Bitcoin Businesses Resilient Despite Price Fluctuations

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Businesses that accept Bitcoin manage to keep income and profits stable despite price fluctuations

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Fraternal Order of Police Hacked

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The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) was recently hacked and a portion (2.5GB) of the 18TB of data was released online by Cthulhu, who has been known to host hacked data. On this particular host, there is a note for law enforcement:

“Don’t bother with legal threats or trying to get UK law enforcement to seek revenge. This is me playing nice.
If you want to go nuclear with me, feel free to do so, but trust me when I say you might want to think long and hard before you do.
I’m not known for bluffing, and I know many more of your secrets. About 18TB all in all actually, all unpublished yet.
“I dare you – I double dare you motherfucker””

In a blog post discussing details relating to this release of this data, the data was apparently given to Cthulhu by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Regarding the purpose of releasing this data, Cthulhu goes on to say:

“We do not wish to dictate to the media how the information may be useful. I was told it should be released on the grounds the information is within the scope of public interest, in light of an ever increasing divide between the police groups and the citizens of the US. As such, we do not wish to guide the media in how to report on this. My role in this is to ensure the information is accessible to all so that a proper analysis may be done by both established media outlets and individual investigators who wish to expose any wrongdoing.”

The FOP website claims to be “the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges”. However their site has been taken down according to a Facebook post.

“They have however breeched [sic] all of our records and therefore we have shut down access to our entire site.”

Throughout the aftermath of this hack, FOP has made several statements, such as “our data system has been hacked by the Group known as Anonymous” and “They were able to feed our system a pseudo-encryption key that the system should not have accepted but did because of software errors” which is entirely false according to a blog post titled “The Fraternal Order of Police Are Full of Shit” which Cthulhu posted to clear up false statements made by FOP.

According to a discussion on Hacker News, FOP had a servlet running as root which was vulnerable to command injection, and top to it off, they accepted credit card data over HTTP which violates the PCI DSS.

uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root),1(bin),2(daemon),3(sys),4(adm),6(disk),10(wheel)

Linux data.fop.net 2.6.18-407.el5 #1 SMP Wed Nov 11 08:12:41 EST 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

root:$1$04KmnGtM$V0naSp94MiVAQUpoBH.fI1:16828:0:99999:7:::

As for the data itself, hundreds of documents are included, along with a backup of the site’s forum and the “Grand Lodge”. The site’s forum backup includes forum threads, some in which officers vented about Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, and illegal immigrants.

Regarding the 18TB of data, Cthulhu explains in a blog post:

“The 18TB figure refers to information that is classified or sensitive that I have in my possession (or is accessible to me) and that I believe has not yet been made public in any form. I have not made it public myself due to a few constraints or issues that I first need to research. I include this in my warning as any police found to be interfering with the free press or activists wanting to expose wrongdoing should know they will put their name at the top of the list for material releases by doing so. Turning the situation into a shit-flinging battle won’t end well for either of us, so I would prefer all parties keep this civil.”

However, The Guardian reports “… Canterbury insisted that nowhere near that amount of information was in the FOP systems.”

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Bitcoin News Roundup – 31 Jan. 2016

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Recapping the week’s biggest Bitcoins stories from around the web.

Bank of England seeks to integrate the distributed ledger technology into the U.K.’s settlement system. As Pete Rizzo of Coin Desk writes, the central bank’s deputy governor for markets and banking, Minouche Shafik, has introduced a four-point blueprint that seeks to define the bank’s policy objectives and to determine what functions the payment system should have in order to support the distributed ledger technology. In addition, the four-point vision establishes who should be allowed to access the settlement system and what the role of the Bank of England should be in the process considering the greater impact of the distributed ledgers in the process of modernizing the country’s settlement system.

