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18.6.17 Dark Web and Cybercrime Roundup

Update: One PlayPen Member May Only Serve Four Years

We wrote about the prosecution’s request that former US Army combat engineer David Tippens serve four years in prison for possession of child pornography. Four years in prison for one of the men caught in Operation Pacifier seemed low at the time. But since the judge opted to render the FBI’s evidence inadmissible, Tippens only received one conviction: one count of possession of child abuse imagery. The prosecution pushed for a four year sentence with 15-years of federal supervision. The Court heard the prosecutors describe how terrible of a person Tippens was, regardless of the dropped charges. Sentencing came around this week and Tippens received only a 6-month sentence. According to Naked Security, the Court was impressed with his “distinguished” Army career and that his “pornography addiction related to PTSD that would be addressed through continuing counseling.” DeepDotWeb

Hacker leaks Naked Pics at dark web stolen from Cosmetic Surgery Clinic

Several weeks ago, an outside entity stole a file that contained client information from UAB Beauty Surgery (Grozio Chirurgija) in Lithuania. The entity some information and pictures that some people, including public figures, would not have wanted in circulation. This, in their words, meant “photos taken of changes (vagina, breast, penis, etc.).” They attempted flat-out extortion of the clinic. The clinic denied the data’s authenticity. The extortionist(s) then created an auction for the photos on a hidden service “shop.” One could view 20 samples for free, buy data on individual people, or pay the ever increasing fee for the entire collection. The alleged hacking group—known as Tsar Team according to the police—have been harassing individual clients at an increased price. DeepDotWeb

Corrupt Fed’s “Frivolous” Appeal Denied in Silk Road Case

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Shaun Bridges’s appeal to change the terms of his plea agreement. Bridges, a former Secret Service agent who investigated Ross Ulbricht, stole roughly $800,000 in Bitcoin while investigating the Silk Road. He pleaded guilty to the theft, and in the plea agreement, he signed away his right to appeal the sentence. In spite of this, Bridges appealed the decision, asking for the right to appeal. Davina Pujari, the agent’s defense counsel who worked on the appeal, called the issues “legally frivolous.” And so did the Appeals Court, albeit in more words: “Bridges has waived his right to appeal his conviction and sentence,” the judges wrote. “Because the record discloses no arguable issue as to the validity of the appeal waiver, we dismiss the appeal.” DeepDotWeb

Coinbase Disables Account for Ross Ulbricht Legal Campaign

Although Coinbase reinstated the Free Ross legal defense account, the community came close to taking up arms—at least on Twitter. The official Free Ross Twitter account, @Free_Ross, tweeted “[Coinbase] disabled the #FreeRoss account after receiving 16.5 #bitcoin today. Now can’t pay lawyers.” This stirred theories of a connection between the freeze and a recent addition to the Coinbase Board of Directors: the federal prosecutor from the government’s case against Shaun Bridges and Carl Force. Both agents helped themselves to Ross Ulbricht’s bitcoins through several abuses of power and scams during the Silk Road investigation. Coinbase, of course, hired the prosecutor for her expertise, they announced in a blog post. Bitsonline (Reminder: Coinbase enabled the account. The account was automatically flagged as a compromised account.)

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