each published post. The verification link presently points to OriginStamp’s database that includes all submitted timestamps, but can be modified to redirect to any alternative blockchain explorer that offers users a GUI to help them verify transactions on bitcoin’s blockchain.

VirtualPatent automatically sends registered users a confirmation email once their files have been successfully timestamped. The confirmation email includes a list of all the hashes that were used to generate the aggregate hash from which the bitcoin address was formulated. Offering this data to the user ensures that even if VirtualPatent’s platform, or the OriginStamp service fail, users would have a copy of the data needed to validate that the hash of their file was actually embedded in a bitcoin transaction and recorded onto the blockchain.

The UI of VirtualPatent promotes ease of use and provides all the actions that a user of an online discussion or sharing platform would need including creation of profiles, browsing posts, commenting on posts, sharing posts and following users. The platform’s functionality is insipired by Quora and StackExchange.

Penguin Mixer: Review and Tutorial

Today, we are going to review and teach you how to use the Penguin mixer. The reason why we have taken an interest on this particular mixer is its open source nature. Like the mixer itself explains on the front page, the deep web relies on a multitude of open source services like Linux, Tor and Bitcoin. However, bitcoin mixers are usually closed source, meaning that one must place a great deal of trust, not only on the operators, but also on the code itself. With Penguin, everyone can take a look “under the hood” and see how it works. Furthermore, the code can also be used to create your own dark web mixing service and Penguin mixer even provides a tutorial on how to do this.

Although its design leaves much to be desired, the mixer itself is highly intuitive and easy to use, and in the end that’s what matters. The major benefit of such an archaic design is security as no JavaScript is used.

Another great thing about this mixer is the fee! The mixing fee in Penguin mixer is randomized between 0.5% and 1% which is lower than most mixers (yay)! You’ll also have the option of using multiple addresses and extended time delay which we advise you to use (both).

Overall, the Penguin mixer is pretty great, but as always caution is advised! You’re entrusting your coins to a third party service that can disappear with them at any time. So, never risk more than what you can afford to lose.

Note that mixing information is only retained for 7 days (for your safety), so if it’s been longer than that your search won’t work.

That’s it! Easy, right? We know. We just wanted to make sure you know everything you need to know before you start mixing. Now that you do, enjoy and remember to play it safe!

Dark Net Markets Launching Bug Bounty Programs

Dark web marketplaces are using the same model as legit businesses – they are launching bug bounty programs to protect them against possible hacks. The rewards will make bounty hunters analyze the websites, find security flaws, and earn profits.

According to tech magazine CyberScoop, Hansa Market is one of these marketplaces. Hansa, which made about $3 million last year, has launched a bug bounty program on January 30. The rewards range from 0.05 BTC ($50) to 10 BTC ($10,000). Security measurements, like bug bounty programs, are essential for marketplaces that sell narcotics, illegal firearms, log-ins, and other hacked data since the markets need to protect their sellers from law enforcement authorities. However, police are not the only ones who would benefit from such hacks. Dark net markets also have to protect against rival hackers, who would steal information, such as data dumps.

Despite Hansa’s efforts, privacy researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis doesn’t believe that bug bounty programs could help black markets that much. According to her, the website admins have to go “much deeper” if they want to solve their security issues.

“The problems pervading onions [the nickname for websites accessed on the Tor network] are caused by bad assumptions at the software design level — the reliance on web technologies designed for an Internet without consideration for privacy. Bug bounties are only a patch, what we really need are new privacy-oriented software stacks, servers, blog platforms, etc,” Lewis said in a statement.

Hansa launched its bug bounty program after AlphaBay, the biggest active dark web market, got compromised in January. The hacker, known as “Cipher0007”, managed to breach the website and steal over 200,000 private messages exchanged between users and sellers. He was able to compromise the dark net market, acquire the first and last names of the buyers and vendors, nicknames, addresses, and the tracking IDs of packages sent by sellers when included in the messages and not protected by PGP keys.

Cipher0007 disclosed the vulnerabilities of the dark net marketplace on Reddit. According to him, there were to two security flaws that could be exploited to acquire user private messages. The hacker also posted some screenshots as proof.

After his post on Reddit, Cipher0007 opened several support tickets on AlphaBay, warning the marketplace of the website issues. Soon after, the dark net market rewarded the hacker for disclosing the flaws rather than selling them or releasing the data to the public. Cipher0007 even revealed his methods to the black market admins, so AlphaBay developers were able to close all loopholes in a few hours.

