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From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

UPDATE: This article is now available as a printable PDF with embedded hyperlinks for navigation through sources. This link will be valid thru July 9: https://ufile.io/4mpkg4x6

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B

Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
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If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
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The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minutes). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
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Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
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"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.
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Continue to Part 2

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From Conspiracy to Fact: An analysis of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Information Control, and the New World Order (Appendix includes hundreds of citations) - PART 1

PLEASE NOTE: This article may be updated periodically with new information and links as they become available. All referenced information and a whole lot more is indexed and linked in the related appendix posts. Please feel free to crosspost, share, and take from my ideas to build your own. Namaste.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Appendix A | Appendix B
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Hello. My name is Chris. I am nobody, really. An average citizen. I am an overweight 42 year old white male from the Midwestern suburbs of the US who has been fortunate enough to live a pretty comfortable life. I used to be a freelance graphic designer with a focus on small businesses, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that career and part of my life is more than likely over in light of current events. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
I've always been concerned about social injustice and tried to stay politically informed, even dabbling in some activism here and there. At times I've stepped away from paying attention for my own mental health, or due to laziness, defeatism, whatever. But I've never stopped caring, or trying, to fight the good fight and do the right thing.
The news recently has of course swept us all up, and touched all our lives in some way or another. The world has never seen anything like the "Coronavirus Pandemic," and it's clear that our society will be changed forever when we finally come out the other end of this mess. But I've had the luxury of time recently, and in reading the news about things that were going on, I couldn't help but notice the patterns, and that a lot of stuff didn't exactly make sense.
So, here we go, with the "conspiracy theory."
I hate that term, because although it's technically accurate, it's been demonized and weaponized by the media and society at large to take on a bad connotation. Tinfoil hats, alien abductions, crazy people muttering to themselves, etc. You've no doubt got a lot of images in your mind of a conspiracy theorist.
And make no mistake, what I'm going to tell you here is all currently very popular conspiracy theory. However, I think that by removing opinions and conjecture from it, and focusing on facts and things that have already happened, I can present this huge amount of overwhelming, disparate information in a way that makes it less a "theory" and more a "research project." And so that is how I have approached this.
I have spent the last week doing little else besides reading every news and opinion article I could find, saving and organizing hundreds of links, and assembling a coherent, logical outline to organize and present these theories, and more importantly, facts. There are a lot of less-than-reputable sites and publications out there, and I have tried when at all possible to provide sources from verifiable news sites, with a wide range of slants and focuses, to illustrate that what is happening is not part of any one particular political agenda.
I hope that you take the time to check the links, really look into the information presented here, and form your own opinions. Please do not just take my word for it. To that end, there are also a few links mixed in that are labeled as having come from conspiracy. These are well-written and well-reasoned posts from other concerned citizens that I think are worth reading, and relevant to the discussion here.
One last thing - If you are new to most of these ideas, the information presented here is more than likely going to seem overwhelming at first. I encourage you now, and always, to take mental health breaks for yourself, and put down your phone or turn off your computer. The information will be here when you come back. And as you'll soon understand, what is happening is an unstoppable tide, truly a force of nature at this point, and there is nothing you can do to fight it, so try your hardest to relax, put on some chill music, hug your dog, and most of all...
BREATHE.
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If you start researching conspiracy theory, you're going to find a lot of information. Some much better or worse presented than others, and some much more plausible or unbelievable than others. Despite the seeming ridiculousness of some things you might read, I encourage you to always approach new information with an open mind.
That said though, I have one main principle that guides all my beliefs about conspiracy theories, and that is the "Filter of Likelihood." Essentially, you have to ask yourself how possible, how likely, and how feasible a piece of information is. Furthermore, you need to ask yourself what the motivation would be. In many cases, it's quite easy to see how something makes a lot of sense based on other known info, whereas some theories seem rather implausible no matter how you look at it.
I am interested only in the plausible, and where possible, the already actualized. Additionally, there's a lot to be said, and a lot that has already been written on many of these topics, so I will focus on current events and simple concepts.
I will also ask you to open your mind to possibility. Please consider this as you evaluate new information:
  1. Do you believe there are things going on in the world that you don't know about yet?
  2. Do you believe that there is technology and science you've never heard of?
  3. Do you believe that society is progressing at an increasing rate?
  4. Do you believe that as populations grow, we require new societal strategies?
  5. Do you believe that those with power and money want to retain their power and money?
Of course you believe all these things, and none of these are wild or unusual concepts. Rather, these are very basic concepts that apply to everyone, and always have. They are all part of our shared human experience, and undeniable facts of life. Populations grow, societies evolve, technology advances, and the world changes. And most important to our discussion here, people, families, and empires constantly jockey for power and control, while fighting for resources, power, fame, and...
MONEY.
We all hate TicketMaster, right? Who do they think they are, what the hell is this bullshit "service fee," etc. It's something everyone can get behind. But did you know that TicketMaster willingly cultivates that image? That venues, teams, and artists, in their pursuit of more money, raise fees and then let TicketMaster be the bad guy and take the heat so their reputations remain intact?
There are many more people, organizations, and other entities in the world playing that same role for those who really have the money, who really call the shots. And those who call the shots work very hard and spend absolutely unfathomable amounts of money, time, and blood, to make sure that you don't ever realize who's actually taking your money.
They do this in the simplest, easiest way. If you simply control information from the top down, and disseminate it when and where you see fit, you can effect great societal change without lifting a finger.
Please imagine... really, try to imagine... You just read an article, saw a video, whatever, from a very, very reputable source. And it just informed you that an asteroid was 83% likely to impact the Earth next month. What would you do? What would happen in the world?
Hopefully an asteroid will not hit next month, but it's important to really imagine what would happen and why, and how. Because a huge amount of information would be generated and published, people would panic, society would crumble, and the world as you know it would change forever in an instant, the moment you read that headline.
Control of information is one of the most powerful tools known to mankind today. A person living in 2020 can easily encounter as much information in a day as someone in Medieval times might have encountered in a lifetime. And it comes at you from all angles, in all forms, non-stop, 24/7. Much like the water in the pipe, the information is always there, and one needs but turn it on.
Disseminating the information then becomes a practice all its own, and to be sure, information processing accounts for more than half of the US GDP. And the rate at which it's spread, and way it is handled makes a huge difference in the societal repercussions. So a few different techniques are used:
It might be the greatest understatement of all time to say that there has been a lot of information passed around about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," recently. In fact, there has never been anything like what we are currently experiencing in all of human history, and not by a long shot. And this unprecedented turn of events has caused a lot of people to react in a lot of ways, and say and do a lot of things, for better or for worse.
Full disclosure: In particular, if you look up conspiracy theory, you'll see a lot of stuff suggesting that the "Coronavirus is a hoax." (You'll also find a lot of poorly-written rambling) I want to be clear that I DO NOT believe that. I am 100% sure that there is a Coronavirus, that it is making people sick, that a lot of people are dying, and that our medical professionals and many other undervalued workers are overwhelmed, and breaking their backs every day to do their best to keep their friends, families, and loved ones safe. I am extraordinarily grateful for them and admire the resolve and bravery that so many have shown in the face of this disaster. I do not think it is a hoax at all.
However, I think that literally everything else that is happening surrounding the "pandemic" is.
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The Pandemic
In the first week of January this year, I got sick. Really sick. I know when I got it and who I got it from, and honestly the exact moment I got it (I only was in proximity of the dude for a few minues). He had warned me that he was really sick, and I blew it off. I started feeling sick a day or two later, and a day or two after that I felt like I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, extraordinary fatigue. And literal, nonstop, 24/7 coughing. I had every single symptom of what we now know as COVID-19. I commented to anyone who would listen that I didn't recall ever feeling that sick before in my entire life. The most memorable part of it though was that after a couple days, I completely lost my sense of smell and taste. Joked a lot about how you could feed me onions and soap cause I'd have no idea. I try to have a good attitude about being sick.
I spent a week sleeping on the couch before I finally went to the doctor. She gave me a Prednisolone steroid pack (which has worked well for me in the past), some Trazodone to knock me out, and Benzonatotate for my cough. As soon as I took the first dose of steroids I started to feel pretty fucking great, and it was more or less a non-issue after that.
I spoke to a lot of people about it then and after, and man, I can't tell you how many stories I personally heard from people I know that said the exact same thing. Then I started reading the same story over and over again on Reddit:
We didn't start really hearing about the Coronavirus in the media until the beginning of March, and we didn't hear about the "Pandemic" until just a couple weeks ago. And what a couple weeks it's been since then. But I am quite certain that it's been around for a lot longer and that I, and a lot of other people I know, had it - and DID NOT DIE FROM IT - way back in January.
We now know that the first documented case in the US was on January 19th, but that word "documented" is so, so important here. That means that we had identified the virus, developed a test, and tested a person with the symptoms that day. It does NOT mean that was when the virus reached the United States. How sick do you have to be before you take a day off work? Before you go to the doctor? With America's healthcare system or lack thereof, it's almost certain that many people had this virus before we determined what it was, and how infectious it really was.
There is also the matter of the statistics of severity vs the regular flu. This is a highly contentious topic and I am no medical expert, and do not wish to make any assertions. However, what I can tell you from my personal experience is this: I had a horrible "flu" in January, got basic medicine, got better. So, either I had the flu, or perhaps I did indeed have the Coronavirus.
We will never know because I was never tested. But the important thing is that it doesn't matter. Either I (and many others) had the Coronavirus and it did not kill us (calling into question the severity of the infection) or we just had a bad cold or flu, but it had the exact same symptoms as COVID-19 (calling into question the extent of Coronavirus diagnoses). But logically, one of those two statements is true.
Furthermore, the data keeps changing, and I don't mean increasing on a daily basis. I mean up and down, back and forth, it is deadly or maybe it isn't, etc. On January 14 the WHO told you it couldn't spread from human to human. But then on Jan 19 we saw the first case of Coronavirus in the United States. Then it turns out that the Wuhan market outbreak began earlier in December. And then it's an "epidemic," but most people will only get mild symptoms. What are you supposed to believe? And it sure does seem to come at you as a firehose, and it's hard to even think about anything because OHMYGODTHECORONAVIRUS!
But let's stop and look a couple basic facts. As a matter of fact, I'm going to let Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi explain this one to you. This is a very informative 10 minute video, watch it:
Sucharit Bhakdi - Very clear math showing that the COVID statistics are being manipulated
So 80% of people only experience mild symptoms, and we're crashing the economy for this? The statistics aren't any more extreme than many other illnesses we've had over time, and we're crashing the economy for this? It doesn't make sense until you consider that there are other factors besides just the virus at play.
Wolfgang Wodard - Explaining how the statistics are being manipulated to cause panic
The media, and society at large is inundating you with terrifying information about the Coronavirus. But if it's not as bad as we originally thought, then why? We don't freak out about every illness that comes along, and we've certainly never in the history of civilization had over 1/3 of the global population locked down under mandatory quarantine.
And then there's the debate about where the virus came from. We believe it came from a meat market in China, under unsanitary conditions. The science behind a coronavirus making the leap from one species to another is well-established and researched, and it is a very likely scenario. There are also conspiracy theories that state that China released it on its people intentionally, or even that the US military released it in China. Again, we will never know exactly where this Coronavirus came from. It may be natural, it may be man made, and there are very plausible paths for both. I don't know what to believe myself. So here I ask you to make your own judgement based on likelihood.
What we do know though is that the state of the world this virus has been unleashed on has played a major factor in its spread. In 1950 the global population was 2.5 billion, and that has exploded to almost 8 billion people in 2020. As a matter of fact, population growth has been exponential since about the time of the Industrial Revolution.
With all these people on the planet there are sure to be many disagreements and conflicts, and there indeed have been. As a matter of fact, 2019 saw global protests on an unprecedented scale, in Hong Kong, France, Syria, and many other countries. Citizens have literally been fighting police and military with rocks, clubs, arrows, and molotov cocktails.
Did you know that? Despite my seeing headlines and pictures every day of the riots in Hong Kong, I have been shocked to learn that multiple of my close friends, intelligent and aware people, had no knowledge whatsoever of the protests even existing. But that is far from a coincidence; rather, it is quite by design.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Billionaires and Coincidences
Another major talking point over the last 5 to 10 years has been the "1%" - the handful of super-rich individuals who posess and control the vast majority of the Earth's wealth and resources. Where it used to just be a numerical term, "Billionaire" is now a dirty word, and one of the nastiest. We all hate billionaires. They are evil, and profit off the exploitation of the rest of the world.
The "Illuminati" we call them, in pursuit of a "New World Order." Crazy stuff, right? Mysterious symbols and people in black robes doing nefarious things in secret meetings, and running the world from behind the scenes. We love the Illuminati, it's a huge pop culture thing now. The subject of endless speculation, they are made fun of in the media, movies, and now Taco Bell commercials. It's so far fetched it could never really be true. And the fact that you think that is by design as well.
So, we don't know where the Coronavirus came from, but it's certainly here, and there are lot of other things unfolding in the world around it. Many different current events from all different places and fields of study. Some of it seems a little too coincidental. It is certainly very coincidental that this economically destructive Coronavirus entered the world right as there were global uprisings, protests in the street, and a growing public hatred for billionaires.
Well, here are a few other coincidences: Hundreds of CEOs of major companies stepped down from their positions in recent months. Multiple US Senators sold stock right before the market crashed. Even the boss of the New York Stock Exchange sold his own stock right before the crash. Did they know something they weren't telling us?
Here's another coincidence. In 2010, The Rockefeller Foundation published a selection of future-predicting scenarios in the name of "exploring the ways that technology and development could co-evolve." One of these four scenarios, entitled "Lock Step," eerily predicts a global viral pandemic and the resulting hypothetical consequences, which almost exactly mirrors the COVID-19 pandemic we are in the midst of today.
Also coincidental: The first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in China on November 17th, 2019. Literally one month earlier, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. In this exercise, they discuss the potential implications and consequences of a novel Coronavirus, including an economic crash, martial law, and of particular interest, the control of information. (You can view some published highlights here)
The World Economic Forum is comprised of the richest of the rich. The 1%. The Billionaires. CEO's, politicians, business owners, and many other powerful and influential figures. They meet regularly to discuss topics of global concern, and strongly control the dissemination of information. And of primary concern to many of them is maintaining their wealth and power in a rapidly-changing world.
And finally, here's one more coincidence: At the exact same time as the Event 201 exercise, The World Military Games was held in Wuhan, China, Oct 18-27, 2019. It was the largest military sports event ever to be held in China, with nearly 10,000 athletes from over 100 countries competing in 27 sports. Wuhan China was, as we now believe, the source of our current global COVID-19 outbreak.
Whether you think it is a "conspiracy" or not, that is all certainly coincidental, to say the least.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Why didn't I hear about any of this?"
That's an excellent question, and one that likely has multiple answers. For starters, how much do you really pay attention? Where do you get your news from? Do you research things you hear or just accept them on hearsay? Critical thinking skills are paramount in making sense of the chaos unfolding all around us.
As I mentioned before, I can tell you that I personally know multiple people who had no clue whatsoever about the riots in Hong Kong last year. As you read this, you may be one of them. And it may seem like something that is happening far away, and "could never happen here." Or you may have been aware of it but just that it was happening. But please, consider for a moment: millions of average citizens risked their lives and safety in the streets of Hong Kong for months on end, fighting police and military, and transforming the city they lived in into a warzone. WHY? Why would people do something like that? Regardless of their motivations, that many people were banding together to fight for something they believed in. And that is worth considering.
It's not really your fault though that you may not catch wind of all this news. The "mainstream media" that you hear about all the time deliberately controls information - downplaying threats and overreacting to silly things - in order to make sure that you hear the version of the news that they want you to hear.
Did you know that only 6 corporations control 90% of the media In America? That number is reduced from 50 companies in the 80's. And literally all the news you see on TV, at the very least, is 100% owned and controlled by these companies. Lately, distrust is growing for cable news networks, and many people turn to their local hometown station for trusted news. The problem with that though is that your hometown station is probably owned by Sinclair Media, one of the most powerful broadcast networks in the country that you've never heard of.
Please watch this very brief video, illustrating the chokehold that Sinclair Media maintains over your nightly local news broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWLjYJ4BzvI
Of course, not every piece of news is pre-programmed but a lot is. The real news is out there, but sometimes you have to look a little deeper than the infographics on TV news. Even if information is being directed from the top down, the boots on the ground tend to be passionate people with a variety of interests and agendas, and they are still doing their best to do real journalism despite corporate oversight.
Think of those who are directing the information as steering an impossibly massive ship with a rudder. You can slowly adjust the course of direction, however it is slow to react. If you want to stop, you have to start thinking about stopping wayyy ahead of time. And similarly, once it gets underway, it is then influenced by an inertia all its own. Micro controls and adjustments aren't really possible.
Our society is this giant ship. There are 8 billion people on this earth - that is 8000 million. An incomprehensible number that grows rapidly every day. As civilization grows and advances, so does our medicine, our technology, our cultural norms. These are all natural processes that are necessary to manage an increasing number of societies all around the globe. And many of the advances we're making have exciting potential benefits for humanity, although as with all tools, they also inherently possess the potential for abuse.
Here are some other things happening in society right now, some you may be aware of and many you may not:
There is an interesting chicken or egg relationship between science fiction and real world science. Sci-fi writers are inspired by the real science of the day, then they apply their creativity to imagine what might be in the future. Young scientists encounter these fantastical ideas and think they are worth pursuing, and then set about to make them a reality, and the cycle continues.
Futuristic concepts are then preempted and introduced through the media to the conscious mind, as we include them in books, movies, TV, video games, and more. Eventually we start seeing headlines of these new technologies and developments happening in other places, usually Japan and China first due to their prevalence in the industrial and technological sectors of our global economy.

