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Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners
Thank you for inviting Horizen to the GPU mining AMA!
ZEN had a great run of GPU mining that lasted well over a year, and brought lots of value to the early Zclassic miners. It is mined using Equihash protocol, and there have been ASIC miners available for the algorithm since about June of 2018. GPU mining is not really profitable for Horizen at this point in time.
We’ve got a lot of miners in the Horizen community, and many GPU miners also buy ASIC miners. Happy to talk about algorithm changes, security, and any other aspect of mining in the questions below. There are also links to the Horizen website, blog post, etc. below.
So, if I’m not here to ask you to mine, hold, and love ZEN, what can I offer? Notes on some of the lessons I’ve learned about maximizing mining profitability. An update on Horizen - there is life after moving on from GPU mining. As well as answering your questions during the next 7 days.

Mining for Profitability - Horizen (formerly ZenCash) Thanks Early GPU Miners

Author: Rolf Versluis - co-founder of Horizen

In GPU mining, just like in many of the activities involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there is both a cycle and a progression. The Bitcoin price cycle is fairly steady, and by creating a personal handbook of actions to take during the cycle, GPU miners can maximize their profitability.
Maximizing profitability isn't the only aspect of GPU mining that is important, of course, but it is helpful to be able to invest in new hardware, and be able to have enough time to spend on building and maintaining the GPU miners. If it was a constant process that also involved losing money, then it wouldn't be as much fun.

Technology Progression

For a given mining algorithm, there is definitely a technology progression. We can look back on the technology that was used to mine Bitcoin and see how it first started off as Central Processing Unit (CPU) mining, then it moved to Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) mining, then Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), and then Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC).
Throughout this evolution we have witnessed a variety of unsavory business practices that unfortunately still happen on occasion, like ASIC Miner manufacturers taking pre-orders 6 months in advance, GPU manufacturers creating commercial cards for large farms that are difficult for retail customers to secure and ASIC Miner manufacturers mining on gear for months before making it available for sale.
When a new crypto-currency is created, in many cases a new mining algorithm is created also. This is important, because if an existing algorithm was used, the coin would be open to a 51% attack from day one, and may not even be able to build a valid blockchain.
Because there's such a focus on profitable software, developers for GPU mining applications are usually able to write a mining application fairly rapidly, then iterate it to the limit of current GPU technology. If it looks like a promising new cryptocurrency, FPGA stream developers and ASIC Hardware Developers start working on their designs at the same time.
The people who create the hashing algorithms run by the miners are usually not very familiar with the design capabilities of Hardware manufacturers. Building application-specific semiconductors is an industry that's almost 60 years old now, and FPGA’s have been around for almost 35 years. This is an industry that has very experienced engineers using advanced design and modeling tools.
Promising cryptocurrencies are usually ones that are deploying new technology, or going after a big market, and who have at least a team of talented software developers. In the best case, the project has a full-stack business team involving development, project management, systems administration, marketing, sales, and leadership. This is the type of project that attracts early investment from the market, which will drive the price of the coin up significantly in the first year.
For any cryptocurrency that's a worthwhile investment of time, money, and electricity for the hashing, there will be a ASIC miners developed for it. Instead of fighting this technology progression, GPU miners may be better off recognizing it as inevitable, and taking advantage of the cryptocurrency cycle to maximize GPU mining profitability instead.

Cryptocurrency Price Cycle

For quality crypto projects, in addition to the one-way technology progression of CPU -> GPU -> FPGA -> ASIC, there is an upward price progression. More importantly, there is a cryptocurrency price cycle that oscillates around an overall upgrade price progression. Plotted against time, a cycle with an upward progressions looks like a sine wave with an ever increasing average value, which is what we see so far with the Bitcoin price.

Cryptocurrency price cycle and progression for miners
This means mining promising new cryptocurrencies with GPU miners, holding them as the price rises, and being ready to sell a significant portion in the first year. Just about every cryptocurrency is going to have a sharp price rise at some point, whether through institutional investor interest or by being the target of a pump-and-dump operation. It’s especially likely in the first year, while the supply is low and there is not much trading volume or liquidity on exchanges.
Miners need to operate in the world of government money, as well as cryptocurrency. The people who run mining businesses at some point have to start selling their mining proceeds to pay the bills, and to buy new equipment as the existing equipment becomes obsolete. Working to maximize profitability means more than just mining new cryptocurrencies, it also means learning when to sell and how to manage money.

