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Author Topic: [Emergency ANN] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation  (Read 201525 times)
zhoutong
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May 24, 2012, 02:44:23 PM
 #1321

I have a huge level of respect for Tihan because he has several times shown his honest and forth-right character. While it was unfortunate that we were muted for so long, it was needed I guess so that everyone could come to terms with what happened and make a solid action plan to move forwards rather than acting on impulse and emotion.

After the Linode problem, Tihan refunded everything from his own pocket. Again after this problem, he is again putting up the money to fund Bitcoinica. To me that commands great respect. I'm really happy we are collaborating with someone that trustworthy. Now he offers to take the blame too. If that's the case, then I should equally share in the blame what with being director for Intersango.

I could care less right now if everything we've worked on is in vain. The most important thing I feel is that everyone gets refunded. As a believer in transparency, honesty and openness, it feels good to have everything public now. Part of the problem was that the handover process was meant to be very gradual (it is very disruptive if you made sudden huge changes to a production system) but that there was some communication problems that allowed Bitcoinica to get compromised (things were assumed from both sides about its setup).

I trust the people involved with this. I would only surround myself with trustworthy dependable people. They are going to resolve this in the best manner they can with the crappy situation that exists. It's unfortunate but must be fixed.

Yes. Mr. Tihan is the hero here. I am glad he is now getting the recognition and the respect he should. He has invested heavily into the bitcoin community and without people like him we would die on the vine.

 

Agree. He had put a lot of respectful things he had done under my name and chose to remain secret. Without his integrity and kindness I could have already been in serious trouble.

I was really lucky to have the chance to meet him in person in Guangzhou, China. And I think he's the most supportive person in my business career ever.

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May 24, 2012, 02:57:50 PM
 #1322

Since people are allowed to speak now, and it seems like customer funds will be repaid (Thank god!), there's one more question left:

-Are there any backups left?: Is the database intact?

I'll quote this here, as people might miss it on the previous page.

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May 24, 2012, 03:05:50 PM
 #1323

The critical mistake here is to hand over a Ruby on Rails project to a team unfamiliar with the language.  It's like handing over a Java project to a group of .NET developers.

Some may even argue it is a mistake to even code a site like Bitcoinica on RoR.

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May 24, 2012, 03:12:55 PM
 #1324

Hi all. I'm making my first post here to offer my heartfelt apology to those affected by the security breach at Bitcoinica.

The investment fund I work with first put money into Bitcoinica because I had identified it as a promising start-up in this exciting space. It is my job to find potential investments and conduct related due diligence. In doing so, I learned a lot about bitcoin trading and Bitcoinica.

Like many early stage companies, Bitcoinica experienced growing pains as its success outgrew the capacity of its initial founder to handle alone. It was I who sought out expanded management to help take Bitcoinica forward.

I chose the Bitcoin Consultancy team due to their early involvement with bitcoin, their experience operating an exchange, and their reputations for expertise in online security. 

Bitcoin Consultancy was first retained to perform a comprehensive security audit on March 27 and they became owners and operators of Bitcoinica LP on April 24. As General Partner, they have exclusive legal authority to manage the company.

Because their time with the company is relatively short, the present situation is especially challenging. Zhou Tong has continued to assist in an unofficial capacity. I've offered what insights I can based on my knowledge of the business. In spite of the challenges, I know the Bitcoin Consultancy team would like to bring about the best possible outcome.

Per standard practice, Bitcoin Consultancy entered into a non-disclosure agreement which extends to Bitcoinica's proprietary systems and processes. They are free to discuss their role and history with the company.

For those who wish to blame someone, blame me. Perhaps if I'd pushed for expanded management sooner or in a different way, the incident might have been avoided.

For avoidance of confusion, I wish to reiterate Bitcoinica Consultancy's prior statement: Mr. Heaslip is an accounting professional who assisted with company formation. He has his own business interests in New Zealand which are otherwise unrelated. I have facilitated investments in dozens of other companies, including some in the bitcoin space. Those companies are also unrelated.

I’m unable to follow most public postings here, but you can reach me through this forum by private message. Questions about processing of funds should be directed to Bitcoin Consultancy as they alone control that process.

I've advised Bitcoin Consultancy to focus their efforts on processing claims rather than public debate. Please extend them your continued patience.


Thank you! This is what I wanted to hear. I still hope that our money is in safe hands. This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.

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May 24, 2012, 03:16:29 PM
 #1325

The critical mistake here is to hand over a Ruby on Rails project to a team unfamiliar with the language.  It's like handing over a Java project to a group of .NET developers.

Some may even argue it is a mistake to even code a site like Bitcoinica on RoR.

The problem being that there is nobody in the community with the required knowledge of RoR AND security to financial services standard AND bitcoin and its protocol and security concerns.