Continue to Part 2 >>

submitted by SquarePeg37 to ConspiracyJournalists [link] [comments]

04-28 13:15 - 'China Launches Blockchain-based Service Work (BSN) to Rule the World 中國推出區塊鏈,圖征服全球? By Chapman Chen, HKBNews' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/HKBNews removed from /r/Bitcoin within 17-27min

'''

[link]6

3 days ago, China launched Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), which, coupled with the digital Yuan, a pilot version of which was launched in mid-April, will accomplish what Huawei has failed to do -- to infiltrate, monitor and control the entire world in all human activities, e.g. finance, technology, health, insurance, entertainment, social media, voting. The only antidote is worldwide adoption of truly decentralized and uncensored blockchains and Bitcoin.

BSN Covers 6 Continents!

On April 25th, the Chinese authorities announced the launching of Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), aka ChinaChain. It is a cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-underlying-framework, global infrastructure network jointly initiated and set up by State Information Center (SIC), state-owned firms China UnionPay, China Mobile and Red Date for deploying and operating various kinds of blockchain applications (1). IOST is the first overseas blockchain network to be taken on board of BSN (2). Now there are already 128 city nodes across the country, and 8 BSN portals including 7 respectively located in California, Johannesburg, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, and San Paulo. It is going to be applied in all trades, e.g., technology, finance, banking, health, insurance, social media, entertainment, issuing of passports, land registries, tax collection, law, voting.

BSN is even more Invasive than Huawei

Let's face it:- we are headed for a global digital economy. As neither the USA not Europe has yet established such an enormous blockchain infrastructure consortium, China will enjoy the first mover's advantage in the space. While Huawei has been rejected by America and many Western countries for security reasons, BSN is now an even more powerful plan to infiltrate and control the entire world in practically all domains.

Virus Implanted?

According to Bloomberg (April 15), China's Central Bank has just launched a pilot digital Yuan in 4 cities, using blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin. For instance, in Xiang-cheng, Suzhou, all employees will have to download a state-controlled digital wallet by May and all wages will be paid in digital Yuan from then on. Every penny spent by you will be scrutinized and censored by the CCP. And a spyware may be implanted in the digital Yuan wallet and/or ledger so that anybody, not just Chinese but also Westerners, who transact in digital RMB, will be affected and subject to surveillance by the CCP. Now, with BSN, this will not be limited to transactions in digital RMB. Instead, it will be extended to all sectors, all fields, all human activities all over the world.

Rejection of Libra + Blockchain Advocacy + Covid19

On October 24, Facebook's proposal to launch the cryptocurrency Libra was rejected by the U.S. Congress. On October 25, Chairman Xi Jinping announced that China will go all-in on blockchain. On November 17, 2019, a China-man from Hubei, carrying the covid19 virus, began to spread it across the globe, according to South China Morning Post. Bitboy Crypto on April 28, 2020 wonders whether all these are just coincidental, or they constitute a conspiracy on the part of China to beat the free world financially, technologically, and biologically (3).

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain, the technology underlying Bitcoin, is an electronic ledger distributed across and managed by peer-to-peer networks. It can exist without a centralized authority or server managing it, and its data quality can be maintained by database replication and computational trust.

The First Blockchain

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta. The first blockchain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

A Mutated Blockchain

The information stored in a normal blockchain is immutable. But the Chinese government favors a unique blockchain called EOS, wherein all transactions and governance decisions are processed and approved by only 21 main nodes known as supernodes, rather than numerous nodes distributed all over the world. Twelve of the EOS supernodes are in China. This makes it easier for the CCP to control blockchains, since the penalty of noncompliance with Chinese regulations is high for China-based supernodes.

The Only Antidote

"Tomorrow is now" (Eleanor Roosevelt 1962) . The decentralized, permissionless, and disinflationary Bitcoin is now the only thing in the world that can counteract the digital RMB, and urgent, extensive adoption of uncensored blockchain networks is the only solution to BSN hegemony.

