DarkCyber for May 22, 2018, Now Available

May 22, 2018

The May 22, 2018 DarkCyber is now available at www.arnoldit.com/wordpress and on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/270993972

This week’s story line up includes  … Russia increases the pressure on encrypted services… The end of Webstresser’s denial of service system… Tangem’s “just like paper money” Bitcoin bank notes… and scammers cultivate Orchid Labs with a fake initial coin offering.

Stephen E Arnold’s DarkCyber is a weekly video news and analysis program about the Dark Web and lesser known Internet services.

Russia wants access to messages and online sessions conducted within its borders. The government has now taken steps to outlaw virtual private networks unless special conditions are met. The move to block VPNs follows the country’s blocking of encrypted messaging services. Although VPNs lead data, time and technical resources are required to make sense of the data flowing through a VPN. A ban or tight restrictions will allow authorities to access content and monitor activity more easily. As censorship and clamp downs increase, innovators will try to find ways to circumvent government barriers.

Crime as a service (CaaS) has become a popular way to generate revenue among some bad actors. A vendor doing business as Webstresser has been shut down by government authorities in the UK. The service was allegedly used to prevent certain online sites from serving their users. Among those organization affected by Webstresser’s ability to flood a targeted Web site with bogus traffic were several banks in England. Nevertheless, CaaS vendors continue to make their technology available via the Dark Web and other obfuscated services.

The third story highlights what amount to Bitcoin bank notes. Tangem has created a physical bank note which can be used a currency without having to go online and use a digital wallet. The breakthrough appears to be a low-cost, highly functional chip which is embedded in the physical bank note. Merchants can verify that the account has a positive balance using a mobile phone. The first trial of the Bitcoin bank note will be in Singapore with other locations to be announced in the near future. Stephen E Arnold said, “A physical form of Bitcoin may facilitate easier use of digital currency. Despite the technical innovations incorporated in the Tangem bank note, convenience will come at a price. Bad actors will find physical Bitcoin notes useful in illegal transactions because the anonymity of the transaction and the lack of regulation opens the door to unlawful commerce, money laundering, and purchases of contraband.”

The final story reveals that Orchid Labs, a developer of high-security technology, has been the target of a scam. Bad actors have created a bogus initial coin offering (ICO). However, the digital currency does not benefit Orchid Labs. The funds flow to the bad actors. In May 2018, Orchid Labs wrote individuals on the company’s mailing list in order to explain the same.

A special report about one of the DarkCyber’s most interesting research findings will be released on June 5, 2018.

Kenny Toth, May 22, 2018

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