I was inspired by Alexey Guzey to make this post. In the past I have just had a static linkroll on sites I’ve run, but this time I want to try something different.
Here I will add interesting links that I have been looking at or thinking about each month. For links that require longer commentary, I will make an individual post.
These are in reverse chronological order.
- Dark Web Drug Sellers Dodge Police Crackdowns - Archive
Despite enforcement actions over the last six years that led to the shutdown of about half a dozen sites — including the most recent two — there are still close to 30 illegal online markets, according to DarknetLive, a news and information site for the dark web.
- Bus Ticket Theory of Genius - Archive
Everyone knows that to do great work you need both natural ability and determination. But there’s a third ingredient that’s not as well understood: an obsessive interest in a particular topic.
- Hitman Hires Hitman - Archive
Five hitmen have been jailed for attempted murder after each one avoided carrying out the contract themselves so they could make a profit.
- ‘Drop Gangs’ the Latest Evolution in Darknet’s Avoidance of Law Enforcement - Archive
In the not-so-distant past, darknet markets like the Silk Road were the cutting-edge in transactional freedom. Today, that model is already obsolete, displaced by a more decentralized alternative called “drop gangs.” Drop gangs use invite-only encrypted chatrooms to connect buyers with sellers, who then “dead drop” the wares in a public place where the buyer later retrieves.
- Cypherpunk Desert Bus: My Role In The 2016 Zcash Trusted Setup Ceremony
Nothing you will read below changes the fact that you’re trusting me and five other participants not to collude. Full stop. End of story. It is IMPOSSIBLE for myself and the other participants to prove to a third party that we did not collude to keep the secret key. If you do not believe you can trust me, you should stop reading now.
- Pond Technical Overview
Pond is forward secure, asynchronous messaging for the discerning. Pond messages are asynchronous, but are not a record; they expire automatically a week after they are received. Pond seeks to prevent leaking traffic information against everyone except a global passive attacker.
- How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students
This essay is designed to help new law students prepare for the first few weeks of class. It explains what judicial opinions are, how they are structured, and what law students should look for when reading them.
- Police Interrogation and The Art of Staying Silent -Archive
This article is tasked with briefly explaining how police interrogation works, what preparation goes into it, which techniques are used, and why it is best to stay silent. Silence is a virtue, especially when under interrogation. We will try to show why no one should try to talk their way out of it and how the moment the subject engages is the moment he loses control.
- Terence Tao on Anonymity
Anonymity on the internet is a very fragile thing; every anonymous online identity on this planet is only about 31 bits of information away from being completely exposed.
- Fungal Automata - PDF
The underground mycelium network can be seen as a distributed communication and information processing system linking together trees, fungi and bacteria. Mechanisms and dynamics of information processing in mycelium networks form an unexplored field with just a handful of papers published related to space exploration by mycelium, patterns of electrical activity of fungi, and potential use of fungi as living electronic and computing devices.
- War With China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable - PDF
Premeditated war between the United States and China is very unlikely, but the danger that a mishandled crisis could trigger hostilities cannot be ignored. Thus, while neither state wants war, both states’ militaries have plans to fight one. As Chinese anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) capabilities improve, the United States can no longer be so certain that war would follow its plan and lead to decisive victory. This analysis illuminates various paths a war with China could take and their possible consequences.
- US DOJ Calls Bitcoin Mixing ‘a Crime’ in Arrest of Software Developer - Archive
Larry Harmon was arrested earlier this week for allegedly participating in a money-laundering conspiracy worth more than $300 million in cryptocurrency involving darknet marketplace AlphaBay. However, the family of the Coin Ninja CEO claims he was never involved with AlphaBay.
Many bitcoin experts are concerned this could establish a precedent where simply creating a bitcoin mixer is seen, in itself, as a money-laundering conspiracy.
The public policy group Coin Center argued non-custodial mixers should not be subject to regulation because they offer user-hosted software tools. Only time will tell if the court agrees this reduces the developer’s liability.
- Supplier Blacklist: International Blacklist of Bad Suppliers
The legitimacy of so-called “verified supplier” directories is highly debatable. To complicate matters, there is no functional Better Business Bureau or government entity willing to crack down on scams and unethical practices overseas. SupplierBlacklist.com is a free, user-generated platform designed to fill this void in the marketplace.
- Pyramid Scheme - Archive
A dialect of the Scheme programming language that targets the Ethereum Virtual Machine(EVM). Pyramid Scheme is implemented using the appropriately-named Racket. This article covers the high-level design of the Pyramid compiler: The compiler’s components and Pyramid’s runtime environment.
- How Cybercriminals Can Abuse Chat Platform APIs as C&C Infrastructures
Our research focuses on analyzing whether or not and how the otherwise beneficial API of a chat platform can be turned into a C&C infrastructure. This research paper examines several platforms, including chat programs, self-hosted chat clients, and social networks. For each platform, we tested the unique possibility of using its API as a C&C server. We also explored if these chat platforms are already being abused by known malware.
- When Coding Style Survives Compilation - Archive
If we encounter an executable binary sample in the wild, what can we learn from it? In this work, we show that the programmer’s stylistic fingerprint, or coding style, is preserved in the compilation process and can be extracted from the executable binary. This means that it may be possible to infer the programmer’s identity if we have a set of known potential candidate programmers, along with executable binary samples (or source code) known to be authored by these candidates.
- Palaeological Grammar - Archive
I was told about this rare book by a close friend and managed to snag a copy. This is one of the few reviews or references to the text that can be found online.