Headline: What is SEAL 911?

Body:  As a teenager and then adult male who likes to read, I have read a lot of fiction works about small groups of soldiers who go on extremely dangerous missions.   One of the favorite tropes is the use of the SEALs or Sea, Air & Land warriors   These operators are the most elite of the elite and they fight fearlessly and ferociously for the red, white and blue.  Whenever there is a mission that cannot fail, this is the unit that is usually called.

When it comes to many kinetic situations, the SEALs are arguably the best in the world.    But, many of the situations today are digital and require somebody with a hacker mindset (and skill set) and the desire to be helpful to society, rather than to enrich themselves to the detriment of others.    Enter the white hat hackers, and the most well-known of these comprise the team SEAL 911.   I kept reading about these white-hats and I wanted to know more.  What motivates them?  How might they be compensated?   How might they be signaled (ostensibly, the bat signal won’t work.)   So many questions, so, let’s get some answers.

Is there really a problem to solve?

Yes, there is.  More than $7.7 billion has been stolen in crypto hacks since 2016 — the majority pilfered from major exploits in 2021 and 2022, according to DefiLlama.   In response, a team of similarly trained white hat hackers claims to have helped recover $50 Million.

What is SEAL 911?

The group was promoted financially by Vitalik Buterin, who donated 250 ETH to start the group as a 501©(3).  There are other corporate sponsors, too.  Operationally, the first leader is Mr. Samczsun.   Samczsun is the poster boy for crypto in many ways. He is a firm believer in decentralization and is pseudo-anonymous. When he assists the FBI or other law enforcement agencies, it is always behind his anime avatar using a voice modifier. When I ask to record our interview, we have to pause for him to set up the voice modifier.  

How does the Team work?

The way it is described, there is a “hot desk” on Telegram.   (Think of this as a virtual firehouse.) Reports come in on the hotline and in realtime, these programmers respond to the present exploits quickly.  To join the team, there seems to be qualification course.  To help them build skills, they have Wargames (simulations of hacks) and there is a Safe Harbor Legal Agreement to protect the white hat hackers as they try to help (This is like the Good Samaritan Laws setup to help people who render First Aid to other civilians.)  The organization is supported by many well-known organizations like Chainalysis and others.

The Verdict

In the early days of this nation, there were many destructive fires, and for this reason, kitchen facilities were located as far as possible away from the living quarters of a home.  Then, a conversation took place and the outfall is that people were willing to pay a little bit to ensure that any fires that did start were put out immediately.  Thus started the first professional firehouses.  In a similar manner, it seems that the cryptocurrency community is having a similar conversation.  Perhaps cryptocurrency really is coming of age having had its trials by fire.





Editor’s Note: Please note that the information contained herein is meant only for general education: This should not be construed as Tax Advice.   Personal attributes could make a material difference in the advice given, so, before taking action, please consult your tax advisor or CPA.


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