NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users Since 2013

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by rgMekanic, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,060
    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    New Snowden documents reveal that the NSA has been tracking Bitcoin users since 2013. The documents show that that the NSA used methods to directly siphon internet traffic using a program code-named OAKSTAR, as well as a sham internet anonymizing service called MONKEYROCKET. ZeroHedge has a good summary of the happenings. The original story, along with the classified documents was published at The Intercept.

    There is so much information here that I can't begin to wrap my head around all of it. However it certainly sounds like blockchain may not be anywhere near as secure as originally thought.

    Classified documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency indeed worked urgently to target Bitcoin users around the world - and wielded at least one mysterious source of information to "help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoins," according to a top-secret passage in an internal NSA report dating to March 2013. The data source appears to have leveraged the NSA’s ability to harvest and analyze raw, global internet traffic while also exploiting an unnamed software program that purported to offer anonymity to users, according to other documents.
     
  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,065
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
  3. Elios

    Elios [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,071
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    lol so much for it not being trackable
     
  4. WhoMe

    WhoMe Gawd

    Messages:
    737
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    The NSA probably knows what you had for breakfast and how long your midnight pee lasted...not that I'm paranoid or anything. Now what I wonder is will they share this data with the IRS?
     
  5. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

    Messages:
    24,716
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    At this point, I assume everything I do via any communication tool - internet, phone, etc. - will be tracked.
     
    knowom, N4CR, Armenius and 3 others like this.
  6. Aireoth

    Aireoth [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    ftfy :p
     
    Ur_Mom likes this.
  7. naib

    naib Gawd

    Messages:
    994
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
  8. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Yep, pretty much since the late 50's.

    Keep in mind, I'm not saying by who or suggesting it's only one organization or country doing it even if some are perhaps better at it than others.
     
    N4CR likes this.
  9. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    Not the IRS, but the President and the Joint Chiefs were briefed on it this morning.

    The President recommended Pomegranate Juice (y)
     
    WhoMe likes this.
  10. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq Gawd

    Messages:
    955
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Blockchain does nothing to stop traffic analysis. Traffic analysis doesn't care what's in the message, just where/who it came from and where/who it went to. You can learn a lot from it.

    You can assume the government tracks every single packet sent over the "backbones" of the Internet. They certainly have the capability to do so. And that traffic tells them all kinds of good stuff, like "packets with length X went from a 1230 Elm Street, Anytown, USA to an anonymizing service X" and that shortly thereafter a similar-length packet went from anonymizing service X to an sight linked to, say, the drug trade or a bitcoin exchange. They correlate all that, then go to the FISA court for a search warrant, and then BOOM, down comes the door and in come the black-clad agents.

    So the problem here isn't in the blockchains. It's the Internet. It's very difficult to actually be anonymous on it.
     
  11. Aireoth

    Aireoth [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Are you sure it wasn't apple juice, or maybe just McDonald's? ;)

    I've long considered privacy an illusion, or delusion, our only real protection these days is that we are each just one piece of hay in a giant haystack. Hell, I was at a university course on risk management two years ago being presented by a ex-detective with our local police force who became a enterprise risk manager, he asked the class about privacy, everyone said we have it but me. I just about got boo'd out of the discussion until he started talking about the things the police used to do a decade ago with just their helicopter and infrared cameras.
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  12. tbonepat11

    tbonepat11 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    398
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Monero is the future.
     
  13. Etherton

    Etherton Will Bang for Poof

    Messages:
    7,105
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Until it's not.
     
    Armenius, mynamehere and NemesisX like this.
  14. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    A 23 year old young man just blew himself up this morning, he was the Austin Bomber. They don't know for sure why, or where he learned to make his bombs, and in particular, he was even changing his method for triggers as the events happened. In today's age, with the capabilities available and how so many people feel about privacy and surveillance, to think that this young man was able to do what he did ........ well I would hope that some people rethink the entire situation and put some perspective on it. If we are all being watched like people think, how could he do this without being noticed?

    It's very easy today for someone to get the idea that they are really seriously being abused by all of this and start thinking that they need to do something about it.

    Well you should do something, but the issue is what that should be. I'd say that the situation isn't as bad as people claim, and therefore you shouldn't go too crazy in what you do. Be a little calmer and keep some perspective on it, and don't go hurting yourself and others over it. Remember what those rights and freedoms are supposed to protect, that whole happy life thing. If the only fly in your ointment is the NSA or Google and Amazon but otherwise life is peachy, that's a sign man. Don't loose track of reality and let the tin-foil hat ruin your view.

    Keep that perspective and let people know what you value and what matters most, and if something is going on, let them know that it bothers you and your not happy with it.

    There are people who really fuck up their lives and other people's lives because they don't have a clear view of reality. I'm speaking to all of you who could use hearing it, not even you Aireoth specifically, just whoever ...... if you think that your eyes are open because you're watching the right youtube videos and special releases of classified information, try again. Go outside, get away from that shit and do something, and watch other people doing what they are doing. If it doesn't look like a Gulag and the cops aren't beating people in the streets, maybe it's brighter then you thought, maybe it's not anywhere near as bad as someone says.

    Terribly long winded, sorry, just on a roll.
     
  15. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,304
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    What I find interesting is that nobody is able to find the guy who originally created Bitcoin, only an alias, Satoshi Nakamoto.