Managing Cash for Miners

The worst thing that can happen to a business is to run out of cash. When that happens, the business usually shuts down and goes into bankruptcy. Sometimes an investor comes in and picks up the pieces, but at the point the former owners become employees.
There are two sides to managing cash - one is earning it, the other is spending it, and the cryptocurrency price cycle can tell the GPU miner when it is the best time to do certain things. A market top and bottom is easy to recognize in hindsight, and harder to see when in the middle of it. Even if a miner is able to recognize the tops and bottoms, it is difficult to act when there is so much hype and positivity at the top of the cycle, and so much gloom and doom at the bottom.
A decent rule of thumb for the last few cycles appears to be that at the top and bottom of the cycle BTC is 10x as expensive compared to USD as the last cycle. Newer crypto projects tend to have bigger price swings than Bitcoin, and during the rising of the pricing cycle there is the possibility that an altcoin will have a rise to 100x its starting price.
Taking profits from selling altcoins during the rise is important, but so is maintaining a reserve. In order to catch a 100x move, it may be worth the risk to put some of the altcoin on an exchange and set a very high limit order. For the larger cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin it is important to set trailing sell stops on the way up, and to not buy back in for at least a month if a sell stop gets triggered. Being able to read price charts, see support and resistance areas for price, and knowing how to set sell orders are an important part of mining profitability.

Actions to Take During the Cycle

As the cycle starts to rise from the bottom, this is a good time to buy mining hardware - it will be inexpensive. Also to mine and buy altcoins, which are usually the first to see a price rise, and will have larger price increases than Bitcoin.
On the rise of the cycle, this is a good time to see which altcoins are doing well from a project fundamentals standpoint, and which ones look like they are undergoing accumulation from investors.
Halfway through the rise of the cycle is the time to start selling altcoins for the larger project cryptos like Bitcoin. Miners will miss some of the profit at the top of the cycle, but will not run out of cash by doing this. This is also the time to stop buying mining hardware. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to pick up that same hardware used for a fraction of the price at the next bottom.
As the price nears the top of the cycle, sell enough Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to meet the following projected costs:
  • Mining electricity costs for the next 12 months
  • Planned investment into new miners for the next cycle
  • Additional funds needed for things like supporting a family or buying a Lambo
  • Taxes on all the capital gains from the sale of cryptocurrencies
It may be worth selling 70-90% of crypto holdings, maintaining a reserve in case there is second upward move caused by government bankruptcies. But selling a large part of the crypto is helpful to maintaining profitability and having enough cash reserves to make it through the bottom part of the next cycle.
As the cycle has peaked and starts to decline, this is a good time to start investing in mining facilities and other infrastructure, brush up on trading skills, count your winnings, and take some vacation.
At the bottom of the cycle, it is time to start buying both used and new mining equipment. The bottom can be hard to recognize.
If you can continue to mine all the way through bottom part of the cryptocurrency pricing cycle, paying with the funds sold near the top, you will have a profitable and enjoyable cryptocurrency mining business. Any cryptocurrency you are able to hold onto will benefit from the price progression in the next higher cycle phase.

An Update on Horizen - formerly ZenCash

The team at Horizen recognizes the important part that GPU miners played in the early success of Zclassic and ZenCash, and there is always a welcoming attitude to any of ZEN miners, past and present. About 1 year after ZenCash launched, ASIC miners became available for the Equihash algorithm. Looking at a chart of mining difficulty over time shows when it was time for GPU miners to move to mining other cryptocurrencies.

Horizen Historical Block Difficulty Graph
Looking at the hashrate chart, it is straightforward to see that ASIC miners were deployed starting June 2018. It appears that there was a jump in mining hashrate in October of 2017. This may have been larger GPU farms switching over to mine Horizen, FPGA’s on the network, or early version of Equihash ASIC miners that were kept private.
The team understands the importance of the cryptocurrency price cycle as it affects the funds from the Horizen treasury and the investments that can be made. 20% of each block mined is sent to the Horizen non-profit foundation for use to improve the project. Just like miners have to manage money, the team has to decide whether to spend funds when the price is high or convert it to another form in preparation for the bottom part of the cycle.
During the rise and upper part of the last price cycle Horizen was working hard to maximize the value of the project through many different ways, including spending on research and development, project management, marketing, business development with exchanges and merchants, and working to create adoption in all the countries of the world.
During the lower half of the cycle Horizen has reduced the team to the essentials, and worked to build a base of users, relationships with investors, exchanges, and merchants, and continue to develop the higher priority software projects. Lower priority software development, going to trade shows, and paying for business partnerships like exchanges and applications have all been completely stopped.
Miners are still a very important part of the Horizen ecosystem, earning 60% of the block reward. 20% goes to node operators, with 20% to the foundation. In the summer of 2018 the consensus algorithm was modified slightly to make it much more difficult for any group of miners to perform a 51% attack on Horizen. This has so far proven effective.
The team is strong, we provide monthly updates on a YouTube live stream on the first Wednesday of each month where all questions asked during the stream are addressed, and our marketing team works to develop awareness of Horizen worldwide. New wallet software was released recently, and it is the foundation application for people to use and manage their ZEN going forward.
Horizen is a Proof of Work cryptocurrency, and there is no plan to change that by the current development team. If there is a security or centralization concern, there may be change to the algorithm, but that appears unlikely at this time, as the hidden chain mining penalty looks like it is effective in stopping 51% attacks.
During 2019 and 2020 the Horizen team plans to release many new software updates:
  • Sidechains modification to main software
  • Sidechain Software Development Kit
  • Governance and Treasury application running on a sidechain
  • Node tracking and payments running on a sidechain
  • Conversion from blockchain to a Proof of Work BlockDAG using Equihash mining algorithm
After these updates are working well, the team will work to transition Horizen over to a governance model where major decisions and the allocation of treasury funds are done through a form of democratic voting. At this point all the software developed by Horizen is expected to be open source.
When the governance is transitioned, the project should be as decentralized as possible. The goal of decentralization is to enable resilience and preventing the capture of the project by regulators, government, criminal organizations, large corporations, or a small group of individuals.
Everyone involved with Horizen can be proud of what we have accomplished together so far. Miners who were there for the early mining and growth of the project played a large part in securing the network, evangelizing to new community members, and helping to create liquidity on new exchanges. Miners are still a very important part of the project and community. Together we can look forward to achieving many new goals in the future.

