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Author Topic: [Payout Updates] Bitcoinica site is taken offline for security investigation  (Read 145698 times)
Herodes
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August 03, 2012, 01:57:00 AM
 #1521

Just browsed through this, as the last pages are a complete shitstorm discussing minutious details that are completely uninteresting.

Seeing as how inefficient most state sponsored investigative units are (unless there's a shitload of money at stake, or some prominent politician is threatened), the community is well served with responsible business owners that use their common sense to fix things.

Theres a lot of yelling about lawyers, suing that or this and so on, but stop yelling, and go to a lawyer if that's the case, and he will take it from there.

We clearly see that the parties involved in the Bitcoinica scandal does not stand up and work in concert to have the clusterfuck fixed, and as so, the adults in the community needs to stand up and work togheter to learn the immature boys proper conduct. Proper conduct is not stealing and/or witholding millions of dollars and huge BTC amounts.

Some of the discussion that goes on here is akin to discuss whether you should turn your computer off or leave it running while your're engulfed in flames in a burning house.

At one point I called the financial crime unit in my country because I had reason to believe a multi-million dollar scam had been going on for years with a certain company ripping customers off non-trivial amounts. The response from the financial crime unit was that this was totally uninteresting ant it's up to the consumers to look after themselves.

Then I called the organization that is looking after the consumers interest, eventually the fact was established that they're totally tooth less, and can't do anything about nothing.

I contacted VISA, Mastercard, registrars etc. All were unwilling to do anything about the case. So in the end, I realized for me, as a consumer, and it wasn't even my money that was lost, but someone elses, and I only tried to help, the fight was not worth fighting. I could've continued fighting it, but there was nothing in it for me. I tried to do some efforts to shut them down so others would not be scammed, but as long as many customers are scammed for small amounts, nobody cares, and esp. not if the company had disguised the scamming such that it's not 'outside the law' while still questionable. The company in question was also incorporated in a jurisdiction were they were incredibly hard to reach.

IF the full amount in the scam concerned was stolen from a state agency, you can be 100% sure that every stone in the country would be turned to find the perpetrators.

So, what I realized is that I need to look after myself and my family, I can't rely on authorities to get help when I need it, but the taxes I still need to pay..

So for the bitcoinica case, lawyering up will only cost a shitload.

I would advise all those involved to figure out how to solve this, and then get to work. It would be incredibly sad if someone actually got killed over this. Even a man who steals millions of dollars should not be killed. (If I felt that way if it was my own money that was stolen, is another matter).

But the point is that there's no point arguing over minute details while millions worth of USD is missing.

All logic dictates that when Zhou Tong at the same time of the hack tries to withdraw an amount equal to that stolen, and an e-mail address associated to him is used along with the 'hack', then it's all reason to be suspicious. I would've acted exactly the same way as aurumexchange in such a case, and if anyone thought I acted illegally or unethical, then bring the lawsuits on, I applaud aurumxchange for hos he acted in this case.

Please hold onto the funds in question, until it's sorted out without a shadow of a doubt that everything is cleared.

And a message for Zhou Thong: You think you're clever, and you love to brag. In fact you're a young man, and you have many years left before you mature as a person, and learn to moderate yourself, if you're involved or not, I sincerely hope this will be sorted out, and if you're involved in stealing other people's money, you should do your best to make it good again, and admit what you did. How would you feel if someone stole a large amount of money from you ?

Sometime the day will come when you can put the hand on your heart and say: "I'm too old to know it all". That's an Oscar Wilde quote btw. And funny thing, many young braggers don't even phantom what it means..
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August 03, 2012, 01:59:47 AM
 #1522

It's a shame your attempts to spin this seem to be working.  Here is a challenge for a journalist looking at the facts of this matter:  What law states that privacy agreements are invalid  if a user of a site discusses any aspect of their business with a company publicly?

They didn't violate zhoutong's privacy, they violated the hacker's privacy (actually the hacker never had it in the first place since he didn't follow the ToS). Zhou had already stated that he had a $40k LR order with aurumxchange, and they publicly confirmed that. What they also disclosed, along with MtGox, was that the hacker's email address had a connection to zhoutong. That was a fact so its not libel, and its not a violation of privacy since the thief doesn't have privacy protections.

The violator of zhoutong's privacy in this scenario is Chen Jianhai, by means of identity theft. I really hope zhou can get the rest of the stolen funds back, BTC and the USD, and turn them over to Patrick Murk in agreement with Bitcoinica LP. It is in his best interest.