    I assume its probably a NSA agent or person working with the agency that created it as another means to track people. Follow the money, find the person. Would not surprise me.
     
  16. jpm100

    jpm100 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,970
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Disinformation.

    How do you have people give up security, tell them it doesn't work.
     
    Prisoner849, mynamehere and Krenum like this.
  17. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,346
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    The future will be better tomorrow
     
  18. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,304
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    First, good. One less lunatic in the world. Second, he was noticed, and very dumb. They were able to track his receipts google searches. Im pretty certain that all the media coverage & agents asking him to come forth was a ploy to make him feel safe while they closed in on him, less than 48 hours after the FBI asked he make himself known he was dead, you can be certain they knew where he was at that point.
     
  19. Aireoth

    Aireoth [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,209
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Don't get me wrong, the realization that privacy is an illusion is not a negative one, it is just reality, but if I don't have privacy, neither do you, or anyone else. Guess what? No one has been arrested or sent to gulags, our institutions work as intended to date.

    Edit: Also he likely wasn't found because of being in the haystack, it is actually a very good reason why privacy doesn't matter. Maybe AI will change that, but AI is going to change a lot of things, I'm mostly just here for the ride and hope to have a good picture of where its all going before I kick the bucket.

    I might come across as tinfoil hat sometimes, but its all rather rationally thought out, except for my dislike of crypto, its pretty deep because it rubs me the wrong way (I'm pretty hard on the ethics side of things, but my career demands it).
     
    lcpiper likes this.
  20. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,304
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    I think AI is going to lead us to dark times. Something of a Minority Report scenario.
     
    mynamehere likes this.
  21. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    I think you are missing the entire point of my post.

    I'll try it again in short hand.

    If we were all being watched the way some people believe, he'd never have got the first bomb off.

    Second, don't fuck yourself over fighting oppression that's really not all that oppressive. There might come a day when you need to, I just don't think were there yet, not even close. So if you think it stinks, maybe it's just your room, open your windows and get the fuck outside for awhile.
     
    Aireoth likes this.
  22. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008

    My post grew large, it deviated from being a reply and turned into one of my typical soap box speechs.

    I'm glad you realized it and didn't take it personal, the shoe didn't fit :ROFLMAO:
     
    Aireoth likes this.
  23. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,716
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    All the NSA needs for this info is a backdoor portal into Facebook. Probably the real reason the govt is feigning outrage at the Cambridge Analytica 'breach'.
     
  24. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,612
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Oh, and to post something actually related to the topic.

    Of course the NSA would be tracking bitcoin use and darkweb transactions.

    When you are fighting a War on Terror and you are tasked with targeting those who fund terrorism, you are going to watch anything that says it's totally anonymous and can't be tracked, communications and money transfers.

    This is like being surprised that we invaded Iraq in 2003, ................. with real soldiers.
     
  25. andrewaggb

    andrewaggb Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    295
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    I think people didn't understand that bitcoin wasn't about privacy specifically. Monero and ZCash are popular crypto's designed around privacy. They mask some of the information so that the sender/receiver remain anonymous. I think for ZCash it's optional and for Monero it's by default. Monero transactions are more expensive than other Crypto's though.

    Bitcoin and ether are like the opposite of privacy - every transaction available for everyone to see. Once you know who the account belongs too you can see everything they've ever bought/done/etc with that account. You can datamine that like crazy. You'd have to make lots of throwaway accounts to avoid leaving a trail. Ether is working on private transactions but they aren't available yet (to my knowledge).
     
    Nobu likes this.
  26. Gideon

    Gideon [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,555
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Told ya Triwolf.
     
    pendragon1 likes this.
  27. theBrownLlama

    theBrownLlama Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    so much good NSA has done is stopping the scourge of cartels using Bitcoin to evade capture....(you know , as the politicians say it should be banned banned banned)
     
  28. Prisoner849

    Prisoner849 Gawd

    Messages:
    553
    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Dunno man, but it really sounds like your way isn't The Way either. Sure, close your eyes and the bad men disappear, right? Find your Happy Place.

    It's hard to outright disagree with your sentiments - much like the wholesale damning of greeting card drivel - but your 'advice' does seem somewhat ill-advised and more than a bit dismissive of problems that are best nipped in the bud rather than wait until they fester. How far one wants to go down the rabbit hole is up to them, but in the modern age I believe there is no better advice than to at least be aware and responsibly vigilant, if not for your own sake than for those who are truly suffering at the hands of bad people, groups and systems.

    A beautiful day with birds singing, children laughing, and the sun shining warmly down on a truly fucked up planet.
     
  29. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,538
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Just your typical 'collect all data in existence, sort through it when needed' usage scenario. It's not different than the blanket collection of all American citizens, and foreign countries that we have access to. Fortunately bitcoin became such a massive success story that there's just too many transactions to run around singling out small time individuals. (There are more people moving around 10's of thousands of usd worth of bitcoin than you think).
     
  30. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise Gawd

    Messages:
    886
    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Spies are spying again?

    Let me sit down, the world is spinning.
     
    knowom likes this.
  31. triwolf

    triwolf Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    You didn't tell me anything. It's Bitcoin, not Monero or other more stealthy coins. Also, I'm doing great because I already knew it anyway. Also, I don't do anything to get myself in trouble, so it's great that you think you won. At least you've got that. Also make sure you know I never trust the government or anyone in it.