Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for August 29th, 2017

How the NSA Identified Satoshi Nakamoto

Posted by kenmay on August - 29 - 2017

An anonymous reader shares a report: The ‘creator’ of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is the world’s most elusive billionaire. Very few people outside of the Department of Homeland Security know Satoshi’s real name. In fact, DHS will not publicly confirm that even THEY know the billionaire’s identity. Satoshi has taken great care to keep his identity secret employing the latest encryption and obfuscation methods in his communications. Despite these efforts (according to my source at the DHS) Satoshi Nakamoto gave investigators the only tool they needed to find him — his own words. Using stylometry one is able to compare texts to determine authorship of a particular work. Throughout the years Satoshi wrote thousands of posts and emails and most of which are publicly available. According to my source, the NSA was able to the use the ‘writer invariant’ method of stylometry to compare Satoshi’s ‘known’ writings with trillions of writing samples from people across the globe. By taking Satoshi’s texts and finding the 50 most common words, the NSA was able to break down his text into 5, 000 word chunks and analyse each to find the frequency of those 50 words. This would result in a unique 50-number identifier for each chunk. The NSA then placed each of these numbers into a 50-dimensional space and flatten them into a plane using principal components analysis. The result is a ‘fingerprint’ for anything written by Satoshi that could easily be compared to any other writing. The NSA then took bulk emails and texts collected from their mass surveillance efforts. First through PRISM and then through MUSCULAR, the NSA was able to place trillions of writings from more than a billion people in the same plane as Satoshi’s writings to find his true identity. The effort took less than a month and resulted in positive match. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: reader

Enlarge (credit: portal gda ) Last year, a series of record-setting attacks hitting sites including KrebsOnSecurity and a French Web host underscored a new threat that had previously gone overlooked: millions of Internet-connected digital video recorders and similar devices that could easily be wrangled into botnets that challenged the resources of even large security services. Now, for one of the first times, researchers are reporting a new platform recently used to wage powerful denial-of-service attacks that were distributed among hundreds of thousands of poorly secured devices: Google’s Android operating system for phones and tablets. The botnet was made up of some 300 apps available in the official Google Play market. Once installed, they surreptitiously conscripted devices into a malicious network that sent junk traffic to certain websites with the goal of causing them to go offline or become unresponsive. At its height, the WireX botnet controlled more than 120,000 IP addresses located in 100 countries. The junk traffic came in the form of HTTP requests that were directed at specific sites, many of which received notes ahead of time warning of the attacks unless operators paid ransoms. By spreading the attacks among so many phones all over the world and hiding them inside common Web requests, the attackers made it hard for the companies that defend against DDoS attacks to initially figure out how they worked. The attacks bombarded targets with as many as 20,000 HTTP requests per second in an attempt to exhaust server resources. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: reader