In a statement on PasteBin, AlphaBay confirmed the validity of the vulnerabilities and said the bugs allowed the hacker to steal a total of 218,000 messages, which were not older than 30 days. Older messages are automatically purged from the system, according to the marketplace.

With such information, the hacker could make big money selling the information to law enforcement authorities. If he would do that, it could have resulted in the fall of the biggest active dark net market.

Bitcoin price analysis February 23, 2017

Bitcoin Rallies Ahead of Bitcoin ETF Decision

This week the price of Bitcoin rallied from $980, past $1000 to a monthly high at $1127, inches away from the $1139 high of January 5. This strong run was partly fueled by speculation on a the Winklevii Twins’ proposed Bitcoin Trust ETF. On March 11, 2 members of the SEC will rule on whether to approve or reject the application. With as much as $ 300 million expected to flow in if approved, lofty $2000 targets are on the table. This week’s rally was either pricing in approved ETF news (on insider’s knowledge), or it was, and is, a massive pre-ETF pump that dumps if the ETF is declined.

On last week’s analysis, I expected a sideways consolidation within the $980 – $1020 range. But the market proved me wrong. Over the past 7 days, price has broken past $1000, rallied up to a local $1066 high, corrected to a shallow $1039 bottom and is now seems intent blowing past an 18 month high.

Looking at the 1 hour and 2 hour chart, this rise up to $1134 on BitFinex is part of an unfolding 5 wave structure from the $974 bottom of February 13. The chart above labels this bottom as 2, a retracement of an impulsive wave 1. Wave 3, ongoing as at writing this, follows wave 2 as an impulsive wave, and should continue up to a peak price; perhaps $1134 further up past $1139..

Thereafter, a corrective wave 4 retracement follows after wave 3 peak, finds a bottom, before a last impulse wave 5. As as writing this, on the 6 and 12 hour charts, bitcoin is trading at $1127, still within a wave 3, so further upside could materialize. Even after wave 4, a 5th wave should inch higher or even break past $1139 high. Bullish hopes of breaking the all time high are certainly warranted, for now.

On this 3 day chart, another 5 wave structure is in force. This is a higher degree fractal – a self similar pattern appearing at every degree of a trend. The $1139 high was the peak of wave 3, that retraced down to $735 for a 4 bottom and has resumed a trend up in a 5th wave – the final leg in the direction of the dominant trend.

Wave 5 is typically terminal, and precedes a 3 wave a-b-c corrective wave in the opposite direction of the dominant trend. The current wave fractals will be no different, and is only a matter of time. The question is how far up will price overshoot?

From talking to traders, potential targets for a wave 5 top on the weekly and 3D are $1200, $1400, $1600 and $2000.

This means immediately after this peak, a 3 wave structure will correct to at least $750, the wave 4 bottom. This is why I am cautious at these price levels. While it looks bullish, the events after a top could quickly turn bearish. Watch out for either a bull trap or a bear trap

If indeed the ETF fails approval, then any ensuing correction down will be catalyzed by this news. If approved, then the anticipated $300 million expected to flood into COIN ETF will fuel a massive price rise.

Bitcoin ETF for Dummies

Spencer Borgart, of Needham & Co., expects the COIN ETF will not be approved, and will either be rejected or a proposed rule change, necessary for the ETF will pass by virtue of expiry of the March 11 deadline. Needham’s mini statement to investors in January stated it had a ‘very low’ probability and was drastically ‘overstated’ with odds below 25%

“the confluence of fear, uncertainty and doubt coupled with basic incentives at the SEC will make it very difficult to get approval.”

He is not the only one. Insider Vinny Ligham tweeted

“So far so good when I posted this at $810. Doubt the ETF decline (likely outcome) would even push it down this far [$700].” ‘s Bitcoin ETF for Dummies is a great interview with Spencer and explores the Bitcoin Trust ETF.

“I definitely don’t expect a crash. There would be some downside to disapproval. We’ll see price slump a bit, but I would guess it won’t slump more than 10%.”

I expect the ETF will not get approved.

Bitcoin Weekly Price Forecast

This week, I expect price to push further upside and break the all time high. I expect a wave 4 correction on the 1 day and 12 hour chart.

