Bitcoin Hacker Helps FBI Catch Murderer

An ethical hacker breached the database of a phony darknet website offering hitman services and leaked the data. The information from the data dump helped the FBI in their investigation of a man who murdered his wife.

In November 2016, Stephen Carl Allwine, 47, of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, killed his wife in “one of the most bizarre cases ever seen,” police officers reported. The husband tried to mask the murder as a suicide, including putting a 9 mm pistol next to Amy Allwine’s elbow. However, detectives arriving on the scene identified the case as murder and collected evidence — mostly electronic devices, such as computers — belonging to Mr. Allwine. Later on, in January, investigators arrested and charged Mr. Allwine with second-degree murder based on the forensic evaluation of the confiscated electronic equipment.

In May 2016, a hacker called “bRpsd” breached the database of a controversial hitman service offered on a darknet website. The service, “Besa Mafia,” offered a link between customers and hitmen, who could register on the site anonymously. The price for a murder ranged between $5,000 and $200,000, but clients seeking to avoid fatalities could also hire a contractor to beat up a victim for $500 or set somebody’s car on fire for $1,000.

The hacker uploaded the data dump to a public internet website. The leaked files contained user accounts, email addresses, personal messages between the Besa Mafia admin and its customers, “hit” orders and a folder named “victims,” providing additional information on the targets.

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