Cardano Code is Unassailable. So Where Is the Cyber-Attack Coming From And What Are They Hacking?

The Cardano community is under cyber attack right now. I didn’t even realize until last night.
I was watching a YouTube video about the most recent Solana crash.
I couldn’t help but post the following in the comments:

Cardano: Never been down, never been hacked. You keep the keys when staking. Most decentralized. High transaction speed. Green, uses very little energy.

Then I got this comment:

Yes because nobody uses cardano not even bots are interested

Then I got this comment:

lol

“Idiots!” I thought. Now I am mad so I made this comment:

You’re a bot. Invest in the best science or follow memes that make other people rich.

Then I went to bed.
When I woke up I saw in my email many more very short comments that were clearly disinformation and which appealed to humor or logical fallicy.

The following were all the comments.

Yes because nobody uses Cardano not even bots are interested
lol
science lol :joy: :rofl:
But born slow =/
Cardano: hasn’t done shit since inception
Nothing happens in Cardano that is why
Never been used.
How it can be down if no one use it?
What the hell is cardano? Money? Does it even exist?
Never been that tested though
Because it’s a ghost chain

“Holy Cow!” I thought, “They are not idiots, I am the idiot. These are chatbots!”
So I decided to do a little Turing test by posting the following requests to the suspects.

@fausto huezo can you please answer the following to demonstrate you are human and not a chatbot? On which blockchain can you earn staking income and also income for providing liquidity with the same ADA at the same time? Thanks

@Doug McIntyre Please answer the following question so that we will know a human is responding: How does the hard fork combinator which is built into the Cardano protocol ensure seamless upgrades and prevent the type of tragedy we have just seen with Solana? Thank you in advance.

@Josh Praise , I have trouble believing that you are human and not a chatbot programmed in North Korea. In order to prove that you are human, can you please explain to us why a blockchain like Cardano built on peer reviewed science and mathematical proofs ensures blockchain reliability? Thanks

@Jon V says Cardano is hard to code. Please Jon V, can you please explain why no Cardano smart contract has ever been hacked whereas billions of dollars have been stolen from other blockchains (including Solona) by exploiting flaws in the code? Does it have anything to do with the Plutus functional programming language used to write smart contracts which are proven correct mathematically before ever being deployed? Is learning this new language the reason you say it is hard to code? Thanks

The only bot that responded was [Doug McIntyre]> (Doug McIntyre - YouTube) which posted the following:

@John Shearing lmao… not a bot

This seemed like a canned response that a simple chatbot could come up with based on context and the goals of the chatbot owner.
So I posted the following to the community:

In response to my question about how the Cardano hard fork combinator ensures reliable upgrades so as to ensure we don’t have crashes like we have just seen with Solana, @Doug McIntyre answered Imao…not a bot. What does the community think produced this simple canned response? Thanks

The bot answered back with the following:

@John Shearing lol you’re insane

Still seemed like a canned response to me so I finished with the following post:

I was asking for proof that @Doug McIntyre is a human and not a chatbot that is spreading fud and disinformation. Chat bots are relatively sophisticated and can pick out key words and can tell if the context is positive or negative and then chose a simple canned response that would support the bot owners agenda. This is what we are seeing here. Soon the bot will calculate that it can not handle challenge convincingly and will send a text to the human owner. The human owner will then start responding in place of the bot and attempt to convince the community that it was a human responding from the beginning. How many humans are losing their investment dollars to chatbot owners? And who hires the chatbot owners? In this case it must be someone invested in Solana. I would urge all of you to think for yourselves.

If all of this doesn’t convince you then just click on the links to the various chatbot channels and compare them with my own. The chatbot channels are either completely empty or appear to be randomly populated with content where as mine looks like it has been populated by a somewhat neurotic human.

So what? Right? It’s just chatbots, it’s not a cyber attack on our infrastructure. But it is! Someone is using bots to scatter our community. This denies us the financial and human resources that we need to grow. The blockchain is invulnerable to cyber attack, but we aren’t! They are not hacking the blockchain, they are hacking humans who are trying to find their way to our community.

