[tor-talk] Silk Road taken down by FBI

Gordon Morehouse gordon at morehouse.me
Fri Oct 4 15:57:04 UTC 2013

Hash: SHA512

Roger Dingledine:
> To be more concrete, their job here is to link the guy to the
> website. So if they had a pretty good idea of who the guy was, but
> not enough evidence to bust him, it makes sense to me that they
> would go find one of the servers, collect all the evidence they can
> from it, and hope to find something specific that points back at
> the guy. And who knows, maybe they did that several times before
> they found something they liked enough to build a case from it.


"The clues didn't stop there. In early March 2012 someone created an
account on StackOverflow with the username Ross Ulbricht and the
rossulbricht at gmail.com address, the criminal complaint alleged. On
March 16 at 8:39 in the morning, the account was used to post a
message titled "How can I connect to a Tor hidden service using curl
in php?" Less than one minute later, the account was updated to change
the user name from Ross Ulbricht to "frosty." Several weeks later, the
account was again updated, this time to replace the Ulbricht gmail
address with frosty at frosty.com. In July 2013, a forensic analysis of
the hard drives used to run one of the Silk Road servers revealed a
PHP script based on curl that contained code that was identical to
that included in the Stack Overflow discussion, the complaint alleged."

>> We also knew that he was sold out by his VPN provider. Hopefully,
>> the identity of that VPN provider will come out soon.
> Why? So everybody can abandon that VPN and move to a different one
> that also responds to subpoenas but hasn't been written about in a
> high-profile court case yet? :)

I *think* people are mistaking VPN for VPS here - I can't find the
source, but there was some well distributed speculation that the FBI
was easily able to obtain a server image without disrupting the site
itself by having a VPS provider (in "a country with Mutual Treaty
Assistance" or some phrase like that) image it hot.


- -Gordon M.



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