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August 03, 2012, 02:03:25 AM
 #1523

It's a shame your attempts to spin this seem to be working.  Here is a challenge for a journalist looking at the facts of this matter:  What law states that privacy agreements are invalid  if a user of a site discusses any aspect of their business with a company publicly?

They didn't violate zhoutong's privacy, they violated the hacker's privacy (actually the hacker never had it in the first place since he didn't follow the ToS). Zhou had already stated that he had a $40k LR order with aurumxchange, and they publicly confirmed that. What they also disclosed, along with MtGox, was that the hacker's email address had a connection to zhoutong. That was a fact so its not libel, and its not a violation of privacy since the thief doesn't have privacy protections.

The violator of zhoutong's privacy in this scenario is Chen Jianhai, by means of identity theft. I really hope zhou can get the rest of the stolen funds back, BTC and the USD, and turn them over to Patrick Murk in agreement with Bitcoinica LP. It is in his best interest.

This is of course, poppycock, the actions of the hacker do not mean that it's open season on Zhou Tong, and Zhou Tong's own discussion of his business to not mean all aspects of it can be revealed to the world.

If I were to hack your e-mail address and use it to commit a crime, that does not mean that the company that hosts it can now publish the contents of the account for the world to see.  You still have an agreement with them no matter what I do to you.

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August 03, 2012, 02:11:44 AM
 #1524

It's a shame your attempts to spin this seem to be working.  Here is a challenge for a journalist looking at the facts of this matter:  What law states that privacy agreements are invalid  if a user of a site discusses any aspect of their business with a company publicly?

They didn't violate zhoutong's privacy, they violated the hacker's privacy (actually the hacker never had it in the first place since he didn't follow the ToS). Zhou had already stated that he had a $40k LR order with aurumxchange, and they publicly confirmed that. What they also disclosed, along with MtGox, was that the hacker's email address had a connection to zhoutong. That was a fact so its not libel, and its not a violation of privacy since the thief doesn't have privacy protections.

The violator of zhoutong's privacy in this scenario is Chen Jianhai, by means of identity theft. I really hope zhou can get the rest of the stolen funds back, BTC and the USD, and turn them over to Patrick Murk in agreement with Bitcoinica LP. It is in his best interest.

This is of course, poppycock, the actions of the hacker do not mean that it's open season on Zhou Tong, and Zhou Tong's own discussion of his business to not mean all aspects of it can be revealed to the world.

If I were to hack your e-mail address and use it to commit a crime, that does not mean that the company that hosts it can now publish the contents of the account for the world to see.  You still have an agreement with them no matter what I do to you.

They disclosed the hackers details.

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August 03, 2012, 02:19:37 AM
 #1525

It's a shame your attempts to spin this seem to be working.  Here is a challenge for a journalist looking at the facts of this matter:  What law states that privacy agreements are invalid  if a user of a site discusses any aspect of their business with a company publicly?

They didn't violate zhoutong's privacy, they violated the hacker's privacy (actually the hacker never had it in the first place since he didn't follow the ToS). Zhou had already stated that he had a $40k LR order with aurumxchange, and they publicly confirmed that. What they also disclosed, along with MtGox, was that the hacker's email address had a connection to zhoutong. That was a fact so its not libel, and its not a violation of privacy since the thief doesn't have privacy protections.

The violator of zhoutong's privacy in this scenario is Chen Jianhai, by means of identity theft. I really hope zhou can get the rest of the stolen funds back, BTC and the USD, and turn them over to Patrick Murk in agreement with Bitcoinica LP. It is in his best interest.

This is of course, poppycock, the actions of the hacker do not mean that it's open season on Zhou Tong, and Zhou Tong's own discussion of his business to not mean all aspects of it can be revealed to the world.

If I were to hack your e-mail address and use it to commit a crime, that does not mean that the company that hosts it can now publish the contents of the account for the world to see.  You still have an agreement with them no matter what I do to you.

They disclosed the hackers details.

No, they released the details of the account a hacker had compromised and was using without authorization.  Again, if I hacked your account and committed a crime with it, should your host be allowed to post the contents of your inbox everywhere?

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August 03, 2012, 02:25:41 AM
 #1526

This is of course, poppycock, the actions of the hacker do not mean that it's open season on Zhou Tong, and Zhou Tong's own discussion of his business to not mean all aspects of it can be revealed to the world.

