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Man Has Two Guesses to Get His Forgotten Password Correct or Lose $240 Million in Bitcoin

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About 10 years ago, programmer Stephen Thomas created an animated video titled “What is Bitcoin” for Bitcoin enthusiasts in Switzerland. For his problem, he had to pay exactly 7,002 in bitcoin.  Coins were about $ 2 per coin at the time, which is still quite good for a short and relatively simple animation. Bitcoins are now about $ 34,500, making his Bitcoin $241,569,000.

Sounds pretty great, the true happy story tale of good luck and patience isn’t there too fast, buddy. As you can see, Thomas put Bitcoin on his encrypted IronKey hard drive as a security-conscious type. IronKey anyone trying to access it 10 It basically guesses before self-harm which makes it accessible to anyone.  It’s a different bad character trying to access your 200 200 but it’s great, but that perfect person doesn’t remember what the password is when you’re under 10 and the amount you’re trying to access is 0 240 million ideal. The New York Times reports that what happened to Thomas was that he lost a piece of paper in which he had written down his password.

In the intervening years, Thomas tried to access the drive by trying to reach his millions, but to no avail. As you can imagine, it put him under some pressure. Thomas told the New York Times, “I will just lie in bed and think about it.” Then I’ll go to the computer with some new techniques and it won’t work and I’ll be desperate again.” He has now used eight of his 10 estimates. Two more and it’s gone.

Suddenly remembering it or not finding the piece of paper, his chances of accessing it are quite slim. However, some technologists believe that the code could be cracked. Alex Stamos of the Stanford Internet Observatory wrote in a Twitter thread, “For 20 220M on lock-up bitcoin, you don’t have to guess 10 passwords but buy 20 irons and take them to professionals and spend six months finding side-channels or in disguise.”

“We’re not talking about some NSA-built cryptoprocessor installed on any SSBN, but an old piece of the customer kit is 50 pieces. There’s no way to crack it against USNIX paperwork from the last ten years that has never been used in practice.”  Let’s hope he’s OK, or Thomas can join British IT worker James Howells, who lost 500 bitcoins – 498 more than Thomas – when he accidentally dropped a hard drive and saved it in 2013.