A bitcoin wallet containing a little over 69,000 BTC is doing the rounds in hacking communities all over the internet. The reason? It’s obvious.
Everyone (read seasoned hackers and self-professed bitcoin wallet crackers) wants to break it open and take it all. Or at least, a slice of the almost $750 million pie. For the last two years, however, no one has been able to ‘strike it lucky.’
Hackers Tried Cracking The 7th Largest Bitcoin Wallet In The World
According to cybersecurity expert Alon Gal, who goes by the handle ‘UnderTheBreach on Twitter, hackers have been trying to break open a bitcoin wallet holding around $720 million worth of BTC (considering today’s rates). However, Gal reported that no one has posted any success regarding the same.
Get this – there is a Bitcoin wallet with 69,000 Bitcoins ($693,207,618) that is being passed around between hackers/crackers for the past 2 years for the purpose of cracking the password, no success so far.
— Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) September 8, 2020
As it so happens, the bitcoin wallet in the discussion has the 7th largest BTC stash in the world.
It Is Now Available Online For Everyone To Try
While some folks have tried breaking in themselves, most of them admitting failure has advertised the wallet on online hacking forums for somebody else to do the job.
Alon revealed this to Vice in a one-on-one chat regarding the matter:
Stealing Bitcoin wallets from victims worldwide is a common goal among cybercriminals. Wallets tend to be protected by strong passwords and in the event that a cybercriminal manages to obtain a wallet and cannot crack the password he might sell it to opportunistic hash crackers who are individuals with a large amount of GPU power
Gal noticed one such advertisement on a popular hacking forum RaidForums. And not just hacking portals, the wallet showed up on BitcoinTalk on June 29 last year. After that, on All Private Keys and then Wallet-dat(dot)net.
But Does It Contain The 69,370 BTC Though?
The bitcoin wallet seems like a tough nut to crack. But the important question to ask is – Does it contain the BTC? Although it has an alphanumeric address, it is quite possible that the ‘wallet.dat’ file is ‘doctored.’ There is a public key available but not the private key.
The founder of Wallet Recovery Services, Dave Bitcoin, said that:
It’s possible to doctor a Bitcoin wallet.dat file to make it seem like it contains a high balance. The wallet file contains pairs of public key & encrypted private key of the addresses it controls. So one could modify the file in a binary editor and change the public key of one of the address pairs to that of a high value BTC address.
It may be a bait to beguile folks into making bitcoin payments for a shot at cracking a wallet that doesn’t actually have any BTC.
Breaking In Could Be Impossible
According to another assumption, cracking open this bitcoin wallet may be outright impossible. But why?
Quite possibly, the wallet is protected by a long, unique, and difficult to crack the password. Apart from this, the wallet.dat file may be encrypted using a combination of AES-256-CBC and SHA-512 algorithms. These are super slow to process, making it all the more difficult to ‘brute force’ them open.