If I were to hack your e-mail address and use it to commit a crime, that does not mean that the company that hosts it can now publish the contents of the account for the world to see.  You still have an agreement with them no matter what I do to you.

AurumXchange didn't publish any contents from the e-mail address (obviously they didn't know its password), zhou was doing that. And they didn't discuss or reveal all aspects of Zhou's business, only two things: that he had an LR order with them and that he was connected to the e-mail address. They kept all other aspects of his order private: his singapore bank account, his LR account (zhou was the one who revealed his own LR account), the e-mail address zhou used there, etc.

They were in a tough position and would have much preferred for Bitcoinica LP to initiate some official court proceedings, but that didn't happen so they disclosed it publicly as they said. Maybe they could have given zhou a 12-hour heads up in the case he were a victim, but there was also sufficient reason not to. I'm glad they did, because it did lead to 15k BTC being returned. Hopefully it will be more.

At this point I just really hope he can get the rest of our money back. If not, then I hope zhou reveals Chen Jianhai's personal information (its probably a common name) as he is threatening.

And its really a shame that zhou didn't have offsite backups of the account database. A shame that Bitcoinica Consultancy had an insecure e-mail. A real shame that Patrick Strateman never changed the LastPass password. And a real god-damn shame that he, Donald, and Amir are walking away from Bitcoinica Consultancy LP. Despite their two major fuck-ups, I hope they come back so that Bitcoinica LP is not forced into liquidation "receivership". Customers have already filed their claims and they worked for months sorting the fraudulent claims from the valid ones. At the very least, I hope they turn over their work so far.

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August 03, 2012, 02:28:58 AM
 #1527

This is of course, poppycock, the actions of the hacker do not mean that it's open season on Zhou Tong, and Zhou Tong's own discussion of his business to not mean all aspects of it can be revealed to the world.

If I were to hack your e-mail address and use it to commit a crime, that does not mean that the company that hosts it can now publish the contents of the account for the world to see.  You still have an agreement with them no matter what I do to you.

AurumXchange didn't publish any contents from the e-mail address (obviously they didn't know its password), zhou was doing that. And they didn't discuss or reveal all aspects of Zhou's business, only two things: that he had an LR order with them and that he was connected to the e-mail address.

Both of which they had no right to reveal in violation of their privacy policy.  The point is, however, that by the false legal interpretation they are suggesting they COULD HAVE released everything about the account if they wanted to.  This is how you know their interpretation does not make any sense. 

Quote
They were in a tough position and would have much preferred for Bitcoinica LP to initiate some official court proceedings, but that didn't happen so they disclosed it publicly as they said.

Bitcoinica LP does not speak for the privacy rights of Zhou Tong, they are his own. If ZT was their concern, they could have easily contacted him privately and learned that his account was compromised before publishing his private information for the world to see.


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August 03, 2012, 02:36:18 AM
 #1528

AurumXchange didn't publish any contents from the e-mail address (obviously they didn't know its password), zhou was doing that. And they didn'tBitcoinica LP does not speak for the privacy rights of Zhou Tong, they are his own. If ZT was their concern, they could have easily contacted him privately and learned that his account was compromised before publishing his private information for the world to see.

What private information of Zhou Tong's was published???
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August 03, 2012, 02:37:04 AM
 #1529

Both of which they had no right to reveal in violation of their privacy policy.  The point is, however, that by the false legal interpretation they are suggesting they COULD HAVE released everything about the account if they wanted to.  This is how you know their interpretation does not make any sense. 

Both of which were already public information at that point, Zhou Tong having published himself that he had a $40k LR transaction blocked with AurumXchange on this very forum, and the fact that the email is linked to Zhou is something that didn't come from AurumXchange's protected files, but from different bitcoiners stepping up during the investigation saying they recognize this email.

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August 03, 2012, 02:42:42 AM
 #1530

Both of which they had no right to reveal in violation of their privacy policy.  The point is, however, that by the false legal interpretation they are suggesting they COULD HAVE released everything about the account if they wanted to.  This is how you know their interpretation does not make any sense. 

Both of which were already public information at that point, Zhou Tong having published himself that he had a $40k LR transaction blocked with AurumXchange on this very forum, and the fact that the email is linked to Zhou is something that didn't come from AurumXchange's protected files, but from different bitcoiners stepping up during the investigation saying they recognize this email.


  Do you honestly think that if I post the contents of one of my e-mails on a blog, Google can now start posting about my inbox on theirs because they host my email?  No, the right to disclose is with the user, not the host.  Regardless of how they found out the e-mail address belonged to Zhou Tong, they still don't have an excuse to publish it.  Finding out it belonged to a customer is in fact a reason to slow down, and handle the matter with that customer in private rather than posting their information for the world to see.  If they didn't know they might have had an excuse, the current situation is just more damning.

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August 03, 2012, 02:49:04 AM
 #1531

@Rarity
I think that you are just climbing, and there is an high probability that no one will ever want your support against an accusation of scam.

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August 03, 2012, 02:54:52 AM
 #1532

@Rarity
I think that you are just climbing, and there is an high probability that no one will ever want your support against an accusation of scam.

I don't particularly care what other folks think about me.  If I see an innocent man like Zhou Tong being treated the way this forum is treating him, I will stand up for them.  One day folks around here will know how to know the truth like I have learned.  For the sake of everyone falsely accused, I hope that time is soon and you will all find the Clarity I have found.

"Money is like manure: Spread around, it helps things grow. Piled up in one place, it just stinks."
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August 03, 2012, 03:06:47 AM
 #1533

This ^^^ is either Scientology doctrine or Atlas, I'm not sure which, but both are equally creepy.

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August 03, 2012, 03:09:41 AM
 #1534

This ^^^ is either Scientology doctrine or Atlas, I'm not sure which, but both are equally creepy.
It's the former, unfortunately.

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August 03, 2012, 03:19:02 AM
 #1535

@Rarity
I think that you are just climbing, and there is an high probability that no one will ever want your support against an accusation of scam.

I don't particularly care what other folks think about me.  If I see an innocent man like Zhou Tong being treated the way this forum is treating him, I will stand up for them.  One day folks around here will know how to know the truth like I have learned.  For the sake of everyone falsely accused, I hope that time is soon and you will all find the Clarity I have found.

The way the forum reacted was kind of predictable, but it's not something AurumXchange can do much about, as the matter had already been brought publicly here. Another example of disproportional public response is TheOatmeal vs. FunnyJunk (and their lawyer).
We all have a duty to report things publicly in some cases, but the following public response can be disproportioned as people often jump to conclusions.

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August 03, 2012, 03:22:17 AM
 #1536

@Rarity
I think that you are just climbing, and there is an high probability that no one will ever want your support against an accusation of scam.

I don't particularly care what other folks think about me.  If I see an innocent man like Zhou Tong being treated the way this forum is treating him, I will stand up for them.  One day folks around here will know how to know the truth like I have learned.  For the sake of everyone falsely accused, I hope that time is soon and you will all find the Clarity I have found.

The way the forum reacted was kind of predictable, but it's not something AurumXchange can do much about, as the matter had already been brought publicly here. Another example of disproportional public response is TheOatmeal vs. FunnyJunk (and their lawyer).
We all have a duty to report things publicly in some cases, but the following public response can be disproportioned as people often jump to conclusions.

There was no duty to go public, but even if there had been there was no duty to go public without talking to Zhou Tong first and thus learn his account had been compromised.  It's kind of ironic in context of Aurum complaining they didn't get to comment on the article about them.  Turnabout, eh?

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August 03, 2012, 03:27:04 AM
 #1537

This thread rage on for 82 pages and we're left...with no utility as to increasing the strength of the bitcoin economy.

We can argue whether or not Zhoutong is guilty or not, but at the end of the day, you ain't getting your bitcoin back any time sooner.

(Yes, I am at fault for talking too much instead of doing too)

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August 03, 2012, 05:55:20 AM
 #1538

The matter of the fact is, we have never released any personal, sensitive, and/or confidential information regarding Zhou Tong that has not been previously and compulsory disclosed by himself to the public.

* To my surprise, upon further examination of our order system, I found an order from Zhou Tong to sell Liberty Reserve to us for the amount of USD 40,000, requesting a wire to his bank account in Singapore. The amount for the order closely matches the total USD exchanged through us (after fees) using the MtGox USD codes stolen from the Bitcoinica account.

1) Shouldn't the amount of the active order be covered by the customer's privacy agreement?
2) Shouldn't the location of the customer's bank account be covered by the customer's privacy agreement?

1. Here is the information Zhou Tong released BEFORE any statement from us:
- He acknowledge that he performed an exchange with our company for 40K LR:

I have also placed a single $40K AurumXchange order during the same period.

Note that he neither mentions it being frozen nor active, and does not give a specific date, just vaguely refers to having made a transfer.


