# Hacks

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## On Bitcoin and Red Balloons

On Bitcoin and Red Balloons Moshe Babaioff, Shahar Dobzinski, Sigal Oren, and Aviv Zohar June 2012 Many large decentralized systems rely on information propagation to ensure their proper function. We examine a common scenario in which only participants that are aware of the information can compete for some reward, and thus informed participants have an incentive {\em not} to propagate information to others. One recent example in which such tension arises is the 2009 DARPA Network Challenge (finding red balloons).
A newly identified Mac OS X Trojan bundles a component that leverages the processing power of video cards (GPUs) to generate Bitcoins, a popular type of virtual currency. The new Trojan was dubbed DevilRobber by antivirus vendors and is being distributed together with several software applications via BitTorrent sites. Interview: Bitcoin technical lead Gavin Andresen "This malware is complex, and performs many operations," security researchers from Mac antivirus vendor Intego warned. "It is a combination of several types of malware: It is a Trojan horse, since it is hidden inside other applications; it is a backdoor, as it opens ports and can accept commands from command and control servers; it is a stealer, as it steals data and Bitcoin virtual money; and it is a spyware, as it sends personal data to remote servers," they explained.

In the first Bitcoin theft of its size, a user has lost 25,000 BTC — or nearly $487,749 at today’s market rates — to an unknown thief. While the Bitcoin community has always been quick to point out that it’s harder to forge a Bitcoin than to forge a dollar, it’s quite easy to take someone else’s Bitcoins: all you have to do is gain access to their computer’s hard drive. Once you’re in, stealing Bitcoins is easier than taking a wallet in the real world, and there’s no recourse for getting them back. That said, it is possible to verify the movement of funds to ensure complainants are telling the truth due to Bitcoin’s public nature — services such as BlockExplorer allow users to see every transaction that has ever occurred through the network. The receiving account in this case, for instance, can be seen here . ## Close to US$500k stolen in first major Bitcoin theft - Industry

Banking eradicates many of the supposed gains of decentralized money - not all, but most. I just dig a quick Google for "benefits of Bitcoin" and it seems most people agree on the following: - Anonymity/trackability. Gone if you are with a bank.