Charles is always asking: Why is it that we have by far the best technology and the best community and yet the market is recognizing other blockchains first? It makes no sense!

I no longer think that the FUD is coming from a few Bitcoin maximalists but that rather it is a well organized and well mechanized PSYOP targeted directly at our community.
Who has the most to gain from choking out the new financial system.
Is it the old financial system or another blockchain which uses the Proof Of FUD consensus mechanism?

Is this true?
If it is should we respond or just continue to do what we do best (build).

If we do need a response, what should it be?
We don’t want to spread FUD ourselves but I would not rule out building a chatbot of our own that challenges other chatbots with a Turing test and then lets the public decide if bot or not and then consider who owns the bots and whether or not they should do their own research. That might help our lost community members find their way to us and might also help us recover the market share we would have if this organized attack was not being perpetrated.

What are your thoughts?
Thanks

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I find it hard to distinguish bots from real people with reduced discussion capabilities or motivation.

Your examples wouldn’t necessarily let me believe that they are bots. Depending on the situation, I can very well imagine to also not be willing to answer to some guy suspecting that I am a bot with more than a short: “LOL Get a life!”

But, it’s, of course, possible. Do we need to do something about it? Would we even be able to?

I think we are not that bad at keeping our own channels friendly, productive, welcoming to different viewpoints, and hopefully spam-/scam-/bot-free … If we feel it’s necessary to advertise for Cardano in other projects’ spaces (not my cup of tea, anyway), I think it’s good to stay as humble as possible.

Regardless of whether they are bots or infantiles, do they even gain something from such comment wars? Are there people who think “Oh, there are so many mean comments about Cardano. I won’t look into that.”? And if there are, do we need, do we want to convince them?

Edit: By the way, there is some interesting work questioning the research on much of the things attributed to social bots: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3814191 The talk at RC3 was also quite interesting: https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-2021-chaoszone-297-the-rise-and-fall

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Thanks @HeptaSean,

Yes, and to distinguish either of the above with paid trolls.

I agree, but did you examine their linked YouTube channels? Most are empty and the others look like they were populated with random content.

Agreed, but this is not our own channel. It is likely that the channel is there to shill particular coins for it’s employer. All well and good if they don’t deliberately spread disinformation about Cardano. If they do then I claim my right to point out the abuse. We see Charles doing this all the time and I respect his right to defend our community from disinformation.

I see why it is natural to put bot-free along with spam and scam free. But we have to think carefully about what it means to use bots to expose other bots which are built to deceive human beings. People will disagree as much about this as they will disagree about whether or not we should carry guns to protect ourselves from other people who have guns. One thing is certain. An arms race has started between people who will use bots to deceive and control, and people who will use bots to help keep humans free from being controlled and deceived by others and their bots.

Now you have addressed the issue. The space definitely belongs to another project. They are shilling specific coins and the bots on the channel are spreading disinformation about others coins. I have no problem with the shilling. I do object to the disinformation and claim my right to point it out when I see it.

Yes, but not so humble that you hurt your own community.
If you have something good to share then you should let people know it’s there and why it can help.
If someone lies about your project then you should respectfully represent your truth.

Valid question. Opinions will differ. I think our community is being targeted by a PSYOP and I think we should examine whether or not this is true and then consider if we should respond.

I have already suggested the following and I am only one tiny mind. What can we as a community think of? Here is my suggestion again: Build a chatbot of our own that challenges other chatbots with a Turing test and then let the public decide if bot or not, and if bot, consider who owns the bots and whether or not they should do their own research. As you can see from my post above, the wording of the challenges themselves will inform the public. The challenges would not be to establish dominance in a debate. They would only be to inform about Cardano and to establish whether or not the poster is human or not. Our chatbot would declare that it is a machine up front. To answer your question, yes we can respond. Chatbots are nothing more than neural networks and anyone with access to YouTube can learn how to make one. I created this neural network, which detects and rejects clustered packages. I built it from scratch using only on this YouTube video for guidance. A chatbot is a neural network too but is trained with textual data instead of pixilated data. So yes, we as a community would be able to respond if we have the collective will to do so.