Blockchain Capital raises over $13 million in the second venture fund. As Samantha Hurst of Crowdfundinsider writes, the San Francisco-based leading venture capital firm has successfully closed its second fund by raising more than $13 million in committed capital, thereby surpassing its funding target of $10 million. The company’s initial fund comprised of 30 companies, whereas with the second fund it has added another 23 blockchain-related companies. Brad Stephens, Blockchain Capital co-founder, stated: “the company seeks to continue to support world-class entrepreneurs who are leveraging Blockchain technology to disrupt legacy industries and create new products and services around the globe.”

First blockchain real estate meetup to be held in Washington DC. Lana Smiley of Coin Telegraph reports that the Ubitquity LLC team organizes the first blockchain real estate meetup on January 31 in Washington DC, aiming to connect experts from the real estate industry with blockchain technology aficionados for the exchange of ideas and viable solutions. The connections are expected to be beneficial for all the parties involved. CEO of Ubitquity stated: “We see real estate as the next big thing for 2016.”

Deloitte releases paper to investigate the paradox of the blockchain technology. According to James Moreau of CryptoCoins News, Deloitte’s paper “Enigma. Paradox. Opportunity.” investigates the blockchain technology from the prism of understanding how the blockchain could affect a range of businesses or the government’s financial and operational processes. Without polarizing the discussion, Deloitte takes into consideration all views, those that are on board with the digital currency as well as those that consider the blockchain technology a threat to the national economies. Finally, the paper seems to introduce Deloitte as launching a new service segment to its customer base. It remains to be seen who will be interested in getting involved with blockchain technology.

Regulation

Germany and France seek to regulate the digital currency. As Joseph Young of NewsBtc reports, following France and Germany’s requests to strengthen control on the bitcoin, the European Commission considers urging control of bank accounts and digital currencies. France and Germany have repeatedly expressed their concerns over the anonymous nature of the bitcoin transactions and the potential involvement of the digital currencies in the financing of terrorist acts. If the European Commission approves the requests of France and Germany for bitcoin regulation, bitcoin startups are expected to be negatively affected as they will be requested to submit sensitive financial data for inspection.

Bank of America drafts 20 more cryptocurrency and blockchain-related patents. According to Arjun Kharpal & Julia Chatterley of CNBC, following the already 15 filed blockchain-related patents, the Bank of America (BOA), is allegedly in the process of drafting 20 more patents for submission to the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) later in February. The filling is widely regarded as an attempt to patent some of the cases currently in use by the BOA so that the Bank is getting ahead of the competition in the blockchain space and becomes one of the “few big financial institutions actively filing patents related to crypto technology.” Catherine Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at BOA, stated: “Most people would be surprised at Bank of America with patents in the blockchain or cryptocurrency space.”

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Nine Men Busted In Franconia DarkWeb Sourced Drug-Dealing Ring

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According to German law enforcement authorities, nine men were busted in Forcheim, Bamberg and Herzogenaurach, who are accused of dealing drugs, which they ordered from the dark web. The criminal investigation department of the Bamberg Prosecutor’s Office tracked the nine drug dealers in collaboration with the local police from North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, five of the nine suspects have been already sentenced by court and are in jail.

The investigation against the criminal group began in spring, 2015 after police busted a 20-year-old member of the drug-dealing ring in Forcheim. Later on, the law enforcement authorities have caught all criminals involved in the “business”. According to official documents, the nine men were using the social media to communicate, that could be the primary reason why the police has found them so easily (bad operation security). Police said the group used several packing stations around the region for drug delivery. They also stated that the criminals ordered marijuana by kilos.

After the law enforcement authorities intercepted several packages of the group, they proceeded with the raid of the suspects’ apartments where the police found 4000 LSD blotters, one-one kilogram marijuana and speed paste, as well as 135 grams of hash. This has been the largest bust of LSD in the Bayern area. According to the police, this amount of drugs is around 70 shipments. They also predict that the dealers sold 35 kilograms of marijuana to buyers.

The four suspects (since the other five have been already sentenced) are facing quite sensitive charges, which could result in long times of imprisonment.

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