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Author Topic: So I went down to the bitcoin ATM today...  (Read 8523 times)
Peter R
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November 11, 2013, 09:56:02 AM
 #1

...and lo and behold there is a late-60s lady moping around the RoboCoin.  I was with my Dad (he wanted to learn how to buy BTC)--I start putting 20s in the machine and he starts talking to the older lady.  After I finished with the ATM, my dad says "Peter, maybe you can help this women."

She tells me that she put money in the machine but never got any bitcoins out.

I asked her if she used her phone and she says "no I don't have a 'smart phone,' the machine just gave me this receipt" as she hands me the paper.

I look at the receipt and can immediately see that it is her private key, so I tell her that those are her bitcoins and she needs to load them onto her computer if she wants to spend them.  

She says, "you mean my bitcoins are in this piece of paper?"

Uh oh.....so by now I'm thinking that she really shouldn't be investing in bitcoins without some help from her son or grandson.  I ask "so, are you investing in bitcoins?"

And she says, "I don't even know what bitcoins are but my computer says I have to give it one to get my files back."

and then she gasps:

"and I've been trying for days to buy one!"


Well, I tried my best to help her, but I have my doubts.

Cryptolocker strikes again

Paradox: if you remove the speculative component from bitcoin's price, its value increases.
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elasticband
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November 11, 2013, 10:00:02 AM
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there is a very well known virus that locks your computer and they creaters demand 250e payment in ukash or bitcoin, which would be around 1BTC right now.

go help the old lady !!!

edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker it's the worst!!!

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November 11, 2013, 10:01:29 AM
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there is a very well known virus that locks your computer and they creaters demand 250e payment in ukash or bitcoin, which would be around 1BTC right now.

go help the old lady !!!

edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker it's the worst!!!

Oh I tried to help her!  Even offered to look at her computer!

Paradox: if you remove the speculative component from bitcoin's price, its value increases.
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November 11, 2013, 10:03:10 AM
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tell her to put that piece of paper into a safe place.

only muppets choose to ignore people. if you are capable of stringing more than half a cobbled punchline together, there is plenty to be learnt from everyones experiences, not just the happily bemused, easily convinced & the cheaply paid off cheerwhores. -Edgar
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November 11, 2013, 10:04:28 AM
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*sigh* did you look at her computer?

did you offer to have her send the hackers payment address to you, so you could handle the transaction for her? did you offer to inform her next of kin in a more technical terms what was happening?

damni wish you had a way to contact he Sad

Mark_Twain
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November 11, 2013, 10:05:58 AM
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Oh my god.... that's horrible a new type of crime: Kidnapping Files! nd releasing them after payment in BTC...

Poor old lady...

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wopwop
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November 11, 2013, 10:08:28 AM
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lol what a bs madeup story

funny none the less
Peter R
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November 11, 2013, 10:09:49 AM
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*sigh* did you look at her computer?

did you offer to have her send the hackers payment address to you, so you could handle the transaction for her? did you offer to inform her next of kin in a more technical terms what was happening?

damni wish you had a way to contact he Sad

She was pretty flustered and said that it was actually her work computer, so I don't think she could take me there to see it.  I told her that her bitcoins were on the paper, and that she had to keep the code hidden and safe.  I gave her contact information for both the Bitcoiniacs (the owners of the machine) and the Bitcoin Co-op in Vancouver.  Hopefully this was enough.  

But it was really tough for me.  I wish I could have done more.  And then she says that she "paid $60" and I'm thinking "well that's not enough for 1 bitcoin."  I just couldn't break it to her that it would likely cost a lot more than $60 to get her files back.  

Paradox: if you remove the speculative component from bitcoin's price, its value increases.
Altoidnerd
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November 11, 2013, 10:12:45 AM
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This general theme is a SERIOUS problem.  I sell bitcoins to people on localbitcoins.com.  Most of the time, these people do not really know how to handle their bitcoins.  I spend 2 hours with all of them.  I started telling them to come into the sale with electrum downloaded so I can show them how to back up their wallets.  And I end up explaining what a hash is.

It is our duty as people who stand to get very rich off this to help these people.  This is for two reasons, one selfish and one unselfish.  

