After a bitcoin owner lost $ 300,000 worth of bitcoin, cryptographic expert Mike Stay managed to restore bitcoin within a few months. In yesterday's blog post, Stay revealed how he achieved it.
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More than half a year ago, a "Russian" asked Stay, a former engineer and password analyst at Google, to restore his private key to a Bitcoin hiding place.
The "Russian lad" once sent a message to Stay on Linkedlin and asked him to do what seemed impossible—decrypting a zip file containing the private key, which contained the private key holding Bitcoin.
Stay said the mysterious Russian made a large investment in Bitcoin in 2016. But after forgetting his password, he was locked out of these bitcoins. Therefore, he was unable to sell his stranded bitcoins, which are now worth more than $ 300,000.
The problem is that this encrypted file has almost unlimited number of possible combinations. Stay wrote in a blog post published on April 3: "I estimate that a large GPU-farm will cost US $ 100,000 for 1 year to crack."
"He said that he could spend so much money ($ 100,000) to retrieve this key, which shocked me."
Stay immediately began work and reconstructed a similar attack vector from an academic paper he previously wrote. However, he soon stumbled upon a complicated problem.
In the attack described in Stay ’s old paper, he only needs to check some keys to decrypt a solution. In this case, Stay said, "there are trillions of keys to check."
This attack will take longer. He wrote: "If I perform 232 tests per key, it will take hundreds of thousands of years."
Stay developed several complex algorithms and managed to reduce the combination to 36 possibilities.
Nevertheless, through trial and error, the attack staggered.
Stay racked his brain and rechecked his test. At that time, he found a mistake in GPU-farm. He repaired it quickly and solved the problem, and he managed to decipher the key within a day.
Given the large number of lost keys and passwords in the encryption industry, Stay may have discovered a gold mine with its solution.
Perhaps someone should convey Stay's story to American economist, gold supporter and bitcoin critic Peter Schiff, who had previously stated that he lost some bitcoin after losing his password.