Here are some links to find out more about Horizen.
Horizen Website –
Horizen Blog –
Horizen Reddit -
Horizen Discord –
Horizen Github –
Horizen Forum –
Horizen Twitter –
Horizen Telegram –
Horizen on Bitcointalk –
Horizen YouTube Channel –
Buy or Sell Horizen
Horizen on CoinMarketCap –

About the Author:

Rolf Versluis is Co-Founder and Executive Advisor of the privacy oriented cryptocurrency Horizen. He also operates multiple private cryptocurrency mining facilities with hundreds of operational systems, and has a blog and YouTube channel on crypto mining called Block Operations.
Rolf applies his engineering background as well as management and leadership experience from running a 60 person IT company in Atlanta and as a US Navy nuclear submarine officer operating out of Hawaii to help grow and improve the businesses in which he is involved.
Thank you again for the Ask Me Anything - please do. I'll be checking the post and answering questions actively from 28 Feb to 6 Mar 2019 - Rolf
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Profitable Crypto Mining: ASIC vs GPU, Which One Is Better?

Profitable Crypto Mining: ASIC vs GPU, Which One Is Better?
If you’re new to mining you probably have multiple questions running through your head right now. Good news is that it gets easier with time, assuming that you do your homework and research, and we will try to help you out.
One of the common questions is whether one should choose GPU or ASIC mining and we definitely have some advice on that topic.
When we’re considering classic POW mining we can quickly rule out CPU hardware for not being efficient and FPGA hardware because of its high costs. This leaves you with ASIC and GPU to choose from.

Buying Mining Equipment

Let’s get things straight — you won’t be able to buy ASIC devices in any of you local electronic shops, even in the biggest ones. There are two ways you can get this hardware: buying it online which shouldn’t be a problem these days unless that’s the newest model you’re after. Second option is to find a local company that sells ASIC equipment.
Also, you can try to purchase the equipment directly from the manufacture company, however, mind the huge customs and delivery fees if the company is located abroad.
It is highly recommended to test ASICs before buying them to make sure the equipment works properly.
GPU or graphics cards and other equipment that you will need to build your very own mining farm can be easily purchased at a regular computer store. The only problem you may have is getting the right set of hardware, so make sure to come prepared.
When buying a used (second-hand) graphics card don’t forget to test it.
What’s better?
If you’re not into hardware and have no clue how to set up a farm by yourself buying ASIC equipment would be a better option as you won’t need to build anything yourself.

Warranty Policy

In general, an official warranty policy for ASIC hardware is up to 180 days since the equipment was shipped to the buyer. When the seller is confident about the quality of their equipment, they can offer their personal 1 month warranty.
When you’re buying computer hardware in most of the cases you are getting full 2 year warranty policy including exchange or repairments of the equipment.
What’s better?
Warranty policy is especially important when you have no chance to check the equipment yourself or when you’re buying large inventory of it. Also, if you plan to go with overclocking, you will probably need a decent warranty as well.
We need to add that when you’re using the equipment accordingly and conduct regular maintenance both ASIC and GPU can work past the warranty period.

