Kidnappers of the wife of the richest man in Norway want to be paid in cryptocurrency.

Reports from Norway:

The kidnappers in Lørenskog case should have demanded payment in kryptovalutaen monero, probably because it is allegedly can’t be traced.

But weaknesses in the “anonymous” currency can make kidnappers much easier to track than if they had received cash. The person or persons who allegedly abducted Anne-Elisabeth Falk Eternal Hagen (68) from his home in Lørenskog, should have demanded 9 million euros, approximately 87 million Norwegian kroner in ransom – paid cryptocurrency. They could have taken payment in cash or in familiar kryptovalutaer as Bitcoin. 

 Monero is built to anonymize transactions, but there is no guarantee that users can not be tracked. If the police detain the criminals and take control of the keys to monero account solve the money is sent, they will track both transaction and all previous transactions. Odd choice Many people think it is impossible to track users of cryptocurrency as Bitcoin and monero. 

To understand how these new means of payment seems, it’s smart to think of them as an increasingly long steel chain that provides an overview of all transactions ever since kryptovalutaen was created. For each new part added to, milling it in an unalterable code in the metal. 

In Bitcoin there is an ID number of the sender and recipient’s Bitcoin wallet which is milled into. 

A digital means of payment that uses cryptography to secure transactions and control over the generation of new currency units. Bitcoin was the first and remains the most famous and widespread. But there are over 2000 second kryptovalutaer today. Monero is one of them. Blokkjede technology: A digital protocol in which financial transactions can be programmed to bring up anything of value, not just financial transactions. 

Used to logging and secure transactions of cryptocurrency. (BTC) receiver and the sender’s identity can be tracked. Here goes a transaction: 1. Erik will send one Bitcoin to Elise. Signature: 1234 2. Eriks Bitcoin signature written into blokkjeden. From: 1234 Amount: 1 BTC To: 5678 3. Elise Bitcoin address typed into blokkjeden. 4. Elise has thus received 1 Bitcoin from Erik. Address: 5678 (XMR) The recipient and the sender’s identity is hidden. ? 

 Eventually, it has proved very risky for criminals to use Bitcoin. Hides transmitter and receiver Kryptovalutaen monero attempts using advanced filtering system to prevent such tracking. Both the ID number and the amount is attempted defaced for whoever reads the chain. The big question is whether this concealment, which in English is called “obfuscation” are really effective. A team of security researchers from US universities published last year a report which showed a number of serious weaknesses. The company behind monero had until then, and still claims, that the transactions were completely undetectable. It turned out to be completely wrong. – People took these guarantees of secrecy literally, said Nicolas Christin at Carnegie Between University, one of the contributors behind the report, to Wired. 

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All indications are that people used monero for purposes where they really needed secrecy. And these transactions proved to be very, very vulnerable to transparency, he said. After this monero have rectified several of the vulnerabilities, but not all. 

Also read: He stopped the world’s largest market for illegal goods on the dark web. This worries him most now. The cat and mouse In reality, there will always be a race between those who try to hide the transactions behind a cryptocurrency and them (the police and financial authorities) who are trying to gain insight into the transactions. 

The big problem for whoever conceals criminal transactions is that they can not have insight into the vulnerabilities kryptovalutaen bears in himself. These often do not know even those who have created it, and it will not be revealed until an adequate number of security researchers or hackers trying their hand at the challenge. 

Is there anything criminal will avoid, it is a record of everything they’ve done. If in the future discovered weaknesses in the currency anonymisation mechanisms, and it happens constantly, getting police probably access to an immutable record of all previous transactions. No way back It makes no difference to “burn the archive.” A copy of the chain / blokkjeden is always distributed to a whole lot of users, because they must have a copy for helping to sputter into new transactions. 

How can the criminal paradoxically become easier to track using cryptocurrency than using good old cash. It is nevertheless important to be aware of, is that it is far from trivial to trace who is behind a monero transaction. They can hide behind encrypted network lines in multiple layers, and it can make it very difficult to identify the culprit, although the currency proves transparent. All the vulnerabilities that were revealed by security research team last year was also about to reveal who the sender of an amount of money. Recipient’s identity is hidden by another method in monero.

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 The criminals can not be sure that this will not happen in the future. Totally safe to have gotten away, they will therefore never be able to feel. 

All ‘Franks’ computers digs for digital gold Difficult to obtain as much cryptocurrency There are also several points that make the choice of monero as a transmission platform for ransom does not seem quite simple. In abduction case in Lørenskog is the requirement for ransom probably fairly accurate 100.000 monero. In late October, when the claim was made, was one monero worth 103 US dollars. Now is the worth approximately 46 US dollars. 

When the claim was made, the ransom amount that is just over 87 million Norwegian kroner. The value of monero been more than halved since then, and the value of 100,000 monero is now slightly below 40 million. Today circulate almost 17 million monero – number continues to rise as it recovered new. 

Loose monetary claims now account for 0.6 percent of the total number monero. There is a significant percentage of a currency. If someone will try to buy as much monero to pay ransom, it will be difficult, simply because it takes time to get acquired such large quantities. There are not many who have 100,000 monero for sale. Probably it must be done through many small purchases. An acquisition of 0.6 percent of all available currencies are also likely to lead to price rises sharply due to the increased demand.

Updated: January 12, 2019 — 12:11 pm

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