An encryption expert explained in his article how he cracked a zipped zip file and retrieved a number of lost Bitcoin keys. It reminds us of the importance of keeping keys safe and having passwords.
According to the bitcoinist, the story happened to a man named Mike Stay, who has a Ph.D. in computer science and has a long history of cryptography dating back to the 1990s. The story goes that after reading an article by Mr.stay, which he wrote about twenty years ago, someone called him and asked him to decrypt a zipped file for him. The file allegedly contained the private keys of $ 300,000 bitcoins that the person had bought in 2016, but later forgot his password.
In January 2016, he bought about $ 10,000 or $ 15,000 worth of bitcoins and put the keys in an encrypted zip file. These bitcoins are now worth more than $ 300,000, but he didn’t remember the password. Fortunately, he still had the same original laptop and knew exactly when the files were zipped. Because InfoZip randomly generates data using a time effect, this [shortening the exact time the file was zipped] greatly shortened the workflow and processed only 10 quintillion (10 billion billion) times to recover the password. This required the implementation of the project. As a result, it took about a few months and a medium rendering farm. So, we made an appointment and I started working.
stay points out that at the time, he was able to recall his previous skills and, with a little help, crack the file in a short time.
It’s worth noting that Steve has never cracked the key code and has not compromised any other part of the Bitcoin protocol. Instead, he found the only encrypted zip file that could contain any information.
Experts believe that the encryption used in Bitcoin and many other altcoins is very secure, and it would be futile to try to crack private keys with the techniques currently available. However, if the keys are not properly stored, there is a risk of theft or loss of information.
Unfortunately, most digital currency investors keep their keys and passwords in unencrypted files or jeopardize their currencies in other ways. Sometimes, like Steve’s story, they forget their password. It is clear that all the theft and loss of digital currency stems from the error of the user.
It is impossible to understand how many bitcoins are irreversibly lost. According to some estimates, about 25 percent of total inventory is lost. Most of the speculation is that more than one million bitcoins belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, which have remained intact for more than ten years. Despite Craig Wright’s claims, there is a common theory that Satoshi, whoever he is, can no longer access these bitcoins.
Therefore, it is important to follow safety instructions when storing digital currency. Passwords must be stored securely and files must be encrypted using up-to-date techniques. Although there is no way to fully guarantee security, one’s own misconduct is the easiest way to lose capital.
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