Setting Up Process

With ASICs it’s simple: you plug and connect it, pick a pool to join and start mining right away.
With GPU, it’s a little complicated. First, you need to build your farm. You will need a framework, motherboard with installed CPU and cooling, storage unit, power supply, risers and video cards. If you have no experience with assembling computer hardware you’re gonna need to save some time and prepare to put extra effort. Once your rig is ready you will have to install OS and optimize it which is usually even harder than setting up a rig. But luckily we’ve got a solution for that. CoinFly can do the work for you and help you with setting up and optimizing your equipment.
What’s better?
Although ASICs are very easy, you shouldn’t quickly give up on GPU mining. If assembling computer hardware is not a big problem for you, CoinFly will help you with setting it up.


ASIC equipment won’t give you too much trouble: it’s safe, stable, and doesn’t require any special knowledge. Maintenance includes cleaning off dust and oiling the fans.
When dealing with rigs, you will have to work a little harder and study the basics about at least graphics cards’ temperatures and operational frequency. A stable workflow depends heavily on the software and as it has a tendency to fail, it could become a problem. Unless you’re using CoinFly — our system will notify you in case of emergency so you can tune your equipment online.
What’s better?
Once again, when it comes to maintaining ASICs are almost trouble-free. GPU rigs are a bit tricky but when using the right tools like CoinFly to monitor their work, it can serve you just fine.

The Noise

ASICs are loud: when you’re in a room with a working ASIC you’re gonna need to shout, so people can hear you.
GPU farms have no such problem. Some of them are almost silent and that doesn’t affect the cooling process at all.
What’s better?
Maybe the level of noise your equipment makes was not the first issue on your list but we recommend you to consider it. ASICs are suitable only for the commercial and industrial premises.


ASICs can work with only one algorithm and mine one or several types of cryptocurrencies and are perfect for mining Bitcoin and its forks.
GPU rigs are universal: you can mine a huge variety of coins if you set your miner right.
What’s better?
If you want to mine Bitcoin, you gotta go with ASIC. But think again if that’s what you’re really after. After all, you can choose mining any altcoin that you’d like with your GPU rig and then simply exchange it to BTC. And if you’re lucky enough to mine a coin that will do good ASICs do not give you that choice, however, their mining capability is higher.

Relevance of the Equipment

ASICs are quickly getting out of date as the new models come along. Back in the day, the new versions used to come out every half a year and they were 10 times more efficient. In general, you need to change your ASIC hardware every year.
GPU equipment can perfectly serve you for 2 to 3 years and if you wish to sell the graphics card afterwards that wouldn’t be a problem either.
What’s better?
In terms of relevance, it’s probably reasonable to go with the GPU.

Return on Investment

In the long run, the profitableness of ASICs is higher but because the new models are being released quite frequently you cannot expect huge profits. It is always important to do your research and get the most relevant equipment.
GPU hardware will take its time to pay you back but it also depends if you manage to find the right coin to mine that will eventually increase your profits.
What’s better?
ASIC mining is definitely a good option for those who don’t want to constantly monitor the crypto market.
But in the case that you’re interested in what’s happening in the crypto space and you also have time to do your own research, the GPU farm would the better choice. If you’re not willing to spend your efforts on that, CoinFly Autopilot mode will help you mine the most profitable coin on the market automatically.


