Shaltay-Boltay hacker group information exchange Joker.buzz to hold ICO
14 February 2018

«Crime Russia». Original: https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/shaltay-boltay-hacker-group-information-exchange-joker-buzz-to-hold-ico/

The exchange of information, on which Shaltay-Boltay gang sold embarrassing evidence, decided to hold ICO. The platform intends to attract $17.5 million, investors will be eligible to take part in the management of the resource.

Joker.buzz exchange, which came into the spotlight thanks to trading materials of Anonymous International (also known as Shaltay-Boltay), is holding ICO (initial coin offering - the initial placement of coins of crypto currency or tokens). This is stated in the Exchange's letter addressed to its clients (RBC has a copy). The authenticity of the letter was corroborated by one of the recipients and a representative of the exchange.

In total, Joker.buzz intends to raise $17.5 million. Tokens will be created on the basis of Ethereum crypto currency at the end of February 2018. Their implementation is planned to be carried out in three stages. At the first stage in March 2018, non-public sale of tokens to regular customers and a circle of persons determined by the organizers at a price of $0.2 apiece will be held, the letter reads. The second (from July to September) stage will see the public placement of tokens within the pre-sale at a price of $0.4. At the third stage (from November to December), the public placement of the entire volume of tokens at the final price of $2 apiece will take place. Applications for participation will be accepted until February 20.

Holders of tokens with more than 1% of the total number of tokens will be considered investors and co-owners of the Exchange and will be able to participate in the voting "on all important issues of the project's functioning (selection of the platform manager, selection of the regional manager etc.) the letter notes. In addition, Joker.buzz promises to pay dividends from profit to all holders of tokens every quarter.

It is also specified in the letter that the Exchange will start working on the information trade market not only in Russia, but also "in many other countries".

As a Joker.buzz representative explained to RBC, the funds are needed for the platform to transfer into a new "technical and ideological" level. "The Exchange has been successfully operating for more than three years, the turnover of the platform has exceeded 5 thousand bitcoins. Now we are facing the task to make the platform as transparent as possible, absolutely legal, decentralized (this will be aided by the transition to blockchain technology) and operating not only in the Russian market," he said. According to the RBC interlocutor, Joker.buzz also plans to issue a crypto currency, which will be used on the Exchange. The whitepaper of the project will be published in the coming months, he noted.

This is not Joker.buzz's first attempt to raise money. In February 2015, they tried to raise 12 bitcoins ($3000 at that time) through crowdfunding, but the campaign did not take place, since the Exchange managed to collect only 0.2 bitcoins (about $50). The representative of the exchange believes that it is incorrect to draw analogies between the ICO and that fund raising. "In 2015, as an experiment, fundraising was announced for the publication of an array of information concerning the brother of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Dvorkovich. We planned that the general public would act as the buyer of this information file, but, unfortunately, this did not happen, and we decided against raising funds for the publication of arrays," he said.

Joker.buzz gained fame due to the fact that gang Shaltay-Boltay put up for sale compromising materials on it since 2015. The Exchange received 20% for its services, according to Forbes.

From October to November 2016, Vladimir Anikeev, Konstantin Teplyakov and Alexander Filinov, who, as it transpired later, were major players of the hacker group Shaltay-Boltay, were arrested. They were accused of violating Art. 272 of the Criminal Code (Illegal Access to Computer Information). At the same time, Alexander Glazastikov, who called himself the only member of the group that remained at large, stayed in Estonia.

Despite the fact that the hackers of Shaltay-Boltay started selling personal correspondence of several dozen Russian politicians, officials and businessmen since 2013, only Presidential Aide Andrey Belousov, Head of Sberbank's Directorate Evgeny Kislyakov and TV presenter Dmitry Kiselev were the victims in the criminal case. Testimonies in the investigation were also given by Dmitry Medvedev's press secretary, Natalya Timakova, and Deputy Head of the Office of Internal Policy of the President Timur Prokopenko, but the investigation did not recognize them as victims.

As a result, in July 2017, the leader of the group Vladimir Anikeev was sentenced to two years in a special colony, because he pleaded guilty and testified against his accomplices. A few months later he applied for parole, but in January of this year the court refused him. In September 2017 his accomplices Konstantin Teplyakov and Alexander Filinov were also found guilty and sentenced to three years in a colony of the general regime.

A representative of Group-IB, specializing in cyber-security, says that the goal of the "hacker ICO" is to raise funds, for example, to develop malicious programs. "At the proper level of qualification crypto-currencies allow to remain maximally anonymous both to the sender and the recipient of the funds. This feature opens up opportunities for numerous abuses: for crypto-currencies on the Internet drugs are sold and bought, hacker services are paid, this is a convenient means of payment between criminals, which provides an additional opportunity to cover up traces. At the same time, one should not demonize crypto-currencies only for this reason," the company spokesman said.