An FBI report, discussed today on Coindesk, details how agents were able to track down Ross William Ulbricht as operator of the Silk Road marketplace. It is a rebuttal to recent claims by Ulbricht and his lawyer, Joshua Dratel, that evidence was gathered illegally and therefore invalid.
A key point in the rebuttal was that the agents discovered that the Silk Road server’s IP address was leaking information from the website due to an “apparent misconfiguration of the user login interface by the site administrator”.
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Ironically, this would be the second such Tor misconfiguration revealed today in the Bitcoin world that has led to potentially disastrous consequences for respective owners. The reported hacker of Satoshi Nakamoto’s e-mail account said, “Apparently you didn’t configure Tor properly and your IP leaked when you used your email account sometime in 2010.”
The Silk Road leak led to the discovery of additional IP addresses not protected by Tor. The report goes on to argue that information was gathered legally without the need for a warrant; that the FBI was authorized to search through Ulbricht’s Facebook and e-mail due to probable cause; and that authorities in Iceland were contacted because that’s where Silk road’s server was located.