Recovery firm proposes cracking former Ripple CTO’s $244M Bitcoin hard drive


An organization is petitioning former Ripple chief know-how officer Stefan Thomas for a hard drive containing greater than 7,000 Bitcoin (BTC) that he has been unable to entry for years.

In an Oct. 25 open letter, crypto restoration firm Unciphered offered to unlock an IronKey hard drive belonging to Thomas containing 7,002 BTC — roughly $244 million on the time of publication. The former Ripple chief know-how officer forgot the information to entry the drive, designed to erase its knowledge if a person enters the wrong password ten occasions. So far, the German-born programmer has used eight out of his ten makes an attempt.

According to Unciphered, its groups developed a technique to crack the {hardware} and entry the BTC keys safely saved for years. Technology journal Wired reported on Oct. 25 that the corporate was in a position to entry the info on an identical IronKey after “200 trillion tries” — seemingly bypassing the 10-attempt restriction on the drive.

“Though there are always caveats, this is not theoretical,” stated Unciphered. “We can do it; we’ve done it many times before […] And we can do it again. You don’t have to take our word for it […] we would be happy to demonstrate it on as many samples in a row as it takes for you (and everyone) to feel confident before moving forward.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Unciphered CEO Eric Michaud stated the corporate accessed the info within the IronKey from the Wired report by extracting a few of the drive’s info and utilizing offline servers, giving its workforce multiple chunk on the apple at guessing the password. He declined to say what the firm would ask for in return from Thomas however added Unciphered had created a “sustainable business” serving to folks recuperate crypto.

“We’re prepared if Stefan doesn’t want to work with us, but we’re hopeful,” stated Michaud. “We have already got a enterprise that’s rising and we’ll be right here when he’s prepared.“

Related: Ledger hardware wallet rolls out cloud-based private key recovery tool

There are many extremely publicized tales like Thomas’ involving restoration or customers unable to find their keys for one cause or one other. In 2021, a Redditor claimed to have regained access to 127 BTC after greater than ten years, discovering the personal keys on an outdated laptop. In 2013, British nationwide James Howells mistakenly discarded a hard drive containing roughly 7,500 BTC — he has made multiple attempts to find and recuperate the drive in a landfill with out success.

Estimates from 2022 recommended that customers could have lost access to roughly 20% of Bitcoin’s provide. This amounted to billions of {dollars} price of the cryptocurrency.

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