Bitcoin and Dr. Evil
One of the first step in understanding Bitcoin, The Blockchain and other types of Cryptocurrencies, is the underlying principals created by Satoshi Nakamoto written out in the Bitcoin White Paper. This lays out the infrastructure of the Blockchain and of Bitcoin, what has now been copied by others in a race of marketing digital snake oil tokens or some actually developing money instruments for legitimate uses based on Bitcoin architecture.
The state of being moving forward is that money is now technology, fully digital, non state based, encrypted, globally accessable without any form of censorship or capital controls and works on any device that can connect to the internet. Bitcoin cannot be turned off, cannot be banned technically on any device without banning cell phones themselves and has been documented being used in over 200 countries globally.
One of the most current and active threats is ransomware: malware that charges ransom in Bitcoin (BTC) to decrypt a computer system that has been compromised. Because of this cyber weapon, awareness of Bitcoin has spread across the entire planet not just as a tool for financial freedom, but a tool for machine control by the individual. Bitcoin has changed motivation, methods and modalities of all criminal behavior on the planet & this will progress exponentially.
Reimagining Law Enforcement
With robots like Atlas of Boston Dynamics or the Knightscope security machines now patrolling the streets, the law enforcement environment has fully changed. These are the new rules of the game, the playing field has changed, realizing this, military and law enforcement must change the way it enforces laws and rules. The codes of conduct & guidelines made not just by Government, Countries, Corporations and People, but also by algorithms, machine learning systems, bots and even self acting machines will all have to intertwine. This world now includes Bitcoin, a money that can be transferred machine to machine, person to person, machine to person, person to machine and in a endless layering of proxy, can bring transparency to it’s knees with complication, confusion and timing.
What we will see is datageddon, a time when so much data is being created per second online that no law enforcement, no military, not even Google employees would be able to see any useful or relevant information through the massive flood of incoming data. This will eventually dround law enforcement in data, left racing the incoming data while trying to find bad guys on the network. Using analysis from AI, algorithms, machine learning and people allows for the transparent blockchain of all transactions to be viewed and studied for the next century and beyond.
The key to law enforcement maintaining its relevance in this new machine world, is to find patterns in the Blockchain and use them to detect, analyze and prevent criminals or terrorists from doing great harm to people, machines or institutions with a financial, cyber or kinetic attack. Electronic equipment, cyber weapons and networking tools will not be enough to prevent digital attack or defend a city, state or country any longer from cyber attack. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are key to the future motivations of criminals and the technical mode of attack will increasingly include a transaction on the Blockchain.
Methods Of Criminal Bitcoin Use
One way a bad guy would use Bitcoin would be to simply pay: to pay for a murder for hire, pay for a robbery, pay for a threat, pay for a bomb to go off, pay for information, pay for machines to turn off, pay for a computer to be hacked into, pay for a machine to be encrypted, pay for a weapon to activate, pay for a medical device to fail, pay for civil services to be disrupted or worse. A digital form of coercion, intimidation or simply proxy payments used for undiscovered criminal activities unknown or unassociated with the current investigation or transactions.
Another tool is machine response to Bitcoin, a method created by BitSwitch, that allows a machines response, programming or logic to follow a Bitcoin trigger. This allows a machine to turn on or off via a Bitcoin payment that the machine recognizes on the Blockchain and then acts accordingly. This can become the basis of all machine weapon systems in the future especially if money is applicable to the weapons, the targets of those weapons or the ones firing those weapons.
BitSwitch code is inside laundry machines, arcade machines, slot machines, door locks, self driving vehicles and is used in many microcontrollers for automation in open source projects around the world. This code base is what the current ransomware like WannaCry is based on, showing a simple program can cause great damage to networks and machines, at the same time, secure machines with this code before it's used as a weapon against the same machines.
One of the most dangerous uses of Bitcoin and the Blockchain come from it’s SHA256 hash function. This is the same encryption used by nuclear level technologies around the globe. A brute force attack from the largest super computer on earth would be a nuclear proliferation nightmare. Having nuclear codes or nuclear secrets put into a Bitcoin transaction would make that data publicly accessible forever. Having Bitcoin used to purchase nuclear materials, materials to make ICBMs, exotic warheads or exchange of made nuclear bombs would be something that only could be slowed down, detected, but not stopped.
Who is Dr. Evil?
What needs to be done with all future plans for the operational environment is a preparation for non state actors using non state funds like Bitcoin to fund operations that may include nuclear proliferation, political coercion and ransomware used on compromised weapons systems. If the financial tool itself is used as a trigger, a proxy or a motivation for kinetic attack, then the financial tool itself can also be defined as a weapon system if used that way in context.
A healthy upgrade is needed for both law enforcement technologies and for law enforcement philosophy. The way the world used to work has changed with technology so fast that we are in a world with robots that speak, digital money is used daily, the president of the United States runs the economy from his Twitter account and ISIS is now bombed into rubble, who will be the Dr. evil of the future? Will Dr. evil use Bitcoin to pay for his Lazer sharks and his base on the moon?
This is what we must ponder and defend against now, machines, hackers and digital money, as being unprepared will make an attack upon the entire planet a very real possibility. Some people are not motivated by money, some people just want to watch the world burn.