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Author Topic: 2013-02-14 bbc.co.uk - Police hold 11 over ransomware scam 'affecting thousands'  (Read 934 times)
julz
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February 14, 2013, 10:07:21 PM
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Single mention.

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Police hold 11 over ransomware scam 'affecting thousands'

2013-02-14

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21457743

...
Spanish authorities, working with the European Union's law enforcement agency, Europol, arrested 11 people, from Russia, Georgia and Ukraine.
...
The gang had been receiving the money in a variety of ways - including using virtual currency such as Bitcoin, Europol said.
...

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Mike Hearn
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February 15, 2013, 09:27:28 AM
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These kind of stories can initially look bad for us (zomg somebody used Bitcoin to ransom sites) but we can spin them around quite easily - they attempted to pull off the "perfect crime" which should have been achievable with with total anonymity, and still got busted.

Anyone who tries to claim that Bitcoin is some kind of magical shield against working law enforcement is being faced with a continuous stream of stories about the police doing their job despite the bad guys use of (by police standards) cutting edge new tools. There was the Silk Road seller in Australia who got arrested, now this gang too.

What's more, there are counterexamples in the opposite direction - the predecessor to the Silk Road (The Farmers Market), originally did not use Tor and did not use Bitcoin. It used a regular website hosted in Malaysia and PayPal fronted by money mules that then relayed to a money transmitter in Panama. The fact that these countries didn't like the USA very much was sufficient to stop the investigation dead until the DEA eventually were able to get a subpoena for hushmail (which is Canadian). So black markets are hardly a new phenomenon enabled by Bitcoin.
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