Crypto Mining News

$300K Worth of BTC Released From An Encrypted File – DefCon Speaker

There’s someone who broke an encrypted file from a Russian investor and released bitcoin amounting to $300,000.

This was the discussion revealed by Michael Stay, the Chief Technological Officer from Pyrofex, in one of the talks in Defcon, the world’s largest, longest continuously run underground hacking conference, which has been held in the virtual live meeting.

An ex-Google employee, Stay shook the attendees of the conference, who’s also celebrating the 28th edition last August 5.

An executive of the blockchain development firm that launched in 2016, he also added that the story of how he was contacted not too long ago, so he could help someone retrieve their crypto assets.

“About six months ago, a Russian guy contacted me on Linkedin with an intriguing offer,” he said in a Youtube video.

He ended by saying that “He had hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin keys locked in a zip file, and he couldn’t remember the password. Could I break into it for him?”

The transaction is rather fascinating, as the anonymous Russian investor wanted access to the bitcoins worth roughly $300,000. Stay said the nameless client found his name when he stumbled upon an old cryptanalysis paper he had written 20 years ago.

The most challenging part, the Russian investor, was suspicious of trusting Stay, and he wouldn’t divulge too much information, which would take the entire process could have taken a very long time and even months to accomplish.

The cryptographer also clarified that the Russian purchased all the coins in 2016 for around $10k. Nonetheless, the investor put the bitcoin into an encrypted zip file, and eventually, he forgot his password.

“In that attack, I needed five files to break into a zip archive,” Stay recalled.

“This one only had two files in it. Was it possible? How much would it cost? We had to modify my old attack with some new cryptanalytic techniques and rent a GPU farm, but we pulled it off”, he also added.

According to the cryptographer, the attach is costing around $7,000 to be pulled off.

Stay had sought aid from the CEO of Pyrofex Nash Foster, who is also an ex-Google employee. Despite having a difficult time, in the beginning, he has eventually made his own program to try different password techniques. With the help of Foster, the transaction was immediately carried out.

On the other hand, in 2018 confirmed that a fifth or 20% of all bitcoins that exist can potentially never be retrieved or are considered lost. The cost of the assumed lost coins is around 1.5 Million BTC according to Coin Metrics.

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