Beyond that, my gut feel says this run up is a fool’s trap: smart money exiting while dumb money takes the bait. With the looming ETF decision at large, a break of the high would suck in more late buyers and possibly drag this final 5th wave further up

My main concern is a top, and what form it might take, in anticipation of a break downwards. I still maintain a retest to $700 is inevitable. I too have been surprised by the energy of this recovery from $754, but, the more i ponder and stare at charts, the more i am convinced whatever top we get, will precede a 3 wave A – B – C correction to at least $700.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Update In Silk Road Vendor’s Case In The Netherlands

A 37-year-old, also known as “Willy”, from Groningen, the Netherlands, was arrested for allegedly running a vendor shop on the infamous Silk Road Marketplace selling narcotics. Earlier this month, the Public Prosecutor (OM) recommended a sentence of fifteen months (five suspended) in prison. However, there is an update in the case.

According to official court information, the suspect allegedly used his own room at a residential building in Oude Boteringestraat in Groningen as his base of operations. After several anonymous reports, law enforcement authorities raided the home of the 37-year-old. Police found different kinds of narcotics, including “hard drugs” and ecstasy pills. Officials claim the amount of drugs found in the apartment is too much for a regular user. They suspect Willy of running the “Amster Dope” vendor shop on the previously closed Silk Road Marketplace.

The Dutch OM considered the case as a “modern sale of narcotics”. Prosecution stated there is a big difference between street deals and dark net trade since the seller is “not disturbed by junkies”.

After his detention, the defendant denied all charges against him. However, he admitted that he was active on the dark web.

“I was fascinated by what was happening there. I jogged a little,” the suspect said.

Mathieu van Linde, defending the 37-year-old, said that there are suspicions, however, there is no concrete evidence to support these. He also added that the amount of drugs found in his client’s home is not enough to indicate trafficking. However, the prosecution is determined that Willy was the one behind the Amster Dope vendor shop. According to the prosecutor, who took an advanced course on dark web trade, there are plenty of evidence indicating the 37-year-old was trading narcotics on the dark net.

“11 percent of the drugs that is offered worldwide on the dark web comes from the Netherlands. And this suspect is an example of a trader who is active,” the prosecutor said.

According to official court information, Amster Dope was active on the Silk Road Marketplace. The vendor had over 300 transactions, a positive feedback rate of 97.8 percent, and 758 “fans” on the website. The cocaine sold by the seller was the “very best” on the Silk Road Marketplace, the prosecution stated. The parcels were shipped in two to four days, always packaged discreetly.

According to the investigation, police found a list in the defendant’s room with the name of specific narcotics, and “considerable sums of money”. Additionally, law enforcement authorities also found a guide, providing information on how to set up an anonymous company in the Channel Islands. A fake id was also found in the room, with the name “Hugo” instead of Willy. Police discovered a mini studio in the apartment set up for taking pictures. In the studio, pills and powders were found, in addition to an “Amster Dope” logo. Finally, officials seized 3,500 euros of cash, and a list containing “codes”, which, according to the prosecutor, are bitcoin addresses.

Silk Road Vendor Pleaded Guilty to Drug Distribution in Fatal Overdose Case

Kevin Campbell, a drug treatment worker from Chicago pleaded guilty to the distribution of controlled substances via the Silk Road marketplace. After a one-year investigation between 2013 and 2014, Chicago law enforcement raided Campbell’s Chicago home and found further evidence to connect the suspect to a 2013 crime in Bellevue, Washington. In August 2013, Washington emergency response crews attended a 911 call and found a heroin overdose victim with the Silk Road pulled up on a screen in front of him.

A house guest made the 911 call, according to court documents. He reported finding Jordan Mettee, 27, unconscious in his bedroom. When investigators arrived at the scene, they began to put a case together against a darknet vendor that fit Campbell’s profile.

Mettee left his Silk Road account logged in and investigators easily decrypted messages between Mettee and a vendor who sold both heroin and prescription benzodiazepines—in this case, the vendor sold the 27-year-old heroin and alprazolam. U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes for the U.S. District Court in Seattle mentioned that the defendant sold additional drugs but never clarified if he sold anything else to the overdose victim.

The 27-year-old died of IV heroin overdose and Haynes said nothing of additional drugs in his system. However, other branches of law enforcement independently investigated Campbell’s vendor profile from Colorado. There, court documents described, a confidential informant worked with local police to catch the man behind the mask. He sold, unknowingly, “Xanax pills” to the officers through the informant’s account.