Fb link: [[link]7

Web link: [[link]8

End-notes:
1.[[link]9
  1. Terry Wang, IOST CTO, delivered a speech on blockchain to state leaders of China at the Great Hall of the People in December 2019. ([[link]10 )
  2. [[link]11
Disclaimer: This article is neither an advertisement nor professional financial advice.
'''
China Launches Blockchain-based Service Work (BSN) to Rule the World 中國推出區塊鏈,圖征服全球? By Chapman Chen, HKBNews
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: HKBNews
1: ww**facebook.com/h*ngkon*bil*ngu*lnews*p**t*/94*376245**0140*__xts__%5B0%**=68.*RAL*elagqu*qRl*biXCPZjOvd*FcQV**1Z27*O*IFt*3W*0**SC*ax*m1nQj*FKE_HdlLlKHn*VvRb*jo5qUsEw2xwmQ*H*3NPFBQ9**n***Hl*x*8**dX*TNlPEp*lHv*6k*-bt*0a**H***Ko*Zd20*9**j*uChT**L2AEH**B_Rl0*Rr*gG6F*b**z*b**x*g*5TmN*1IuIli*hTLOD**1hf*-Hae*MroDpv*DTGSsP_U**Z*-yMkK*EIoy5o**6*CW*NtI**vZkF3X*Ie*LN6DhhP*pb*DbHuMW*gcP4sIwYtzM*gMs*q*IweC3*oXL*7*ohCm0yfGQ*IM&**p*__tn**=KH-R 2: w*w.hkbn*ws.*et/po**/chi***launch*s-*lockchai**b***d-se*vic*-work-bsn-**-rule-the-wor*d-*E4%B*%AD%E5%9C*8B%E6%*E**8%E*%8**BA*E5%8D**0**5%A1%*A%**%8F%88%E*%BC%**%E5%9*%96%E5%BE%*1%E*%9**8D%E****%A*%*7%*0%83***%*C%*Fby-chapman-chen 3: w**.c***nne*s.com/zh-ha*t/**ti*les/12962**27608*htm 4: medi*m**o*/io*t/ios*-**o-*er*y-wa*g-prese**s-to-s*at**lead*rs-m*yo*s*and-ceos-in-ch*nas**rea*-hal*-of-*he-p*opl*-5*e885e*1*91 5: www.youtube**om/**tch?*=1*m**Q*LMqc 6: pr***ew.*ed**i**e3frgp871k*41.*pg?wid*h=**7*amp;format=pj*g&auto=webp*a*p;s=*2e3***df*c*d9***129c5*3fb46fd0f2046***f 7: w**.f**eb*ok*com*h**gkong*ilingualnew*/p*sts/*4937*2455001*0*\_\**n\_\_=-R**^1 8: **w.hkbnews.net*post/*hina-*au*ch**-****kc*a*n**ased-service**o*k-b**-t*-ru*e-the*world-%E*%B8*AD%E5%9C%8B%*6%8*%A*%E5%87*B*%E5%8*%8**E5%A1%8A*E9%8**88%E**BC%8C%E5%**%96**5**E*8*%**%9*%8D%E5%85%A8*E***0%83%EF%BC%*Fby-*hapma*-*hen]^^2 9: www.chai*news.com/zh-hant/*rt*c**s**29*2**2*60*.htm]^** 10: mediu*.co**io*t/io**-cto-te**y*w*ng-pre*e*ts-to-st*te-leader*-may*rs*and-**os-*n-ch*nas-*r*a**hall**f-***-people-5f*885ea1691*^^* 11: ww***o*tube.com/**t*h?v=18m*hQ*LMq*]^^5
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
submitted by removalbot to removalbot [link] [comments]

One Reddit user lost $500,000+ USD worth of ICX tokens!

A reminder to NEVER EVER input your private keys on any bogus website & to double check website urls entered. See: https://www.reddit.com/helloicon/comments/7nt40c/how_to_get_back_my_icx_from_scammers_account/
How to protect yourself
1) Get a Ledger Nano S or Trezor ASAP, they work well with many wallets and sites like MEW and it takes less than 5 minutes to learn how to use one! Don't delay, buy one today!
Here's a good tutorial on using Ledger with MyEtherwallet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RvDPQHERtc
Note: It is impossible for your wallets to be hacked when using a Ledger. Brief run down of Ledger: - When you buy this unit, it gives you 24 seed words you write down on a piece of paper, these keywords should never touch your computer. If you ever lose your Ledger, you can buy a new one and restore all your wallets from these 24 seed words. The ledger protects you by never revealing your private keys. If your PC is infected, your wallets would still be fine.
2) Enable 2FA on all exchanges.
3) If you use Google Authenticator, make sure you write down your keys - not having this information means you will be locked out if you lose your phone or it gets broken. A better alternative is Authy, however make sure Devices -> Allow Multi-device is switched OFF.
4) Install Virus & Malware Scanner with Anti-key logger. A good solution is Zemana AntiLogger, this software includes both real-time scanning & anti-key logging features. All keyboard inputs are encrypted. It also gets high praises from the industry.
5) Double check all inputs. When sending tokens to a new wallet/exchange, always send a small amount to confirm if the send works before sending a large amount.
6) Don't trust anyone. Don't post your gains on social media with your real names attached (e.g. Facebook). See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/21/business/dealbook/phone-hack-bitcoin-virtual-currency.html
submitted by dbaker102194 to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Proper Care & Feeding of your CryptoLocker Infection: A rundown on what we know.

This article is no longer being maintained, please see the new version here. Thanks.
tl;dr: I hope you have backups. It's legit, it really encrypts. It can jump across mapped network drives and encrypt anything with write access, and infection isn't dependent on being a local admin or UAC state. Most antiviruses do not catch it until the damage is done. The timer is real and your opportunity to pay them goes away when it lapses. You can pay them with a GreenDot MoneyPak or 2 Bitcoins, attempt to restore a previous version using ShadowExplorer, go to a backup, or be SOL.
Vectors: In order of likelihood, the vectors of infection have been:
  • Email attachments: A commonly reported subject is Payroll Report. The attachment, most of the time, is a zip with a PDF inside, which is actually an executable.
  • PCs that are unwitting members of the Zeus botnet have had the virus pushed to them directly.
  • There is currently one report of an infection through Java, using the .jnlp file as a dropper to load the executable.
Variants: The current variant demands $300 via GreenDot MoneyPak or 2 BTC. I will not attempt to thoroughly monitor the price of bitcoins for this thread, use Mt. Gox for the current exchange rate. Currently the MoneyPak is the cheaper option, but last week Bitcoins were. Two variants, including a $100 variant and a $300 that did not offer Bitcoin, are defunct.
Payload: The virus stores a public RSA 2048-bit key in the local registry, and goes to a C&C server for a private key which is never stored. The technical nuts and bolts have been covered by Fabian from Emsisoft here. It will use a mix of RSA 2048-bit and AES 256-bit encryption on files matching these masks:
*.odt, *.ods, *.odp, *.odm, *.odc, *.odb, *.doc, *.docx, *.docm, *.wps, *.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb, *.xlk, *.ppt, *.pptx, *.pptm, *.mdb, *.accdb, *.pst, *.dwg, *.dxf, *.dxg, *.wpd, *.rtf, *.wb2, *.mdf, *.dbf, *.psd, *.pdd, *.eps, *.ai, *.indd, *.cdr, ????????.jpg, ????????.jpe, img_*.jpg, *.dng, *.3fr, *.arw, *.srf, *.sr2, *.bay, *.crw, *.cr2, *.dcr, *.kdc, *.erf, *.mef, *.mrw, *.nef, *.nrw, *.orf, *.raf, *.raw, *.rwl, *.rw2, *.r3d, *.ptx, *.pef, *.srw, *.x3f, *.der, *.cer, *.crt, *.pem, *.pfx, *.p12, *.p7b, *.p7c, *.pdf, *.tif
This list of file masks may be incomplete. Trust this list at your peril. When in doubt, CryptoLocker will show you what files it has encrypted by clicking the relevant link in the virus's message.
It will access mapped network drives that the current user has write access to and encrypt those. It will not attack server shares, only mapped drives. Current reports are unclear as to how much permission is needed for the virus to encrypt a mapped drive, and if you have clarification or can test in a VM please notify me via message.
By the time the notification pops up, it's already encrypted everything. It's silent until the job is done.
Many antiviruses have been reported as not catching the virus until it's too late, including MSE, Trend Micro WFBS, Eset, GFI Vipre, and Kaspersky. They can further complicate matters by reverting registry changes and removing the executables, leaving the files behind without a public or private key. Releasing the files from quarantine does work, as does releasing the registry keys added and downloading another sample of the virus.
Windows XP through 8 have all reported infections.
What's notable about this virus, and this is going to lead to a lot of tough decisions, is that paying them to decrypt the files actually does work, so long as their C&C server is up. They verify the money transfer manually and then push a notification for the infected machine to call home for the private key again, which it uses to decrypt. It takes a long time to decrypt, at the rate of roughly 5GB/hr based on forum reports. The virus uses the registry to maintain a list of files and paths, so not moving the files around is vital to decryption if you are paying them.
Also notable is that the timer it gives you to pay them does appear to be legitimate, as multiple users have reported that once the timer ran out, the program uninstalled itself. Reinfecting the machine does not bring a new timer. I was not able to verify the uninstallation of the program after the timer ran out, it appears to be dependent on internet access.
Due to the nature of the encryption, brute-forcing a decrypt is essentially impossible for now.
Removal: Removing the virus itself is trivial, but no antivirus product (or any product, for that matter), will be able to decrypt the files until the private key is found.
File Recovery: There are only a handful of options for recovering encrypted files, and they all rely on either having System Restore/VSS turned on or having a backup disconnected from the infected machine. Cloud backup solutions without versioning are no good against this as they will commit the encrypted files to the cloud.
I had a Carbonite employee message me regarding my earlier statement that Carbonite is no good against this virus. It turns out that versioning is included in all Carbonite plans and support all agent OSes except Mac OS X which is outside the scope of this thread anyway. They have the ability to do a mass reversion of files, but you must call tech support and upon mentioning CryptoLocker you will be escalated to a tier 3 tech. They do not mention this ability on the site due to the potential for damage a mass reversion could do if done inadvertently. These are my own findings, independent of what the employee told me. Crashplan and other versioning-based backup solutions such as SonicWALL CDP should also work fine provided the backups are running normally.
Using the "Previous Versions" tab of the file properties is a cheap test, and has had mixed results. Using ShadowExplorer on Vista-8 will give you a much easier graphical frontend for restoring large amounts of files at once (though this will not help with mapped drives, you'd need to run it on the server in that case). Undelete software doesn't work as it encrypts the files in place on the hard drive, there is no copying going on. The big takeaway is that cold-storage backups are good, and they will make this whole process laughably easy to resolve.
Prevention: As this post has attracted many home users, I'll put at the top that MalwareBytes Pro, Avast! Free and Avast! Pro (defs 131016-0 16.10.2013 or later) will prevent the virus from running.
For sysadmins in a domain environment, one way to prevent this and many other viruses is to set up software restriction policies (SRPs) to disallow the executing of .exe files from AppData/Roaming. Grinler explains how to set up the policy here.
Visual example. The rule covering %AppData%\*\*.exe is necessary for the current variant. The SRP will apply to domain admins after either the GP timer hits or a reboot, gpupdate /force does not enforce it immediately. There is almost no collateral damage to the SRP. Dropbox and Chrome are not effected. Spotify may be affected, not sure. I don't use it.
Making shares read-only will mitigate the risk of having sensitive data on the server encrypted.
Forecast: The reports of infections have risen from ~1,300 google results for cryptolocker to over 150,000 in a month. This virus is really ugly, really efficient, and really hard to stop until it's too late. It's also very successful in getting people to pay, which funds the creation of a new variant that plugs what few holes have been found. I don't like where this is headed.
Some edits below are now redundant, but many contain useful information.
9/17 EDIT: All 9/17 edits are now covered under Prevention.
10/10 EDIT: Google matches for CryptoLocker are up 40% in the last week, and I'm getting 5-10 new posts a day on this thread, so I thought I'd update it with some interesting finds from fellow Redditors.
  • soulscore reports that setting the BIOS clock back in time added time to his cryptolocker ransom. Confirmed that the timer extends with the machine offline, but that may be cosmetic and I don't like your chances of this actually helping if your timer runs out on the server side.
  • Spinal33 reports that AV companies are catching up with CryptoLocker and are blocking websites that are spawned in the virus's domain generation algorithm. This effectively means that some people are locked out of the ability to even pay the ransom. (Technically they could, but the virus couldn't call home.)
  • Malwarebytes is claiming that MBAM Pro will catch CryptoLocker. If someone wants to test them on it, be my guest. Confirmed
  • CANT_ARGUE_DAT_LOGIC gave some insight on the method the virus uses when choosing what to infect. It simply goes through folders alphabetically and encrypts all files that match the filemasks towards the top of this post. If you are lucky enough to catch it in the act of encrypting and pull the network connection, the CryptoLocker message will pop up immediately and the countdown will begin. Helpful in determining what will need to be taken into account for decryption.
EDIT 2: We had a customer that ignored our warning email get infected so I will have my hands on an infected PC today, hope to have some useful info to bring back.
10/10 MEGA EDIT: I now have an active CryptoLocker specimen on my bench. I want to run down some things I've found:
  • On WinXP at least, the nested SRP rule is necessary to prevent infection. The path rule needs to be %AppData%\*\*.exe
  • An alternate link to the virus sample is http://gktibioivpqbot.net/1002.exe
  • Once the program runs it spawns two more executables with random names in %userprofile%. Adding a SRP to cover %userprofile%\*.exe may be desired, though this will prevent GoToMyPC from running at a bare minimum.
  • This user was a local administrator, and CryptoLocker was able to encrypt files in other user's directories, though it did not spawn the executables anywhere but the user that triggered the infection. When logged in under a different account there is no indication that a timer is running.
  • The environment has server shares but no mapped drives and the shared data was not touched, even though a desktop shortcut would've taken the virus to a share. I suspect that will be covered in the next iteration.
  • The list of masks above does not appear to be totally complete. PDF files were encrypted and were not originally part of the set of file masks. That is the only exception I noticed, everything else follows the list. Conveniently (/s), CryptoLocker has a button you can click that shows the list of files it's encrypted.
  • The current ransom is $300 by MoneyPak or 2BTC, which at the time of writing would be $280 and change.
  • Fabian reported that registry data is stored at HKCU/Software/CryptoLocker. I cannot glean the meaning of the DWORD values on files but I do notice they are unique, likely salts for the individual files. I'm curious what purpose that would serve if the private key was revealed as the salts would be useless.
  • I have confirmed the message soulscore left that setting the BIOS timer back a few hours adds an equal amount of time. No telling whether that will work once it has a network connection and can see the C&C server, though.
  • The virus walked right through an up-to-date version of GFI Vipre. It appears AV companies either consider the risk too low to update definitions or, more likely, they're having trouble creating heuristic patterns that don't cause a lot of collateral damage.
10/11 EDIT: I ran Daphne on the infected PC to get a better idea of what might be going on. lsass.exe is running like crazy. Computer's had it's CPU pegged all day. I noticed the primary executable running from %AppData% has a switch on the end of the run command, which in my case is /w000000EC. No idea what that means.
10/15 EDIT: I just wanted to thank all the redditors that have submitted information on this. I have some interesting new developments that I'll be editing in full tomorrow.
10/18 EDIT: Hello arstechnica! Please read through comments before posting a question as there's a very good chance it's been answered.
New developments since 10/15:
  • We have confirmation that both Malwarebytes Antimalware Pro and Avast Free and Pro will stop CryptoLocker from running. My personal choice of the two is MBAM Pro but research on your own, AV Comparatives is a wonderful resource.
  • We have reports of a new vector of infection, Java. This is hardly surprising as Zeus was already being transmitted in this fashion, but Maybe_Forged reports contracting the virus with a honeypot VM in this manner.
  • zfs_balla made a hell of a first post on reddit, giving us a lot of insight to the behavior of the decryption process, and answered a frequently-asked question. I'm paraphrasing below.
A file encrypted twice and decrypted once is still garbage.
The waiting for payment confirmation screen stayed up for 16 days before a decryption began, so don't lose hope if it's been up a while.
The DWORD values in the registry have no bearing on decryption. Renaming an encrypted file to one on the list in the registry will decrypt it. However, I would presume this would only work for files that the virus encrypted on that machine as the public key is different with every infection.
Adding any new matching files to somewhere the virus has access will cause them to be encrypted, even at the "waiting for payment confirmation" screen. Be careful.
Hitting "Cancel" on a file that can't be found doesn't cancel the entire decryption, just that file.
EDIT 2: I've rewritten the bulk of this post so people don't have to slog through edits for important information.
10/21 EDIT: Two noteworthy edits. One is regarding Carbonite, which is apparently a viable backup option for this, it is covered under File Recovery. The other is regarding a piece of software called CryptoPrevent. I have not tried it, but according to the developer's website it blocks %localappdata%\*.exe and %localappdata%\*\*.exe which is not necessary for the current variant and will inflict quite a bit of collateral damage. I have no reason right now to doubt the legitimacy of the program, but be aware of the tradeoffs going in.
I'm now at the 15000 character limit. Wat do?
submitted by bluesoul to sysadmin [link] [comments]

