Who Is Blake Benthall AKA Defcon AKA Veteran?

This article will be updated as more information is found.

As reported earlier today, the alleged operator of the Silk Road 2.0 Blake Benthall aka defcon aka veteran has been arrested, but who is Blake Benthall? Following the virtual breadcrumbs left behind, we're able to gain some insight into this individual.

A website by the name Benthall Group Inc is registered to Blake Benthall with blake@benthal.net listed as the registrant contact email address. Much of the Benthall Group website contains the filler text Lorem Ipsum and despite the front page advertising the company's custom software development products, team members are listed as being a Skipper, First Mate and Dive Master as well as a Chef.

Blake Benthall's personal website is now down but remains available via a mirror. Describing himself as a web entrepreneur, songwriter and nomadic laptop ninja, the website contains very little other than links to his Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and the following text:

Why, hello there! I'm Blake, and I love executing ideas into reality. I founded my first web business at age fifteen, and have been in love with music since the day I was born. I could ramble here, but I'd rather be productive somewhere else. Get to know me by shooting me a message on LinkedIn or Twitter.

The WHOIS information for benthall.net is almost the same as benthallgroup.com but the registrant email address is listed as leetest@gmail.com. Other domain names connected to that email address include betapalooza.com1, benthall.us2, stayclosewith.us3, meegle.us((Expired.)) and Sys-Techs.com, a company that provided webhosting, gameservers and web development.

Sys-Techs aboutus.org page, which is still available via Google cache, is as described:

"Sys-Techs, established in April 2001 as a small time project has now grown to be one of the best Game and Web hosting providers around. With servers located at strategic locations around the U.S. to provide the best ping possible no matter where you are in the U.S. and Europe. We work night and day to bring you, our customers, the best service possible."

Much of the sys-techs.com website remains available via archive.org.

The email address leetest@gmail.com is also linked to the username "veteran" which appears to have been active in the iPodLinux community around 2004 and was found via IRC logs dating back to the same time period, located at #ipodlinux, a now defunct chatroom which resided on the Freenode IRC network.

As mentioned on blake.benthall.net, Blake is a singer/songwriter and maintains an active soundcloud.com account. The account contains 28 tracks including an assortment of Valentine's day songs.

Blake Benthall has an active GitHub account with his last contribution listed as September 28th, 2014. Interestingly, the account had remained regularly active up until that date.

Blake also maintains a YouTube account, a Twitter account and a Google Plus account.

A HackerNews account by the name of blakeeb, described as a "Ruby Hacker" and "Songwriter" contain 15 comments one of which indicates that Blake Benthall previously worked at SpaceX.  Also mentioned is an IRC like application titled GhostPost. The last comment on the HN account was posted July 30th, 2014.

A flicker account by the name blakeeb, which displays an image of Blake Benthall as an avatar, contains photos of a car4 listed for sale in 2011.

A Hacker League account by the name of blakeeb lists three projects submitted at Comedy Hack Day: SMS and Tell, Fatbit and HAY.

A Facebook account shows a donation of 3.009 BTC to a charity for water to address 1DMWskVpj59VqKcXAJe7W5d3WbGXaEqbJs from address 148MpUsfJvgv5xGWvVqKLeVuuvy3pN8QGg on March 5th, 2013. Source 1 and 2.

An Instagram account by the name blakeisblake contains 335 posts with the last photo dated as November 1st, 2014.

Twitter use @teddy has posted a photo of his neighbour's Tesla and SUV, possibly owned by Blake Benthall.

More to come.

  1. Re-directs to a Facebook page titled Betapalooza 2010 which appears to have been a concert event. 

  2. A blank page. 

  3. A blank page. 

  4. 2008 Pontiac G8 GT, Black, 6.0L V8, 70k 

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