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Bitcoins in a council dump

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Bitcoins in a council dump

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25138627
He should offer the 'detectorist brigade' a cut
17 REPLIES
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

From the little I read about bitcoins I gather there a central record kept? Why can't this be used to recover his 'wealth'?

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Thunderclap
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Should be going  Cry 
Actually going Grin
Ever wonder why Bitcoins are so popular? Ask any drug cartel boss, arms smuggler or money launderer. They love em... and they're almost as untraceable as that HDD. I am somewhat dissapointed he dumped his old HDD in a landfill? I recommend people (that's you guys) lock their old HDDs in a secure place. And if not, erase the HDD correctly using blanking software or by hammering it vigourously on the concrete. Then recycle as electronic scrap.
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Yeah Thunderclap - seems a bit strange that someone who works in IT just dumped the drive without erasing the data first anyway?
myredhotcar
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Better than hammering http://homescience.wordpress.com/how-to-make-thermite/
Although a single overwrite should do the job (don't listen to the "you need X hundred overwrites" brigade).
With regard to the BitCoins I support them, largely because they facilitate sites such as the (now defunct) Silk Road, and I find it ridiculous that reasonable adults are not allowed to do reasonable things to their own bodies while the governments make taxes from selling substances that cost society massively.
Fairly off-topic but that's me  Wink
kmilburn
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Quote from: Mav
From the little I read about bitcoins I gather there a central record kept? Why can't this be used to recover his 'wealth'?

There isn't a central record of who owns what,  there is (as part of the distributed system) information about the validity of the 'coins'.
The problem he's got is that, without the information on the hard disk, he's got no proof of ownership of any coin  (i.e. its private key).

[quote=http://bitcoin.org/en/faq]
What happens when bitcoins are lost?
When a user loses his wallet, it has the effect of removing money out of circulation. Lost bitcoins still remain in the block chain just like any other bitcoins. However, lost bitcoins remain dormant forever because there is no way for anybody to find the private key(s) that would allow them to be spent again.

nanotm
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

that didn't used to be the case, but it got changed after a few individuals effectively stole all the real world money by declaring there directory maintaining company bankrupt and shutting down the servers.
but what kind of muppet spends a year creating bit coins and doesn't have at least one backup of his hard drive, I keep a daily backup on site and have a weekly duplication to an offsite location and that's just for my personal pc (because some of what's on it can never be replaced) and a further cloud file store + data disks at a relatives.
if I was going to invest time and money creating a bit coin miner (then running it) I sure as eggs is eggs would have at least 3 backups that I could instantly access, loosing maybe a days worth of data at most, at that guy is supposed to be an IT professional.....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
DaveyH
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Quote from: Thunderclap

Ever wonder why Bitcoins are so popular? Ask any drug cartel boss, arms smuggler or money launderer. They love em... and they're almost as untraceable as that HDD.

So, just like cash...
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

nanotm, maybe that "muppet" is having us on and there is no hard drive?  this story is suspiciously similar to one from a week or so ago in which a fellow found his bitcoins and sold them for a huge wedge of dosh.
Thunderclap
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Quote from: myredhotcar
Better than hammering how-to-make-thermite

That's level zero data destruction - do not do this inside.
A central register of coin owners sort of defeats the secrecy and anonymity paradigm of the coinverse. Maybe the NSA already has an unofficial list? Although bitcoins are gaining some credibility, including a bitcoin cash machine and recent positive interest from the US Federal Reserve, a volatile commodity that exists mostly on domestic hard drives owned by computer geeks is subject to catastrophic falls in value as well as spectacular rises. And that's assuming the HDD doesn't suffer a catastrophic fall into a council rubbish dump!
Lips are sealed Pssssst want to buy a solid state investment?
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Quote from: myredhotcar
Although a single overwrite should do the job (don't listen to the "you need X hundred overwrites" brigade).

I once watched a program about police forensic data recovery and I found it amazing how they could recover data from seemingly unrecoverable sources such as multiple overwrites and burnt drives.
Specialist and very expensive work done in a clean room that makes an operating theatre look filthy.
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Obviously, if I were the cynical type of person (and as you all know I'm not) Tongue
I'd say it could be bollocks, for free PR/advertising for BitCoin (so people think oooh look how much they could be worth).
RyanAir pulled the same stunt a few years ago when they said they'd charge €1 to use their toilets and then suddendly backtracked. I read somewhere they were so blaise themselves to admit it was a publicity stunt.
Yeah, you'll get publicity. But if it's not too bad then people will forget after a few days once the papers move onto something else.
I guess if you plan it right, it works out a lot better than paying for it. Roll eyes
nanotm
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

if you ever want to truly erase a data disk you need to drop the disk(s) into formic acid but I seriously doubt anyone ever does such things
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
myredhotcar
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

Quote from: Strat

I once watched a program about police forensic data recovery and I found it amazing how they could recover data from seemingly unrecoverable sources such as multiple overwrites and burnt drives.
Specialist and very expensive work done in a clean room that makes an operating theatre look filthy.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/59656/why-overwrite-a-file-more-than-once-to-securely-delete-all-...
http://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/16130-The-Urban-Legend-of-Multipass-Hard-Disk-Overwrite.html (with sources)
http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=230855
http://bleachbit.sourceforge.net/forum/bleachbits-one-pass-overwrite-good-enough
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-540-89862-7_21
I'd be tempted to call propaganda but with sources I would rethink my position. Thermite would certainly do it though bearing in mind what it will do if you place a pile on the bonnet of a car.
kmilburn
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Re: Bitcoins in a council dump

You don't need to go as far as thermite,  but I always take drives apart and do serious damage to the platters,  which for the information on them should be more than good enough.
I'll need to revise this technique on the hybrid drive I've got,  must remember to destroy the flash memory too.
On the recovery side, you either need to be a high value target  ($4m in bitcoins would seem worthwhile, if they can find the disc),  or a criminal of signifant interest for the serious recovery techniques to be used.