Feeds

Most of Dread Pirate Roberts' treasure still buried, say researchers

Is there a link from Silk Road to Bitcoin daddy Satoshi Nakamoto?

Top three mobile application threats

While the FBI found a Bitcoin wallet worth around $122m on the laptop belonging to a man suspected of being the “Dread Pirate Roberts” (DPR), two Israeli researchers believe that's only about 22 per cent of what the Silk Road kingpin would have held.

Moreover, the researchers suggest a possibility that there's a link between the suspect and the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The startling accusation comes from the New York Times, which has access to an advance copy of a research paper by the Israel-based Weizmann Institute's Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir.

While conceding that the link is tenuous, the two researchers say they have identified transactions that link the suspect and Bitcoin accounts they tentatively associate with Nakamoto. The transactions are real enough: it's the connection to Nakamoto that they describe as speculative.

They state that during an analysis of transactions related to Silk Road, they identified a transfer “to an account controlled by Mr. Ulbricht from another that had been created in January 2009, during the very earliest days of the Bitcoin network, which was set up the previous year.”

The transfer in question was for 1,000 Bitcoin, made on March 20, 2013. The New York Times quotes from the research paper:

“Such a single large transfer does not represent the typical behavior of a buyer who opens an account on Silk Road in order to purchase some narcotics (such buyers are expected to make an initial deposit of tens or hundreds of dollars, and to top the account off whenever they buy additional merchandise). It could represent either large-scale activity on Silk Road, or some form of investment or partnership, but this is pure speculation.”

The researchers describe this as suggestive of the Ulbricht-Nakamoto link, rather than proof of it.

Their research is based on an analysis of a complete listing of all Bitcoin transactions, which began as an analysis of the statistical behaviour of the cryptocurrency market. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
Oracle working on at least 13 Heartbleed fixes
Big Red's cloud is safe and Oracle Linux 6 has been patched, but Java has some issues
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.