19.9.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup
Bitcoin Vanished During Dream Marketplace Crash
According to an announcement on the darknet market’s forums and the Dream subreddit, one of the market’s hard drives crashed, corrupting a Bitcoin wallet file. The corrupted hard drive and wallet.dat impacted not only Dream’s online/offline status, but also user Bitcoin wallets and transaction history. At some point during the ordeal, Dream staff posted an “under maintenance” page and then resurrected the market shortly afterwards.
The announcement posted by Dream marketplace administration:
“Hi all, there is a corrupted wallet file which we have not yet been able to recover.
Part of the users wont be able to access their funds until the wallet is recovered. Not all users are affected. The backup solution has been improved for the case of future file corruptions .
Escrow orders are completed normally. We apologize for the problem this caused.”
When users logged in—both vendors and buyers alike—some were met with an allegedly normal balance and transaction history. Some reported having zero funds in their Dream wallet. Some users logged in to their accounts and saw negative balances connected to escrow purchases. Problematically, the transaction history reflected nothing of the sort. Vendors lost Bitcoin as well. And given the status and reputation of some vendors, their claims carried more weight than unknown buyers.
The Dream staff, however, did not remain silent or duck into the shadows. One moderator responded to comments on Reddit. And Reddit was filled with users complaining about missing Bitcoin. Oddly enough, some users reportedly logged into Dream and noticed that their account balance was higher than before the disruption. “[I] Finally logged back in after the recent “uncertainty” to find 8.222 bitcoins in my wallet,” one user wrote. “I previously had a very small amount before the downtime.” However, the user was unable to spend or withdraw any Bitcoin.
China Instates ID Requirement for Internet Comments Following VPN Ban
In a move not entirely surprising to supporters of China’s internet governance, the Cyberspace Administration of China introduced new internet identity regulations. The rules, coming in the form of an amendment to current internet censorship and data retention laws, requires identity verifications from anyone leaving a comment on the internet.
As of October 1, internet users in China will not be allowed to post or comment anything that contrasts the “principles of the constitution of China.” In general, comments in opposition of the Chinese government’s decisions and stances are not permitted. This includes comments about China’s freedoms—or lack thereof. It additionally prohibits hate speech fixed through internet comments. DeepDotWeb
Sweden May Introduce VPN Surveillance and More Data Retention Requirements
China may not be alone in new forms of internet censorship and surveillance. The Swedish government, according to the Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof, apparently looked into the prospect of VPN surveillance. The interest appears to be ongoing. Furthermore, the Swedish government will seemingly be introducing more invasive data retention laws for internet service providers.
In Sweden, ISPs are legally required to store subscriber metadata for six months. Under the new data retention laws—if the proposals see the light of day—the six month stretch will be bumped up to a ten month period of storing subscriber information. “According to unofficial estimates, a normal operator will need to store 300 Terabytes more data than they do today,” a post on the ISP’s site outlined. “Sweden now acts as China when the state requires the network to be tailor-made for monitoring, instead of the internet functioning as well as possible,” Jon Karlung the Bahnhof CEO added. DeepDotWeb
JPMorgan CEO Called Bitcoin “Fraud” and John McAfee Challenged His Claim
“It’s just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed,” Jamie Dimon said at a conference in September 12. “I’m not saying ‘go short bitcoin and sell $100,000 of bitcoin before it goes down,” he added. “This is not advice of what to do. My daughter bought bitcoin, it went up and now she thinks she’s a genius.” The CEO said that he would undoubtedly fire a JPMorgan trader who traded Bitcoin. He explained why: “It’s against our rules and they are stupid.”
John McAfee made his stance clear on the future of Bitcoin earthier this year. He boldly responded to a tweet that asked if he thought one Bitcoin could be worth $500,000 within three years. His answer was effectively a stout yes, only in the form of an headline-making bet.
In response to the JPMorgan CEO claim that had caused unrest by itself, McAfee explained that Bitcoin was “certainly not a fraud.” McAfee’s MGT Capital Investments made a made expansion into Bitcoin mining in May 2017. “You called bitcoin a fraud,” McAfee told CNBC in reference to Dimon. “I’m a bitcoin miner. We create bitcoins. It costs over $1,000 per coin to create a bitcoin. What does it cost to create a U.S. dollar? Which one is the fraud? Because it costs whatever the paper costs, but it costs me and other miners over $1,000 per coin. It’s called proof of work.” CNBC, Twitter
Macedonian Citizen Admits Ownership of Carding Marketplace “Codeshop”
According to court documents, 30-year-old Djevair Ametovski operated a carding and fraud market called “Codeshop” between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, Slovenian law enforcement captured a fraudster with inside information on the owner of Codeshop. And he came to an agreement with the authorities wherein he identified the Codeshop owner in return for a likely shortened sentence. Codeshop had become the center of a Secret Service investigation for the sheer quantity of stolen cards sold through the site.
Towards the end of 2014, after the informant provided compelling evidence, Slovenian law enforcement picked up Ametovski. He was extradited to the US on access device fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. And the 30-year-old finally received a courtroom appearance; he pleaded guilty to both access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with the sale of 1.3 million credit card numbers. DeepDotWeb