Bitcoin Group's IPO Hit With Stop Order By Australian Regulator

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has issued an interim stop order on Sam Lee's Bitcoin Group IPO which intends to float on the Australian Stock Exchange later this year. After considerable delays, the Bitcoin Group lodged its prospectus late last month with the regulator issuing the interim stop order on the 13th of July1. At this time, ASIC provides no information as to why it has issued the interim stop order. ASIC describes a stop order as: Continue reading

  1. Document #027846316 

Microsoft Product Critical Vulnerability Week After Update End of Life

Microsoft has now announced a vulnerability in all of its Windows products a week after their Windows Server 2003 product has reached end of life for continued support. For what little it is worth Microsoft has issued an emergency patch to address this vulnerability in supported versions of their Windows family of products. The vulnerability exists in the way Microsoft products handle Microsoft's own "OpenType" format for fonts. This exploit via fonts affecting Windows desktops and servers follows an April exploit which rooted Windows servers using their flawed JPEG handling mechanisms. Microsoft stands to profit from users of Windows Server 2003 both upgrading to a supported version or opting for premium beyond end of life support contracts.

Silk Road Heroin Dealer Receives 2-1/2 Years Prison Sentence

Reuters reports (archive) that Michael Duch AKA Deezletime and otherwise known as the Silk Road heroin dealer who turned government witness and testified (archive) against Ross Ulbricht despite having never communicated with him has been sentenced to a term of 2-1/2 years prison time for conspiring to sell drugs.

A request by Duch's lawyer Samuel Braverman that Duch now be released into a drug treatment program was denied by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest stating it would be not be the right thing to do. Receiving credit for the 21 months already spent in custody, Duch is expected to be released soon.

Trial For Alleged Ricin Importer Begins

The Guardian reports (archive) the trial of a British man arrested last February after he allegedly attempted to purchase ricin via the darknet site Evolution Marketplace began this week with the prosecution telling jurors Mohammed Ammer Ali AKA WEIRDOS OOOO attempted to order 500mg of ricin from them paid for in bitcoin and that he promised to be a repeat customer.

Communicating with an undercover FBI agent, Mohammed Ammer Ali is alleged to have arranged the shipment of five 100mg vials from the United States into the UK telling the undercover agent masquerading as a darknet marketplace merchant that: Continue reading

ALM CEO Cries 'Terrorism' after Ashley Madison Hack

Billing itself as a dating site specifically for people in relationships who wish to have an affair, Ashley Madison was recently breached by an entity calling itself The Impact Team. A Gitlab user of the same name reportedly released a partial database dump containing members' personal information, including email and physical addresses and real names, though the dump was no longer accessible as of July 21st. In a message left on the site and since removed, the breacher claims to have "taken over all systems in [Avid Life Media (Ashley Madison's parent company)'s] entire office and production domains, all customer information databases, source code repositories, financial records, emails." The message lambasted ALM for charging its users a $19 fee to delete their account data while keeping their credit card purchase details including names and addresses on file, and threatened to release a complete database dump unless the company "shuts down" Ashley Madison and Established Men, another site it "owns". Continue reading

Kickass Torrents Dropped From Google Search Results

Torrent Freak and others are reporting that Google has dropped Kickass Torrents from its search results, describing Google's action as a "severe penalty" to its search rankings. After the final collapse of the Pirate Bay Kickass Torrents has ascended to become the most popular torrent site. Kickass Torrents as moved domains in its history but at the moment has settled at the domain for the foreseeable future. Google over its decade and a half of existence has moved away from its PageRank algorithm which brought it to dominance instead favoring manual actions to shape search results. Immediately after dropping Kickass Torrents from search results the first result on Google for the query "Kickass Torrents" was a known malware site imitating the actual Kickass Torrents site.

Ashley Madison Hacked

Extramarital dating site Ashley Madison has been hacked according to a report by Brian Krebs. The hack also affects other niche social networking properties operated by Ashley Madison's corporate parent Avid Life Media. The actors behind the attack call themselves "The Impact Group" and along with releasing corporate data on Avid Life Media they have claimed that one of Ashley Madison's more profitable services, a $19 charge for fully deleting one's account, is a complete lie as the company retains user information. According to the Impact group in 2014 "Full Delete" netted Ashley Madison 1.7 million US dollars in revenue while they were still retaining user's real names, addresses, and full billing information. The Impact Team demands Avid life take Ashley Madison and another site "Established Men" offline permanently in order to prevent the release of all information taken from Avid Life's servers.

This incident is just another blow to the world consumers have come to expect. In a world with strong and readily accessible cryptography there is no longer any compelling reason for users to depend so entirely on a service like Ashley Madison and leaving their interests in and activities oriented towards extramarital dating exposed.

US Can't Retain Drone Pilots

This week the United States Air Force (archived) unveiled a new program attempting to address what they describe as a "critical shortage" of pilots for their unmanned aircraft. In their desperation the Air Force is offering up front retention bonuses of up to seventy thousand United States dollars with an equal amount of bonus pay spread out over the duration of a retained pilot's nine year contract. The Air Force is also directing graduates of its undergraduate pilot training programs increasingly to roles involving unmanned aircraft. The atypical nine year contracts, along with the substantial monetary incentives being offered to retain drone pilots suggests that the United States Air Force could be facing problems supplying manpower to operate their drone fleet well into the future.

Limits of Moore's Law Challenge Intel – Questions About Future Performance

There are numerous reports out today highlighting chip maker Intel's struggles in transitioning from a 14 nanometer to a 10 nanometer manufacturing process. Intel is addressing this challenge by introducing a third generation of chips produced on a 14 nm process. Traditionally Intel delivers two generations of chips at each node size. The first is a shrink of the previous generations chips followed by chips with architectural changes at the same node size, followed by a process shrink. This pattern of Intel's is typically referred to as "Tick" and "Tock" releases at each node size. Continue reading

Gwern Releases 1.5TB DNM Archive, Steps Down As /r/DarkNetMarkets Moderator

In conjunction with the announcement (archive) that he will step down as moderator of the /r/darknetmarkets subreddit, Gwern has released a 1.5TB archive of content consisting of his own scrapes of various darknet markets as well as material sourced from others spanning the time period 2011 through 2015 with the majority of the content dated 2013 onwards. A description of the files included in the torrent reads: Continue reading