New to /r/Hashgraph? Please read this post first! [FAQ & Resource Links]

Welcome to the official Hashgraph subreddit. Hashgraph is a data structure and consensus algorithm that is faster, fairer, and more secure than blockchain.
Please find our FAQ and a directory of resources below.
 
#GENERAL FAQ#
1: How does it work?
Hashgraph uses two special techniques (1) Gossip about Gossip and (2) Virtual Voting to achieve fast, fair and secure consensus.
Gossip is a well-known computer science term, which can be defined as calling any random node and telling that node everything you know, that it does not know. In distributed ledger technology, the “baseline” or minimum bandwidth required is that the transactions go to every node. A gossip protocol can achieve this transfer of information / syncing process exponentially fast. Gossip about Gossip refers to attaching a small additional amount of information to this Gossip / transaction payload, which are two hashes containing the last two people talked to (hence, gossiping about the information gossiped). Using this information, a Hashgraph can be built and constantly updated as more information is gossiped, on each node.
Once the Hashgraph is built, it is extremely easy to know what a node would vote, because we know what each node knows, and when they knew it. We now can use this data as an input to a 30 year old voting algorithm (which have strong security guarantees, maths proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant but typically lack the speed necessary for real world implementation), and know which transactions have reached consensus quickly.
The result of using this methodology is that we get the benefit of 30 year old voting algorithms which have have strong math proofs of being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (meaning that we know when we will achieve consensus, guaranteed, and our math proofs make no assumptions about the speed of the internet, due to firewalls, ddos attacks, viruses or botnets), speed (due to use of a gossip protocol) and fair ordering and time stamping on every event.
2: How is Hashgraph different?
There are five different approaches to reaching distributed consensus. Firstly we have Proof-of-Work, which started with Bitcoin. The second is leader-based systems like PBFT, Raft, and Paxos. Then there is economy-based, commonly referred to as Proof-of-Stake, where forgers stake cryptocurrency on votes in order to reach consensus. Then, there’s voting-based which are too slow to be used in real systems. Finally there’s Hashgraph, which uses virtual voting and is incredibly efficient because it does not actually send any votes over the internet.
3: What is bank-grade consensus?
Hashgraph is the only bank-grade consensus algorithm as a result of the following properties: Mathematical proof of asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerance; Resilience to DDoS attacks, network partitions, sybil attacks and firewall/virus attacks; and Mathematical proof of fairness of ordering, access, and timestamps.
4: Is there a cryptocurrency?
Hashgraph is not currently available on a public network / ledger so there is no cryptocurrency at this time. We have not yet announced our plans for a public ledger, but please stay tuned for updates.
5: Why is Hashgraph patented?
Hashgraph is currently only available on a private network so its patents allow for market advantage in enterprise / commercial applications. This is not designed to stifle creativity or expansion of the emerging ecosystem, but to protect technological innovations that took years to develop.
6: How do I use Hashgraph?
If you want to use Hashgraph on a private network, you can apply for an enterprise / commercial license by contacting Swirlds.
7: What is the different between Hashgraph and Swirlds?
Hashgraph is the technology. Swirlds is the organization responsible for handling the licensing of Hashgraph.
8: Is Hashgraph better than blockchain?
The pitching of Hashgraph against Blockchain is a sensationalist angle that we do not endorse. While we do have some advantages over Blockchain based consensus, our intention is not at all to diminish the significance of Blockchain technology. We consider Blockchain to be like a capable older brother who graciously paved the way by bringing the power of Distributed Ledger Technology to the light of day, for which we are very grateful. Articles, talks etc pitching us against Blockchain are not written by us, nor are we generally consulted before articles go live. There is no reason that blockchain and Hashgraph couldn’t live together. While it is true that we have won some enterprise use cases against Blockchain based solutions (CULedger & Swirlds launch Hashgraph technology partnership), blockchain has a massive network effect which we definitely admire and respect. We respect and value the work and efforts of all developers and scientists in the Blockchain space. We also understand that Hashgraph is less well-known and nascent. That being said, every great movement has to start from somewhere and if you are reading this, it has potentially (hopefully) started with you too.
9: How can I get involved?
If you want to contact us for support or participation, please reach out to [email protected]. You can find more informational resources on the website homepage, where you can also sign up to our mailing list and/or follow us on social media. The Hashgraph Community Telegram Channel is also a great place to ask technical questions.
 
SPEED
10: How fast is Hashgraph?
It’s fast. Very fast. But you don’t have to trust us. We will release formal performance results soon, and at the same time provide the software you can use to validate the results for yourself.
Simply providing the number of transactions per second is meaningless unless all of the details are provided as well: number of nodes, bandwidth, latency, CPU, size of transaction, etc. Our performance results will provide the details needed to characterize results for a range of settings.
11: Does Hashgraph have transaction fees?
Instead of some small subset of participants being responsible for validating transactions and adding to the ledger (like miners in blockchain), all nodes contribute. Consequently, there is less need to incentivize through fees. Transaction fees are therefore expected to be very small, thereby making Hashgraph viable for micropayments.
 
SECURITY
12: What are the major security risks of distributed ledger technologies?
For a DLT, the security risks are an attacker:
13: Where do the main security risks originate?
The security risks specific to DLTs come from both internal and external attacks. An internal threat can include a computer in the network that is infected with a virus or worm other malware, or is run by a malicious party, or honest corporation that has a malicious insider with access to the computer.
An external threat can include a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, where the attacker floods one or more computers with enough messages to temporarily shut it down. Another external attack is if an adversary owns a firewall surrounding some of the nodes in the network, which it can use to block or delay messages.
14: What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT)?
There are a variety of consensus algorithms and each offer different features and characteristics. A consensus algorithm is characterized as BFT if it guarantees a moment in time where all participants reach consensus, know that consensus has been reached, and they are never wrong. This can be contrasted with consensus algorithms based on PoW, where participants slowly become more and more confident that consensus is near, but may still not be correct. There are different levels of BFT, depending on the sorts of assumptions made about the network and transmission of messages. The strongest type of BFT is asynchronous BFT. Hashgraph is unique in supporting highest degree of BFT while still being very efficient.
15: What is Asynchronous BFT?
When a system is asynchronous BFT, it allows for malicious actors controlling the network, deleting or slowing down messages of their choosing. The only assumption made is that less than ⅓ are attackers, and some messages eventually get transmitted over the internet. Some systems are partially asynchronous, which are secure only if the attackers do not have too much power and do not manipulate the timing of messages too much. For instance, a partially asynchronous system could prove Byzantine under the assumption that messages get passed over the internet in ten seconds. This assumption ignores the reality of botnets, distributed denial of service attacks, and malicious firewalls. If unable to meet the criteria of asynchronous BFT, it is preferable that they be asynchronous less-than-Byzantine, rather than less-than-asynchronous Byzantine. In other words, they should prove they are somewhat secure in the real world instead of proving they are very secure in a fantasy world.
16: How does Hashgraph prevent Sybil attacks?
A Sybil attack refers to an attempt to compromise a network through the creation of large numbers of spurious identities – these are directed to act in collusion to inappropriately impact the network. Sybil attacks are a particular concern for public DLTs in which no special permissions are required to become a node. Protection against Sybil attacks can be provided by appropriately allocating and weighting votes of different nodes. Hashgraph can be deployed in a number of different vote weighting models, e.g. votes could be weighted by a node’s stake in some currency, or its ability to perform some work, or its willingness to risk some value. A more detailed explanation can be found at here.
17: How does Hashgraph prevent DDoS attacks?
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when it is possible to disrupt the flow of transactions for the entire network by targeting a single or a few computers. Different DLTs vary in their vulnerability to DDoS. Leader-based systems give special permissions to a particular node and are highly susceptible because the current leader is a bottleneck and is vulnerable to being targeted in the DDoS. Even if the role of the leader rotates amongst nodes, other nodes necessarily know the current leader, and so could direct a DDoS. PoW systems are resilient to DDoS because it’s difficult to predict which miner will solve the inverse hash and publish a block. Consequently, the attacker would not know which miner should be targeted. Hashgraph doesn’t use PoW, but neither does it have a Leader. So Hashgraph provides DDoS resilience without the inefficiency and cost of PoW.
 
