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Author Topic: Cryptocurrencies are theftproof  (Read 3110 times)
grondilu
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October 05, 2010, 12:20:24 AM
 #1

What I like about cryptocurrencies, whether it is bitcoin or any other yet-to-become major cryptocurrency, is that it is impossible to steal it, unless you use torture.

I know very few theftproof things.  Actually I don't know any of them.

I can put some gold in a safe, but any thief with appropriate tools can open any safe.  I can hide it somewhere in a desert place, but anyone could just find it and take it.

Real estate is so easy to steal if not protected by public force.  Diamonds are small so you can easily hide them, but still, it's not perfect.  I've heard that during WWII, some jews hid some value using very rare philatelic stamps.  It's good, but not very reliable, imo.

Cryptocurrencies are theftproof, as long as cryptographic functions can not be broken.  And so far, they can't.  Therefore the only key to access your wallet, is the passphrase you stored in your mind.

If I'm right, if cryptocurrencies are really theftproof, then they are priceless.
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kiba
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October 05, 2010, 12:35:25 AM
 #2

What I like about cryptocurrencies, whether it is bitcoin or any other yet-to-become major cryptocurrency, is that it is impossible to steal it, unless you use torture.

I know very few theftproof things.  Actually I don't know any of them.

I can put some gold in a safe, but any thief with appropriate tools can open any safe.  I can hide it somewhere in a desert place, but anyone could just find it and take it.

Real estate is so easy to steal if not protected by public force.  Diamonds are small so you can easily hide them, but still, it's not perfect.  I've heard that during WWII, some jews hid some value using very rare philatelic stamps.  It's good, but not very reliable, imo.

Cryptocurrencies are theftproof, as long as cryptographic functions can not be broken.  And so far, they can't.  Therefore the only key to access your wallet, is the passphrase you stored in your mind.

If I'm right, if cryptocurrencies are really theftproof, then they are priceless.


Somebody must crack your computer's security or social engineer their way to get a copy of your wallet. However, if you spend your money first, than it doesn't matter what the criminal do.

Cryptographic functions are the hardest to break, but other things are much easier.

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October 05, 2010, 12:55:30 AM
 #3

What I like about cryptocurrencies, whether it is bitcoin or any other yet-to-become major cryptocurrency, is that it is impossible to steal it, unless you use torture.

Technically, it is impossible to steal them because technically, they are not property.

Apart from that,

They can even be protected against divulgation by torture.

Store your wealth in 1000 wallet.dat files. Make sure that you use a scrambler to make the transactions so that it's impossible to link those bitcoin addresses to you. Then hide the wallets in different places. Perhaps Truecrypt hidden volumes. Perhaps Truecrypt hidden volumes nested inside hidden volumes. Perhaps usb sticks buried in your garden.  Perhaps steganographically stored in a photographic print in your grandmother's house.

When you get tortured, divulge only a few of you wallet.dat files. The torturer can never know the true number.  

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MoonShadow
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October 05, 2010, 01:07:49 AM
 #4

What I like about cryptocurrencies, whether it is bitcoin or any other yet-to-become major cryptocurrency, is that it is impossible to steal it, unless you use torture.


It's not impossible, just incrediblely difficult, which is the best that can be hoped for.  Don't get the idea that your bitcoin balance is "as good as gold" sitting in your safe, because it's not.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
grondilu
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October 05, 2010, 01:18:45 AM
 #5

What I like about cryptocurrencies, whether it is bitcoin or any other yet-to-become major cryptocurrency, is that it is impossible to steal it, unless you use torture.


It's not impossible, just incrediblely difficult, which is the best that can be hoped for.  Don't get the idea that your bitcoin balance is "as good as gold" sitting in your safe, because it's not.

Thks for this warning.  I'll try to keep it in mind.
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October 05, 2010, 03:52:16 AM
 #6

There is always truecrypt. http://www.truecrypt.org/

Someone famous said data doesnt exist unless it has 3 copies. One local,one off site and one on media such as a usb drive. I like using carbonite for the off site backups http://www.carbonite.com/en/default.aspx . Ironkey usb drives are also pretty nice. https://www.ironkey.com/

grondilu
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October 05, 2010, 04:09:03 AM
 #7

There is always truecrypt. http://www.truecrypt.org/

Someone famous said data doesnt exist unless it has 3 copies. One local,one off site and one on media such as a usb drive. I like using carbonite for the off site backups http://www.carbonite.com/en/default.aspx . Ironkey usb drives are also pretty nice. https://www.ironkey.com/


TrueCrypt is not free software.

I definitely need to learn the free alternative, which is cryptsetup on GNU/linux, I guess.
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October 05, 2010, 04:39:15 AM
 #8

TrueCrypt isn't free software? I always thought it is. It isn't GPL, but GPL is not the only free software license.

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MoonShadow
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October 05, 2010, 04:50:50 AM
 #9

It isn't GPL, but GPL is not the only free software license.

I think that might depend on whether the person you are talking to is an 'Eric Raymond' or a 'Richard Stallman'.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
grondilu
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October 05, 2010, 04:52:27 AM
 #10

TrueCrypt isn't free software? I always thought it is. It isn't GPL, but GPL is not the only free software license.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truecrypt#Licensing

« The TrueCrypt License has not been officially approved by the Open Source
Initiative and is not considered "free" by several major Linux distributions
(Arch Linux^[25], Debian^[26], Ubuntu^[27], Fedora^[28], openSUSE^[29],
Gentoo^[30]), mainly because of distribution and copyright-liability
reasons.^[31] »
Timo Y
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October 05, 2010, 08:23:19 AM
 #11

Quote
TrueCrypt is not free software.
I definitely need to learn the free alternative, which is cryptsetup on GNU/linux, I guess.