ASICs are great for people who can provide a non-residential space for mining and not willing to spend too much time and effort for setting up the equipment and stay updated with the latest trends in the crypto industry.
GPU rigs are suitable for mining at home and won’t scare away all the crypto and computer enthusiasts. If you’re just starting your mining journey but not sure how to do it, we recommend to register on CoinFly. From setting up your hardware to tuning it online and picking the best coin to mine at the moment — we’ve got you covered!
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[Table] IAmA: My name is Ryan Ackroyd and back in 2011 I was arrested for my part in the groups know as Lulz Security (LulzSec), Anonymous and Operation Anti Security (#AntiSec). I am LulzSec, AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-04-03
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What was it like being raided? GAME OVER PLEASE INSERT COINS.
Do you have any regrets about your involvement with those groups? Snowden, hero or villain? Why? There's no point regretting anything because you cannot undo the past. I heard about Snowden in prison, came on the news but I only know what the news has been telling me. I will look more in to it, he's got balls I can tell you that and I admire a good set of balls.
Really? Good set of balls? Are we not doing phrasing anymore? Yes really.
Any advice on learning how to program? I'm struggling with Python at the moment. You don't learn how to program, you learn how use a programming language, programming is what you do with that information. Read lots of examples of source code, see if you can work out whats going on. Don't just copy/paste the examples, write them word for word no matter how long they are. Not only will it help understand what it is doing better you may also learn a few tricks.
That's deep man. Thanks for the advice. No problem.
You don't learn how to program, you learn how use a programming language. Damn, pretty sweet quote there. It's also true.
How did you get started 'hacking'? I first started back in 1998 I mostly used to hack PC games, hex editing, binary reverse engineering stuff. Then I learned how to use C and assembly and it just went from there.
What do you recommend for someone that's interested in hacking(in terms of learning it)? Hacking is the art of reverse engineering, before you can reverse engineer something you need to have an in depth knowledge of it.
What are your thoughts on mass surveillance? Any advice for the masses? It's been going on longer than you or I have existed. Strong encryption is the key.
Ever considered a job with the NSA? GCHQ? I don't think I would pass the security clearance now anyways. I am x military though so who knows.
I am surprised you are allowed to use computers or the internet at all now considering some of the parole conditions of many American hackers. Can you talk about some of the restrictions in the SCPO and why you feel they are unfair? Basically it prevents me from using encryption that allows hidden volumes, virtual machines and I cannot delete my internet history. It lasts for 5 years and each breach of the order can be punishable up to 5 years.
It's not a case of them being fair or unfair. I can't go too in to detail about it if I want to take it back to court, I just want to challenge it, plus I like to keep my cards close to my chest.
So would say firefox's private browsing mode be against the rules? I don't think so, I'd have to check the src of firefox to determine if it deletes the history in private mode or if it simply does not record it in anyway. The order says "Not to delete".
So if you just image a fresh install of your variety of os(debian?) everyday would that break your parole? I could just boot live OS and not be in breach.
Is that what you do? I used to, remember slax?
Are you proud of the sacrifices you made in your lifetime? Yes I am, I never look back I just move forward in to the future hoping to find peace and happiness.
Did you meet anyone interesting in prison? There's some funny characters in prison I can tell you that, made friends for life. Most of the people in there were in there for fraud, drugs, gang stuff. I never met any famous prisoners if that's what you mean? Then again everyone's story in prison is interesting.
What is the best way to protect your digital identity, and secure your privacy? Since you have experience exploiting these vulnerabilities, what do you suggest to prevent it? Strong encryption, limit the amount of personal information you place on the internet, don't draw attention, only use a sandboxed browser and tunnel your HTTPS through SSH using the highest of encryption, PGP mail for every mail, don't store encryption keys on your computer, full disk encryption and/or hidden OS, use different emails for your banking, paypal etc, Mak3p4$5w0rdZ!nCr3d!b4LlYsTr0nG, uninstall flash use Link to instead etc, etc...
Thanks for your answer. I am not worried about personal use, I am more worried about enterprise and or security systems. preventing people from hacking my companies website, and social media accounts. I have to keep in compliance with the financial standards, so we use PGP, and Erado, for archiving and encryption. It is just nice to get the perspective what is an easy target, what would you consider a difficult target not worth pursuing? I could write a book to answer this...
Security isn't something you can just apply it's an on going process and in most cases you are relying on products sold to you on a trust basis. You're told that Antivirus software will stop you getting a virus but what you're not told is that Antivirus software only protects you against what is known, takes less than an hour to write a new piece of malware or backdoor that your AV will never detect.
People put too much faith in to security systems without understanding how they work, their capabilities or limitations.
There's no need to be "pentested" it's a right con, they only test you against old exploits, if you update regular then you're already safe.
Use 2 factor authentication and/or strong password policy, prevent users creating the own password (they will only make them simpler)
Just make your data worthless to a hacker by encrypting it.
Insightful, thank you. I know it's a vague question, but you just confirmed my intuition. Thanks for your honest answers. No problem.