I don’t think it’s bots or infantiles. I think it’s either bot-trolls or paid human trolls. In this case the evidence points to bots. But bots are now sophisticated enough to know when they have been discovered and will call a human troll to take over the conversation in that case.
In either case the answer is yes, the bot owners gain something and the human audience loses. The Cardano community loses the opportunity to serve the audience. We also lose revenue and developers. The thing I am wondering is how big is the problem. Does this explain why the market is slow to recognize that Cardano has by far the best technology and the greatest potential to deliver on the promises of decentralized truth?

If you were to ask any Cardano ambassador or Cardano coin holder I think they would answer yes. We want to convince as many people as we can to enjoy the benefits of our Cardano community and we want to root out disinformation.

Respectfully, I was not convinced by the content you offer that what I encountered was not chatbots directly targeting Cardano. The offer of that content reminds me of appeal to authority. My problem is that I can not verify the content provider is an authority on the subject matter or worse an interested party. Secondly the “authority” has not looked at our specific situation and made a determination about whether or not chatbots are employed in an organized disinformation campaign targeted at Cardano.

My personal experience indicates that that is the case and I am asking the community if they agree or not and if so, should action be taken.
Thank you @HeptaSean I am very grateful to have your response.

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I didn’t read 100% of the topic, but your idea against “there are too many bots” is “add more bots” ?

Don’t know how valid that indication is in the case of YouTube. Even if you have an account just for watching and commenting and do not ever want to produce content yourself, YouTube creates a “channel” for you. Mine is also totally empty.

Should have made that thought clearer. I think it’s far more important, how “our” project looks if people come to our spaces to get information than what is written in the sea of comments in all the other channels out there.

You, of course, have the right to do so. I would carefully consider if it is worth the effort.

And it might very well be that the believers of the other projects get the impression that there is an army of bots or paid trolls that promote Cardano even if the topic is a totally different one. Even if you think it is respectful, others might read it differently and, for example, already think of just bringing it up – again – as highly annoying.

I really don’t think that is a good idea for several reasons.

A Turing test is only valid if the tested entity is actively willing to prove that they are human. If they just say “Get away and leave me alone!” we know nothing.

Such a bot will inevitably also target (probably a lot of) false positive suspects. I am not sure if they react so positive about being tested for being a bot by a bot. I think I would be kind of annoyed. And that may also be true for readers of such conversations.

Being right does not make you likeable. Being so sure about being right that you write a bot for proving that you are right even has a high chance of making you less likeable.

I would not underestimate the amount of believers who do not have to be paid to fill the Internet with their opinion. Bitcoin might very well have as many of them as Trump or Putin. They also chase all of the outspoken critics of cryptocurrency in general and it never occurred to me that that might be an organised, paid attack. Always just looked like fanboys doing fanboy things.

One could say that the human audience already lost – at least their time – when they started reading YouTube comment or Twitter threads on a controversial topic with a lot of low-quality opinions … or when they started reading YouTube comment or Twitter threads at all.

I don’t think that we are losing so many people due to that. And what they probably need is not “That thing about Cardano is not true! We are the very best!”, but rather: “If you form your opinion what to do with your finances based on these sources, you should really think again, twice, thrice! If you choose Cardano in the end, does not matter that much.”

I wouldn’t put so many superlatives in there. Cardano still has to show that it can deliver on its promises. In detail, it is not all as shiny as the plan.

Cryptocurrencies as a whole – including Cardano – could still fail. The more well-versed reservations against “altcoins” could still prove to be true.

Yep, was more a tangential reference that the “Bots everywhere!” might be more of a media phenomenon underestimating, how much of that real people are willing to do. But it surely is not specific to this case.