FAIRNESS
18: What is fairness?
Fairness refers to the ability of DLTs to prevent the ordering of transactions from being unduly manipulated. Hashgraph is fair in that it serializes all transactions with cryptographic timestamping, unlike blockchains where miners determine the order in which transactions are placed within each block. In certain use cases, the transaction order is important. Consider for instance two different people purchasing shares in a stock – the first order to go through will likely get a cheaper price. Hashgraph orders transactions according to the median timestamp of when the population of nodes received them – thereby ensuring they are recorded fairly.
 
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KIT (SDK)
19: How can I get started developing applications?
Download the SDK and follow the instructions detailed included in the /docs folder, or visit our online version here.
In order to develop a commercial application on Hashgraph using the Swirlds SDK, you will need to contact Swirlds to discuss the appropriate licensing that is required. However, you do not need to ask for permission before downloading the SDK to build small scale, non-commercial applications for personal use and experiment.
20: Why is the platform and SDK written in Java?
Java is a general purpose programming language with a large open source ecosystem and resources for developer support. There are also advantageous security measures in the Java development environment, such as sandboxing, that will allow the platform in the future to run untrusted applications, while protecting the user and their hard drive from those applications.
21: Can I develop applications in other languages?
In addition to Java, we also want the option for developers who would like to develop in other programming languages, such as Python or JavaScript. This is part of the Hashgraph development roadmap.
22: Is there a Developer Chat?
Yes, currently it is on Telegram, but will be likely moving to a new place, as our community sees fit.
 
Main links:
Whitepapers / Technical Documents:
Articles & News:
Videos:
Audios:
Hashgraph Social Links:
For general enquiries please email: [email protected]
submitted by ollybolton to hashgraph [link] [comments]

TIL: The latest ponzi scheme - PIPcoin

Well today was interesting. After seeing a ton of people trying to spam their referral links into some of the big Facebook groups we run at work, I decided to investigate a bit more after dinner & a couple of glassses of wine.
Let me introduce you to PIPcoin. (for those like me who missed it when it last came up on the sub)
PIPcoin from the horses mouth
PIPcoin's CEO on SABC
One of his "free" seminars.
Here is a quick recording off their homepage :-(
Pipcoin is Africa’s first P2P Cryptocurrency and is more seen as an emerging digital currency that seeks to revolutionize accessibility and raise awareness about the importance of online trading to the multitudes of both the aspirant traders and those who are completely unaware of the abounding benefits and opportunities offered by the digital market. Thus, for all its worth as a potential life-changing tool, we want Pipcoin to be everybody’s business.
So this is new... lets take a look at their FAQ's because I have many! here are my favourite bits:
What Is The Structure Of A Pipcoin? Pipcoin Concept (for developers) -IF YOU HAVE 0,9999 MICRO-PIPS THEN IT WILL BE ROUNDED OFF TO 1.0000 – MAKING IT 1 PIPCOIN-
lol really? Where does that extra micro tit pip come from?
Why Pipcoin Isnt A Get Rich Quick Scheme Whenever there is a new digital breakthrough it is natural for people to be sceptic, this has been scientifically proven. Even at one stage the internet was said to be a scam, same goes to online trading, they said it won’t last. Same goes to Facebook; they said it’s an information-leaking scam. Same goes again to Bitcoin they said it’s a ‘failed experiment’. Pipcoin is the people’s currency and can never in a scale be compared to ponzi schemes and investment bonanzas; Pipcoin is a friend-to-friend digital currency which has its own crypto keys and public ledger just like any other legit digital currency. Everyone is a host to the currency, every participants’ computers serve as servers to the system and just like forex trading it is a zero-sum game, when you buy the coins there will be someone selling to you.
SkepticalHippoIsSkeptical.jpg
Who Is The Founder Of Pipcoin? However the inception of the idea can be credited to David Schwartz and the inception of the algorithm and mathematics behind to Ref Wayne, a 21 year old South African who is behind the creation of most high-tech forensic software as well as the indicators for financial trading platform (Forex Metatrader), it is without chance that the creation of Pipcoin is water-proof and crack-free.
Aside from the laughable wording, this is perhaps the most interesting part. If you can make it through this interview or this video his story sounds a lot like this "David Schwartz" story here. Excuse the popups but give it a read and obviously the comments at the bottom.
Is Pipcoin Legal? ...After all, there is no authority that can stop anyone from buying and selling a product online.
hahahahahahahahAHAHAha!
Do I Need To Provide Any Id Documents To Join Pipcoin is a cryptocurrency which means it’s completely encrypted, even for its users, it remains completely confidential. You don’t need to submit any documents.
erm... surely this goes against SO many laws in SA?
How Reliable Is This Website In Terms Of Security And Keeping Personal Data And Pipcoins [no ? at the end of these ones for some reason] We pay great attention to security and the confidential information on the website is protected by EV SSL. We don’t divulge any personal data of members to third parties. Your participation too, is strictly confidential.
thats...not really explaining it at all. SSL isnt the be-all and end all - but oh there's another one right below. Im sure that'll clear it up...
Are You Protected From Hackers We have installed power Anti-DDOS protection on our servers and have many other security measures.
well that settles it.
ok ok so whats next?
Some points/gems from their Terms of User PDF [mirror here] (i've never heard that phrase) but looks like something from the lawfirm of Copy, Pasta and Google.
All references to the ‘company,’ ‘us,’ ‘our,’ ‘we’ or ‘Pipchain’ means Pipchain South Africa S.a.r.l., a company registered under the laws of South Africa, with a share capital of EUR 55,222.08, having its registered address at L-2340 South Africa, 1, rue Philippe II, registered with the South Africa Trade and Companies Register under number B 190.078 (Business License number B190078).
I tried to find out if thats real but I couldnt figure out how to do it via the new http://www.cipc.co.za/ site.
Their privacy policy link https://pipchain.com/PrivacyPolicy.pdf 404's
Typos galore eg - " Server failure ordata loss;"
We make no warranty that the Website or the server that makes it available, are free of viruses or errors, that its content is accurate, that it will be uninterrupted, or that defects will be corrected.
wut?!
  1. AGREEMENT TO HOLD PIPCHAIN HARMLESS
wut2
7.2. If you are obligated to indemnify us, we will have the right, in our sole discretion, to control any action or proceeding (at our expense) and determine whether we wish to settle it.
ok...
9.1. You need not use a Pipchain Wallet. If you wish to use the Wallet, you must create a wallet with Pipchain to access the Services (“Wallet”)
I need an adult.
10.5. No Storage or Transmission of Pipcoins. Pipcoins are an intangible, digital asset. They exist only by virtue of the ownership record maintained in the Pipcoin network. The Services do not store, send or receive Pipcoins. Any transfer of title that might occur in any Pipcoins occurs on the decentralized ledger within the Pipcoin network and not within the Services. We do not guarantee that the Service can effect the transfer of title or right in any Pipcoins.
and
10.8. No Cancellations or Modifications. Once transaction details have been submitted to the Pipcoin network via the Services, The Services cannot assist you to cancel or otherwise modify your transaction details. Pipchain has no control over the Pipcoin Network and does not have the ability to facilitate any cancellation or modification requests.
In the SABC interview (linked at the top of this post) the CEO says he took bitcoin and 'modified' it to be safer and so you can track 'stolen or lost' coins. So thats a lie.
  1. DISCONTINUANCE OF SERVICES 15.1. We may, in our sole discretion and without cost to you, with or without prior notice and at any time, modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, any portion of our Services. You are solely responsible for storing, outside of the Services, a backup of any Wallet Address and Private Key pair that you maintain in your Wallet.
erm, ok but because PIPcoins can only be traded on their website and not transferred to anything else... how does that work?
17.1.3. Use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface not provided by us to access our Services or to extract data; 17.1.4. Use or attempt to use another user’s Wallet without authorization
the enter key is a hard one to find on a laptop I'll give them that one...
---- gets more wine ---
They claim to have a 30-35% growth rate on any and all investments! Crazy returns.
I did a bit of a google on them and immediately found these posts.
Some choice excerpts:
The company has promised that it will soon be issuing a debit card. Promising to issue a debit is an old trick used by fraudulent companies to create a false sense of trust and legitimacy to unsuspecting investors.
and
The transfer of pipcoins is verified by one sources, instead of 3 independent source as is usually the case with legitimate crypto currencies with a blockchain.
and
They also use wording similar to ‘get-rich-quick' scheme lines such as “Pipcoin will create over a 100 millionaires by the end of this financial year”. These are revealing signs of a fraudulent scheme. Moreover, pipcoin is a closed system, you cannot trade with anyone other than randomly chose people registered on the website. Their blockchain is not public or transparent, in fact, they do not have a blockchain and, if they do have one, then it is not operational.
So who's behind it? Who is this Ref dude?
According to his Twitter bio he's "Youngest Billionaire in Africa | Founder of African 1st ever digital currency ! Get a minimum interest of 35% @infopipcoin"
here are some choice images from his public FB:
I tried to register on https://mypipcoins.com/ but there's an ASPX error during the registration process and it kept trying to switch between https and http. Great start. I tried in all major browsers and they all failed so I gave up on trying to signup with my temp email [email protected] :(
So then, lets take a closer look at the support they offer on their site. They've got one of those "live chat" widgets on their site and this evening there was actually someone online :)
I said "hello" and saw "busi has joined the conversation" - sweet.
Here is the transcript I downloaded before they killed the chat. Lucky I insta-clicked the download before they killed my chat session.
As you can see by the chat log, Busi linked me to whats obviously the new 'site' they're launching this weekend https://pipchain.com/
The site looks a lot like the blockchain.info website.
Their market page is awesome compared to blockchain.info's one! its even got a bigger market cap! Note the article links are all the same, except for two small things.
  1. None of the links work...because
  2. they've done a find&replace in the code, replacing all instances of "bitcoin" with "pipcoin" XD
Anyway, I thought I'd try signup on THIS site and lo 'n behold I managed to sign up! [email protected] lives!
Here is PIPcoin's dashboard and here is Blockchain.info's dashboard.
Here is PIPcoins transactions page and here is Blockchain.info's transaction page.
So pretty much a blatant copy/pasta job.
-- final thoughts --
Its unfortunate that the quality of journalism in SA is so weak. PIPcoin getting a lot of media attention for something thats honestly so dodgy, if you looked at it for more than 5 minutes you'd know. Many people are going to fall for this and if you look at the comments on twitter or on his FB posts or on any video calling out the scam you'll shake your head.
Someone (not me) has even put this site together https://www.pipcoin.co/ which is as informative as it is awesome! Click the login and it takes you to "Logging in should be the last thing you should be worried about right now." and the bottom of the site has the best burn ever
"This website was built as a public service announcement by concerned citizens (and shows what a legitimate site should look like"
I did try connect with the 'owner' via twitter to find the source/calculation of the "R40 314 800,00 lost & counting" figure but so far no reply.
Anyway its late and I'm going to bed. I hope you learnt something and if you see anyone in your social circles promoting this please make them aware.
EDIT: Reddit formatting is hard.
EDIT2: Got a reply from the person behind the pipcoin.co site - http://imgur.com/a/995oN which honestly shows the lack of skills the scheme has in the development/security field and now if you rewatch the interviews you can see why he's so scripted when talking about the tech stack.
EDIT3: Sigh. I made a comment on the PIPcoin FB page to warn people about this and this is the response I found this morning - http://imgur.com/a/tFoAy I dont even know what/how to respond...
submitted by Ruach to southafrica [link] [comments]

