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FBI claims to have cracked Bitcoin

by on17 October 2019


Breaks kiddie porn ring

Federal authorities in the US have unsealed charges against the South Korean operator of a child porn ring that's been billed as the world's "largest dark web child porn marketplace."

While no sane human will mourn the passing of the child porn site, known as Welcome to Video, what is a little more alarming is the FBI's claim that it managed to unmask Bitcoin transactions in order to catch the perpetrators.  Bitcoin was used by the site because most people assume that Bitcoin transactions are untrackable.

To be fair, it is a common misconception about Bitcoin in which a wallet ID, serves as your unique ID. People think this means it's anonymous, but it's not, it's an alias that anyone who has the blockchain can use to track every thing you do with that wallet.  It is what the Feds must have done.

More than 337 people from around the world have been charged in relation to the Tor-based site. Welcome to Video contained over 200,000 videos of child sexual abuse and had users from countries like the US, UK, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, and Australia, according to the indictment, which was uploaded by NBC News reporter Cyrus Farivar.

Charges in the US against the site's operator Jong Woo Son were only unveiled today, but the 23-year-old Korean national was arrested in March of 2018 and is already behind bars in South Korea. The operation was a joint investigation by numerous law enforcement agencies around the globe. Between June 2015 and March 2018, Welcome to Video received Bitcoin transactions totaling over $370,000. Undercover agents in Washington D.C. monitored the site, filled with images of child rape, and were able to deanonymize the Bitcoin transactions, something that average users often believe is impossible. The investigation uncovered at least two former federal law enforcement officials allegedly involved in the child porn site, a 35-year-old US Border Patrol Agent from Texas, and a former HSI special agent, also from Texas.

Last modified on 17 October 2019
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