Was it worth going to prison? Nothing is worth going to prison for. Yeah they are happy I am back and I am happy to see them again. It was ~100GBP for my parents to come and visit me in prison, I was a long way from home. I told them not to waste their money because the visit only lasts 2 hours.
How is your family treating you, are they happy to have you back? Did they visit you in prison? I am x military I am used to being away from home for long periods of time. It also makes time fly faster when you're not constantly reminded about home. If you don't know what you are missing then you don't miss much.
I've never been to prison, but I lost about 8 years of my life due to bad medical advice. I used to be angry-- I was thinking why wasn't it only 2 years-- why did it have to be such a complete waste of so many years? Would that have happened if it had been only 2 years instead of 8? I don't think so. Sometimes, events like that helps to put things in to perspective. We often don't think about our lives on a day to day basis but when something out of the "norm" happens it makes us think that little more.
What do you think about bitcoin? where will it be in 10 years? I think it's great, scrypt coin too! I think they will get heavily regulated soon though. I had 78 bitcoins backed up on a SDHC before I was sent to prison. Back then they were worth ~$40 each. Come out of jail and I can't find that shit anywhere lol.
The only problem is even if I do find it, it's encrypted with keys that are on the computer the police confiscated and I can't get back.
I know right?
Sue them. They stole you $ 78k. It's killing me!
If they've not destroyed your computer or had a seize order against it then you can get back things like that. Ask your lawyer. They seized it in court, I can however apply "for a copy of evidence" under UK law and they would have to give me a copy of the HDD.
Do this. Those bitcoins won't last. How long untill they are orphaned? It's been ~3 years already.
No idea. I meant they won't last as a concept (especially not at that value). Wow, only just seen it but they peaked at ~$1000? Feels bad man.
Exactly - since then the Chinese and Russians have banned it, and you can only consider it's a downward spiral from there. I wonder how long it will last here in the west, I'm surprised it hasn't already been regulated the tax man must be pissed!
I think there are also more constructive uses for mining, I mentioned this on twitter also. See there are a lot of cancer researchers and scientists that have HUGE amounts of data that needs to be mined to help cure diseases and solve the worlds problems.
The world hash rate for crypto coins is more powerful than most of the worlds super computers combined. Cancer researchers should give coins for mining cancer research data instead of wasting time generating meaningless hashes.
Do you like sporks? Yes, I do, do you?
Hey man we are asking YOU the questions here. Leave the interrogations to us the professionals. Ok bro.
Ex Army eh? Signals? or Tech in REME? I was in the Infantry.
So how were you ID'd for arrest? I fucked up, I've already explained it on here, lurk moar.
Just curious, do you think big brother is reading this ama real time or at all? They will be on this like flies round shit.
Where does/did LulzSec congregate? What is the education background of a typical member, or from where did you learn to do what you can do? We had our own private IRCD and encrypted silc servers, also channels on public servers. I am completely self taught, I have been at it since 1998.
Isn't the true "lulzy" part of this that you guys bugged some people and mocked their security and then ended up getting busted and going to prison while the companies you annoyed made their security better? That's pretty lulzy to me. What I find lulzy is the fact they were all vulnerable to webapp vulnerabilites and don't use PGP.
Wasn't LulzSec responsible for the major Sony Online Entertainment security breach? I know you wanted to retaliate because SONY was suing George Holtz for the PS3 jailbreaking thing he did, but the only thing that happened is that you inconvenienced the people. Basically I am asking. Why did you ruin all those accounts, which lead to people having their credit cards stolen, instead of just attacking SONY directly. Also, how many accounts were compromised? LulzSec says 1000, SONY says ~4000. LulzSec had nothing to do with the PSN breach, fact.
Do you suspect who was responsible? (group name, not actual name) Honestly, no Idea there is too much internet rumor and no one has officially come forward to claim it. I read some people in Spain were arrested and questioned in relation to the PSN breach but that still doesn't mean it was them.
What are your political views? I don't really have any political views, however I would like to see the rest of the world get a chance to sample democracy and be free from oppressive dictatorships (no naming names).
At first welcome back. So here an total haxolulz/past unrelated question what kind of music do you like? I like Hard Dance music, Hard Trance/Hard House.
Fuck yeah! Trance and House all the way. I used to have a set of Technics 1210 Mk2 and mix like mad when I was younger, still got some of the vinyl haha.
Hackers soundtrack, orbitals by halicon. Not hard but one of my favorites. Thanks I'll check this out. The LuLzSec hacker song by ytcracker is the ONLY hacker song haha.Link to
Who is your favorite Trance artist? Ever been to any festivals? Tidy boys, nothing but. Their events are awesome, youtube "Tidy weekender"
How came you guys got the cia down? It was hit with a 100,000 node botnet.
What does this mean in layman's terms? 100,000 computers were used to send ALOT of data to the server causing it crash.
That's as simple as it gets.
Any advice for aspiring hacktivists? Trust no one.
Still on 4chan? fav boards? Rules 1&2 always apply.
Hate to break it to you bro, but 4chan is just full of kids now. The rules of the internet have somewhat faded since you left the intertubes in 2011 :( consequences will never be the same again. Ebaums world has been dead a longtime because people broke 1&2
What's your opinion on the book by Parmy Olson? I think I recall she said she talked to you by chat, but how accurate was what eventually made it into the book? I lost the book before I could read it all so I don't know...
