The Use of Cryptography in Real and Fictional Crimes
6. Cryptography and Crime
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Cryptography and Crime
The head never rules the heart, but just becomes its partner in crime.
Mignon McLaughlin (1913–1983)
The case of a murder in 2016–2017, planned on the Dark Net, constitutes a horrific tale and a cautionary tale of how cryptographic crimes have been mutating in cyberspace.1 Police charged a Minnesota man, Stephen Allwine, with second-degree intentional murder of his wife, Amy. Allwine had devised a plot via the Dark Net whereby he would pay for her murder, asking the potential killer to stage it as a suicide. Three police agencies were involved in cracking the case—the local police, the FBI, and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)—which, together conducted a thorough computer forensic investigation, searching for murder-for-hire jobs remunerated with virtual currency (bitcoins) on the Dark Net. ← 113 | 114 →
Police found Allwine’s wife in her bedroom in a pool of blood. When told that the FBI had collected information from the Dark Net that someone had been trying to hire a killer to murder his wife, Allwine denied knowing anything about it. But the police were not fooled. They examined his computer and discovered that he had been using the Dark Net with sophisticated computer equipment in his home. On the “Besa Mafia” murder-for-hire website, police found that someone with the username “dogdaygod” was asking what it would cost to have Amy...
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