“Just a quick note to say that we were hacked and the hackers still have control of our email account firstname.lastname@example.org,” the family of convicted Silk Road administrator, Ross Ulbricht, announced this morning. “We have been told they are soliciting funds with it, posing as us. Any email from that address, until further notice, is NOT legitimate! They also have control of our twitter account through the email.”
What’s Known About the Hack So Far?
News of the ‘Free Ross‘ hack surfaced online four days ago on popular Bitcoin forums on Reddit and Bitcoin.com. Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver asked individuals to not make donations due to the organization’s compromised email, addresses, phone numbers, twitter account, Paypal account and bitcoin accounts.
Mr. Ver says the hacker contacted him. “The hacker messaged me on Twitter DM this morning pretending to be Lyn,” Mr. Ver recounted. “I knew right away that it wasn’t her due to the horrible English. Whoever the hackers are, they aren’t native English speakers.” Mr. Ver says the hackers were asking for a loan.
“There aren’t many details at this time but updates will be provided once the dust clears,” Mr. Ver wrote. “A new address will likely be established as well – please do not donate to anyone accepting money on behalf of Ross at this time.”
Mr. Ver later took to Twitter to express his thoughts. “Hackers that prey upon those who are already dealing with so much heartache deserve all of our contempt,” Mr. Ver tweeted. As of last night, donations were still being sent to the compromised Free Ross bitcoin address.
Corrupt Investigation & Trial?
When Ross Ulbricht was convicted of running the Silk Road darknet marketplace, many supporters banded together to support the then 30-year-old man.
The focal point of this group is the Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense fund (‘Free Ross’), which is comprised of family, friends and supporters who want Mr. Ulbricht to be released. Supporters generally believe the investigation of the trial of Mr. Ulbricht was mired by corruption. Carl Mark Force, a DEA agent involved with the investigation of Mr. Ulbricht, tried to invest in the author’s bitcoin startup, probably with funds illicitly gained during the Silk Road investigation. ‘Free Ross’ believes the prosecutorial misconduct in the Silk Road trial set dangerous precedents.
Mr. Ulbricht is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In October 2013, Mr. Ulbricht was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was charged with money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics.
Mr. Ulbricht stated on his LinkedIn page that he intended to “use economic theory as a means to abolish the use of coercion and aggression amongst mankind,” claiming “I am creating an economic simulation to give people a first-hand experience of what it would be like to live in a world without the systemic use of force.”
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Images via Shutterstock, Free Ross