* This order was placed the next day the hacking attempts occurred.

1) Shouldn't the time of the active order be covered by the customer's privacy agreement?


* Mark replied stating that there was activity on this account, that the account was opened using an IP address belonging to Microsoft Singapore, that Zhou Tong was known to have worked for said company at said location, that the email stevejobs807@gmail.com have been verified, and that ALL activity on this account is linked to the MtGox account belonging to Zhou Tong.

1) If there is an active AML investigation, wouldn't providing this information publicly be against the law for both parties?


At this time, it appears that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence linking Zhou Tong personally to the Bitcoinica account hack at MtGox. Our legal department has advised us to freeze the funds for the exchange order mentioned above until further investigation by the authorities and/or legal proceedings are concluded.

Anyone can understand that as an exchange, you wouldn't want stolen funds running through you. What you have repeatedly failed to answer (and I mean -repeatedly-) is whether or not it is true in the operating country of AurumXchange that discussing details of an open investigation (which had been going on for over 10 days, correct?) publicly is in fact illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If it was not an open investigation, then you'd have to change a lot of what you've been saying.

By making this information public, and by begin the question of why his funds were being withheld on a public forum, we are well within our rights, both from a legal and ethical stand point, to make an statement regarding the situation. I will invite anyone to challenge this under the laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Not even Charlie Shrem agrees with you on that.

Quote from: Charlie Shrem
Whether or not we have information on this and Zhou, our lawyers told us its a breach of TOS to release it without Zhou's permission or a letter for the authorities


So Matthew, Vitali et al, would you be so kind as to point out what specific sensitive information we have disclosed that was not compulsorily offered by Zhou Tong previous to our statement? Could you also indicate how have we broken our own terms and conditions specifically?
I believe I have above, thank you for being so cordial. I still invite you to contact Vitalik Buterin directly if you have any issue with the article he wrote, but in the meantime, most of us will still like an answer to the question that has been repeatedly unanswered.

Our legal department has advised us to freeze the funds for the exchange order mentioned above until further investigation by the authorities and/or legal proceedings are concluded.

Is it not illegal to discuss openly an active AML investigation with the public, including freezing their accounts for the purpose of an AML investigation regardless of what the customer in question has posted on a public forum?
Is it not illegal to hold funds for longer than 7 days if there was no investigation?

At this time, it appears that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence linking Zhou Tong personally to the Bitcoinica account hack at MtGox.

Is it not unlawful as an exchange to publicly insinuate that one of your customers is a thief without empirical conclusive evidence provided by authorities care of an AML investigation?

Thanks for helping to resolve these confusions. Feel free to answer when more information is allowed to be revealed. I am confident we can get to the bottom of these confusions that are causing us to butt heads so long as both parties are willing to answer questions openly and transparently.

Cheers

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August 03, 2012, 08:27:59 AM
 #1539

Privacy is contradictory to community. One always suffers at the expense of the other.

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August 03, 2012, 08:40:58 AM
 #1540

Dear Roberto,

  I have very carefully reviewed your complaint about article "The July 13 Bitcoinica Investigation and Sound Justice" http://bitcoinmagazine.net/the-july-13-bitcoinica-investigation-and-sound-justice/ .

  It is regrettable that instead of discussing this matter privately with me as I have suggested previously you have chosen to make this conversation very public. But since such is your choice I am posting here the statement on behalf of Bitcoin Magazine. It is also published in the body of the article and we've made a correction to the article itself.

Quote
Correction: The July 13 Bitcoinica Investigation and Sound Justice

In a comment in the above titled article posted on July 18th it was misstated that both MtGox and AurumXChange have broken their own privacy agreements regarding information they released on the forums suggesting Bitcoinica’s founder Zhou Tong is connected to funds stolen in a hack of their exchange accounts. In the absense of a court ruling on the matter, a statement of such by the article’s author cannot yet be made in the manner it originally was worded, which may have been erroneously perceived as a statement of fact instead of the opinions of the author as is the case. Innocence for all parties will be assumed until a court of law decides otherwise based on factual evidence, including any connection between the theft and Zhou Tong. Bitcoin Magazine apologizes for the miswording on this matter and do not purport ourselves as a judge or jury on any legal matters that affect the community regardless of how passioniate our authors may be.

 I trust that this should satisfactory resolve the matter that you have complained about. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions or concerns.

Faithfully Yours,
Vladimir Marchenko,
Executive Editor, Bitcoin Magazine.


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