[Cryptography] Satoshi's PGP key.

Adrian McCullagh amccullagh at live.com
Fri Dec 18 23:29:59 EST 2015

Hi everyone;

In 2001, the first public court case dealing with Key loggers was published.  The case is SCARFO v. US.  In that case, the FBI was tracking an alleged mafia member.  He was using PGP to encrypt messages between him and an accomplice.

The FBI could not decrypt the message so they developed 2 malware applications or maybe 3 (not surer about this as I have not read the case for sometime).  The FBI had worked out that SCARFO was using PGP so they surreptitiously loaded the first malware which basically searched for the PGP private key ring and sent the entire ring by FTP to the FBI address.  The malware then deleted all traces of the transaction from SCARFO’s machine and then deleted itself.

Once the FBI had the PGP private Key ring they needed the pass phrase to activate the PGP and thus be able to decrypt all future correspondence.  They did this by loading a second piece of malware which was a key-logger.  The key-logger lay in wait until PGP was activated and then recorded (I think is was the next 100 characters) typed in.  The key logger then packaged this information up and sent it by FTP again to FBI.

All of this information is detailed in the Affidavit of an FBI agent which can be located on the EFF site.

Now I am not sure about this but the FBI either had a third malware application or the second malware had extra functionality but every time SCARFO sent an encrypted message to his accomplice the message was also sent to the FBI.

So my question is, “is it possible for some malware to steal an entire BIT COIN wallet and copy a passphrase and then the perpetrator can spend someone else’s bitcoins”.

Just a thought.

I obviously could be naive or just do not understand how BITCOIN wallets operate.

Any assistance in this would be greatly appreciated.  All of the SCARFO docs can be located at EFF.org.

Kind regards


Dr. Adrian McCullagh 
Ph.D. LL.B.(Hons) B. App. Sc. (Computing)
ODMOB Lawyers 
Mobile 0401 646 486
Skype.   Admac57
E: ajmccullagh57 at gmail.com
E: amccullagh at live.com 
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From: John Levine
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎18‎ ‎December‎ ‎2015 ‎5‎:‎28‎ ‎AM
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