PSA to new users due to reddit gold announcement: This is how Bitcoin works [Guide]

Due to the new Reddit Gold announcement it is possible that more and more users will stumble upon this subreddit and start using Bitcoin. I wrote this guide because I believe that an informed userbase is key to Bitcoin's success!
Rough summary TL;DR:
You can start using Bitcoin in a matter of seconds and, although it is a very simple process, it is strongly recommended that you learn about how it works and what is happening to your coins when you make a simple transaction.
With Bitcoin it is you who has control over the money and you need to take care of it responsibly.
The following text is a very simple guide that will introduce you to the nature of the Bitcoin network and explain what happens during a Bitcoin transaction in a very simple way.
The Story of Alice and Bob
Once upon a time... there was a reddit user called Bob who wanted to send his friend Alice some bitcoins. He knows that Alice needs 10 BTC and so he decided to send them to her.
Bob has got a Bitcoin Wallet with some bitcoins and before clicking the send button he wonders where his bitcoins are actually stored. "Is every Bitcoin a file on my computer? Or a serial number maybe?"
Bob quickly notices that this would be very inefficient. What would happen if someone was spying on his connection and intercepted this files? And what would happen if the connection dropped?
No. The way Bitcoin works is simple and elegant.
When Bob sends Alice 10 Bitcoin, what he is actually doing is digitally signing a declaration of payment. In human language this would look something like this:
"I, Bob, send the amount of 10 BTC to Alice".
Of course, Bob is also worried that someone might actually forge such a declaration in his name. He also knows that bitcoins are impossible to forge. So how exactly are they protected?
These declarations are protected by a mechanism known as Digital Signature. It is an implementation of mathematics and very strong cryptography that guarantees that only the owner can produce a valid signature. Else, the signature would be invalid and the transaction would be rejected by everybody.
Digital Signatures
You probably already know that in order to receive and send bitcoins you need a Bitcoin adress. Just like with email. And just like with email you need "your password" to be able to send and receive bitcoins.
Bitcoin Adresses are generated using mathematics and they can be generated in a decentralized manner. You don't need to login anywhere nor do you need to be online. You just need a program capable of generating such an address.
A Bitcoin address, just like your email account, is made up of two different things:
This is the key used to digitally sign a transaction and to guarantee that only the owner of the key can emit a valid transaction and thus spend those bitcoins.
Back to Alice and Bob
Once Bob's bitcoin wallet has signed this transaction, he sends it across the Bitcoin P2P network. All people who use Bitcoin and are running a Bitcoin client, are connected to each other in order to receive and send these "declarations".
Bob's transaction gets relayed from node to node. These nodes verify that the signature is valid and pass it on until, in a fraction of a second, Alice gets notified by her Bitcoin program that she got bitcoins from Bob!
"Nice!" Alice thinks. But at the same time she's worried about something else. Alice knows how the Bitcoin network works and ponders whether it was possible for Bob to make up that amount.
She knows for sure that it was Bob who sent the money because the digital signature matches. But what would have stopped Bob from writing down any arbitrary amount? What if Bob would have said "I give 1 Bazillion Bitcoins to Alice?". Whie Alice keeps thinking about it, she is unaware that the transaction that was sent to her is still hopping around the network and has a very important role to play...
Meet Miner Steve
As the transaction keeps hopping from node to node in the Bitcoin network, it will also reach this person who is playing a very peculiar game: a sort of racing game. Steve and many other people who "play" this same sort of game are called miners.
Steve's objective is to collect all transactions and publish them in a sort of ledger. In order to guarantee Bitcoin's decentralized and open nature, this must be done in a very specific way.
Miner Steve and other miners are running a program on their computer that helps them solve extremely difficult mathematical problems. Steve knows that only the miner who finds the solution to such a problem is authorized to publish the next block of this ledger that contains all the collected transactions.
All miners are competing with each other because they want to be the first to solve the problem, publish the transactions and get a Bitcoin reward for it. (Actually more than a game it's a job).
In order for Bob to have 10 BTC in the first place, he must have gotten them previously from someone else. Steve checks the part of the ledger that has already been published previously by other miners and makes sure that the transaction is there, recorded somewhere. This tells him that Bob had 10 BTC in the first place and is thus authorized to spend them. Then he just hopes that, with a little bit of luck, his computer program is the first one to find the solution.
Guess what? Today's Steve's lucky day! He finds the solution and immediately publishes all the transactions he has collected. The rest of the network verifies that the solution is correct and watches dumbfolded as Steve gets the reward. But there's no time to lose because new transactions never stop arriving and new blocks of this ledger always await to be published.
The blockchain
This ledger is known as the Blockchain. It is called a chain, because all published blocks depend on the previous. They are protected by a cryptographic function known as hash.
What if someone decided to maliciously edit a previous block and assign themselves thousands and thousands of bitcoins? Fortunately this is impossible. If one were to change one single digit, character or bit from the blockchain, all following blocks would be invalidated.
Also, notice that not even Miner Steve can maliciously edit Bob's transaction because the digital signature would not match if he tampered with it.
The openness, transparency and decentralized nature of the Bitcoin system together with the use of these protection mechanisms create a solid, strong and reliable Bitcoin network, where absolutely no one can cheat.
Back to Alice
As soon as Miner Steve published the next block of the blockchain, it was redistributed over the whole network until it reached Alice. Once it got to Alice, her Bitcoin Wallet Program checked it to see if there were any transactions that involved her and, as it was the case, made sure to inform Alice that her transaction was confirmed and is now a permanent part of the Bitcoin network. Transactions that are included in the blockchain receive a confirmation.
Notice how Alice doesn't need to be online in order to receive bitcoins. She could be offline for hours, days or years and still receive bitcoins with no problem. As soon as she gets online, her program will download the latest blocks of the blockchain and inform her of any incoming transactions.
Actually, the only thing Alice will ever need is her private key. She can even keep the private key printed on a piece of paper (paper wallet) and receive bitcoins at the same time.
Once she wants to spend them, she would import the private key to a Bitcoin Wallet Program and the program would then read the blockchain to inform her about her balance. Also, since she's got her private key she will be able to digitally sign a valid transaction and spend them.
Take a look at http://www.bitaddress.org . This is an online Bitcoin Adress generator that lets you see the private key.
About Bitcoin Security
As you can see, Bitcoin is extremely secure and absolutely no one who does not know the private key to a public address will be able to spend bitcoins without authorization.
You are the sole owner of your bitcoins and it is thus your responsibility to keep the private key to those coins safe. Many bitcoin wallets will encrypt these keys using a password you provide. This is extremely recommended.
Also make sure that your computer is free from keyloggers, trojans and malware. If you hold large amounts of coins you might want to consider creating a paper wallet, as no virus in the world can get in your drawer and printed documents.
Where does Miner Steve get the reward from?
He gets it from the voluntary fees that are included in each Bitcoin transaction. That's why he wants to collect and publish as much transactions as possible because he gets the fees associated with them.
Also, every time he publishes a block he's allowed to write his name in the new block and assign himself 25 newly minted bitcoins. This is how new bitcoins get into circulation and injected into the economy in a decentralized manner. This reward will gradually decrease until there are 21 million bitcoins in circulation, which is the maximum amount that will ever be available.
Are 21 million bitcoins enough? Yes, because they are divisible up to eight decimals. This amount of divisibility guarantees that there will never be a lack of bitcoins.
Why does it take so long for my Bitcoin Wallet to synchronize?
The first time you run a full Bitcoin Wallet, it'll need to download the Blockchain in order to read it and keep you updated on the Balance of your addresses.
If you don't like this or can't wait, you should use a light client. These are Bitcoin Wallets that connect to a server to read the blockchain and don't need to download anything.
This is it! Don't redistribute it until I've got feedback and corrected any mistakes. The whole text is Creative Commons BY - SA
Donations appreciated: 18pYzN97CxB8qfUwoBbAFYvD3rGs9rjbH3
submitted by DanielTaylor to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

02-27 04:53 - 'Blockchain is a Lie — Just Another World Run by the Rich ???' (self.Bitcoin) by /u/dongchpp removed from /r/Bitcoin within 0-6min

'''

Blockchain is a Lie — Just Another World Run by the Rich


[link]1

Image: Bitcoin billionaires, The Winklevoss Twins

Follow the Money

More than just an alternative business model, blockchain represents ideology — a system in which the individual is no longer at the mercy of dominant institutions that control the flow of power, money, and data. If blockchain deteriorates into another world run by those who control the majority of the assets, it’s intent has been neglected and it has no reason to exist.

Within chains managed by Proof-of-Work and Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithms, this is the reality. Users tout decentralization, rights of the individual, abandoning banks and more, but then fall into a system promoting the very same values they are rebelling against.

PoW and DPoS are plutocracies in disguise. The former is at the mercy of firms that can afford the most hashing power, and the latter suppressed by those with the most currency.

Whoever can afford to mine the most controls the flow in PoW systems — there’s no room for the individual with a starter setup having a say. Either invest a years salary or get lost. In the DPoS system, the irony is even more baffling: the people with the most currency ultimately get to write history.

Is this still the blockchain world we want? Trading one system controlled by a ruling minority for another shouldn’t be in the discourse.

Steadying Blockchains Ideological Path

Blockchains growth will remain stunted unless the focus is shifted away from Proof-of-Work and Delegated Proof-of-Stake based consensus algorithms.

The November BCH hashing wars that produced two new chains via hard fork, BCHABC and BSV, left many speculating over governing issues within the PoW world. Differences in principles have made this side of the blockchain vulnerable — anyone with a large enough following is able to hold everyone else hostage. Chain sustainability isn’t guaranteed due to the ease in which conflicting parties can force a hard fork.

Those that preach DPoS put our future into the hands of 21 supernodes — corruption practically hard coded into the EOS genesis block. Everyone yearns for profit and power, making the have-nots pawns in the game controlled by those at the top.

[link]2

A Blunt Account of Blockchain Management

Blockchain governance is defined as follows:

“The ways in which collective action can be achieved by public communities and key stakeholders — particularly those regarding the revision of past agreements. “

In view of the lack of a decentralized and de-identified digital platform supporting the “one person, one vote system”, the governance of the chain is often seen as a plutocracy — currency and computing power are king.

According to an article written by Vitalik Buterin, blockchain governance systems must be innately anti-plutocratic.

Not only is on-chain coin-based governance inconsistent with user interests, it is also antithetical to the ethos of public blockchains. The blockchain is for the public, to serve the public interest. It isn’t for cryptocurrency whales to get more rich. Cryptocurrency holdings (like wealth in global society) is highly concentrated in the hands of a very small number of people. The blockchain isn’t supposed to be owned by anyone… nevermind by a small group of super rich individuals. — Buterin

The interests of those who hold the wealth and those who actually use the blockchain are inherently different.