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Clearly, you are a bot. I marvel at your sophistication. Please send my respect to your programmer.
Just kidding @HeptaSean. That is not the only test. We know you are not a bot because you responded, and that’s the point. No matter if someone lies directly or through their chatbot, we have the right to respectfully challenge them with our truth and ask for a response. If the challenge also helps us determine if we are addressing a chatbot then that’s just extra.
Please also consider that our chatbot must also be a web-scraper and an artificial intelligence to even be a chatbot. So it will have collected a lot of information about each bot before making a challenge. It will be right most of the time.

I think only the bots will be annoyed. :slight_smile:
I think the humans will appreciate being tipped off when being deceived by a bot.
Anyway, the data collection and the artificial inteligence needed for any chatbot to work would ensure that almost all challenges are directed at bots only.

Mobs are usually incited by individuals or organizations hiding in the background with the intent to enflame emotions in order to manipulate the mob. I think that is exactly what we are seeing here.

Please, @HeptaSean, the question goes unanswered.
OK, again with no superlatives,
Does this explain why the market is slow to recognize Cardano despite it’s merits?
Personally, I think it does. Please let me make my case and then I will await your response.

When a good thief steals something, the victim won’t even know the item is missing.

A great thief will steal something of enormous value that the victim doesn’t even know he possesses.
This is our situation.
Our future members are being stolen from YouTube chat rooms and other forums in an organized, mechanized disinformation attack. These people have enormous value to the Cardano community yet we don’t even notice the theft because we don’t consider these victims a part of our community.

I think thousands of developers, millions of users, and billions of dollars are being stolen from the Cardano community by an organized and mechanized disinformation attack. I think the community should consider an organized and possibly a mechanized response.

Who gives a crap about some - my crypto is better than your crypto - comment war on youtube, bots or no bots. You instigated it by shilling for Cardano then got butt hurt at the responses.

Nice hyperbolic clickbait title too.

Cardano is # 6 and you are whining that FUD is keeping it down. Do you have evidence aside from the mass bot conspiracy claim ?

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Thanks for your comment @magnetar

You can’t instigate a bot - they do what they are programmed to do.
It seems these ones are triggered on the keyword Cardano.

With respect to shilling, I mentioned above that I have no problem with shilling your favorite crypto. My only problem is when someone spreads disinformation about Cardano. That hurts our community. The effect is much worse when bots are programmed to spread disinformation about our project.

Yes, I did get my feelings hurt - by bots!
I thought I was talking to humans.
That might be a problem for all of us?

Yes, I was interested in getting comments.
I am grateful for yours.
Anyway, I don’t think the title is misleading - I think our community is being hacked.
Maybe call it a Denial of Membership attack.

Only the evidence that I have already presented above.
The comments are super simple one liners designed to spread disinformation and evoke negative emotion in humans about Cardano. Check in the thread yourself. The following were the comments.

Yes because nobody uses Cardano not even bots are interested
lol
science lol :joy: :rofl:
But born slow =/
Cardano: hasn’t done shit since inception
Nothing happens in Cardano that is why
Never been used.
How it can be down if no one use it?
What the hell is cardano? Money? Does it even exist?
Never been that tested though
Because it’s a ghost chain

It’s the same familiar lies we hear all the time because they are spread by bots.

One of these commenters did pass the Turing test. The others did not and their accounts were either completely empty of any YouTube content or seemed like they were randomly populated as opposed to the way human users populate their channels.

New members are what make our community grow. We might be #3 pulling right up behind #2 if it weren’t for the mechanized FUD.

I think organized and mechanized disinformation against our project should get an organized and perhaps mechanized response.

The point is I don’t care about propaganda campaigns against specific cryptos, particularly in yt comments. I care mostly about the infrastructure and direction of Cardano.

It is unprovable speculation to claim that it would have a higher relative market cap sans disinformation.

No code is “unassailable.” That’s a dangerously complacent attitude.

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Thanks for your comment @magnetar

I respect that about you. But please, I do care because I think mechanized FUD diminishes the growth of our community and wish to share my concerns. I think the damage may be profound.

