“Unlocking the Secrets: Man’s $200 Million Bitcoin Dilemma Met with Hackers’ Ingenious Breakthrough”
A team of cybersecurity experts claim to have discovered a way to access a Bitcoin wallet that is currently worth hundreds of millions of dollars. However, there’s one small problem – the owner of the wallet isn’t interested in their help.
Back in 2011, programmer Stefan Thomas created an animated video titled “What Is Bitcoin” for a Bitcoin enthusiast in Switzerland. As payment for his work, Thomas received 7,002 Bitcoins, which were valued at around $2 each at the time. Fast forward to today, and each Bitcoin is worth approximately $34,095.40, making Thomas’ Bitcoin stash worth a staggering $238,735,990.80.
Unfortunately for Thomas, he stored his Bitcoin on an encrypted IronKey hard drive, known for its high level of security. The IronKey hard drive allows for only 10 password guesses before it self-destructs, rendering the contents inaccessible. And that’s precisely what happened to Thomas – he lost the piece of paper on which he had written down the password.
Over the years, Thomas has attempted various methods to access his Bitcoin fortune, but with no success. Now, he only has two password attempts left before his valuable stash is lost forever.
However, Thomas isn’t the only one trying to crack the code. In addition to two teams hired by him, cybersecurity experts have also been tempted by the challenge of hacking the wallet and earning a substantial commission in the process.
One such firm, Unciphered, specializes in recovering lost cryptocurrency and claims to have found a way to crack into decade-old IronKey hard drives. They demonstrated their method to Wired by having journalist Andy Greenberg set a password, which they successfully cracked and messaged back to him the following day.
With their newfound confidence, Unciphered has reached out to Thomas with their solution. However, Thomas has declined their help for now due to agreements he has in place with the two teams currently working on their own solutions.
Thomas stated, “I have already been working with a different set of experts on the recovery, so I’m no longer free to negotiate with someone new. It’s possible that the current team could decide to subcontract Unciphered if they feel that’s the best option. We’ll have to wait and see.”
It’s a race against time for Thomas and the teams trying to crack the password to access the valuable Bitcoin wallet. Will one of them succeed, or will Thomas lose his fortune forever? Only time will tell.