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Hackers finally recover man’s $3,000,000 Bitcoin wallet after he forgot password for 11 years

Hackers finally recover man’s $3,000,000 Bitcoin wallet after he forgot password for 11 years

Sometimes crypto stories do have happy endings.

Picture the scene: you bought some cryptocurrency tokens, only to totally forget about them.

Years later, the the value has skyrocketed beyond belief. This means you could be set for a huge pay day - if only you could remember the password to the encrypted wallet holding all that crypto.

It might be beyond belief, but this exact scenario has actually happened to real people more than a few times. And sometimes, the amount of money people are potentially losing out on is huge - in the millions, particularly if they bought in on crypto in the early days, and forgot about it for years.

If you don't want to risk wiping the contents of your wallet by trying the password too many times, you'll need to call in some professional help.

Enter a hacker you might hire to help you out, like YouTuber Joe Grand, who recently posted a video showing how he was able to recover a wallet worth $3 million for a customer.

The wallet's owner explained that when he first encrypted the crypto: "I generated the password, I copied it, put it in the passphrase of the wallet, and also in a text file that I then encrypted."

When you've gone through all those steps and later cannot access your money, you might start to feel like things are a bit hopeless.

However, Grand was eventually able to recover the contents of the wallet for its owner, and the explanation for how he managed to do so is pretty fascinating (and detailed).

In short, Grand targeted the password generator that the customer had used, attempting to decrypt it.

He used a tool developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to access the generator's code, explaining: "While RoboForm’s passwords appear to be randomly generated, they’re not. With the older versions of this software, if we can control the time, we can control the password."

Dan Kitwood/Yaroslav Kushta/Getty
Dan Kitwood/Yaroslav Kushta/Getty

This meant that by turning the time on his computer back to 2013, when the password was created, he was eventually able to successfully generate an identical password.

This password actually opened the wallet, giving the customer in question a few million dollars and a huge sigh of relief. But Grand did explain that the process was really quite risky, and could easily have resulted in a password that was almost correct, but not quite right.

It underlines that if you're going to get into the world of crypto, password management should be one of your highest priorities, not least because of all the scams and fraud that exist on the digital frontier.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Joe Grand