The Greatest PorcFest Ever Stolen

July 7th, 2014   Submitted by Davi Barker

BitTheft

I just got back from a highly successful east coast tour which included both speaking at Bitcoin In The Beltway, and vending at the eleventh annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, both of which were highly lucrative. I’ve said many times that Bitcoin is a tool for personal freedom, and I’ve also said that freedom requires personal responsibility. So, when Bitcoin goes missing while I’m at the helm I have no one to blame but myself.

In Washington DC I spoke on the non-profit panel with Jason King, Andreas Antonopoulos, and Meghan Lords, which was well received. I also gave my own talk titled, “Getting To Know Your Regulators,” in which I compared and contrasted market driven conferences like Bitcoin In The Beltway, with taxpayer funded junkets by regulatory agencies like the DOJ, IRS, VA, and GSA. I also I discussed some of the science which explains the lies and hypocrisy of the regulators. Best of all we did our first ever episode of The Bitcoin Group where we were all together in one room.

I also had a vending table where I sold hats, stickers, lapel pins and a variety of other Bitcoin related swag. This included the orange Bitcoin Not Bombs t-shirts, which are a fund raising instrument for the Hoodie The Homeless campaign. Every t-shirt sold is priced to give a hoodie to a homeless person at the end of the year.

After missing my flight to New Hampshire, I caught a ride to PorcFest with friend of liberty Tim Frey from Roberts & Roberts Brokerage.

Although this was only my second PorcFest, it was exponentially better than my first, in part because I subsisted so fully on the goodwill of the community.

You have to understand that I was totally loaded down with merchandise. My two largest suitcases were filled with Shiny Badges products from home. I also had 250 PorcScouts multi-tools manufactured and shipped directly to the campground to help promote my zombie novel, Survivor Max. Friends from Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin brought in shipments of t-shirts for me. And Singing Tall Grass sent me some “Bitcoin Not Bugs” bug spray. And or course, I brought the Bitcoin Bomber shirts I was selling on behalf of Bitcoin Not Bombs.

This was a Hail Mary pass for Shiny Badges. I had no infrastructure. No tents. No tables. Just 12 boxes of merchandise and the picnic table provided by the campground. I didn’t even bring enough food and clothes for myself, trusting the community and the market to provide for me.

It was a colossal success. Within the first four hours Ben Stone from the Bad Quaker Podcast had lent me a table and stakes for a clothesline, Paul Ritter had lent me a pop up tent, and Ernest Hancock from Freedom’s Phoenix lent me a second pop up tent, and two more tables. Suddenly I had a veritable mini mall at my vending site. I know for many people the idea of spending the week hawking their wares sounds like a lot of work, but to me it’s a vacation, and a pleasure.

To give you some idea, at PorcFest last year our booth took in about 3 Bitcoin all week. At the time Bitcoin was about $100. This year I took in 3 Bitcoin the first day, when Bitcoin was about $600. By the end of the week we had earned over 8 Bitcoin for our various commercial and non-profit partners, which is a windfall I could hardly believe.

Then it was all stolen.

I had been using a Shiny Badges mobile wallet for the event. It wasn’t my primary wallet, which is more secure, so I’m not going to starve, but it was the wallet I usually use for conferences and festivals because I had QR code payment cards printed to make vending easy. Typically, when I get home from an event I go into the account and divide the funds among the interested parties, but the wallet was mine personally, and therefore my responsibility. The truly embarrassing thing about it is that Drew Phillips, Thomas Hunt, and Blake Anderson all repeatedly cajoled me to beef up my security, and moving the Bitcoin to a more secure location was literally the next thing on my task list when I watched it disappear. So, this was a very opportunistic crime.

As best as I can tell, the thief hacked into my gmail account, and from their gained access to all my Blockchain wallets, which is my own fault for never setting up two-factor authentication on both the wallets and my email, despite numerous warnings from experienced bitcoiners close to me. Figuring out security was always just something I thought I could figure out later.

My total losses are 8.37266084 BTC, which were my earnings from PorcFest, 0.12237595 BTC, which were the BEARCAT Defense Fund, and 0.26952621 BTC, which had been raised for the Authoritarian Sociopathy project. All of these funds were diverted to bitcoin address 1M31pk17UGtiqznoBbJEMu2dTfmMAd8EAH, although if the thief has any idea what they are doing, that address will prove untraceable.

The BEARCAT Defense Fund is a donation drive to support anti-police militarization activism. The Authoritarian Sociopathy project was a donation drive to fund a renegade psychological experiment on police brutality. In addition, a portion of my earnings from PorcFest were destined for the Hoodie The Homeless campaign, based on how many Bitcoin Not Bombs shirts were sold. I’m fully committed to fulfilling all my obligations to these donation drives. The security blunder was mine, not theirs. So, I replenished what was lost from my personal savings.

