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Author Topic: Is it possible to "Hack" a known bitcoin address?  (Read 3735 times)
babsalt1975
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September 25, 2016, 11:41:47 AM
 #1

My friend died in a grisly road accident two months ago. He had accumulated quite a substantial amount of bitcoins and he had told me that he wanted to sell them when the price hits over $1,000. he had accumulated then when the price was below $250 a few months ago. Given that we had exchanged bitcoins on various occasions, I decided to check one of the addresses that we transacted with him and realized that indeed it had bitcoins.

My concern is that they will get lost just like that because no one knows the passwords that he used. He left behind a very young family of wife and two beautiful daughters. I feel if someone can gain access to these bitcoin they will help the family a great deal. I know it is difficult but I wanted to know if there is a way that the address can be "hacked" to enable his family gain access to the bitcoin.
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September 25, 2016, 11:49:17 AM
 #2

you cant hack bitcoins away from an address from the bitcoin network side. (its why people trust bitcoin)

but your friend obviously had a computer or phone to send transactions.
so gaining access to that device is something you should talk to his family about.

inform them that he left them some assets on his device and teach them how to send the bitcoins to a trustable exchange who can give them fiat when they need it.

then let them choose the best time to do this, and allow them to find a computer specialist to get to the devices passwords.


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September 25, 2016, 12:32:56 PM
 #3

I think your best bet would be to discuss it with his family and look for some writting down passwords or something.

It is very likely that he wrote them down and hid them somewhere. If that is the case, his wife may know either the password or where he might have stored it.
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September 25, 2016, 12:37:38 PM
 #4

You can hack it by bruteforcing it with GPUs, but good luck ! It should take a few thousand years :/...
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September 25, 2016, 12:45:57 PM
 #5

No problem at all.  Your friends private key in on this website right here:

directory.io

You can just go there, get the key, and then transfer the bitcoins.


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September 25, 2016, 12:46:32 PM
 #6

My friend died in a grisly road accident two months ago. He had accumulated quite a substantial amount of bitcoins and he had told me that he wanted to sell them when the price hits over $1,000. he had accumulated then when the price was below $250 a few months ago. Given that we had exchanged bitcoins on various occasions, I decided to check one of the addresses that we transacted with him and realized that indeed it had bitcoins.

My concern is that they will get lost just like that because no one knows the passwords that he used. He left behind a very young family of wife and two beautiful daughters. I feel if someone can gain access to these bitcoin they will help the family a great deal. I know it is difficult but I wanted to know if there is a way that the address can be "hacked" to enable his family gain access to the bitcoin.
Lol you can't hack a known bitcoin even you know the full bitcoin address and the trasaction all you need to do is ask him that he will visit you in your dream and ask him what is his password to open his account specially the email address he use to register that account or to open that account every day

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September 25, 2016, 12:46:56 PM
 #7

Does he have an encrypted wallet.dat file on his computer? if it's the case the password is probably a phone number, his ID, or something similar. maybe his daughter's birthdays.
He probably left the password written somewhere in the house, search inside books for a piece of paper. most people don't solely rely on their memory for such valuable things.
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September 25, 2016, 01:24:12 PM
 #8

In order to gain access to a Bitcoin wallet you need the private key associated with the public key which is basically the Bitcoin address you can check on the Blockchain. If your friend used an online wallet to move his coins it's possible to log into his Bitcoin wallet easily through the web browser he has been using. I would suggest checking the browsers on his work and private computers and also any password managing programs or installed Bitcoin wallets and also going through the browser history on his mobile phones as well. Also it would be worth a shot to check any usb sticks or back-up external drives lying around in his room.
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September 25, 2016, 01:27:19 PM
 #9

Like mentioned by many in this thread, it would be best to contact his/her family and make them aware that there's a substantial amount of bitcoin that he/she had stored in that address. Probably if they find it, they may be aware of the password to access his/her wallet and probably make use of it themselves. If you're lucky you may as well be rewarded for informing them.
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September 25, 2016, 01:39:11 PM
 #10

Yeah i would tell t he family about it, for all you know he may have already told them.  i know myself that if anything happens to me i have told my sons where to get the private keys, anyone who holds bitcoin would be mad not to.  you dont seem to know much about bitcoin yourself so mentioning it to his family is prob the best thing.

all the best
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September 25, 2016, 01:41:40 PM
 #11

No problem at all.  Your friends private key in on this website right here:

directory.io

You can just go there, get the key, and then transfer the bitcoins.



I feel nervous, if oneday satoshi's 1 million coin would be hacked, the bitcoin price will plummet.

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September 25, 2016, 01:50:35 PM
 #12

No problem at all.  Your friends private key in on this website right here:

directory.io

You can just go there, get the key, and then transfer the bitcoins.



I feel nervous, if oneday satoshi's 1 million coin would be hacked, the bitcoin price will plummet.

in theory its possible, in practise its not.
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September 25, 2016, 02:04:00 PM
 #13

No problem at all.  Your friends private key in on this website right here:

directory.io

You can just go there, get the key, and then transfer the bitcoins.



I feel nervous, if oneday satoshi's 1 million coin would be hacked, the bitcoin price will plummet.

in theory its possible, in practise its not.

They need 10^50 years or longer?  I can't remember the correct time in theory, but we can't see that day before we die.

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September 25, 2016, 03:19:48 PM
 #14

I thought it will be easier if the case is he use blockchain for his wallet, you can try to gain the access by providing the 12 mnemonic words, I'm sure it is printed or written somewhere because simply memorizing such series on the right order would be considered as a time wasting for so many people. You can easily know his identifier by checking his email from blockchain.

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September 25, 2016, 03:22:27 PM
 #15

Nope. It is impossible. Try to hack the user's PC instead. That makes more sense. You still need to know the owner of the address and his/her ip though. I am not the expert about the rest but nothing a well placed/hid trojan wouldn't fix your problem.




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September 25, 2016, 03:24:16 PM
 #16

They need 10^50 years or longer?  I can't remember the correct time in theory, but we can't see that day before we die.
Here's a nice explanation of why it's not feasible in practice:
The odds in colliding with a specific address is 1 in 2^160.

If there are a billion users and each have one million active addresses (1 quadrillion funded addresses in the blockchain) the odds in colliding with any address would be roughly 1 in 2^110 (1*10^33).

Vanitygen can produce 20 million keypairs per second.  Lets say you build a super ASIC on 12nm (4 generations ahead of current tech) process that could create, validate, and steal one trillion keypairs per second (1 TK/s). That would be about 50,000x more powerful than faster GPU today.  Lets also say you built a thousand of them and ran them continually with no downtime 24/7/365.   In 1 year you could brute force 3*10^28 possible addresses.  

If there are 1 quadrillion funded addresses you would still have a ~1% chance of colliding with a random funded address in the next 1,000 years.

Nope. It is impossible.
Wrong. It is possible, however it is just not probable with the current technology within a time-span close to our lifespan.

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September 25, 2016, 03:30:31 PM
 #17

My friend died in a grisly road accident two months ago. He had accumulated quite a substantial amount of bitcoins and he had told me that he wanted to sell them when the price hits over $1,000. he had accumulated then when the price was below $250 a few months ago. Given that we had exchanged bitcoins on various occasions, I decided to check one of the addresses that we transacted with him and realized that indeed it had bitcoins.

My concern is that they will get lost just like that because no one knows the passwords that he used. He left behind a very young family of wife and two beautiful daughters. I feel if someone can gain access to these bitcoin they will help the family a great deal. I know it is difficult but I wanted to know if there is a way that the address can be "hacked" to enable his family gain access to the bitcoin.
I think it will be hard if we try hack the wallet only, i think you can check the PC your friend and explaining about bitcoin to his family, maybe they can give sign or password into bitcoin wallet.
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September 25, 2016, 03:48:51 PM
 #18

They need 10^50 years or longer?  I can't remember the correct time in theory, but we can't see that day before we die.
Here's a nice explanation of why it's not feasible in practice:
The odds in colliding with a specific address is 1 in 2^160.

If there are a billion users and each have one million active addresses (1 quadrillion funded addresses in the blockchain) the odds in colliding with any address would be roughly 1 in 2^110 (1*10^33).

Vanitygen can produce 20 million keypairs per second.  Lets say you build a super ASIC on 12nm (4 generations ahead of current tech) process that could create, validate, and steal one trillion keypairs per second (1 TK/s). That would be about 50,000x more powerful than faster GPU today.  Lets also say you built a thousand of them and ran them continually with no downtime 24/7/365.   In 1 year you could brute force 3*10^28 possible addresses.  

If there are 1 quadrillion funded addresses you would still have a ~1% chance of colliding with a random funded address in the next 1,000 years.

Nope. It is impossible.
Wrong. It is possible, however it is just not probable with the current technology within a time-span close to our lifespan.
Thanks for that detailed explanation. I have a question though. In the future when bitcoin will be still used, and we obviously will be having a better tech to "crack/collide" addresses.
It is possible to change /upgrade bitcoin address? For example add additional 10 symbols or find a way for addresses to be truly unique?


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September 25, 2016, 03:48:57 PM
 #19


Nope. It is impossible.
Wrong. It is possible, however it is just not probable with the current technology within a time-span close to our lifespan.

Then it is practically impossible.




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September 25, 2016, 03:57:01 PM
 #20

if its possible we would have tons of robbers lurking the blockchain trying to gain access to wallets with even just 5 dollars.

If you friend indeed own a substantial amount of btc, then i guess he has a hardwallet of have installed bitcoin core or perhaps electrum in in laptop. it can easily be accessed if given the permission of his family.

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