Police officers and case detectives found, next to the body of the deceased, a DVD case with Campbell’s fingerprints on it.

Officers collected evidence throughout the one-year investigation—and, while not mentioned in the announcement, traced Campbell from the Silk Road to additional marketplaces. The buyer, Jordan Mettee, bought from Campbell until August 2013. The original Silk Road never saw the end of the year; the FBI brought it down in October of the same year. However, the prosecutors claimed that Campbell continued to sell heroin, alprazolam, and diazepam online until the day of his arrest in 

Law enforcement in Chicago raided the 47-year-old drug treatment center employee in May 2014. They discovered a small amount of drugs, scales, bags, modified DVD cases that matched those received by the Colorado police and Mettee. He kept incriminating notes although officials never disclosed their full contents.

“This case is an outrage and a tragedy at the same time,” Hayes said. “What allowed this defendant to work at a drug treatment center with people in the grips of addiction, and at the same time peddle dangerous drugs across the country via the dark web? The heroin this defendant sold killed one of his customers. At sentencing we will ask the Court for a sentence that reflects that fact.”

Heroin overdoses repeatedly find their way to the news and cycle back to either carfentanil or the darknet. Often both. The majority of heroin overdoses are not remotely related to the darknet—at least in a buyer–vendor situation, but some recent cases began changing that.

Kevin Campbell pleaded guilty to drug distribution in early February 2017. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour scheduled the defendant’s sentencing date for May 9, 2017. According to the terms agreed upon in the plea agreement, the prosecution can call for a prison sentence of 10 years, maximum.

US Firearm Vendor Tried To Sell Gun To Customer, Got Jailed

Michael Ryan, a graduate of the 36-year-old from Kansas, USA, was sentenced to 52 months in prison for running a web shop sellers in the dark. According to law enforcement authorities, the suspects sold weapons under the false name "Gunrunner" in the Black Market Reloaded (BMR) market.

During the investigation, law enforcement authorities find that Ryan sold robust Hi-Point pistol and 19 bullets to customers in Edinburgh. Sellers allegedly sent a package using FedEx. After his arrest, weapon vendor admitted that he also exported firearms into the UK, Ireland, and Australia.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested 36 years in June 2015. The suspect appeared in court last year, in which he pleaded guilty to six counts of exporting and attempting to export firearms illegally. During the last year the ATF raid on the home of Ryan in Kansas, law enforcement authorities found evidence that the suspect sold and shipped Hi-Point pistol to Scotland.

According to official court documents, the 36-year Glocks offered, Uzi, Berettas, Walthers with ammunition and a magazine for customers in the dark web market. Suspect markets such as the UK, where the purchase of guns and rifles difficult or prohibited targeted.

Ryan faced 10 years in prison, however, his sentence was reduced because he cooperated with law enforcement authorities after his arrest. The court sentenced 36 years to 52 months in prison.

"With a computer and an internet connection, Ryan host international arms trade business in the dark web, peddling firearms worldwide," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a statement.

On January 18, Stephen Carl Allwine, a man Cottage Grove, was arrested for the murder of his wife. The researchers described it as "one of the most bizarre cases ever seen." The case was initiated by a call suicide in this Allwine home. Amy Louise Allwine allegedly shot himself in the bedroom together. A 9mm pistol was found on the floor, next to the wife of the elbow. However, something does not add up. "The hand of the victim revealed no soot, no gunpowder stippling, no gunpowder stippling on fire, and there was no blood on his hands," court documents revealed.

law enforcement authorities began a thorough multi-agency investigation. They found that the husband had access to dark web and use it often. During the investigation, law enforcement found that men requested services assassin of "murder for hire" dark net controversial Mafia Besa sites.

Site service assassin allegedly hacked by the hacker, known as "bRpsd", previously. He leaked all the usernames and email addresses in the database. hackers also claimed that the whole operation is a scam. Researchers used data leak and cross-checked with the devices they confiscated from Allwine. They found the username "dogdaygod" and (username and the email address used in the husband's net operating dark) in the dump data. Law enforcement found that men were paid somewhere between $ 10,000 - $ 15,000 BTC to the Mafia for the murder of Amy Besa Allwine Louise. They agreed on a close range shot his wife and set fire to the house. However, the suspect got scammed.