1)  if we do not quickly figure out how to make bitcoin idiot proof, we are going to run into problems with the media

2) it isn't very nice of us to stand by and watch someone fuck up their coins (op not saying you did. Just incensed rhetoric). It truly feel obligated to help them.  Why?  Because I know bitcoin took effort - it  was pretty time consuming for me to unravel all the information when I adopted it.  I am a fucking physicist by trade.  I'm by no means insulting the general population... the fact is people like us have a clear advantage in handling this money which is distinct from fiat money.  

I love bitcoin because of equality.  I don't want to see people lose money because they are lacking in internet/computer/mathematics/problem solving competence that isnt related to earnings, wealth, and well...money.

This is especially true for the elderly.  It's straight up NOT FAIR to expect them to use bitcoin the way it works now.  This story struck a nerve because I imagined somebody taking advantage of my grandmother or even mother and father.  We have a duty, really.  

Please help others with bitcoin.  

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November 11, 2013, 10:20:47 AM
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This general theme is a SERIOUS problem.  I sell bitcoins to people on localbitcoins.com.  Most of the time, these people do not really know how to handle their bitcoins.  I spend 2 hours with all of them.  I started telling them to come into the sale with electrum downloaded so I can show them how to back up their wallets.  And I end up explaining what a hash is.

It is our duty as people who stand to get very rich off this to help these people.  This is for two reasons, one selfish and one unselfish.  

1)  if we do not quickly figure out how to make bitcoin idiot proof, we are going to run into problems with the media

2) it isn't very nice of us to stand by and watch someone fuck up their coins (op not saying you did. Just incensed rhetoric). It truly feel obligated to help them.  Why?  Because I know bitcoin took effort - it  was pretty time consuming for me to unravel all the information when I adopted it.  I am a fucking physicist by trade.  I'm by no means insulting the general population... the fact is people like us have a clear advantage in handling this money which is distinct from fiat money.  

I love bitcoin because of equality.  I don't want to see people lose money because they are lacking in internet/computer/mathematics/problem solving competence that isnt related to earnings, wealth, and well...money.

This is especially true for the elderly.  It's straight up NOT FAIR to expect them to use bitcoin the way it works now.  This story struck a nerve because I imagined somebody taking advantage of my grandmother or even mother and father.  We have a duty, really.  

Please help others with bitcoin.  
did crypto locker exist before this? surely the people are traceable? Why Bitcoin? Do you think it's sabotage related from higher forces.

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Peter R
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November 11, 2013, 10:21:10 AM
 #11

lol what a bs madeup story

funny none the less

This is the well-known cryptolocker virus:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryptoLocker

I never thought I'd meet a victim, but there she was: about 5' 3", short grey hair, and looking very overwhelmed.  I hope by now she's tried to contact Mitchell Demeter from Bitcoiniacs (owners of the machine) or the guys in the BitCoin Co-op to try to get some more help.  

What I thought was interesting was that a person who had no idea about bitcoin a few days ago, somehow found the ATM, and then just drove on down to Waves to "buy one" without ever realizing the novelty of what they were doing.  

Paradox: if you remove the speculative component from bitcoin's price, its value increases.
Peter R
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November 11, 2013, 10:27:08 AM
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This general theme is a SERIOUS problem.  I sell bitcoins to people on localbitcoins.com.  Most of the time, these people do not really know how to handle their bitcoins.  I spend 2 hours with all of them.  I started telling them to come into the sale with electrum downloaded so I can show them how to back up their wallets.  And I end up explaining what a hash is.

It is our duty as people who stand to get very rich off this to help these people.  This is for two reasons, one selfish and one unselfish.  

1)  if we do not quickly figure out how to make bitcoin idiot proof, we are going to run into problems with the media

2) it isn't very nice of us to stand by and watch someone fuck up their coins (op not saying you did. Just incensed rhetoric). It truly feel obligated to help them.  Why?  Because I know bitcoin took effort - it  was pretty time consuming for me to unravel all the information when I adopted it.  I am a fucking physicist by trade.  I'm by no means insulting the general population... the fact is people like us have a clear advantage in handling this money which is distinct from fiat money.  