In theory, blockchain could provide an equal playing field where the world isn’t controlled by large institutions only acting for profit and belittling the rights of individuals. When power becomes concentrated by those holding the most currency or with the most hashing power, users who continue to praise these systems are working against their own interests.

The culture of blockchain implies egalitarian management. Anything else must be abandoned.

[link]3

Either we want it, or we don’t

The current state of blockchain is a farce. Either we want a new system where power is decentralized, or we don’t. Pushing the ethics of the centralized systems that have shaped our world for the worse within the blockchain space only perpetuates the virus that is elitism — sucking world of its resources and milking the chain for every satoshi it’s got.

The increased amount of ICOs in 2017 gave hope. Surely the competition would have promoted further developments — someone would have realised the bad traits trickling into blockchain- but only disappointment followed.

What should have been the start of a blockchain renaissance, turned into a money grabbing free-for-all, with scams, poorly designed products, and reckless teams becoming the norm.

But we do want it, we really do. We want the system as it was intended to be: quick, decentralized, egalitarian. A platform on which to build the next era of society.

This stepping stone comes in the form of Bitconch. Backed by Turing and Nobel laureates, offering 120,000TPS, anti-plutocratic governance, and an ecosystem based on egalitarian values, Bitconch has the speed, security, and morals needed warm the Crypto Winter.

Bitconch Solves the Issue of Governance

The Proof-of-Reputation (PoR) consensus algorithm developed by Bitconch creates a quantified reputation value (Bit-R) based on three dimensions: social behavior, currency holding time, and community contribution. Users with reputations within the top 5% then have an opportunity to take part in the consensus. This system more accurately mirrors the natural world — individuals who are more trustworthy, contribute to their communities, and build relationships with those around them are incentivised to continue doing so.

Money and the size of resources are no longer a consideration, which dissolves the power that the elite have over governing the chain and eliminates the possibility of bribery. Instead, there is room for devoted lower and middle class users to take part in the consensus, making the chain maintained by the people and for the people. The conflicting interests of currency holders and chain users, therefore, does not arise.

Reputation makes for a conscientious ecosystem and reduced conflicts of interest supports ecosystem sustainability.

[link]4

Bitconch Solves the Speed Bottleneck

If the speed of the platform is not scaled to the needs of the users, usage will ultimately fall flat. A blockchain is meant to be used, and chains with slow speeds are simply not practical.

BLAZE (Bitconch Ledger Access Zero-delay Extension) allows for the simultaneous verification of multiple blocks through factoring the operation into five unique yet concurrent phases — fetching data, decoding, hashing, stating the change, and finally writing data. When BLAZE is coupled with PoR, the Bitconch platform offers 120,000TPS — making it a platform able to support extensive amounts of traffic.

[link]5

However, the current focus of the blockchain world should not be on pushing TPS speeds as high as possible. Developers and users alike have lost their way, once again falling victim to the very plutocracy that catalyzed the emergence of blockchain.

The ideology producing these platforms urges for the rights of the individual over the concentration of power in a few. It doesn’t matter if the flow of money is controlled by a few institutions in the current global economy or by a few mining firms in the blockchain world — once power is taken from the individual, we must dissolve the system.
'''
Blockchain is a Lie — Just Another World Run by the Rich ???
Go1dfish undelete link
unreddit undelete link
Author: dongchpp
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Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
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A Warning to the Curious