What do you think your job prospects are now with the conviction hanging over your head? Not too good! I'm on my arse at the minuet, I'll do any job!
Any job? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Allmost...
Write a book. Is it really needed?
Not needed per se. But you can tell an autobiographical perspective that nobody else can. The story lulz & Anon supporters would want to hear. Obviously not a 'tell all' but a 'tell most'? Yeah I get what you mean.
Was there a time before you were caught that you were worried or thought the authorities might have a clue as to your real identity? I knew I was going to get caught, I fucked up.
Did you have a backup plan? There was no backup plan but I realized the mistake early and acted accordingly! No I do not own guns, they're a lot more restricted here in the UK.
Are you still in touch with Jason? Saw he went to prison recently, I actually went to HS with him. How long did he get?
Jeremy, not Jason. Twins. Yeah, I think he got 10 years or something like that? I've not heard anything from him since I got out, hope he is ok.
I look up to you on how you managed to convince everyone you're a girl, smart and funny thing at the same time. Really I look up to you like a celebrity, hah. Maintaining a strong persona such as kayla and doing what I did wasn't easy. If I could go back in time I wouldn't change anything, I'd just keep going back in time to relive it over and over again. Nothing is worth prison time, it's a waste of life however I did manage to get some qualifications out of it. Not many people can say they left prison with a diploma for the thing they went in for.
If you could go back in time, before the creation of Lulzsec, what would you do differently? Also, was Lulzsec's missions worth the prison time? Where did you learn social engineering, and hacking? I learned to do what I do from programming, it is simply reverse engineering.
Thank you for your answer. What do you think about the Syrian Electronic Army, their methods of attacks, and their meaning? I honestly believe they are state sponsored (possibly not from the beginning) but I do believe they are the people Assad is turning to. As for their methods I don't even know what methods they are using, I'll read in to it though, I'm fresh out of prison and most of what they have done was done while I had no internet access. I've been banned from the internet since 2011.
That they are, got many of Advanced Replacements on products. If you had to choose between, Windows or OSX which would you choose. I'd choose Windows, I'm not a fan of OSX.
This is probably the longest I've ever seen someone take questions in an AMA. Thank you for dedicating so much time to answering people's questions. No problem I enjoy answering questions and I will be here until the questions dry up.
How did it feel being able to get behind a computer for a first time in 2+ years? Did you build a rig to re-live the novelty or do anything particularly special? Porn, me thinks. I was able to use computers in prison. I was given a job as a class room assistant helping teach people about computers, basic things. I also managed to complete a number of computer related qualifications and gained a diploma. Seeing the internet after 2+ years was kind of strange though. The internet looks a lot different now compared to how it did in 2011. To be honest I don't like it, it has that "iphone look" to it all, big buttons and lots of unneeded JS. I wish I could build a rig I just do not have the money to do so. Hopefully soon I will find a nice job and maybe then I will build one.
Did you have internet in jail? No they do not allow internet in UK prisons.
Do you think access to the internet should be a human right? When will it be? Yes it should be and I am sure it is already so!
Here you go Link to
My question: Did you ever have any suspicions about Sabu? At any point did you guys think, Something is up with this dude? Everyone had suspicions about everyone, things were being patched, rootkits disappearing, logs being leaked etc..
Was prison anything like you had expected it to be? Better than I thought it would be, I had most prison movies flashing in my head on the way there from court but it's nothing like that.
Could you elaborate more on what it's like please? Once I got to prison I realized it's nothing like the movies. Because it was all over the news when I was sentenced everyone in the jail knew who I was and what I was in for. I've made some good friends out it, people I am going to meet again once they are free. No one was ever violent towards me, you don't give any attitude you don't get any attitude. I did see some people get fucked up in there, mostly starts over something really silly, like a game of pool.
How did you pass the time? I used to pass the time playing chess with my cell mate or by watching all crazy people in there.
Did you personally encounter much violence in the prison? Or is it easy enough to stay away from it if you don't rock the boat or whatever? Well, most of the prison movies I have seen all show people stood at the bars, big guys growling "mmm fresh meat" and everyone getting stabbed up every 2 minuets. When you've never been to prison before you can't help but think back to every movie you've seen about prison.
When do you think the govt will evolve enough to have guys like you helping to grow our society? Right now it seeks to hunt you down...terrible waste of resources imo It is, there's a lot of talent rotting away in the prison system.
Administrations that in one breath expresses the need for engineers of digital space and then issues the order to capture the very people with such talents. Edit: its been many administrations haha :*( And many more to come!
Its wishful thinking but i hope that the economic imperative will win out as we progress to what can be depicted best by the Type I civilization coined by popular theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. Things need to change, that's for sure.
Is Milhouse a meme? Milhouse was the best meme!!
Do you like Wheatus? No, Wheatus sucks.
How do they ? Well I just like to suck wheats thats all.
What do you think - in Wrestlemania '98, did Mike Tyson get punched in the cock? Never watched it back then, I hope so!
