blackmail / real world stego use

bear bear at
Tue Aug 26 17:49:18 EDT 2003

On Sat, 23 Aug 2003, Barry Wels wrote:

>So far I have only found one English item in the news about this.
>So let me translate some of the dutch information about this
>interesting case :

<snip - story of a dutch man who used, an american
 anonymizing service claiming "we will not give out your info
 to anyone ever", to browse a website containing stego data
 worth US$185K that he'd extorted a dutch company into placing
 there.  FBI was apprised of situation, had his email address
 within 24 hours - he was arrested by (dutch?) police the
 instant he tried to touch the money. >

It is interesting to speculate about whether the FBI served with a warrant.  If the anonymizing service is
"transparent" after the fact to the details recorded during
the FBI's ordinary daily monitoring of the internet, then we
live in interesting times indeed.

That would imply packet recording and correlation on a level
greater than we've ever considered to be in the arsenal of
cryptographic threats, implying the emergence of forces (and
inevitably of forces other than governments) that have
eavesdropping capabilities that cannot be defeated except with
time-delayed packet relay through many hosts and re-encryption/
redecryption at each step of the way.

That is a model that does not permit realtime communication,
meaning that monitoring may be impossible to escape for
realtime activities such as web browsing.


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