So the best they had is 2 out of 3, they just needed time for transitioning. Ruby on Rails is not hard, given a couple of months of focused work they get to a very good standard.

It could have probably been approached as a joint project but Bitcoin is insular, and trust requirements are very high, with reliable people meeting all the tick-boxes being very, very scarce.

In any case the previous project ownership was even in a more precarious situation, with a guy who was definitely not ready to run a money market of that size and who actually didn't have neither the motivation nor the intention to do so. So I honestly don't think there was a mistake there.

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May 24, 2012, 03:27:04 PM
 #1326

This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.
LOL what?

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May 24, 2012, 03:31:13 PM
 #1327

The whole thing is, I didn't realize soon enough that I no longer had any control over Bitcoinica, while everyone still assumed me to be the owner.

Hi Zhou,
   Could you clarify this? Maybe its been said elsewhere, but I was under the impression that you still have involvement with Bitcoinica.
Have you truly gone your separate path or do you still have influence in one form or another?

You made the offer to the Consultancy to take over the claims process; are you really in a position to do that?

Thanks.
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May 24, 2012, 03:32:59 PM
 #1328

This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.
LOL what?
probably a bad translation. I mean that less ignorant and stupid. More people - who understand the complexity of the situation.

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May 24, 2012, 03:34:18 PM
 #1329

Bitcoinica Consultancy: You are full of shit when you say you already dealt with a good number of the more simple claims.
My friend who has a whole bitcoin(lol) in your service still haven't got a response after he filled your stupid claim form.
I guess 1 open position with a 1 BTC balance is fucking complicated for you to deal with.
Also, one question my friend asked me: Where are you going to return his Bitcoin to if you don't even ask for a Bitcoin address?

Just stop lying.

I'm not sure were you got that. Please show us the post so it can be altered. This is what we said:

Right now, we believe the best thing for all parties involved is that we continue with the reclaims process. We have investigated many of the claims but have many left. There were still claims being filed as of at least yesterday. Our intention is to have a secure platform where users can claim their accounts and everyone will be able to claims their accounts once the claims process is finished. We cannot offer a concrete timeline for exactly when this will happen but we are working as fast as possible. Please be patient. We are truly sorry for the grave inconveniences.



Sorry, but this is not how it should work.
You need to give a deadline for claims resolution and you handle all available claims and finalize them.
You can always add remaining claims at a later stage. But you can not wait until the last claim comes in which could be anytime between now and 500 years.
I expect a deadline for claims settlement which is about maximal 5 days out from today.

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May 24, 2012, 03:36:13 PM
 #1330

This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.
LOL what?
probably a bad translation. I mean that less ignorant and stupid. More people - who understand the complexity of the situation.

I thought the lol was more about "wait patiently" - I've seen very little patience in this thread.

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May 24, 2012, 03:38:09 PM
 #1331

This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.
LOL what?
probably a bad translation. I mean that less ignorant and stupid. More people - who understand the complexity of the situation.

I thought the lol was more about "wait patiently" - I've seen very little patience in this thread.
Yeah that.

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May 24, 2012, 03:43:25 PM
 #1332

This is a community of good and honest people, we will patiently wait for solutions to problems.
LOL what?
probably a bad translation. I mean that less ignorant and stupid. More people - who understand the complexity of the situation.

I thought the lol was more about "wait patiently" - I've seen very little patience in this thread.
Yeah that.
It's true. It is one thing - scream "button warrior" in this forum. It is quite another matter - a lawsuit, or call the Russian Mafia. Wink

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Poor impulse control.


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May 24, 2012, 03:49:17 PM
 #1333

It's true. It is one thing - scream "button warrior" in this forum. It is quite another matter - a lawsuit, or call the Russian Mafia. Wink

"Button warrior"! That's awesome. Going to use that phrase myself, thank you Naima53.

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May 24, 2012, 03:50:29 PM
 #1334

Still no mass leak.

Guess the hacker burned his popcorn in the microwave Roll Eyes
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May 24, 2012, 04:33:46 PM
 #1335

Some may even argue it is a mistake to even code a site like Bitcoinica on RoR.

THIS

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May 24, 2012, 04:49:10 PM
 #1336

I have a huge level of respect for Tihan because he has several times shown his honest and forth-right character. While it was unfortunate that we were muted for so long, it was needed I guess so that everyone could come to terms with what happened and make a solid action plan to move forwards rather than acting on impulse and emotion.

After the Linode problem, Tihan refunded everything from his own pocket. Again after this problem, he is again putting up the money to fund Bitcoinica. To me that commands great respect. I'm really happy we are collaborating with someone that trustworthy. Now he offers to take the blame too. If that's the case, then I should equally share in the blame what with being director for Intersango.

