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Author Topic: HOWTO: create a 100% secure wallet  (Read 275351 times)
bitcoinburnol
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April 05, 2013, 04:14:43 PM
 #2081

thanks for the info.

this is really helpful.
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Ardivaba
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April 05, 2013, 04:46:36 PM
 #2082

Also if you are VERY paranoid, then you could have Virtual Machine inside Virtual Machine, protecting your stuff.
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April 05, 2013, 04:57:25 PM
 #2083

Also if you are VERY paranoid, then you could have Virtual Machine inside Virtual Machine, protecting your stuff.
If your extremely paranoid, you just have a chip implanted with your private key Smiley

My buddy is very paranoid, he encrypted his key. And then he encrypted it again with a mbit encryption, printed it out and it now resides in a high security bank with member only access. (all devices he used were brand new before he used them, and he melted most of them afterwards.)

Anybody who is very paranoid and knows what hackers can do, will never keep their key on a networked device. (not even with 10 layers of visualization)

For the people who know nothing about computers, just print out the key and put it in your home vault. (or preferably a banks vault)

Encrypting the key on paper, is only useful when you want nobody but you to be able to access them. (or could help in other situations where you prefer two factor authentication, for example you could give a relative the key (or multiple relatives each a different part of the key  Shocked), knowing that they will only get access to the deposit box when you die. Hence not letting the bitcoins get lost forever)

"All Your Base Are Belong To Us" by CATS
christop
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April 05, 2013, 05:09:13 PM
 #2084

Also if you are VERY paranoid, then you could have Virtual Machine inside Virtual Machine, protecting your stuff.
Yo dawg, I heard you like virtual machines....

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April 05, 2013, 05:27:07 PM
 #2085

-= Small Edit: If you need something which is very secure and grandma-style easy, go vote on this poll and add your thoughts to the discussion. =-

Note: I can only post in the newbie forum for now, but if a moderator deems this topic useful, he may move it somewhere else. Right now, I'm too lazy to get 5 posts, just for the sake of it.

Also, there is an excellent article on the Wiki which should give you some ideas about the problem of security. This is meant as a more specific and simple straight-forward guide, i.e I won't spell out where you can find your wallet.dat and so on.


Why?

So, in light of the recent /19BSM]Drama Roll Eyes Kiss and my general feeling that some people are unsure about the security of their wallet (or their PC in general), I've decided to give you an idea how to create a secure savings account for you to deposit your hard-earned coins in.

Clarifications

So, you crazy twat want to invest all your savings in bitcoin, but you're not yet shit-for-brains enough to forget the security aspect of the whole thing? Here's the HowTo for you.

So, the first misconception to clear out, is the concept of the "wallet". The wording in itself is not ideal, since it is more like a key. Cryptographically speaking, it is actually exactly that: your private key.

Now this has the following implication: If someone steals your wallet.dat now, and you deposit coins in it later, the thief will be able to spend/transfer ALL your coins, including those you added _after_ the wallet was stolen! I'm sure a lot of you know this already, I just want to clarify this for everybody.

So, clearly, you have to make it impossible for anybody to _ever_ steal your wallet. Clearly, this is infeasible for your day-to-day transactions account, since encryption will be useless as soon as you want to access your coins (Since the decrypted wallet.dat has to be stored in RAM at some point. There are ways, but for now, consider them a little tedious).

So the solution is the following: you have your spendings-account where you keep only low amounts of coin (much like a real-life wallet), and you have your super-secure savings wallet, which you only access on rare occasions.

How?

I'll try to keep it short: You have to create your savings account under ideal security-conditions. I won't rant about you cunts people using Windows in general, but note that Linux is in no way automagically completely secure. Everything depends a lot on your behaviour.

1. What you'll do is the following: Create a live-CD or a bootable USB with your OS of choice on it. I suggest using the Ubuntu LiveCD.

The reason is simple. When you create your new wallet, you want to make abolutely sure, that your running operating system doesn't in any way log your keys or secretly save your files somewhere.

2. Boot your freshly-created OS, and install the Bitcoin client on it. Yes you can install software inside a liveCD environment. Optionally, also install some encryption software, but we'll leave that for now.

3. Your Bitcoin client will immediately generate 10 addresses for you, and with them, the corresponding wallet.dat.

4. Save your addresses somewhere, if you have to, write them down manually (if you do this, then I bow to your zeal and declare you crazy). I suggest you send them to yourself over email.

5. This is the important step. Copy your wallet.dat somewhere. Burn then on a CD or another medium. I for instance love those little 64MB SD-cards you sometimes get with a new camera. They rock. You might want to make multiple copies (on multiple cards/CDs, not multiple copies of the same file on the same disk you tart).

6. Now, eject whatever you just copied on, and guard it like your life depends on it. Not really, but here is the important step: If you encrypted your wallet.dat with an encryption algorithm you feel safe about, just keep it around your house.

7. Shut down. There will be no trace of your walled.dat on your harddisk, since it never actually resided there.

Important: You will want to keep another copy somewhere else, in a safe physical location, or at least one that is safe while your house burns down. You might already know it, but losing your wallet.dat is worse than someone stealing it. It'll be gone forever.

If you didn't encrypt the file (which I prefer), put the SDcards, CDs, whatever in a safe. That's right: a real-world safe, like banks have, who also happen to lock their doors and are in general very anal about their security and all that jazz. You can rent small safety-deposit boxes in exchange for money. As a bonus, it'll be fire-proof as well.