Are you now like Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) on House of Cards? Never watched it, only just got out of prison I've heard a lot about that series, I'll look in to it.
Gavin in House of Cards has a guinea pig. Reminded me of "Noodles". :3. Hahaha.
the character Gavin is this hacker and there's a scene where he tells his FBI handler that they have to drop charges against Barrett Brown. Link to Really?
Indeed. And check out who advised on the new season of HoC :3. Link to HAHAHAHAHA.
Do they let you have PlayStation in British prisons? Link to They do if you buy the PlayStation.
What did you have in your cell? TV, Kettle, Radio, Bed, locker and that's it... I wasn't bothered about a play station, just used to play a lot of chess and poker.
What sort of people did you meet in association with the hacking groups? What kind of people are hackers? Out of everyone I have met there are only a small handful of people that I would put in to the "reverse engineehacker" bracket. Lots of people who know how to use exploits, not many who know how and why they work or are able to write their own, truly is a dieing art.
Do you ever think about trying to get hired for security for websites or for government computers or something along those lines? Again it's probably a trust issue...
Personally, I was very stupid and didn't really care about the ease with which personal information can spread, and didn't know how widespread NSA surveillance was. Given that a lot of stuff is out there already, if someone wanted to take the time to look at it, do you have any advice as to how to minimize the damage? Strong encryption is the key but to be honest, Internet Service Providers should be doing more to protect it's customers privacy, they should allow AES256 pipes for every customer as standard.
Many (fairly intelligent) people I talk to agree that they are concerned about surveillance and privacy on the internet, but they're resistant to try and use encryption or anything because they have it in their heads that only supergeniuses can understand computers like that. Do you have any suggestions for introducing these concepts to slightly technophobic people? I think encryption needs to be simplified for the regular user. It can get a bit confusing if you have never used it before or understand it's significance.
Also, wanted to thank you for your advice to the person below asking about how to learn programming. I know a little introductory Python, but I never really knew how to go from there to creating and understanding a whole big project. Programming languages too, learning new things is never easy, it's about determination and the will to succeed. The best way to learn is to read lots of source code and try to work out what is going on, maybe you could even improve on it?
How did you learn to hack? From learning to program.
Hacking is reverse engineering, it's an in depth knowledge of the underlying system/code/hardware/technology and the ability to take it apart piece by piece and reassemble it in to something else.
How long did it take you to become a proficient programmer? How did you learn? How long did it take you to become a proficient reverse engineer? How did you learn? I just learned from doing, trial and error. If there was something that I did not understand I would just research it, it sometimes helps to read it from more than one source. I used to just read lots of examples and try to make sense of them, if I found something new or something I did not understand I would research it.
As for time, I am unsure... I am still learning now, it is an on going process. All I can say is learn the basics and be creative, if there's something you do not understand research it, google always has the answer.
Have you only just got out of prison? I have been out a few weeks but I have only been on the internet a few days now.
Ever hear from anyone in that channel? Just one, those times are sadly gone.
When you got V&, they said two men where arrested for using the Kayla alias in some media. What happened there? The other person was my brother, they were unsure if it was him or me.
Ahh, You're poor brother... what happened when you got raided, how many people, where did they take you? I was home alone, they arrested me and took me to the police station for questioning. They told me during questioning that they had also been to arrest my brother.
Is human body very good build pc with very cheap soft?If it's so easy to exploit:( No it's a design prone to failure.
I want to learn Python 3. Codecademy is Python 2 (like all good tutorials...they seem to be for 2). Thanks for the links. I'll look into them. At the minuet I am going over logic, reading into some Verilog and other HDL because I want to experiment with some Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA).
Hey its Kayla! Hahaha.
Hey thanks for the advice in the thread . I'll definitely use that on my quest to getting my Computer science thread and furthering my programming language knowledge ! No problem.
Kayla, I just want to say thank you. Haha no problem.
Meanwhile, while you were in prison our gov't set up a fake twitter type service in Cuba with the intent of helping topple the Cuban gov't. -_- I'd like to see how you have come to this conclusion? Or is it official and that is it's official purpose?
I just find it ironic that while prosecuting with one hand the other is going to extreme lengths to topple a government with social media. It's usually the case.
You should try this at /netsec. Possibly, no way to link them over? I'll admit it, this is the first time I've ever used or been to reddit.
They would probably have a few more knowledgeable comments and questions. Doesn't seem like any of them took the bait!
Yea, go to /netsec and create a new post, and make it a link (to the url of this thread). Make the title basically the same, but bring up the fact that it's an xpost. Thanks, I'll do this after I've made a coffee!
My question: why didn't you guys get ahead of the game by targeting Google. They're the resident evil today. Care to explain?
I think he meant Umbrella Corp. They have their hands in everything, and are mercilessly expanding. Fist umbrella fuck with zombies, now google!
#tr0ll. Hahaha, I'd like to believe it but...
Last updated: 2014-04-07 22:43 UTC
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Largest Bitcoin mining operation.

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