Arkham Intelligence? Doxxing users isn’t that smart

The lunatics really have taken over the asylum

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Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Following the announcement of its new crypto intel marketplace on Monday, Arkham Intelligence has seen a resurgence of complaints about the company’s method of generating referral links.

Twitter users quickly discovered that they could take appended data from Arkham’s referrals, plug the information into a Base64 decoder, and come away with the poster’s full email address. 

To verify those claims, Blockworks took a number of referral links, including one posted by a Twitter user back in December 2022, and pasted them into a Base64 decoder. Each one spat out a full email address.

Some users have even begun generating fake referral links and posting them to Twitter, as a way to have a laugh at Arkham. Blockworks happened upon fake emails such as [email protected] and [email protected], among others.

Arkham CEO Miguel Morel responded to the controversy at 6:22pm ET on Twitter, saying that Arkham engineered the links this way in its beta. He said it was so that the company could track which users were referring others so they could be rewarded. 

Morel said that the referral links were “not a way to collect user emails—users already use their emails when they sign up for the platform and get a ref link. We do not use them for anything other than communicating with users and attributing referrals.”

He continued, “We should have changed this system after our user base increased exponentially. Going forward, all referral links will contain an encrypted version of the referrer’s email so that it cannot be reverse-engineered. This change is already live.”

M4gicpotato on Twitter was one of the first to point out Arkham’s error in an all-caps post, calling out the company for allowing users to unwittingly doxx their personal information.

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Another user, Matsumoto, shared a direct message conversation that allegedly took place with Arkham back in January. The company appeared to acknowledge the problem several months ago, though it seems to have taken no action to fix the issue since.

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On Monday, Arkham launched the Arkham Intel Exchange, a platform that enables users to purchase and auction valuable information pertaining to the cryptocurrency space. Twitter users quickly began to speculate that the practice would grant financial gain for unearthing personal and private information — a practice that could be dangerous if misused.

Concerns also emerged regarding a perceived lack of decentralization on the platform, stemming from the fact that the Arkham Foundation assumes the responsibility of reviewing and approving auctions and bounties.

Updated July 10th at 8:04pm with public comments from Arkham CEO Miguel Morel.


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