I love bitcoin because of equality.  I don't want to see people lose money because they are lacking in internet/computer/mathematics/problem solving competence that isnt related to earnings, wealth, and well...money.

This is especially true for the elderly.  It's straight up NOT FAIR to expect them to use bitcoin the way it works now.  This story struck a nerve because I imagined somebody taking advantage of my grandmother or even mother and father.  We have a duty, really.  

Please help others with bitcoin.  

I completely agree that it is our duty to help people--especially the elderly.  I truly tried my best and, like I said, even offered to come look at her computer.  At least she has contact info now for the Bitcoin Co-op and Bitcoiniacs (owner of the ATM). 

It's funny: I was debating whether to post this story in fear that I would look insensitive.  I hope I didn't come across that way.  But I must admit that bitcoin seemed a bit more "real" to me after this experience (unfortunately, in a way the hurt someone) but real nonetheless.

Paradox: if you remove the speculative component from bitcoin's price, its value increases.
elasticband
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November 11, 2013, 10:28:11 AM
 #13

I had a similar thing with a local meet, i sold the guy 1 bitcoin, then afterwards he told me it was to pay a hacker, he himself new nothing about bitcoin he had just been told that is what the hacker accepted.

I asked if he was in trouble of any kind and he said no it was personal and it was left at that..... i guess some people just see it as another form of sending money like western union, paypal or ukash.

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November 11, 2013, 10:53:46 AM
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Thank God she didn't loose her entire house to some banksters

Its amazing how bad security is on todays operating systems. How can we possible prevent stuff like this from happening?
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November 11, 2013, 10:56:54 AM
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If this is true then that is so sad! god humanity makes me sick sometimes
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November 11, 2013, 11:10:55 AM
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*sigh* did you look at her computer?

did you offer to have her send the hackers payment address to you, so you could handle the transaction for her? did you offer to inform her next of kin in a more technical terms what was happening?

damni wish you had a way to contact he Sad

She was pretty flustered and said that it was actually her work computer, so I don't think she could take me there to see it.  I told her that her bitcoins were on the paper, and that she had to keep the code hidden and safe.  I gave her contact information for both the Bitcoiniacs (the owners of the machine) and the Bitcoin Co-op in Vancouver.  Hopefully this was enough.  

But it was really tough for me.  I wish I could have done more.  And then she says that she "paid $60" and I'm thinking "well that's not enough for 1 bitcoin."  I just couldn't break it to her that it would likely cost a lot more than $60 to get her files back.  


you did your best. she is old enough and can get help from a computer expert or someone else.

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November 11, 2013, 11:47:31 AM
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Given the rampant "success" of Cryptolocker, I'm sure we'll see many copycats. Hackers now have serious financial incentive to break into people's systems.

Someone was asking on reddit today whether Bitcoin would force people to take security seriously. Maybe, but Cryptolocker and others like it will really force people to (or pay up). It will probably force a great many people to learn how to buy bitcoins as well, however tragic a method it may be (in truth it is likely to be doing them a favor in a perverse way, as they are more likely to keep some for themselves...it could be what gives them that final push off the fence).

Revolution happens in the strangest ways.
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November 11, 2013, 12:09:15 PM
 #18

There is a 0% chance that you can recover any files from her PC without paying - the people that code these viruses do know their stuff and crypto.

Even if you pay, there is a chance that you won't get any decryption key. After all, customer service is not exactly what these guys are up to, as most of their customers don't want to deal with them in the future again.

You help her best by getting her a backup software, reformatting the PC and showing her how to do backups in the future. If you want to, you can try to pay the criminals instead, though I have my doubts that it'll work. Once Bitcoin ATMs become more widespread, these kinds of "data kidnapping" will also spread out, they already accept other digital payments like paysafecard for quite some time now.

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November 11, 2013, 12:13:32 PM
 #19

Here's my question. Does the trojan securely wipe and delete the original files? Or can they be "undeleted" if the drive was not full? Although I think the bad guys would have thought of securely erasing the original files after they have been encrypted so the ransom must be paid.

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November 11, 2013, 12:15:53 PM
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How did you not realise and tell her that its a virus?!?!?  Huh

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