Nearly $ 1 billion worth of bitcoin has been wiped out of a mysterious wallet that has been inactive since 2015.
A bit more than 69,369 BTC – worth roughly $ 975 million at the time this post appeared – has been withdrawn over the past 24 hours, the bitcoin ledger shows. Alon Gal, co-founder and CTO of security firm Hudson Rock, was one of the first ̵1; if not the first – to report transactions.
“CAN’T BELIEVE,” he wrote. “Someone was able to crack the password of a bitcoin wallet that I reported just a short time ago and spend $ 1,000,000,000 inside it!” Gal went on to say that it was unclear who was responsible as the original wallet owner or if someone broke the password.
It’s possible that the password cracker or the original owner may have noticed recent articles about his wallet circulating among hackers.
The wallet has been considered “inactive” since 2013.
Either way, this is quite interesting.
– Alon Gal (Under the Breach) (@UnderTheBreach) November 3, 2020
Tom Robinson, co-founder and lead scientist of blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, said on Twitter that the bitcoin wallet is the fourth largest in the world. He said he believed the money came from selling on Silk Road, an underground market that sells drugs, murder renters, and other illegal goods and services before being taken down in 2013. Elliptic published this blog post earlier on Wednesday.
When BTC moved out of Silk Road in 2013, Robinson said, they were worth about $ 350,000. In recent years, the exploding bitcoin price has caused their value to skyrocket to over $ 955 million and beyond. Account has been inactive since 2015, when someone transferred 101 BTC into BTC-e, a bitcoin exchange whose founder was arrested in 2017 for accusing him of laundering valuable bitcoins. 4 billion dollars.
Person or side retreating the wind remains a mystery. It could be someone with a connection to Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht or one of the many sellers who used an online crime scam. But there is another possibility: an article published two months ago by Vice says that hackers were trading crypto wallets on underground forums and markets in hopes of recovering cryptocurrencies, at that point. cost about 690 million dollars.
The opportunity to successfully crack the password to unlock the wallet is considered by many as a long step. Passwords are usually long and encryption involved – a combination of AES-256-CBC and SHA-512 – is incredibly slow to handle. Furthermore, it’s never certain that the wallet.dat file that has been moved around is a real or fake bitcoin wallet.
For now, the nearly anonymous nature of bitcoin transactions is hiding the identity of the person or party that has withdrawn the digital currency worth almost $ 1 billion. With the interest of law enforcement and the advances made in crypto forensics, you can bet that people are working hard to solve this mystery.