That's where the suspects decided to kill his own wife, the police claimed. The trail-only seen with luminol-over point to the husband as the killer. Allwine was charged with one count of second-degree murder. The judge set bail at $ 1 million and $ 500,000 unconditional and strict conditions.

US Firearm Vendor Tried To Sell Gun To Customer, Got Jailed

Michael Ryan, lulusan 36-tahun dari Kansas, AS, dijatuhi hukuman 52 bulan penjara untuk menjalankan sebuah toko penjual di web gelap. Menurut pihak penegak hukum, tersangka menjual senjata di bawah nama palsu "Gunrunner" di Black Market Reloaded (BMR) pasar.

Selama penyelidikan, pihak penegak hukum menemukan bahwa Ryan dijual kuat pistol Hi-titik dan 19 peluru ke pelanggan di Edinburgh. Penjual diduga dikirim paket menggunakan FedEx. Setelah penahanannya, vendor senjata mengakui bahwa ia juga diekspor senjata api ke Inggris, Irlandia, dan Australia.

Biro Alkohol, Tembakau, Senjata Api dan Bahan Peledak (ATF) ditangkap 36 tahun pada bulan Juni 2015. Tersangka muncul di pengadilan tahun lalu, di mana ia mengaku bersalah atas enam dakwaan mengekspor dan mencoba untuk mengekspor senjata api secara ilegal. Selama serangan ATF tahun lalu di rumah Ryan di Kansas, pihak penegak hukum menemukan bukti bahwa tersangka dijual dan dikirim pistol Hi-Point ke Skotlandia.

Menurut dokumen resmi pengadilan, 36 tahun Glocks ditawarkan, Uzi, Berettas, Walthers dengan amunisi dan majalah untuk pelanggan di pasar web gelap. Tersangka pasar seperti Inggris, di mana pembelian senjata dan senapan sulit atau dilarang ditargetkan.

Ryan menghadapi 10 tahun penjara, namun, hukumannya dikurangi karena ia bekerja sama dengan pihak penegak hukum setelah penahanannya. Pengadilan menjatuhkan hukuman 36 tahun untuk 52 bulan penjara.

"Dengan komputer dan koneksi internet, Ryan host bisnis perdagangan senjata internasional di web gelap, menjajakan senjata api di seluruh dunia," kata asisten jaksa agung Leslie Caldwell dalam sebuah pernyataan.

Pada tanggal 18 Januari, Stephen Carl Allwine, seorang pria Cottage Grove, ditangkap karena pembunuhan istrinya sendiri. Para peneliti menggambarkannya sebagai "salah satu kasus paling aneh yang pernah dilihat." Kasus ini dimulai dengan panggilan bunuh diri di rumah Allwine ini. Amy Louise Allwine diduga menembak dirinya sendiri di kamar tidur bersama. Sebuah pistol 9mm ditemukan di lantai, di samping istri siku. Namun, sesuatu yang tidak menambahkan up. "Tangan korban mengungkapkan tidak ada jelaga, tidak ada mesiu stippling, tidak ada mesiu stippling terbakar, dan tidak ada darah di kedua tangan," dokumen pengadilan mengungkapkan.

pihak penegak hukum mulai menyeluruh penyelidikan multi-lembaga. Mereka menemukan bahwa suami memiliki akses ke web gelap dan menggunakannya sering. Selama penyelidikan, pihak penegak hukum menemukan bahwa pria diminta jasa pembunuh bayaran dari "pembunuhan untuk menyewa" net gelap kontroversial situs Besa Mafia.

Situs layanan pembunuh bayaran diduga diretas oleh hacker, yang dikenal sebagai "bRpsd", sebelumnya. Dia bocor semua username dan alamat email dalam database. hacker juga mengklaim bahwa seluruh operasi adalah scam. Peneliti menggunakan data bocor dan diperiksa silang dengan perangkat yang mereka disita dari Allwine. Mereka menemukan username "dogdaygod" dan (username dan alamat email suami yang digunakan dalam usaha bersih gelap) di dump data. penegak hukum menemukan bahwa laki-laki itu dibayar di suatu tempat antara $ 10.000 - $ 15.000 BTC untuk Besa Mafia atas pembunuhan Amy Louise Allwine. Mereka menyepakati menembak istri jarak dekat dan membakar rumah itu. Namun, tersangka mendapat scammed.