Hey, Reddit. I don’t know how many people are actually going to read this, considering it’s the only post on this account. I had an account before, but I had to delete all of my social media accounts when this whole shitshow started and everything got hacked. Anyway, if anyone does read it, copy and paste it or something. I don’t know how long it will be before this gets taken down.
I guess I should start from the beginning. I should also mention that all the names excluding my own and the name 'Sara' are being changed. Bit of advice number one on internet safety: don’t put any personal info out there. I’m serious. Not even your name.
Anyway, I'm Ben. I’m a student at a fairly large University. This all began one day in Business 101, this dumb introductory course that all business majors are required to take. I was sitting next to my best friend from high school. We’ll call him Marcus. Marcus is a great guy, and I hate to admit it, but I had always been a little jealous of him. He got a girlfriend first, he got on the sports teams I was cut from, he got into a top fraternity when I didn’t even get a bid anywhere. What’s worse is that my parents were constantly comparing me to him. At least he never let it affect our relationship. Sure, we had drifted apart some in college, but that’s only natural. He had his frat. I had videogame club, I guess. I was glad we at least had this class once a week to catch up though, especially now that I wasn’t tagging along with him to rush parties.
It was about two months ago when he first mentioned it to me. “Hey, Ben.”
I turned to face him. We sat in the back, and it was a large enough class where we could whisper without being too obnoxious.
“You haven’t been getting out much, have you?”
I opened my mouth to protest, but he kept going.
“I mean, you’re not in a house, which makes it hard. And no offense, but without boobs or a frat brother as a bartender, you’re not really gonna fare too well at the bars being 18.”
“You know, I was thinking of rushing again next sem-”
Marcus waved his hand to dismiss me. “Nah, man. I mean, do what you want. But next semester is a long time away. Have you even pulled once since you’ve been here?”
I pulled a face of fake offense. “I told you, I got a handjob.”
“What, from your left hand? Did you do that thing where you sit on your wrist til it falls asleep so it feels like it’s someone else’s hand?”
I snorted. “Ew.”
“Look, here’s what I’m getting to. I don’t wanna see you become some nerd holed up in his dorm. You wanna forget what pussy looks like, Ben? Do you?”
I laughed shaking my head.
“You ever consider getting a fake ID?”
I tilted my head to the side. “Are you joking? I want to be able to get a job one day, I can’t have that shit on my record.”
“Please, Ben. It’s a college campus. The worst thing they do is throw it out and you wasted your money. But that won’t happen. A guy in my house has a good connection. He showed me his; it looks legit. Scans and everything. The more people I get in on it, the cheaper it’ll be. Just think about at least. He isn’t putting an order through til next week.”
The professor finally shushed us, so it wasn’t until a few minutes later that I asked what his connection was.
“Some guy on the deepweb. He’s pretty savvy with technology.” Marcus shrugged. “I can give you his number if you want.”
This, redditors, is where I made my biggest mistake. I couldn’t just accept things like Marcus. I overthought stuff, I questioned everything. “What’s the deep web?”
Marcus shrugged again, and the bell rang. “Steve will explain things.”
I want to attach screenshots of my conversation with Steve, but I had to get rid of that phone last week. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I can summarize. To be honest, Steve seemed like the stereotypical frat guy when he texted me. That’s why it surprised me when he started talking about the deep web. He was clearly excited by it. He was glad to be talking about it to someone. I could tell it was something that he wanted to show someone. It makes sense to me now. You see some fucked up shit, and it’s hard not to share it. Steve invited me over to the house a few nights later, and I was surprised he remembered my face.
“Shit man, I remember you. You came to a few rush parties, yeah?”
I nodded.
“You should really think about rushing next semester. I’m sure we’d take you.”
“I… Yeah, maybe. I haven’t thought about it.”
Steve walked me up to his room. He’d told me to bring a laptop, and some cash in case I did decide I wanted the ID after I saw where it came from. He took a seat on his bed, and I sat at his desk chair, watching as he turned on his laptop.
I’m not going to walk you through the whole process of getting on the deep web, because frankly, I don’t want anyone to know. I’m writing this as a warning, not to entice people. But anyway, Steve showed me it from his laptop, before teaching me how to get on.
I’m not going to lie; I was amazed. It was like amazon for every illicit thing. Page after page of different strains of weed. Then coke of varying prices (“I always pick something in the middle, so I know it isn’t complete shit,” Steve told me.) He showed me pages of experimental drugs, things I’d never heard of, or only had heard horror stories about. Krokodil (“Isn’t that the flesh eating one?” “Yeah, man.”), DMT (“It releases the same endorphins people feel right before they die.”), and a whole other slew of things I never wanted to try.
The next page he showed me was full of guns. I’m not just talking hand guns or hunting rifles, though those were there too. I mean, heavy duty weapons. Assault rifles. Automatics. Shit that was illegal.
“But how do you get it? Like, isn’t your card traced?”
He shook his head. “You’d have to be an idiot to use your card on these sites. I mean, people do, if it’s a direct sale, I guess. Or people get prepaid cards, like paypal or shit like that. I use bitcoin. It’s safest.”
Me, being the naive moron that I was thought this was the the coolest thing I’d seen in ages. It was the discovery that the black market is real, and incredibly easy to access.
“There is a catch, I guess. There’s a lot of bad shit here too. Like… actually bad. I’m talking animal torture…” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “Human trafficking… Child porn, man. Shit’s out there. And the last thing you want is to accidentally click the wrong link and have the feds knocking down your door and getting you on pedophilia charges, you know?”
I nodded. “How do I avoid it?”
He had me download what he said was a little script that was an image blocker. I would only see images until I disabled it; this way I could read a caption before deciding if I wanted to view something.
I paid for my ID, after deciding this seemed legit, and went home that night. Sleep was out of the question. I felt like I had discovered a whole new world. A world almost no one knew about at all, let alone knew how to access. Shit, 20/20 hadn’t even aired an episode on this with all of their child-internet-safety shit. I went back to some of the links Steve showed me, then explored a bit on my own. I find numerous drug sites, which got a little boring after a while. Next I found a site that made make passports which promised to scan. This shit could be dangerous if the wrong person found it. Like really dangerous.
I decided to call it a night around four am.
It wasn’t until around nine am the next day when I got up for class when I noticed the first sign of things to come.
“Ping. Ping.”
My laptop was lit up on my desk even though I hadn’t touched it.
[email protected] would like to chat” read the notification on the corner of the site I’d left open; some page about buying exotic animals.
I laughed to myself. Even the deep web has “sexy singles in my area.” If only I knew how ignorant I was. I closed out of everything and went to classes.
For the next week I was slammed with midterms. I hardly had time to eat or sleep let alone explore this newfound section of the internet, but still, it pulled me in. There was something so secret about it that drew me to it. While I could understand how Steve wanted to share it, I wanted to hoard it.
Before I deleted my old reddit account, I had been active on it for several years. I thought I had seen some weird shit. I had thought reddit (with the exception of some hardcore porn sites, I guess) to be the epitome of darkness on the internet. I should’ve just accepted what I knew. I shouldn’t have pressed on.
My fake ID arrived without a problem. It looked incredibly real. Sure, I had to take a few shots with Marcus before actually using it because of how scared I was, but sure enough, I was given a wristband into one of the best campus bars. That very night I finally managed to bring a girl back. Yeah, we only had an hour where my roommate would be gone, but it was enough. As Marcus had said before we left, “Try to last more than two minutes.”
My head was spinning a bit after the girl had left my dorm, so I pulled out my laptop to try to focus on something besides how drunk I was.
“Ping. Ping.”
Another notification from [email protected]. Her screenname couldn’t have been worse.
I’d asked Steve about viruses on these sorts of sites, and he told me because of the low level of traffic, most people wouldn’t even bother installing things. Still, there was some risk. “Don’t be an idiot about it,” was his final word of advice on it.
I had always liked testing limits.
I clicked the notification at the bottom, fully expecting to be directed to a porn site. Much to my surprise, however, a little chat box opened up. It looked like something from the early 2000’s; a black background with white, digital looking lettings, and a flashing cursor. Again, I couldn’t get screenshots of these, but I copied and pasted them to a document I put on a flashdrive; one of the only good ideas I’ve had throughout this whole ordeal.
Hi, Ben. Good to see you are online. How are you?
Chills went down my spine. How did it know my name? I say ‘it’, because my first thought was that this was some sort of bot. A way to make money. It would start talking sexy, then ask for money if I wanted more. But it knew my name.
Hello?
It pressed on, and I took a breath. Didn’t google know my name? Probably. I had to log onto my computer with my name. My name was all over. It wasn’t weird, I told myself. It’s just a bot trying to seem more personal to draw more people in. It was an advertising ploy.
Was she good? I think you could have done better.
That was weird. That was really weird. Still, I shook the feeling. It’s a bot accustomed to married men, men looking for something outside of marriage. It was bashing on wives, making an affair seem enticing, lifting his confidence. That’s what I told myself.
Are you just going to stare, or are you going to answer?
Ben? Why are you making that face? You look confused.
Alright, this is where I got really freaked out for the first time, guys. How did she know I was making a face? This wasn’t anything standard. This was no longer some generalizable statement. That’s when I noticed it; the little light at the top center of my laptop. My webcam light.
Smart boy, Ben. Such a shame for me, though. I wanted to look at you longer.
I put tape over the camera before finally getting up the courage to answer. At this point I was feeling more sober. A rush of adrenaline was making me more alert. The thoughts of the girl from twenty minutes ago were totally gone.
Hey. Who is this?
You can call me Sara. I already know you’re Ben.
Hi, Sara. Why were you spying on me? Are you a robot?
A robot? Ha. No, Ben. I’m as real as you are. I’m 22. I don’t mind that you aren’t 21 yet. How old are you really?
This is where things first started to click with me. This “Sara” or whoever the fuck she was knew I wasn’t 21. I instantly connected things to the fake ID. I was so stupid. All of my information; my name, height, address, even a photocopy of my signature had been required for the ID. And somehow this person now had access to all of it.
It doesn’t matter how old I am. Please don’t message me again.
That’s no fun. C’mon, Ben. I know you like to have fun. I see the things you’ve been looking at.
This is where I guess I owe you guys a confession. The deep web was full of porn. Like, intense porn. I’m not some sort of freak, but sure, I was curious. I watched some videos. But still, none of it prepared me for what was to come.
Don’t ignore me, Ben. You know, you really have to be careful with this sort of thing. Didn’t Steve tell you anything? It’s a bad idea to be logged onto parts of the surface web while you’re on the deep web. Makes it easier for people to jump around.
What are you talking about? You know Steve?
[[email protected] has gone offline]
At this point I was scared, no doubt about it. At the same time, I didn’t want to seem like some pussy and go to Steve about it. I figured he’d just laugh at me for falling for some dumb bot. But still… It knew his name. It knew my name.
Things were quiet for a few days. I was able to push Sara out of my mind. It wasn’t until the weekend that things got really weird. It started with a text from Marcus.
SMS: What the fuck, dude? You think you’re some sort of hotshot now?
What? What are you talking about?
SMS: The messages you sent to Karen.
Karen, the girl I went home with last week? I didn’t even get her phone number.
SMS: Facebook. Look, man. If you’re gonna be a dick like that to people I introduce you too, I dunno if I really want to go out anywhere with you anymore.
I had never even added Karen on Facebook, but sure enough, there she was on my recently added friends. I clicked the chat button, but all I saw was a one sided conversation, her to me, as though all of my messages had been deleted. Messages I never even sent.
‘What the fuck?’, ‘Is this some sort of joke?’, ‘You weren’t so great either, you dick!’, ‘Fuck you, don’t talk to me again!’
Her words stared back at me through the pixels of the screen, and I shut my laptop and replied to Marcus.
Dude. I didn’t send those messages to her. I think I’ve been hacked.
Facebook was first, but it seemed that Sara was more malicious than just tearing down a freshman girl’s self esteem. Sara was downright creepy. The following day, I had over two hundred notifications on my account, all reading the same thing; “Sara Cooper has requested to be tagged in your photo.” My heart jumped in my chest. When I checked my recent activity, I had apparently befriended a Sara Cooper, and then approved all the tags. Some stranger had hacked into my account and tagged herself in every single one of my photos; pictures of me with my family, me as a child, my first day of college including a picture of the sign in front of my dorm. She could see everything. The account looked normal enough. It was incredibly generic. The profile picture looked like a yearbook picture. She liked a few of the same bands I liked. I was her only friend.
I stopped getting messages from the deep web and began getting them directly from Facebook.
“Hi Ben.
Hi Ben.
Hi Ben.
Hi Ben, why won’t you answer me?
Why won’t you answer me, Ben?
You’re being sort of rude, Ben.
Maybe I’ll send something to your mom to let her know what a rude son she raised.
Or maybe I’ll show your sister what sort of videos you’ve been watching.
Hi Ben.
Hi Ben.”
“Jesus Christ, who the fuck are you? Why are you doing this?”
“Oh, there you are! You’re so silly sometimes, Ben. I thought you were ignoring me on purpose!”
Now, I know what you’re all thinking; why didn’t you report the account? Why didn’t you change your password? Why didn’t you get off Facebook? Here was my rationale: as long as I had the account, I could see her. She was still on my playing field. She wasn’t going to pop up somewhere else. I could see when she was online, I could keep her happy by replying.
Plus, a small part of me was still so stupidly curious.
It wasn’t until she showed up on my email that I finally started to see the seriousness of this. The first email I got was simply a “Hi, Ben”, from ‘[email protected]’. (Yes, this is the real email. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to actually post it... But I don't see what harm it can do) Unsettling, but nothing worse than usual. My email was linked to my Facebook. It wasn’t like she hacked anything to send it. The next few emails proved me wrong.
Picture this; 18 year old college freshman, sitting up in his dorm room while his roommate is gone for the weekend. Said freshman opens up his email to get a confirmation email from amazon for a set of cutlery, ten meters of heavy duty rope, and some sort of fetishist ball gag. Said freshman drafts an email to amazon, heart racing, attempting to cancel the order. He’s trying to ignore the fact that she has access to his credit card, to his shipping address, to literally everything. He just wants the order cancelled.
“Ping. Ping.”
Oh, Ben. You don’t like what I picked out? I thought it would be something fun. Like the videos you watch, Ben. The girls in those use ropes, and gags. The knives were my own creativity.
Nausea washed over me. She could see my screen. She could see me starting to cancel the order.
If you send that email, I won’t be happy, Ben. Don’t send the email. Please, Ben? Please, Sir? Do you like being called Sir? Like the girls in the videos? Please don’t send the email, Sir.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it took all of my energy not to vomit then and there. Chills racked my body. The darkness of my room terrified me, but the idea of standing up to turn on a light terrified me more. The idea of even looking behind me scared me.
[[email protected] would like to video chat]
You better accept that, Ben. Or else I could email something sweet to your Chemistry TA. I saw the messages you sent Jimmy about her rack. I wish you’d talk about my rack like that. Ben?
[Video chat accepted]
Instantly I was brought to an all black screen, and from my speakers came an outpouring of women moaning, a lewd sound that was horrifyingly distorted by being played over itself so many times. It seemed that each time I pressed the mute button, it would unmute itself just as quickly. Unplugging my speakers made it quieter, but the sound only continued to play from my laptop.
All at once, my room grew silent, but only for a moment.
“It’s so nice to finally talk to you like this, Ben.” said a voice. It sounded so close, not like it was coming from a computer, but like it could be right behind me.
“I-it’s so nice, isn’t it, Ben?” The voice cracked.
“Who is this?” I said, trying to keep my own voice steady.
“Don’t p-p-play with me, B-ben. It’s me. It’s Sa-Sarah.” A sob followed the last word. Suddenly I knew this wasn’t Sara. This woman was a victim. She was crying. She was scared.
“Can I see your face, Sara? You can see my face, wouldn’t that be fair? I want to know the sexy woman I’ve been talking to.” I said the words in a monotonous voice, but I wanted her to know I fell for it. Maybe I could finally have the advantage.
“Oh, no. No, no, no. Not yet, Ben. The f-first time you see my face will be in person. How do you like my voice, though? I p-picked it especially for you. I picked what I thought you liked, Ben.” Her voice had devolved from the occasional sob to consistent weeping, her words sounding wet, and timid.
“Wait. Karen?”
“Yes! Oh, god, Ben it’s-”
[[email protected] has gone offline]
My curiosity had a body count.
It’s starting to seem like this entire post is just one big confession. Maybe it is. But when a campus wide email was sent out about the disappearance of Karen McGowan, I stayed silent. She hadn’t disappeared. She’d been murdered. She’d had her throat slit, and then she’d been undressed. She had been tied up so that her ankles and hands touched behind her back. She’d had a ball gag placed in her mouth. She’d had her photograph taken and forwarded to me in an email with the subject line “This is how I’d want you to take me”. That time I did vomit.
Marcus was the first person to bring it up to me. He wasn’t close to her, but he knew we’d hooked up, and he knew I’d sent her awful messages. He obviously didn’t suspect me, that would’ve been crazy. But he needed to get pissed at someone, so yelling at me was good enough. Shit about how she’d probably killed herself because of the messages I’d sent. I didn’t bother defending myself. She’s dead because of me.
Only Sara didn’t like Marcus’s rude texts to me. She told me so. She told me she could take care of him, if I wanted. That was the last message I got before deleting everything.
It was really after the photo of Karen when I decided I had to end this. I disabled the add-on that let me access the deep web. I made up some shit story about trying to be more present, and deleted Facebook, instagram, reddit, twitter, and my email. She had access to me on each and every social media site in one way or another. Sara Cooper had a twitter account made up entirely of retweets of everything I posted. Sara Cooper liked all my instagram posts, and made me her #mancrushmonday. Sara Cooper was stalking my every move.
I specifically remember sitting in my dorm about one month after this had all began. It was the first time I asked myself who Sara Cooper could be. The entire month had been a nightmare, a constant sensation of the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. I could tell my parents were worried with my lack of calls. Not eight weeks into the school year and my grades were dismal. I was too busy being utterly consumed by Sara to even question who she could be. Was she even a woman? Why would she need a woman to speak for her otherwise?
I hadn’t heard from her for a whole week since I had deleted everything. I doubted things could be so easy, but it seemed to be working. Another week went by, and the search for Karen was called off. There were absolutely no leads. Search and rescue teams had scoured the campus, and miles surrounding it. Nothing. Of course, I debated going to the police. I was the only one who knew the truth besides Sara. But the murder weapon was charged to my credit card. The ropes to tie her up, the ball gag. All of it linked back to me, and accompanied with my texts to her, I knew I’d be charged. I kept quiet. I did my best to convince myself this wasn’t my fault.
I felt like I could breathe again. I patched things up with Marcus, and he invited me to his frat for a party. I mingled. I talked to girls. I got a little carried away, and by that I mean belligerently drunk, but I woke up in my own bed after what seemed like the first good night’s sleep I’d had in ages, at least until I heard it. That familiar noise that now gave me chills.
“Ping. Ping.”
It was good to see you back at the house again, Ben. I’m really glad I could show you all of this stuff. You got pretty drunk, haha. You probably don’t remember me walking you back, but everything is okay now. I redownloaded access to the deep web for you. Please don’t delete it again, okay, Ben? I’m trusting you. Marcus is living in the house with me next semester, and I really like that guy. It would suck for me to have to do something to him, just because you can’t handle a little prank, wouldn’t it? Try not to be so much of a pussy, and you might even get a bid here.
Anyway Reddit, that’s where my story ends. I’m posting this under a new username from a library computer, but honestly, nowhere is safe anymore. I feel like Sara, or… Well, Steve, I guess is running my life now. I don’t know where to turn.
submitted by Youve_Been_Warned to nosleep [link] [comments]

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