Hackers who finally unlocked $3 million Bitcoin wallet after 11 years explain how they did

Joe Grand has explained how he unlocked a $3 million Bitcoin wallet

A group of hackers who finally unlocked a massive $3 million bitcoin wallet have explained how they did it.

The world of hacking is way more than just a criminal underworld.

Instead, hackers can help with improved security and even recover a massive sum of money.

Just ask one anonymous cryptocurrency who enlisted the help of electrical engineer Joe Grand, who goes by the handle ‘Kingpin’ online.

The $3 million Bitcoin worth has finally been unlocked. (Getty Stock Photo)

The $3 million Bitcoin worth has finally been unlocked. (Getty Stock Photo)

The owner had not had access to the massive amounts of money for 11 years after forgetting the password to his account.

The cryptocurrency was protected by a password created by a random password generator called Roboform.

But after forgetting it, the owner worried that someone would hack his computer and obtain his password – ultimately gaining access to his cryptocurrency.

“At [that] time, I was really paranoid with my security,” he told Wired.

Well, the man perfect for the job was of course Grand – who became known in the community in 2022 for helping another crypto owner recover access to over $2 million in cryptocurrency he thought he’d lost forever.

Apparently, dozens of people have previously contacted Grand to ask for help with recovering lost treasure – something the hacker decided to turn down for various reasons.

But with this anonymous owner, Grand wanted to help out.

In a YouTube video published by Grand, the wallet’s owner said: “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.”

At the time of the owner losing access to the account, the Bitcoin worth a couple of thousand dollars.

But as the price of bitcoin had risen by more than 20,000 percent since 2013, the owner really wanted to have access to it.

Eventually, Grand was able to unlock the Bitcoin wallet, but how did he go about doing it?

Well, the hacker used a tool developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) to disassemble the password generator’s code.

Joe Grand finally cracked the code. (YouTube/Joe Grand)

Joe Grand finally cracked the code. (YouTube/Joe Grand)

“In a perfect world, when you generate a password with a password generator, you expect to get a unique, random output each time that no one else has,” he explained.

“[But] in this version of RoboForm, it was not the case.

“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.”

Grand was able to cleverly trick the system by changing the time back to 2013 when the password was created.

And with the help of his colleague Bruno, they were able to crack the code.

But speaking to Wired, Grand said he was ‘ultimately lucky’.

“We ultimately got lucky that our parameters and time range was right. If either of those were wrong, we would have … continued to take guesses/shots in the dark,” he told them in an email.

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