- A large number of hackers have tried and failed to break into a locked Bitcoin wallet that holds a tremendous amount of money.
- The wallet carries an enticing address, but its private key may not match, so it could very well be empty.
- Stolen or leaked “dat” files are generally hard to crack, as they usually sit behind long passwords and strong encryption.
There’s a specific Bitcoin wallet that has been circulating dark web forums and marketplaces in the past couple of years, shared with or sold to aspiring hackers who are confident in their capacity to break in. Allegedly, the wallet holds the jaw-dropping amount of 69,370 BTC, which is the equivalent of about $720 million. The rumor that accompanies the particular wallet, whose address is “1HQ3Go3ggs8pFnXuHVHRytPCq5fGG8Hbhx,” is that it belongs to one of those early Bitcoin investors who lost their passwords.
Indeed, many of those who rushed to buy crypto a decade ago didn’t take their investment very seriously, as few expected Bitcoin’s value to explode the way it did. In other cases, owners passed away without getting the chance to share access with anyone else, so the wallets stayed locked and full.
Thus, “thick” wallets out of their owners’ reach are a reality, but not all that glitters is gold. The particular wallet may carry the same address as the wallet that allegedly holds the crazy amount of Bitcoin, but it could be just a fabricated wallet.dat file.
The person who finally cracks it may find out that it’s empty due to a mismatch in the private key. The wallet file contains pairs of public and encrypted private keys of the address, so making something appear alluring is as simple as using a binary editor to change the public key. Since nobody has cracked the particular wallet yet, there’s no way to tell if the “legend” behind this “dat” file is real or not.
As for the chances of anyone managing to crack it, that would be extremely hard with today’s computers. If it was easy, dat files would be flying around, and hackers would randomly unlock juicy wallets.
Cryptocurrency wallet holders use long and strong passwords, and dat files are encrypted with AES-256-CBC and SHA-512. Practically, it’s next to impossible to brute force the password and unlock the wallet. There are many examples of such endeavors failing miserably, and for any unlocking to occur, very special circumstances need to apply.
Still, those who have lost their sleep knowing that they own millions of USD in digital money that they can’t access will try everything in their desperation – from searching through leaked keys and testing out a ridiculous number of passwords to going through hypnosis for memory recall.