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Author Topic: Tinfoil hat mode on: what if AV vendors were paid to remove wallets?  (Read 673 times)
joepie91
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July 07, 2011, 01:40:53 PM
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Now, this is going to be a completely unfounded conspiracy theory. I am NOT saying it happens, I am NOT saying it happened in the past, I am NOT claiming it will ever happen.

It's just a concept, that may potentially be a problem.

What would happen if banks, governments, or other organizations that do not like Bitcoin, were to pay vendors of antivirus/antispyware software to include a definition that detects and removes Bitcoin wallets? This would be fairly easy to do, and would possibly cause a lot of chaos as wallet files disappear of people who didn't back them up.

Now the obvious counterargument would be... "wouldn't that damage the reputation of that AV vendor and effectively take out the company?"

No, it probably wouldn't. First off it's fairly easy to blame it on a 'false positive', apologize, and just ignore what happened after that. I believe AVG has, twice, removed critical system files in the past as a false positive, thereby bricking entire Windows installations. "Shit happens", and that would be a very believable explanation to the general public.

Second off, does anyone remember the case where Gator/Claria paid/bribed several antispyware vendors to not automatically remove their adware? It's a bit hard to find sources on this, but I remember reading a few articles about it a few years ago. Some indications are here: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r13552245-Adaware-delisting-Claria-and-WhenU-
An article about Microsoft suggesting Ignore instead of Remove for Claria can be found here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/07/ms_downgrades_claria_detection/
There are undoubtedly more news articles on all of this, but I don't have a lot of time to search for them right now.

What if a similar thing happened where organizations would pay AV/AS vendors to remove Bitcoin wallets 'accidentally'?

[/tinfoil]

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gentakin
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July 07, 2011, 01:51:20 PM
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I don't use AV products, so I couldn't care less.

But I guess if this happens on a regular basis, no one who uses bitcoins will use the vendor's product. And tell their friends about it, so they won't use the products. And so on.

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joepie91
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July 07, 2011, 01:52:52 PM
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I don't use AV products, so I couldn't care less.

But I guess if this happens on a regular basis, no one who uses bitcoins will use the vendor's product. And tell their friends about it, so they won't use the products. And so on.
It only has to happen once, when a lot of people are using Bitcoin, to cause a massive amount of Bitcoins disappearing, and a loss of trust in Bitcoin as a concept by 'the masses'. It's a matter of timing it for maximum impact.

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July 07, 2011, 01:53:47 PM
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This theory is based too much on people getting together and doing something for a unified purpose.  If there is one things banks and governements can't do, is pull off good schemes.   I think they would find a way to control it and profit rather than get rid of it.

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