There Will Be Tainted Lulz: Bitcoins, Wallets, and Media Manipulation Through Laziness and Reading Comprehension
Last week I wrote a post about “maybe” seeing some fuckery going on with regard to the ShadowBrokers bitcoin transactions and the Silk Road wallet (seized) which was lulzy. The lulz though went fucking PLAID over the weekend as people started to take a tweet from @steveD3 and other posts on Reddit and the like about my post which then culminated in ZDNet writing a piece that even went FURTHER on the supposition that I had placed on my blog!
Now, as time went on people *cough Wesley McGrew cough* countering the story vociferously. Seems some people did not really read the post very carefully and just assumed that I was definitively saying in the white-paper lofty academic setting that is my blog, that “ERMEGERD THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!” when in reality I had said “if I am reading this right” that the wallet in question had some bitcoins in common and maybe connected to the fractions of coins going to the shadowrboker wallet. I also went on to describe how if I were the government I would be trolling them to see what they would do as well as poison the well so to speak if in fact the auction was really a part of the overall scheme regarding the NSA dump.
As the blog post hit over 30k hits and then the news media started in on it I sat back and began to ponder all of this. Just how easy it was to let this ride and watch as the Twitter verse took a tweet link, did not read the post, and then passed it on as truth. Suddenly I felt like Comrade Putin and I had my own army of trolls out there able to shape the media story with a single blog post.
… and I liked it… I am so dirty now.
The schadenfruede of watching it all was like a drug. It also started to dawn on me that we are all just fucked. Look at what happened! Look at the detractors mis-reading the post and then responding, as many do, that “SOME RANDO BLOG ON THE INTERNET IS WRONG!!!” and knee jerk reacting. On the other hand the complacency and lackadaisical investigatory action on the part of some media types as well was astonishing. However, my contention still stands that there be some fuckery going on here with those wallet transactions by the looks of it and that the likely candidate would be the government, the same government that would have access to cutout accounts that have had transactions in the past in places like Silk Road. Government accounts for agents and government purposes.
So Who Are These Astley Loving Bitcoin Owners?
So above is the Maltego map I fleshed out further as the world burned over my last post. As you can see I made it all neat-n-shit with icons now. You can clearly see that the wallet in question with the silk road logo did not send anything directly to ShadowBrokers, and this is something I was also alluding to with the cutouts. I can see how that account and ones like it could be used to send coins, like the others with the nifty Rick Astley icon! If you look carefully you can see that there are six “astley” accounts that rick rolled Shadow with 1337 Never Gonna Give You Up clues in the chains. Now, these accounts, according to Maltego, have done pretty much nothing else. One of them, sent funds to Silk Road or the wallet seized (one in the same unless, and I have not looked, the feds transfered from the old wallet to a new one to auction the coins and do transfers) …
Are you guys following me here or do I need more visual aids?
Anywho… Where was I? Oh yeah, fuckery with bitcoin.
So yeah, these accounts as far as I can tell so far without going and spending way to many fucking hours on bitcoin.ifo or some such site, were created to purposely rick roll and fuck with the ShadowBrokers. Now, they may be fractions of bitcoins but I ask you, who the fuck has bitcoin money to burn here? Any of you out there? I certainly don’t and the way it was done, so tongue in cheek kinda reminds me of the audacity of TAO…
But anyway, back to facty kinds of things that lead to supposition and theories!
That the wallet does not directly send coins to Shadow is immaterial to my argument. My argument was that, once again, if I were the gubment I might fuck with this auction and see what happens. Maybe it isn’t them. Maybe it is just one guy out there, a bitcoin billionaire just having a lark! Maybe it is six guys who created independent wallets and then had an IRC session to create the master plan to fuck with Shadow and create the 1337 Astley attack!
Or maybe if you just occam this shit, the government, with assets at it’s disposal did some funny shit in an effort to chum the waters and fuck with them at the same time. Please people, think like an intelligence agency for a fucking second mmmkay?
It’s just a theory…
PSA: IT’S JUST A THEORY ON A BLOG ON THE INTERNETS WHERE PEOPLE ARE OFTEN WRONG!
Meanwhile Back At The Bitcoin Ranch…
But wait there’s more!!!
If you also look at the wallets that I have marked with the super cool “Invisible Man” logo, you can see how some of those were actually transfering money from wallet to wallet in sequence to then each post transactions to Shadow. Now what is that all about huh? More wallets acting together? As Velma would often say in Scooby Doo, JINKY’S! Something is going on there. I mean these are not just guys off the street putting down cash here in factions right? Are all those wallets owned by the same player? A group of players?
The mind reels… So yeah, there is shit going on as usual with nation state actors fucking with the internets. Go figure eh?
For the un-subtle out there this is all theory and supposition. This is not attribution. Wait.. Fuck, it is attribution! This is what we usually get for attribution! Best guess is ATTRIBUTION people! Once again, I guess you had to be there in the spook world to understand this premise.
Like I said above, I posted the story as a lark and went away. By Sunday the shit had exploded. People were reporting that direct connection between FBI, Bitcoin wallets, and ShadowBrokers! I never went to anyone with the story and attempted to report it as fact. Yet the media picked up on it (fucking reporters, no wonder I block them) and away the story went. Meanwhile butthurt people with nothing else to do started wailing and moaning about the wrongness of it all. I frankly think they need some remedial English lessons, but that is just the old Doc here speaking. Hundreds of comments came in on the blog and suddenly in parallel a metric shit ton of people wanted in on my feed on twitter.
All of them just taking things on face value of a tweet really. 30K hits to the blog post itself, but how many people then understood what I was alluding to, how many took it at face value and did nothing else but believe? How many actually took the time to look further and see what was going on with the accounts and make a judgement themselves I wonder? For myself, I never stopped looking at this and surely upon reflection there were no direct transactions once I began to really dig a lot deeper but there were connections that could not be discounted. When you look at the whole picture you see connections that can lead you to the same conclusion, that bitcoins involved with the Silk Road, accounts thereof that interacted with Silk Road and the seized coins were in fact connected to the ShadowBrokers auction.
What you all took from it and then made it into is all your own faults people. To those who just then went off to go off, and you know who you are, would you please fill out this form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Someone will get back to you with some salve.
The rest of ya, JESUS FUCK, take things with a grain of salt. I ain’t fucking Moses and this ain’t no stone tablets.
PS! This internet of shit is not something that is peer reviewed. We are overestimating our importance on a daily basis. Cut it the fuck out.