This article was spotted and shared by T.M. (thank you!), and for me, it's a bit of an "I told you so." One of the early "selling points" for crypto-currencies was the difficulty of hacking them. Now, I've been one of those who have been arguing that there is (1) no system that humans don't inevitably find a work-around, and (2) this is especially true of cyber-systems, and (3) the confident predictions of "science" usually fall by the wayside at some point. I remember reading somewhere that when railroads first started making their appearance, that some "experts" assured us that the human body would never be able to withstand speeds greater than 30 m.p.h. The RMS Titanic (or if you prefer, the Olympic) was said to be unsinkable. Another "woops". The Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test ran away far beyond its predicted yield because (so we were told) the lithium-7 in the fuel was not thought to be able to enter the fusion reaction. Yet another "woops." Mankind would never be able to fly heavier-than-aircraft. One more woops.
If anything emerges from this, it's that history is littered with such confident predictions.
This time, the "crypto-currency security" narrative cost about $600,000,000:
Hackers allegedly breached blockchain-based platform Poly Network and extracted more than $600 million in cryptocurrencies on Tuesday, the company announced on Twitter, marking the biggest hack ever in the decentralized finance space that’s heating up among investors.
There's something about this incident, however, that bothers me. Obviously, a crime was committed. And like all crimes, the solution to "Whodunit?" is the time tested method of means, motive, and opportunity: who had the means, the motive, and the opportunity to commit the crime? $600,000,000 would certainly qualify as motive. What I'm wondering about is means. Needless to say, I'm no cyber-techie-type, and know next to nothing about crypto-currencies and cyber-security in general. That said, it seems to me that anyone stealing that amount of "money" wouldn't be so careless as to leave easily traceable email and IP addresses, device fingerprints, and other "identity clues." This alone raises several issues. Let's suppose this really was an amateur job, say, some kid in his bedroom playing around on his computer. If so, then that in my opinion raises a big red flag about cryptos: who wants to have their "wallets" frozen while the app company sorts out the mess? It strikes me as the cyber equivalent of a bank run. And if some kid in a garage can do it, what about more "professional" hackers, such as those employed by large corporations or governments?
Conversely, let us suppose that the "identity clues" prove to be a veritable labyrinth, and the work of an obvious professional or professionals? The same situation applies, and then some, and the article informs us that $33 million was frozen, and another $5 million returned by the hackers, leaving the bulk of the $600 million somewhere in cyber limbo for the moment.
So the bottom line here for me is that there's a lot not being said here, and that pushes my suspicion meter into the red zone.
See you on the flip side...