While overt operations will play a role in the retaliation, some more covert ones are needed. For these more... illegal... operations, we will have to take a different approach.
North Korea: Cyberwar, Inc. North Korea has a well-established cyberwar capability and has recently begun selling its services to third parties.
One of those third parties is about to become us, and we're going to buy out the entire shop, consisting of thousands of highly trained North Korean hackers. Are they the best, no, of course not--they are, after all, still North Korean. They certainly aren't as good as what we have in-house, even though they're surprisingly skilled all things considered. But they're extra talent, and talent with no official connections to China, and that's what counts here.
At whatever exorbitant price that North Korea charges [we've budgeted up to $500 million, and they will get to keep whatever they steal] we're siccing every trained hacker they have on what we view as the mastermind behind these plots, the United Arab Emirates [M: Even though we don't know the contents of the closed diplo, it's not hard to come to that conclusion given that Saudi Arabia is in a civil war, the UAE leads the GCC which is leading the embargo, and it has rejected our peace offerings and stated that we are an existential threat--also, assaulting the UAE is likely to spook the other participants who are in a much more frail situation].
Attacks will aim to be diverse and encompass the entire spectrum, with one exception, which we will do. Chinese experts will provide advice and limited intelligence and cyber-reconnaissance, but will not openly involve themselves in the operations, taking especial care to ensure that they don't touch the code the North Koreans are working on. We will maintain only a very high-level management, leaving precise means, targets, and so on to the North Koreans.
In addition, we'll ask the North Koreans to recruit criminal hacker groups across the globe to join on to this effort, with the North Koreans receiving additional payouts for every other criminal hacking group they bring onboard that has been verified by Chinese intelligence as actually existing [we don't trust the North Koreans that much, especially when money is on the line].
Targets are the following, in order of priority:
UAE Foreign Exchange Reserves and Sovereign Wealth Fund:
By far the most valuable target on the list for North Korea, the UAE's forex reserves are worth about $100 billion, and the sovereign wealth funds of the Emirates are valued at as much as $1 trillion. North Korean hackers will launch an all-out assault aiming to steal as much of this money as possible, destroying it if they must but, we imagine, preferably transferring it to North Korean accounts. Attacks via SWIFT like those conducted by North Korea in 2015-16 are possible--those attacks amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
We doubt that North Korea will be able to steal that much of this pile, especially given the fact that the UAE has an army of ex-Western cyberwarriors of its own, but even a relatively small quantity would be a significant psychological injury and would degrade global trust in the UAE.
North Korea will target key pieces of infrastructure in the UAE. In particular, they will target the following facilities and attempt to force them offline. Even though the individual attacks won't do much damage, the cumulative impact will scare the public, damage investor confidence, and drive money out of the UAE.
- Dubai International Airport
- All 8 desalination plants, the only source of potable water in the UAE [top target]
- Dubai Metro
- UAE High-speed rail [as this system uses Chinese software the North Koreans will happen to find a copy of the source code to work this one over]
- Barakah Nuclear Power Plant [as this system uses South Korean software North Korea may have added experience with it]
- Ruwais Refinery, capacity 400,000 barrels of oil per day, the largest in the UAE
Influential Figures And Government Officials:
North Korean hackers will also target the personal devices of government officials and influential figures in the UAE, especially politicians, military commanders, and media types. They will then leak anything remotely incriminating to the global media, possibly via Wikileaks or another such site of ill repute.
In addition, for particularly important government officials, North Korea will be commissioned to produce deepfakes with which it will flood social media. These will mostly focus on baseless conspiracy theories and personal slanders, for instance, catching a top official on mike confessing to being a devil-worshiper, or portraying a popular imam as being with Western prostitutes.
It is hoped that these operations will cause enough domestic trouble in the UAE that they will concede on the point of the oil embargo. If nothing else, though, they should keep the UAE distracted while we move elsewhere.
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“Let me start by sharing my first loss was with bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. It happened when the exchange closed with our funds. I didn’t even try to contact anyone or alert any authority.” The good news however is that people who have lost bitcoin, other crypto and any other kind of assets can now recover all they have lost bitcoin and crypto
All you have to do is send an email to [email protected]
to recover all lost or stolen bitcoin and crypto. These are the words of an intrepid crypto investor – one of many who responded to a tweet asking about the lack of recourse people face when their assets are stolen in a hack, exit scam or Ponzi scheme.
There’s as much as $10 billion in stolen crypto out there in the market, according to Pawel Kuskowski, CEO of blockchain sleuthing firm Coinfirm. And he wants to give victims a fighting chance at getting their funds back.
Exclusively revealed to Reddit, Coinfirm has teamed up with global investigations firm Kroll, a division of consulting firm Doff & Phelp. The joint initiative being launched is called ReclaimCrypto, and combines the latest blockchain forensic techniques with the more established world of legal investigation and asset recovery. Kuskowski told Reddit:
“So far, there is no one place where victims can go and get help. It’s almost like they are pleading to get someone interested in their case. In the end, they have to work it out themselves; see about getting a lawyer, perhaps in some other jurisdiction.”
Figures on what is recoverable vary. For instance, CipherTrace, another analytics firm recently said some $4 billion in crypto has been lost this year. Kuskowski’s estimate includes historic (and as yet unresolved) events like Mt Gox, which in today’s money would account for about $1 billion.
Needless to say, Kuskowski and his team are not doing this only for the good of mankind – there are success fees levied on a case-by-case basis, he told CoinDesk, adding:
“Doing the market analysis for this product, we started by calculating the kind of top cases, where we know we could be successful and recover funds, which was about 200 cases.”