The wallets of the BEARCAT Defense Fund and Authoritarian Sociopathy were compromised, so I created new wallets on a more secure platform and replaced what was stolen. You can follow the links to confirm the funds are present.

BEARCAT Defense Fund: 1KA3PcWRBAPoTAXyuRwKncY4ChDsDUyCBy

Authoritarian Sociopathy: 1BnAeWodsXMG4U2r9P6cHXD9DDfvJLZLvF

None of the Bitcoin Not Bombs wallets were compromised, and they are not susceptible to this kind of attack. 42 of the 50 Bitcoin Bomber shirts sold, so I owed Bitcoin Not Bombs $1260. Half went into the Hoodie The Homeless fund to puchase hoodies at the end of the year, and half went into the Bitcoin Not Bombs general fund to resupply the t shirts. I sent 0.9915 BTC to each, and you can follow the links to confirm.

Hoodie the Homeless: 1HnVzTJMrDZP4NfZM5R1GLsKF1PtfGNQvA

Bitcoin Not Bombs: 1BMpEgJbPCGF65Nv4RuA5v8gq6BbbKG5Ux

So, I’ve made some changes with all my personal accounts. I’ve changed all my passwords. I’ve put two factor authentication on everything that offers it. I’ve put the bulk of my Bitcoin onto paper wallets. I’ve installed Mycelium on my phone for future events, which I’m told is more secure than the mobile wallet I was using. And so, in some ways it feels like PorcFest never happened. Worse, I was deeply invested in all these new products, and now that they’ve sold, and the buzz is created, I don’t have the funds to order more. Shiny Badges is going to be in some financial straits for a while. But, in another sense I came home from PorcFest with something priceless. I met online friends in meat space for the first time. I formed new friendships sure to last a lifetime. As a co-host on the Freedom Feens I participated in some of the best radio broadcasts I’ve ever heard. And most importantly I earned the esteem of many, as many earned my esteem, which is a commodity that can’t be stolen. Wipe away the profit, and PorcFest remains a priceless experience.

Many have suggested that I was targeted because of my high profile, and even that the thief was squatting in my wallet for a long time, waiting for the right moment to sweep the funds. I’m a public speaker, a writer, and a frequent guest-host on numerous Bitcoin related shows. I’m also a merchant, and a full time Agorist. If that’s the case, then maybe my experience can serve as a warning to others. Two factor authentication is your friend. Don’t put it off. But even that is not foolproof. For more comprehensive security advice, check out Fr33 Aid’s post on the subject.

If I was targeted, that also means there is a very real possibility that my thief is reading this. If that’s the case, all I can say is please give it back. I’ve created a new secure wallet just for you: 1J5DacqEjPE9u15iyGRfkBCmFJULptTW1o

And if that doesn’t appeal to you, send it to FreeRoss.org. I guarantee you, even if you tell no one, the reward you’ll feel when you’re alone in the dark will be worth far more than the money you’ve stolen, in fact it will be priceless.

Tags: , , ,

17 Responses to “The Greatest PorcFest Ever Stolen”

  1. Ben SAtoneNo Gravatar says:

    Davi,
    I’m so sorry to hear this!
    Let this be a call to the entire Bitcoin community!
    We all talk about the features of the blockchain. Somewhere out there is someone with the talents and the time to hunt this hacker down and expose him. Davi’s mistake aside, lets expose this hacker for what he is, a thief who steals the hard earned fruit of another’s labor and steals from the homeless and the down trodden. Davi stood in the rain and swarming mosquitoes to earn money for charities, and this scumbag stole all Davi had earned.
    Lets drag this piece of fermenting dog crap out of his mom’s basement and nail his nuts to a tree!

    • jbabbNo Gravatar says:

      I’ll gladly donate generously to a bounty. I also know how to use a hammer and nails.

    • Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

      Hmm. That might reduce the number of thieves in the human gene pool, but how exactly would it restore those Bitcoins to their rightful owner?

      I learned several years ago from Jorge Amador and Hans Schroeder of The Pragmatist that a reasonably civilized society will come about only after Tax and Punishment are both eliminated. More recently I re-emphasized the point in Punishment – and yes, most unusually, on that issue Murray Rothbard did get it wrong.

      Davi has said what will restore this sad situation: the return of the loot. Let’s not complicate that.

      He also very nicely pointed out to the thief why his interests would be served by doing that: he will otherwise be dogged by the dishonesty all his life.

      I’d add this, Mr Thief: Davi is busting a gut to help demolish the State, the very organization that will, when it catches you, slam you into a cell with the very dregs of humanity – or, as Kevin Patten put it recently, A Pleasantly Filled Dungeon.

      So do the right thing. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel about yourself, and you’ll not even have to say who you are.

  2. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    Uggghh, that really sucks. Sorry about your loss Davi.

  3. Doug ScribxxxNo Gravatar says:

    Oh no!!!! 🙁

  4. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s hoping you become smart enough to dump “G” mail.

