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Anonymous Planet Onion

Discussion of OpSec, Threat Models, Protection, Assessment & Countermeasures.

Vendors: /d/vendor_handbook.

While the focus of this community's OpSec discussions may center around DarkNet (DN) activity, all members of this sub are encouraged to think about, discuss, and share ideas relating to OpSec.

Why Monero should be used

by /u/biggeoff77 · 2 votes · 1 week ago

Monero was originally launched in April of 2014 and is currently the largest coin used on the dark web. The first major market that accepted its use was AlphaBay, introduced in 2016. Many more markets have introduced it with many only accepting XMR.

Monero does have greater privacy-enhancing features than Bitcoin, however its still not used as frequently;

1) Bitcoin is easier to get ahold of and can be purchased from literally any cryptocurrency exchange

2) It has a bigger market cap and more trading volume, which means its price doesn't fluctuate as wildly as Monero

3) Considered easier to use.

Whats wrong with Bitcoin?

The way that Bitcoin blockchain functions leaves it highly traceable and thus susceptible to forensic analysis.

Unlike Monero, all Bitcoin transactions are public, which means anyone can loock at which addresses are sending coins to which recipients as well as the amount. This makes it easy to tie individuals to their transactions if they've ever used any personal information.

There are a few ways to introduce privacy within Bitcoin transactions, namely coinjoin or mixing services, although these methods are not guaranteed to provide privacy.

How does Monero Work

Its features include;

1 - Ring Signatures; Conceals the true sender of a transaction

2 - Ring CT; hides the amount of XMR being sent in a transaction

3 - Stealth Addresses; a hidden address where XMR is actually received, derived from the public address

Ring Signatures

Used to obscure the true identity of the sender in a transaction by creating a group of potential signers, of which a true signer is a member.

This is done by combining the senders public key with public keys pulled at random from the blockchain which then act as decoys.

Ring CT

Evolution of Moneros ring signature technology.

Introduced to hide the amount being transacted.

This is done using a cryptographic method called a 'range proof', a mathematical proof that the amount being transacted is within a certain range without revealing the exact amount.

Meaning only the sender and receiver can see the actual amount being transferred.

Stealth Addresses

Allow users to receive transactions without publicly revealing their actual receiving address.

When a user creates a transaction, a unique-one-time stealth address is generated for the recipient, rather than using the recipients actual public address.

The stealth address is derived from the recipients public address and a random number generated for each transaction.

To spend funds, the recipients derives the addresses private key using a piece of information known as a shared secret.

Comments (3)
/u/captainsensible · 1 votes · 1 week ago · Link

Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency - Andy Greenberg

Within the DarkLeaks collection, one slide deck immediately caught my eye. It was a presentation from Chainalysis. It described, in Italian, a remarkable set of surveillance capabilities and tricks that Chainalysis offered to law enforcement but that had never before been publicly revealed.

Chainalysis claimed in one slide of the presentation, for instance, that it could track Monero, the “privacy coin,” in a shockingly high number of instances, despite its anonymizing properties. “In many cases, the results can be proven far beyond reasonable doubt,” the presentation read in Italian, though it conceded that “the analysis is of a statistical nature and as such any result has a confidence level associated with it.”

The company claimed to be able to provide a “usable lead” in no less than 65 percent of cases involving Monero. In 20 percent of cases, it could determine a transaction’s sender but not a recipient, and in only 15 percent of cases did it fail to produce any leads. For another tool called Wasabi, a wallet that promised to mix users’ Bitcoin transactions to foil tracking, Chainalysis said it could still follow the money in 60 percent of cases.

/u/UberChad · 2 votes · 1 week ago · Link

Greenberg was ripped to shreds on Twitter and r/Monero for using faulty and outdated data. The Italian presentation in question (actually a leak that was never officially released) cites a 2017 incident where mind-numbingly poor OPSEC on a KYC exchange in tandem with using customized TX settings (now impossible) resulted in the WannaCry 2.0 hackers handing themselves in on a platter, even Monero cannot protect you from such stupidity.

In any case, the custom TX settings that helped set them apart have now been disabled (since 2019) and Monero is on track to replace ring signatures (the weakest link) altogether in future.

/u/captainsensible · 1 votes · 1 week ago · Link

Interesting subtext, thanks for sharing...