It's still one of the most secure packages you can get because it's open source and has been peer-reviewed.

Problem with other packages is, even if they use good encryption standards they may implement them poorly. The likelyhood that there is an undiscovered security hole is bigger because they haven't been peer-reviewed as much as Truecrypt.

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Babylon
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October 06, 2010, 10:23:03 PM
 #12

bitcoins are stealable.  The thief just has to steal your harddrive.

grondilu
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October 06, 2010, 10:29:39 PM
 #13

bitcoins are stealable.  The thief just has to steal your harddrive.

I can use an encrypted file system.

Or I can encrypt my wallet.dat file when I'm not using the bitcoin software.

Or I can have most of my bitcoins encrypted on a distant machine, and use only small change for my local machine.

And so on...
kiba
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October 07, 2010, 12:04:09 AM
 #14

bitcoins are stealable.  The thief just has to steal your harddrive.

I can use an encrypted file system.

Or I can encrypt my wallet.dat file when I'm not using the bitcoin software.

Or I can have most of my bitcoins encrypted on a distant machine, and use only small change for my local machine.

And so on...


A sufficiently smart thief will social engineer you, or just steal jewelries and other stuff from much easier security system.

grondilu
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October 07, 2010, 12:27:32 AM
 #15

bitcoins are stealable.  The thief just has to steal your harddrive.

I can use an encrypted file system.

Or I can encrypt my wallet.dat file when I'm not using the bitcoin software.

Or I can have most of my bitcoins encrypted on a distant machine, and use only small change for my local machine.

And so on...


A sufficiently smart thief will social engineer you, or just steal jewelries and other stuff from much easier security system.

Yeah, ok.  It's not 100% theft proof.  But it is the most difficult thing to steal that I know.
SmokeTooMuch
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October 07, 2010, 10:24:45 AM
 #16

actually they arent theftproof at all.
if someone gets (physical or remote) access to your computer he only needs to run a script that will send all of your coins to his bitcoin address.
and as long as he's behind a good proxy (tor), you will not be able to get the thief.

edit: this goes for bitcoins, i actually dont know any other cryptocurrency

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grondilu
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October 07, 2010, 07:55:41 PM
 #17

actually they arent theftproof at all.
if someone gets (physical or remote) access to your computer he only needs to run a script that will send all of your coins to his bitcoin address.
and as long as he's behind a good proxy (tor), you will not be able to get the thief.

edit: this goes for bitcoins, i actually dont know any other cryptocurrency

They are theftproof, provided that you do what has to be done to prevent theft.

You can prevent people from stealing your gold by putting it in a safe.  But this safe is useless if you don't close it.  If it's wide open, or closed with a poor security code, then it's useless.

If you really want to prevent anyone from stealing your bitcoins, you can.  You just encrypt and backup your wallet.dat file, and remove the orginal file.  And that's it.  Sure, you won't be able to use your bitcoins until you restore your wallet, but that's not the point.  It's the same as your gold : you can't use it as long as it is in your safe.  You can't have protection and useability in the same time.
MoonShadow
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October 07, 2010, 08:26:20 PM
 #18

actually they arent theftproof at all.
if someone gets (physical or remote) access to your computer he only needs to run a script that will send all of your coins to his bitcoin address.
and as long as he's behind a good proxy (tor), you will not be able to get the thief.

edit: this goes for bitcoins, i actually dont know any other cryptocurrency

They are theftproof, provided that you do what has to be done to prevent theft.

You can prevent people from stealing your gold by putting it in a safe.  But this safe is useless if you don't close it.  If it's wide open, or closed with a poor security code, then it's useless.

If you really want to prevent anyone from stealing your bitcoins, you can.  You just encrypt and backup your wallet.dat file, and remove the orginal file.  And that's it.  Sure, you won't be able to use your bitcoins until you restore your wallet, but that's not the point.  It's the same as your gold : you can't use it as long as it is in your safe.  You can't have protection and useability in the same time.


"You can't have your cake and eat it too"

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
lfm
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October 07, 2010, 08:28:24 PM
 #19

Cryptocurrencies are theftproof, as long as cryptographic functions can not be broken.  And so far, they can't.  Therefore the only key to access your wallet, is the passphrase you stored in your mind.

If I'm right, if cryptocurrencies are really theftproof, then they are priceless.

Well a thief only needs a copy of your wallet file. It does not normally have any pass-phrase or any actual encryption. If he transfers the coins before you become aware of the copy you have lost them.

Yes, stuff can be added to try to prevent it but it is not anything inherent in bitcoin that makes them theft-proof.
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October 07, 2010, 08:33:47 PM
 #20

If you really want to prevent anyone from stealing your bitcoins, you can.  You just encrypt and backup your wallet.dat file, and remove the orginal file.  And that's it.  Sure, you won't be able to use your bitcoins until you restore your wallet, but that's not the point.  It's the same as your gold : you can't use it as long as it is in your safe.  You can't have protection and useability in the same time.

You can't even check that you received a transaction. Actually, I suppose that without the wallet.dat file you can't even run the program, so you can't generate either... (I suppose it would create a new wallet.dat, but then there is no easy way to merge the files, you would have to run the program with one, get an address, restart the program with the other, transfer... )

It would be really nice if the client could manage private key password encryption on its own. It could encrypt all address but "remember" the address the wallet has (not the private keys), in order to check reception. It could also continue to receive blocks and generate, since this doesn't depend on the previous private keys.

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