I could care less right now if everything we've worked on is in vain. The most important thing I feel is that everyone gets refunded. As a believer in transparency, honesty and openness, it feels good to have everything public now. Part of the problem was that the handover process was meant to be very gradual (it is very disruptive if you made sudden huge changes to a production system) but that there was some communication problems that allowed Bitcoinica to get compromised (things were assumed from both sides about its setup).

I trust the people involved with this. I would only surround myself with trustworthy dependable people. They are going to resolve this in the best manner they can with the crappy situation that exists. It's unfortunate but must be fixed.

+1

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May 24, 2012, 05:00:00 PM
 #1337

...
I dread the moment any of my servers get compromised some day, for the first time.


If the person is good you'll probably never even know he was (or is) there.  That is unless you (or yours) are very very good.


Sure, miracles do happen all the time.


Or close enough approximations to fool large segments of humanity at least.

"..., for the first time" has an oddly superfluous ring to it which one senses could end up gushing hubris.  Happily the odds are on your side whether or not caution and competence is (and I have no reason to believe that either caution or competence is lacking of course.)

On a related (and illustrative) note, the ML I would be E-ing would be composed of much of what passed through the infamous mailserver which keeps poping up in this thread, and over who knows what period of time.  Clearly this server was used to conduct certain business related to the Bitcoinica transfer.  Seems likely that various Intersango business is also represented.  Also seems likely that Bitcoin Consultancy might be under continued pressure from the criminal for this reason which could add significantly to their woes.


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May 24, 2012, 05:01:14 PM
 #1338

Quote
I also said this can take long, but its not a question of IF only WHEN

I like your technical analysis. But, couldn't this be said about anything?  It's not IF the world will end, it's WHEN.

I reply on the right thread. This is my last post about technical analysis here, and here is the link for those who want to continue:
[url]https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1493.msg919512#msg919512

Back to the topic:
I have said as well that we need to ask for a deadline for the claim process to be done to bitcoin consultancy. I think 5 days max are realistic. Otherwise we should take real big action/url]


The claim process will be finished when you stop writing in blue and learn to post a link.
Before those 2 conditions are met, no chance!
I have nothing against different color font. It brings a little joy into our lives. And seriously. It is necessary to limit the time "claim page". Otherwise, all claims will grow and grow. Otherwise soon will not be enough $ 5`000`000  Grin

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May 24, 2012, 05:10:14 PM
 #1339

Quote
I also said this can take long, but its not a question of IF only WHEN

I like your technical analysis. But, couldn't this be said about anything?  It's not IF the world will end, it's WHEN.

I reply on the right thread. This is my last post about technical analysis here, and here is the link for those who want to continue:
[url]https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1493.msg919512#msg919512

Back to the topic:
I have said as well that we need to ask for a deadline for the claim process to be done to bitcoin consultancy. I think 5 days max are realistic. Otherwise we should take real big action/url]


The claim process will be finished when you stop writing in blue and learn to post a link.
Before those 2 conditions are met, no chance!
I have nothing against different color font. It brings a little joy into our lives. And seriously. It is necessary to limit the time "claim page". Otherwise, all claims will grow and grow. Otherwise soon will not be enough $ 5`000`000  Grin

Why would the claims "grow and grow" if the system can't be gamed Huh

Who said anything about $5 million ? Is that how much money Bitcoinica has ?
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May 24, 2012, 05:14:09 PM
 #1340

Ah. The truth comes out.

Tihan paid us all back once, and will do it again.

Bitcoin Consultancy is the GP of Bitcoinica LP, and refused to answer that question when directly asked several times in this thread. What are they really hiding? What really happened here?

Zhou Tong, surprisingly, might act like a 17yo kid sometimes. Go figure Smiley - IMO, I'd be so much happier if he was running the show. Pretty decent job of negotiating a huge minefield with not a whole lot of life experience to draw from. I would be happy to use a service provided by Zhou Tong in the future, however unlikely that might be.

I won't be putting my money in any service owned by Intersango, Bitcoin Consultancy, Bitcoinica, or anything I find running their code. These guys lie, threaten, and attempt to intimidate to protect their failing reputation. That's plenty enough for me. There is basically nothing that they can do to regain my trust. After telling Patrick the other day that omitting th truth is a lie, he continued to do so. What on earth did you think you were protecting, Patrick?

Thank you, Tihan, for providing us with the truth so that the situation might be resolved sooner, and less time be spent on the endless fingerpointing. I'm sorry your investment didn't work out for you. If you do invest in a similar project, that has no association with Bitcoinica, Bitcoinica Consultancy, Bitcoin Consultancy, or Intersango, I would be very pleased to use it.

I will now patiently await the return of my funds.

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