Messy NFT drop angers infosec pioneers with unauthorized portraits

Messy NFT drop angers infosec pioneers with unauthorized portraits


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

An unauthorized NFT drop celebrating infosec pioneers has collapsed into a mess of conflicting takedowns and piracy.

Released on Christmas Day by a group called “ItsBlockchain,” the “Cipher Punks” NFT package included portraits of 46 distinct figures, with ten copies of each token. Taken at their opening price, the full value of the drop was roughly $4,000. But almost immediately, the infosec community began to raise objections — including some from the portrait subjects themselves.

The portrait images misspelled several names — including EFF speech activist Jillian York and OpenPGP creator Jon Callas — and based at least one drawing on a copyright-protected photograph. More controversially, the list included some figures who have been…

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