Di situlah tersangka memutuskan untuk membunuh istrinya sendiri, polisi mengklaim. Jejak-hanya terlihat dengan luminol-lebih menunjuk ke suami sebagai pembunuh. Allwine didakwa dengan satu tuntutan pembunuhan tingkat dua. Hakim menetapkan uang jaminan pada $ 1.000.000 tanpa syarat dan $ 500.000 dan kondisi yang ketat.

Utilizing the blockchain technology to create contemporary writing pieces

The digital technology has transformed the way narratives are created and consumed, from simply moving story-worlds and images to complex digital multi-branched and long-form story experiences. Also, the blockchain technology has revolutionized the global financial system. As a globally visible and collaboratively compiled list of transactions, which have been executed within a specific system, the blockchain technology promotes decentralization of currencies and represents a platform that can be utilized creatively. There are already several examples for utilization of the blockchain technology in fields that extend beyond the realm of money and financial transactions including decentralization of website domain names via Namecoin , marketing of contemporary artworks via Monegraph and social networking via Steemit and Synero.

Via framing the key concepts of the blockchain technology along with past and present narration practices, a group of researchers published an article that raised questions regarding how the implementation of the decentralized ledger technology can be utilized in contemporary writing practices: Can we envision stories as currencies or value systems? They presented three experiments that focused on several fundamental principles of the blockchain technology, and bitcoin, as an exemplification of an application relying on the public ledger technology, which are (1) the ledger, (2) the blocks and (2) the mining process. Each experiment was intentionally formulated to be extremely accessible to participate in and all 3 experiments were conducted in the form of discrete workshops with different groups of participants. Participants included a group of design students, design professionals along with writing and interaction design academics. Each of the three experiments raised a distinct group of reflections and questions regarding the nature of digital, narratives’ linearity and collaborative processes.

The researchers delved into the blockchain’s main principles as a conceptual technology. Deploying a hands-on designedly approach, while utilizing creative activities, which simplify the expected technical complexities, they experimented the usage of three core concepts with a large number of creative technologists and practitioners, ranging from those who know nothing about bitcoin, or the blockchain technology in general, to highly professional designers and cryptocurrency developers. The concept that underlined these experiments was the assumption that a story can be considered as a currency, as it has value that fluctuates according to its level of distribution or penetration and its social influence.

These experiments were inspired by the blockchain technology, opening the door for new possibilities rather than presenting a group of findings or examining the hypothesis. Bitcoin implementation is itself an ever evolving experiments and Satoshi Nakamoto’s blockchain and mining protocols represent a revolutionary decentralized financial system. Bitcoin and the blockchain technology offer new possibilities, not only for the global monetary system, but also for conceptualization of the meaning of digital objects in general. The story underlying stories has usually been greatly affected by the media outlets broadcasting it, via the physicality of audiences, printed word, illuminated manuscripts and/or online global distribution.

The three experiments and workshops provided a glimpse into how the blockchain technology can offer unique innovative opportunities to discover how storytelling can adapt as the distributed ledger technology becomes an integral part of how we read, write and narrate stories. The process of pinpointing analogies between cryptocurrencies and contemporary writing projects presents an innovative way to envision value and our way of assessing it. It is inarguable that the blockchain technology has the potential to markedly transform the propagation, distribution and promotion of stories. The blockchain’s principle of unequivocal time stamping will definitely present attractive implications for the way archival data can be revealed and although this presents a myriad of creative opportunities for contemporary writers, it could also bear significant moral and ethical consequences.

In the end, it is worth mentioning that the distributed, decentralized nature of a blockchain’s public ledger, inspires a unique way for collaborative practice: one that has a competitive dimension, yet also one that could present attractive potentials for the management of collaboration, attribution and contribution. From a wider perspective, the authors of the article consider their experiments as extending research into the current story telling, writing and reading practices, and present to the community an insight into how new digital technologies can have a prominent influence upon such a pivotal part of the human culture.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Can Foreign Governments Hack Americans With Impunity

A lawsuit being heard by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeks to answer the question of whether foreign governments can hack Americans with impunity. In the case of Kidane v. Ethiopia, lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the law firm of Jones Day and Robins Kaplan are representing a man from Maryland, who is going by the pseudonym of Mr. Kidane, in a lawsuit where Mr. Kidane alleges the government of Ethiopia infected his computer with spyware.

