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The currency of choice of the would-be Optus extorter


When an nameless individual posted on a message board last week, claiming to have damaged into Optus’ servers and extracted an enormous haul of private info, they requested for one million {dollars} to make the downside go away. Specifically, they requested for one million {dollars} value of the cryptocurrency monero.

For many this may increasingly have been the first time they’d heard of monero, the favorite digital coin of the nefarious denizens of the web. That’s as a result of monero, launched in 2014, is a secrecy-focused cryptocurrency, also called a non-public coin.

Monero is designed to obfuscate the value, sender and receiver of all transactions.

Monero is designed to obfuscate the worth, sender and receiver of all transactions.Credit:Monero

Though not essentially illicit, and never unlawful in most international locations, it’s a super approach to ship and obtain cash for items and companies you’d fairly hold hidden from regulation enforcement. Monero, like bitcoin, makes use of a public ledger. But it utilises privacy-preserving know-how to make each the transaction historical past and the quantity held by every individual untraceable.

Professor Barney Tan, head of UNSW’s faculty of info techniques and know-how administration, mentioned monero’s untraceablility is predicated on three fundamental capabilities.

First, sending cash to a monero pockets will seem like it’s going to a number of wallets on the blockchain. Only the sender and the receiver will know the place the cash was really despatched.

Second, 10 decoy sources of funds are combined in with the actual supply in each transaction, making it very troublesome to inform which is the precise supply getting used.


And third, a cryptographic algorithm referred to as the Pederson Commitment doesn’t enable anybody apart from the sender and receiver to understand how a lot monero was exchanged in a given transaction.

“These features have made it very difficult to know where the money is sent, where the money is coming from, and how much is actually exchanged. You can probably see why this would be very attractive for criminals and people looking to engage in illicit activities,” Tan mentioned.

Source: www.smh.com.au


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