$3M Bitcoin Recovered… Using Time Travel

Electrical engineer Joe Grand and his team successfully hacked into an encrypted file containing 43.6 bitcoins, unlocking a $3 million cryptocurrency wallet and rescuing a man who had forgotten his password 11 years ago.

On May 28, Joe uploaded a video to his YouTube channel, demonstrating how he was hired to access a valuable encrypted file that had been inaccessible since 2013. Michael, whose identity was hidden, contacted Joe last year for help.

Initially, Joe declined to help, stating that trying to guess the password, known as brute-forcing, was impractical. “If we had to try every possible password combination, that’s more than 100 trillion times the number of water drops in the entire world,” Joe explained.

However, a year later, Joe reconsidered because he had found a new method to recover the password. During that time, Bruno had successfully reverse-engineered a password generator and used it to recover the passwords it had created. Using a tool developed by the NSA, they disassembled the code of the password generator, RoboForm, that Michael had used to create his Bitcoin password.

RoboForm is a password management software that creates complex passwords and stores them in an encrypted vault. Michael had used it to create a 20-character password and saved it in an encrypted text file on his computer. Unfortunately, data corruption caused Michael to lose the password, locking him out of his wallet.

Joe discovered that older versions of RoboForm didn’t generate completely random passwords. By setting the time back to 2013, they tricked the program into recreating the same password it had generated years before. Joe and Bruno generated millions of potential passwords, but after getting the correct date, they cracked the code in just a few tries, recovering Michael’s $3 million Bitcoin wallet.

Here is the full, fascinating story:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *