BitCoin: Lets Just Make them Illegal
In my previous blog I have commented on the fact that BitCoin is still the preferred solution of criminals as was demonstrated by Ashley Madison and now more recently again in a series of RansomWare attacks that have stepped up in recent weeks. Is it any surprise therefore it has a bad name. People receive a simple message in these attacks of:
What happened to your files ?
All of your files were protected by a strong encryption with RZA4096
More information about the en-Xryption keys using RZA4096 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)
How did this happen ?
!!! Specially for your PC was generated personal RZA4096 Key , both publik and private.
!!! ALL YOUR FILES were en-Xrypted with the publik key, which has been transferred to your computer via the Internet.
!!! Decrypting of your files is only possible with the help of the privatt key and de-crypt program , which is on our Secret Server
What do I do ?
So , there are two ways you can choose: wait for a miracle and get your price doubled, or start obtaining BITCOIN NOW! , and restore your data easy way
If You have really valuable data, you better not waste your time, because there is no other way to get your files, except make a payment
So what could be easier, after all if criminals like using something why not just ban it – at least in the UK and most of Europe we ban most guns unless you have a licence and thus have lower rates of shootings than in other countries. Surely it would be simple; make it illegal to own, use, store, transmit BitCoin.
The challenge of course is that it could be argued that just by banning something you drive it underground, look at Prohibition in the US, research has shown that initially consumption dropped by 70% but then rose up to circa 70 of pre banning levels. However is this really a fair comparison, alcohol was something people sought pleasure from with not many alternatives, BitCoin on the other hand is neither a necessity or something people need.
But I hear the cry what about Cash, after all even with the decision to get rid of the Euro500 note, or at least to slowly stop circulation of them cash is untraceable. Yes but it is also bulky and you have to generally meet face to face to hand it over. Go back to the thirties and it was the cash trail that eventually led to the downfall of many of the mobsters.
Yes some, even many legitimate businesses could, will be harmed by making BitCoins illegal, but maybe a good comparison is the Ivory trade. Most conservationists agree that the only way to stop Ivory Poaching is to totally ban all Ivory trading. If you try to legitimize some of it, then all you do is encourage illegal sources of Ivory to be entered into the value chain. Sure carvers and other businesses suffer but it is for the greater good.
I would content the same true with BitCoin. Yes some businesses will suffer, and this is not a blog against Crypto Currencies, just against those which do not have sufficient regulation and control on so they cannot be misused by criminals. Certainly there are many exchanges that require full KYC etc. when buying and selling BitCoin, but whilst there are others that do not, and many ways to pass on with no real tracking of where the funds are going, criminals will still ask for payment in BitCoin knowing they can get it into the value chain, just like with Ivory.
But I hear the cry, you can never enforce it, it is digital, in the ether, not traceable, there is nothing physical to it. Well the policy manage to track, trace, and capture paedophiles sharing images quite well, all of which are digital and not physical.
The simple, but harsh solution as with Ivory is you make it illegal to trade in any way, shape or form with the product. Thus owning it becomes illegal, if it is on your computer you are fined/imprisoned as it is assumed the only reason you would have BitCoin is for illegal purposes. With this simple action criminals will need to find a new way to demand ransom, most of which are traceable as when you move money as long as you know who it is going to you know who to arrest!