A programmer has been attracting sympathy from internet users since the New York Times reported that he was a hair’s breadth away from losing his bitcoins, which are estimated to be worth the US $ 395 million forever. The reason: He only has two of the maximum ten attempts left to recover his hard drive password.
When Stefan Thomas was offered 7002 bitcoins for making an explanatory video about cryptocurrency over 10 years ago, he had no idea that its value would explode.
Stefan Thomas tries his best to access his digital wallet stored on an IronKey encrypted hard drive, but he has long ago lost the paper with the password written on it to unlock it. And the device only allows 10 attempts before encrypting its content permanently. Stefan Thomas is on his eighth attempt.
The option left to the man is to find someone to hack the unit, but Thomas would have to have the time and money to make that happen.
On a historic rise in the past few months, a bitcoin is currently worth around the US $ 60,000
The issue with the secret key misfortune has driven Thomas to scrutinize the cryptocurrency mechanism. The explanation we have banks is that we would prefer not to manage each one of those things that banks do, “he discloses to the New York Times.’
Stefan Thomas has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth about $220 million. He is one of the many people who are locked out of their Bitcoin fortunes, with an estimated $140 billion in lost or otherwise stranded digital wallets.https://t.co/thdHaixBq8— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 12, 2021
The reaction of Internet users
On Twitter, Internet users are kidded to attempt passwords like 1234 or his birthday. Additionally in an offer to giggle at the circumstance
Alex Stamos, a professor at Stanford University, proposed in his Twitter account the hiring of several security professionals who could find a ‘crack’ from which to enter the blocked IronKey.
Another thought that a few users offer is pretty much as basic as reaching IronKey itself and “convincing” them with a little percentage. Since 2016, IronKey is formally Kingston.
It is not an isolated case
According to cryptocurrency analytics company Chainalysis, around 20% of bitcoins have ended up in wallets that cannot be recovered.
The reason for the above is that the technology behind bitcoins ensures that only the person who received or generated them can have access to them, which must be verified through a unique username and password.
It must also be explained that, unlike other services on the internet, such as social networks or email, it is not possible to request an account reset since there is no bank or server to which to ask for ransom in case of losing the password.
Along these lines, of the 18.5 million bitcoins that at present exist, around 140 billion dollars are situated in difficult-to-reach wallets.