A US Programmer has 2 Remaining Attempts to open a Self-Destructive flash drive. There is a key to $ 237 Million in Bitcoin
The New York Times reported an unusual situation faced by Son Francisco programmer Stephen Thomas. He had two attempts to guess the password of the self-destructive pendrive Ironkey. It contains the 7002 Bitcoin key. Thomas has already spent eight of the ten attempts to reach $ 237 million unsuccessfully.
Thomas said he was attracted to Bitcoin in part because cryptocurrency is out of control of states or corporations. In 2011, while living in Switzerland, Thomas received 7.002 bitcoins from one of the first to adopt emerging cryptocurrency as a reward for making the animated video “What is Bitcoin?”. So this video presented the new technology to many users.
A few years ago, Thomas kept the private keys of an encrypted wallet containing 7.002 bitcoins in a safe flash unit. The programmer wrote the Pen Drive password on a piece of paper. Years later, the role was lost.
Thomas tried several times to remember the password. He did, apparently the correct characters, but the flash drive with the embryography chip did not accept this data. If it types the wrong password twice more, the unit will be blocked and all data in it will be replaced.
Thomas described his current situation as desperate. He went through all the options he could think, but they don’t work.
For now, Thomas has put his Ironkey somewhere safe in case a new way to break complex passwords. According to him, keeping the drive out of sight helps him not to think of his lost cryptographic wallet.
Thomas did not specify when he acquired this medium. In 2007, there was a habré post about a “self -destructive” flash unit.
Kingston acquired Ironkey technology in 2016. The company produces modern models of this unit with 256-bits Cryptography at hardware level and certification 140-2 level 3. The flash unit is protected against Badusb class attacks and the cards memory are filled with epoxy resin. The flash unit body is made of anodized aluminum. It has dust, shock and water resistant design to meet military standards MIL-STD-810F.
Of the 18.5 million bitcoins currently existing, about one fifth (about US $ 140 billion) are in lost or forgotten cryptocurrency portfolios, according to Chainharysis.
Wallet Recovery Services, a company whose experts help find lost keys to cryptocurrency wallets, told The New York Times about increasing users’ requests. Now the company receives 70 orders a day. This is three times more than last year.
In the last three months, the value of Bitcoin has increased twice and a half. On January 6, Bitcoin’s exchange rate exceeded $ 35,000 and a day later the currency reached $ 40,000. Now Bitcoin has fallen to the level of $ 35,000.
The New York Times explained in a post that many of the bitcoin holders whose wallets are blocked are reporting endless days and nights of frustration trying to access them. Some of them have a cryptocurrency since the early days of their existence, when no one was sure that the bitcoins would be highly valued by the market.
The New York Times cited two more examples of such situations in its publication.
Gabriel Abid, 34, a businessman from Barbados, lost about 800 bitcoins (now about $ 25 million) when a colleague formatted a laptop with the private keys of a cryptographic wallet in 2011.
Los Angeles entrepreneur Brad Yasar extracted several thousand cryptocurrency in the early days of Bitcoin and stored cryptocurrency wallets on the hard disk of his desktop computers. He lost his passwords years ago and spent hundreds of hours trying to access them. He also now hid the hard drives of these computers so that they did not remember the unattainable fortune.
New York Times has concluded that people need to learn technology and understand how important it is to store and not lose passwords and keys before they start working with cryptocurrency. Common users not only lose passwords and keys of cryptocurrency wallets, but also hedge backgrounds and large corporations. In this case, the losses reach tens of thousands of bitcoins.