Those cases alone account for roughly $1.5 billion, Kuskowski added. FundsRecovery247.com will Help Recover Your Lost or Stolen Crypto
Coinfirm’s bread and butter is anti-money laundering (AML) within crypto networks, done by analyzing the history of transactions using various smarts and big-data analytics. Similar to the likes of Chainalysis and Elliptic, it works with 50 or so exchanges and has built up a large database in this area.
Coinfirm’s partner, Kroll, takes a more “traditional” approach, which might involve producing court orders to get an internet service provider to reveal details about an IP address, or using former FBI and CIA operatives to scour the dark web for activity involving stolen funds.
It should be pointed out that Kroll is not new to crypto: The firm worked with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last year in relation to fraudulent coin offerings. Kroll also tells CoinDesk it helped track down the perpetrators in Europe of $27.8 million bitcoin theft.
If loss victims so choose, Kroll can potentially line up third-party litigation funding. This means firms that provide specialized finance to the legal market, such as Burford Capital or Therium, will shoulder the cost of people’s litigation. For this, they take about 30 percent of the recovered funds and return the rest to the victims. Benedict Hamilton, a managing director at Kroll, told CoinDesk:
“From a victim’s point of view, where the police have failed to recover that money, they are not having to spend anything to get something. And no one recovers funds on their behalf without their permission. It makes the whole economics of recovering stolen funds very different – which is very exciting.”
Referring to Coinfirm as “a torch shining on the blockchain,” Hamilton said this can be extended by Kroll into the murky depths of the dark web. Kroll Cyber runs a specialist darkweb unit out of Pittsburgh, Pa., which is overseen by Keith Wojcieszek, the former head of the criminal investigations unit of the U.S. Secret Service’s cyber division.
This operation crunches petabytes of dark web data from peer-to-peer sites, said Hamilton, adding:
“With the ReclaimCrypto initiative in mind we have have been able to repurpose it so we can go into that database with a wallet string and look for any identifiers that are associated with that wallet name – perhaps a conversation over the selling of stolen credit cards or someone offering criminal services and providing that wallet as an address.”
Follow the moneyHamilton explained that there are two paths that can be followed when it comes to a crypto investigation: figure out who did it or follow the money.
ReclaimCrypto’s objective here is asset recovery, first and foremost, since that’s what the client is paying for. But ultimately both paths lead to the same place, said Hamilton, adding:
“It is inconceivable that the investigative process would finish without us giving all the details to relevant law enforcement for them then to get the benefit of the work and lock the thieves up.”
The majority of ReclaimCrypto’s focus will be on bitcoin and ether, but will also cover XRP, BCH, LTC, NEO and DASH.
As for those who’ve had coins pilfered, some remain philosophical about it. “That’s life,” said the aforementioned investor, adding:
“It made me grow a lot and it’s part of my adventure in crypto.” 5 Ways to Recover Your Stolen or Lost Crypto
Cryptocurrency is generally considered to be secure, but sometimes things do happen. Even top traders have had cryptoassets lost or stolen and, until quite recently, it seemed like there was very little one could actually do about it. Thankfully, there are ways to get your cryptocurrency back. We’ll be looking at the best ways to recover your lost or stolen crypto
, and how to avoid going through something so traumatic in the first place! Act as quickly as possible
Benjamin Sauter, a partner at Kobre & Kim, a law and an expert in crypto theft cases, told Decrypt
, “The quicker you can act, the better
,”. The longer you wait to start tracing your crypto, the more time you give thieves to transfer your assets to cold storage, send them to sketchy exchanges, or to tumblers to mix them up. “The more sophisticated you are, and the less sophisticated the thieves are at laundering the assets, the better chance you have
,” Sauter continued. Legality
For the legal system to actually work in your favour, you’ll likely need to know who stole your cryptocurrency. While you may be able to freeze funds against a John Doe, it’ll be challenging. According to Marc Jones, a partner at Stewarts Law in the UK, “In general, to enforce an order requiring fraudsters to pay damages or handover stolen property, ultimately you’ll need to know who they are
Thankfully, one of the many benefits of cryptocurrency is that you can see where the coins have gone. If they go through an exchange, you’ll most likely be able to find out who the wallet holder is thanks to the KYC process. From there, you can get a court order to reveal the thief’s identity and recover your stolen crypto. Recovering lost crypto from a cold wallet
Cold wallets are offline wallets that are designed for storing cryptocurrencies. With cold storage, the digital wallet is stored on a platform without internet connectivity. This protects the wallet from cyber hacks, unauthorized access, and other vulnerabilities that could be exploited if they were connected to the internet. There are a number of different ways that you can recover from cold wallets:
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- Encrypted Devices: Encrypted phones and laptops work like cold wallets, so that you can safely store and access your private key information. Like cold wallets, you can retrieve lost information through professional help.
- Paper Wallets: If you have a paper wallet, consider storing it in a vault or safety deposit box. That way, you’ll literally have a physical backup of your key information.
- Pen Drives/Hard Drives: While this is a very secure way to store your coins, retrieving your data from them should they be damaged or corrupted is a timely and expensive process.
Coinfirm is teaming up with global investigations firm Kroll, to launch a joint initiative called CryptoRecovery
. CryptoRecovery combines the latest blockchain forensic techniques with the world of legal investigation and asset recovery. Pawel Kuskowski, CEO of Coinfirm told Coindesk:
“So far, there is no one place where victims can go and get help. It’s almost like they are pleading to get someone interested in their case. In the end, they have to work it out themselves; see about getting a lawyer, perhaps in some other jurisdictions
CryptoRecovery aims to help in the recovery of stolen cryptocurrency. You can submit an initial form with the data about your stolen coins, and CryptoRecovery will do an assessment. You’ll only be charged a success fee on the crypto they recover for you, not for the initial assessment! Have you lost bitcoin, crypto or any other digital asset and need to get it back? Send an email to - [email protected]
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