The lawsuit alleges that the secret malware, known as FinSpy, allowed the government of Ethiopia to conduct wiretaps on his Skype calls and monitor everything he and his family did on the computer for a period that lasted months. The court has allowed the man to use a pseudonym that he had used in the Ethiopian community, because the Ethiopian government has a history of punishing the family members of people who dare to oppose it. Mr. Kidane was born in Ethiopia and moved to the United States 20 years ago, where he sought asylum and became an American citizen.

Kidane became infected with the spyware after he opened a Word document that was sent to him by agents of the Ethiopian government. After opening the document, FinSpy was secretly downloaded onto his computer from a server with an IP address located in Ethiopia. All activities, including Skype calls, keystrokes, passwords, e-mails, chats, and web browsing was monitored, recorded, and uploaded to a command and control server with an IP address located in Ethiopia and controlled by the Ethiopian government. FinSpy is developed and marketed by FinFisher, formerly known as Gamma International, a company based in the United Kingdom. It is part of a line of “IT intrusion” software made by FinFisher, which are only sold to government agencies. Their software is frequently used to spy on activists around the world.

Kidane continues his lawsuit, which is being appealed. Recently, attorneys for Mr. Kidane argued before a 3 judge panel that the lawsuit should be allowed to continue. Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, foreign governments are only liable for acts committed within the United States. Kidane’s attorneys argued that his computer was located in Maryland and remained there the entire time it was being spied upon. Attorneys for Ethiopia argued that they should not be held liable because they did not have a human agent who was physically located within the United States. One of the judges on the panel asked the attorneys representing Ethiopia if they believed that they could be held liable for mailing a letter bomb to the United States, or for remotely hacking a self driving car in the United States and causing it to crash. The attorneys for Ethiopia responded to the judge’s question by saying that they believed they could not be sued for such actions.

Kidane was spied on from at least late October of 2012 until March of 2013. The lawsuit was originally filed in February of 2014. Previously in the case, a federal court ruled that foreign governments could not be held liable for wiretapping American citizens within the United States. The DC Circuit Court is expected to rule on the appeal within a few months.

An Austrian City Fights Darknet Crime Once a Week, Says Local Police Inspector

Countries with high profile cities have continually appeared on the news for one darknet related crime or another since the fall of the original Silk Road. Germany, in particular has seen a massive increase in darknet related arrests—much due to post-Munich shooting events where the weapons vendor promised to work with the police, giving them everything. A look at the most recent DeepDotWeb posts revealed that places like Reutlingen, Frickenhausen, and Stuttgart made the most routine headlines in early 2017. However, one district in Austria wanted to throw their name in the ring of locations affected by the darknet.

Eilmannsberger told the Tips interviewer that police dealt with darknet drug crimes more than other criminal aspects of the darknet. “Drug addicts are the most frequent drug buyers [on the darknet], the inspector explained. However, Eilmannsberger further detailed, police in Schärding started seeing a massive influx of counterfeit banknotes that linked back to the darknet. The circulation of counterfeit notes in the district matched a similar happening in other countries that use the Euro, albeit slightly behind; some German city states started seeing a decline in counterfeit use towards the end of 2016.

Police, since an unknown date, dealt with “at least” one darknet crime every week of the year. Still, they consisted primarily of drug crimes. However, when asked about the police’s most difficult part of dealing with “cybercrime,” (Here, Tips referred to the local symptoms of darknet marketplaces given that the interview focused on local crime tied to the darknet. The proper phrasing likely disappeared during translation and cybercrime never came up again.). Eilmannsberger explained that the packages themselves gave police a headache without a current cure.

Along with many countries, states, or borders In general, packages filled with illicit substances slipped right through the fingers of law enforcement. Aside from a limited number of random package searches, the police found themselves powerless against the criminals who shipped drugs into Schärding.

In closing, the chief explained that darknet drug trafficking could end “only by increasing restrictions on the shipping distribution centers like post offices and airport distribution hubs.” Also, in a method similar to one suggested by Senator Rob Portman, the different transit hubs ought to pass addressee information along for screening before the package landed at distribution centers, Eilmannsberger said. That way, if needed, an investigation would require one less step.

Knowing where the package came from, especially when the origin was a flagged location (Think: The Netherlands,) and knowing who the recipient was, along with new mail laws, might stop the growing issue, Eilmannsberger closed.