I am grateful to be in a community where most of it’s members share your priorities.
Yes, I have taken a bit of community attention away from building infrastructure in order to promote awareness about security. Imagine a community that builds a great city but never checks its boarders for marauders. I like to build infrastructure too but I also like to be aware of my surroundings. You may not consider the mechanized shaping of public opinion as a security issue but most governments do. I think the Cardano community should be alert. I am sharing my concerns about what I have witnessed.

Many things exist which can not be proven. Most security threats are of that nature.

On an interview with Lex Fridman, Vitalik Buterin said the reason he didn’t build slowly and methodically using the peer review process is because he thinks that if a project fails then it will be from some cause outside of the protocol. So I am checking for things outside of the protocol that could bring down the project.

You look inside the protocol for danger and I will look outside the protocol.
I think we make a great team.

Anyway, I think organized and mechanized disinformation against our project should get an organized and perhaps mechanized response.

I don’t know why you’re bothering to explain yourself. Cardano is the 3rd blockchain in the world if you remove the stablecoins and BNB database. No additional comments needed :slightly_smiling_face:

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I find it pointless to argue with those that are not open to understand what Cardano is (bots or not) we can only inform those that are willing to listen, my advice would be;

Continue to speak your mind, if you find resistance/negativity dont waste your time as that person has made up their up or is a bot, lets share with those that are willing to listen.

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Thanks for your comment @Bertcmiller and @Erick

Not explaining myself but rather Cardano. When I saw the video of the Solana crash I wanted to share in the YouTube comments the benefits of Cardano (especially it’s reliability) I think it’s natural that I should want to share our success with other people. It’s good for them and it’s good for us.

We can’t reach those willing to listen in public places because chatbots deny us access there.
That is not the fault of the people in those public areas - they are manipulated victims that can not get to us because their minds are under the influence of bots. I choose to care about these people.

I was truly shocked when I discovered what appeared to be chatbots trolling my comment with disinformation. The disinformation coming from the chatbots were targeted directly at Cardano. The disinformation from the chatbots were the exact same simple false and inflammatory messages that Charles is always complaining about which he indicated has slowed the growth of our community. Yes, our community is so strong and the protocol is so good that Cardano is very popular despite the organized and mechanized disinformation campaign against it. But even though Cardano is successful it has been hurt by the assault. Further more, the people who have not be able to get to us have been hurt. Again, I choose to care about these people.

I am wondering, is this a large assault or is it just a test? The anonymity of chatbot owners means that there is no consequences or penalties for employing the strategy so why not ramp up the attacks? That chatbots appear to be human means that no one knows their minds are being controlled. So by using chatbots, how many minds could be turned violently against the Cardano project say during a banking collapse when people are panicked and receptive to control. Remember how easy it was to pass the Patriot Act during 911? How easy would it be to shut down all crypto using chatbots and other types of organized disinformation during some contrived banking collapse?

I am wondering if the community should have an organized and possibly mechanized information response to an organized and mechanized disinformation attack.

I find this conversation to be informative and a bit disturbing. It begs the question… why are these bot attacks so sophisticated and relentless? I believe it comes back to the oldest game in human history that the Type A Tyrants ( think WEF ) have brought into the crypto space. These people want to discourage and or defeat the ability of the masses with means to invest into the big changes coming that will prove to be very profitable over the long term. If you don’t like or believe WEF is dangerous then you haven’t heard why Charles H didn’t attend the last meeting in Davos. Give it a listen… its on U Tube.

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Thanks for the post @zrxmax,
I think you are referring to this video linked here.

In any case, it is impossible to know many humans have had their opinions changed and decisions decided by chatbot owners. That’s because it’s hard to know when we are interacting with bots. It is not impossible to know however. A Turing test - that is challenge questions to inflammatory remarks and disinformation is one way to know if you are interacting with a bot. Another way is by collecting data in public spaces to see what accounts are repeating the same disinformation. If it’s beyond a certain threshold (more chatter than a human can produce) then it is likely a bot and should perhaps be challenged and reported. Collecting data on the bots could lead to the owners. For these reasons, I am wondering if the community should have an organized and possibly mechanized information response to an organized and mechanized disinformation attack.