    Also, don’t discount as suspects those who knew that your security was lax. Indeed, put a little heat on them.

  5. Paul SnowNo Gravatar says:

    Davi, so sorry for this loss. I have a story very much like yours.

    But your post here is hugely significant, and it represents a sea change in the business, financial, and investment circles. You are able with Bitcoin to detail your loss, what address took your funds, and the organizations directly effected. Then you can detail how you covered those organizations, with the details necessary for any of us to audit your response.

    If this same thing had happened with dollars, you could tell us a story. But we wouldn’t be able to audit your behavior. We would have to trust you and those organizations that you settled these losses. But because security is important to the image for charities, you might not have, and yet they might not be willing to expose the loss.

    Bitcoin is honest. Because if organizations truly wish to be transparent and honest, Bitcoin allows for such public audits that do not require trusting someone else. Especially when the “someone else” might not be fully motivated to really be honest.

  6. Amicia ChristiNo Gravatar says:

    So sorry. I supported your efforts by purchasing, and now it is all for naught. Thanks for the lesson on security. BTW, Survivor Max grabbed my interest in the first two pages. Since I bought two, I’ll give one copy to my nephew!

  7. meNo Gravatar says:

    Sorry to hear this. That sucks. I’ll never get why some hackers think ‘if security is lax [or just a flaw exists in software], it’s ok to steal..’ Thats like saying if a woman is drunk, its ok to take advantage of her. And someone who would steal bitcoin from charity, and from small DIY businesses?? wtf… Anyway, good luck. I hope the their has a change of heart.

  8. DiannaNo Gravatar says:

    Davi, though this was a huge loss for you, thank you so much for sharing your experience – hopefully many of us latter BTC adopters will learn from your mishap. This was my first PorcFest, and had one of the best times I’ve had in my life. It was magical. While I was there I only spent BTC or silver. I felt a greater sense of community there than I think I ever have. I also got to meet a lot of folks in meat space (love that term btw!) that I only previously knew on the interwebs. And of course I thoroughly enjoyed the Feens show we did together. But I think what you wrote above that almost brought tears to my eyes was offering an out for the thief by donating what he/she has stolen to FreeRoss.org. That shows such a tremendous generosity of spirit that is so rare as a whole, but I see so much in our community. Keep up the good work you do!!!

  9. JonNo Gravatar says:

    Seriously you have a blockchain wallet and Gmail and have NO 2FA? Even people who never heard of BTC have 2FA on their Gmail. My friend, I hope you do a thorough update of all your online accounts because you are at serious risk of identity theft and many other online security breaches.

    In the use Coinbase with 2FA (google Auth) for mobile use. Or create a secure offline paper wallet and swipe it after your travels.

    Good luck to you.

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    Davi – that totally sucks. I bought one of the bitcoins not bombs tshirts at porcfest and would be glad to pay for it a second time. I know its only a small amount of what you lost, but it’s a step to get things moving again.

    • Davi BarkerNo Gravatar says:

      Chris – I appreciate it, but your donation still made it into the Hoodie The Homeless fund because I personally covered what was lost from my personal savings. However, if you’d like to contribute more the addresses in the article all work, and have not been compromised.

      Hoodie the Homeless: 1HnVzTJMrDZP4NfZM5R1GLsKF1PtfGNQvA

      Bitcoin Not Bombs: 1BMpEgJbPCGF65Nv4RuA5v8gq6BbbKG5Ux

      Me personally: 1J5DacqEjPE9u15iyGRfkBCmFJULptTW1o

      • ChrisNo Gravatar says:

        Cool. Will do as soon as I’m back home and can access my bitcoin. I moved it all off bloockchain.info after porcfest to a local app. One downside is I can’t get to it when I’m not home.

  11. LynNo Gravatar says:

    I’m assuming your bitcoin was stolen around last Monday (on 6-30-14), the same day that someone triggered a 2FA texted code to my cell phone from blockchain.info. I assume someone had access to my gmail account and hoped the authentication code would have come through in email, rather than my cell phone.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry the thieves got some of your money. It could have happened to me a few months ago, too, before I started using a cold wallet and 2FA.

  12. HReardenNo Gravatar says:

    I read somewhere that there was a recent theft of a lot of Bitcoin so it wasn’t just you who experienced a theft of Bitcoin. Given that not everyone uses Bitcoin I doubt all of your sales were transacted in Bitcoin. Do you really believe that the thief is going to return the Bitcoin? What does this Bearcat Defense Fund do? Do you generally have to exchange the Bitcoin donated to the fund for Dollars to spend the donations and what do you spend it on?

  13. KeithNo Gravatar says:

    Davi,

    Sorry to read about your loss, and thankyou for honestly sharing the experience so others can avoid it.

    I’ve left a comment on your proposed experiment page.