8. In case it's not yet obvious: You will now only make day-to-day transactions like you used to do it, on your computer (are you _still_ using windows?) and every now and then, you will put some coins into your savings-account. Using the addresses from step 4). How much you want to keep in your wallet is up to you.

But how can I haz my money back?

Okay, for those of you who didn't guess it yet: Whenever you want to make a transaction from your savings-account to someplace else, get your wallet.dat out of the safe, boot up your liveCD (don't you dare using your regular OS after all this work, or I'll come beat you up personally) and do the reverse: Install bitcoin again, install the encryption-software if necessary and copy your wallet.dat where it belongs.

Congratulations: you can now access your 25'000 bitcoins and nobody will have messed with them while you were asleep.

Possible attacks

So now, the _only_ way for someone to steal your coin, will be to steal your physical copy of the wallet. That's why you might want to encrypt it, although if you do, don't forget the passphrase. Also, if you die, your family can still get your bank-safe opened, but they won't be able to pick through your brain and get the passphrase out of it. That's why I prefer to not encrypt it.

There is one more possibility: a physical keylogger: It will be able to intercept the password you use to encrypt your wallet.dat, which, if you keep a copy at home, can then be stolen and used. Another reason, why a regular safe is the best option in my humble opinion.

What else?

EDIT: A little protip for those who don't know: You can of course use blockexplorer.com to keep track of your account while it's safely hidden away. Doing this will simply allow you to see how many coins are associated with a given address.

I suggest you also create new day-to-day wallets (even having a few coins stolen can be frustrating), as your current ones might already have been stolen. Of course, this requires a secure OS, so you better ditch that infected piece of shit fine gear of yours. DON'T just create new wallets on the system you're using right now, since it won't solve anything in case you're already infected.

In addition, it doesn't hurt to read up on some technical details. Use the Wiki. Learn the difference between the amount in your wallet, and the amount on the different block-addresses. If you handle a lot of money, ACT ACCORDINGLY. Don't get all crazy-enthusiastic-venture-capitalist and invest all your savings in bitcoin. Also, don't speculate too much on the price development, you'll make more money if you use that time to work at a regular job.

Now, if you happen to make/have made a significant amount of coins, don't run around telling everybody like the self-satisfied vagina that you are. You wouldn't do that with real money either. At least I hope so.

Also, someone will probably make a bitcoin-specific liveCD, which should save some hassle in the steps above.
Also, take it easy and be a cool guy woh doesn't afraid of anything.
Also, pick up a book every now and then.


Yes, there are other ways to do this, and yes, some might be more practical and maybe just as secure. Write a comment about it.

If anyone has any clarifications, questions, suggestions, or wants to call me a moron, please feel free to do so, and I'll see if there is anything to be improved about it. Also, spelling mistaeks.

Also, in case anybody got all excited by this guide and/or seen the light of Jesus-Christ the saviour AND wants to thank me with coins (why on earth would you do that?), here's my address: 16VD78R8nxqJGesE7E9KS6A8TikQQpKNm5

Have fun. Cool

EDIT: Corrections and added a few insults just for you, dear anonymous reader.
Thanks
alexh
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April 05, 2013, 06:08:19 PM
 #2086

Thats a lot of information, it will take me days to get through everything. Ohhhh Sad
BladeRunner
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April 05, 2013, 06:34:35 PM
 #2087

Great safety tip. Could just have an entire pc that sits in the corner with linux on a CF drive instead of all the live CD part.
btchaver
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April 05, 2013, 07:46:33 PM
 #2088

WHat about mtgox is that a good place or safe enough to keep coins in.  I figure its safe considering they are the largest.  What are your thoughts on how safe is it to keep in mtgox or blockchain or bitfloor or any online service
Mac-10
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April 05, 2013, 08:44:37 PM
 #2089

Good informations for first time users.
howzar
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April 05, 2013, 09:55:30 PM
 #2090

People are just ridiculous when it come to the security of there pc's ,They could just keep the data in a flash and use it with a disconnected computer with the bigger wallets and have a small wallet for day-day payments.
rmorgan
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April 05, 2013, 11:04:02 PM
 #2091

Thanks for the helpful information in this thread. 
sandan79
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April 06, 2013, 12:41:27 AM
 #2092

Is there a short version or should ppl go through 107 pages ? Smiley

btw. great first post, thanks
christop
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April 06, 2013, 01:14:26 AM
 #2093

Is there a short version or should ppl go through 107 pages ? Smiley

btw. great first post, thanks
I think most of those pages are filled with "Great post!" and "Thanks!", so you won't miss much by not reading them.

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bitManXD
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April 06, 2013, 01:23:33 AM
 #2094

There is no 100% safe wallet.  Wink
InqBit
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April 06, 2013, 03:27:24 AM
 #2095

Thanks for the tips.
kennerd
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April 06, 2013, 04:02:00 AM
 #2096

OK, so I'm currently running Windows 7, should I feel more secure running a linux distro such as Ubuntu within VirtualBox for my wallet? Maybe put the iso in a Truecrypt volume in Windows, or have a Truecrypt volume in the Linux image to hold my wallet. Just thinking out loud, want to avoid having to boot into a different sysem to keep it easy and quick.
Wolf Rainer
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April 06, 2013, 04:16:59 AM
 #2097

Is easier than that... Just go to online sha512 encoder, put a word you can remember... Then go to online sha256 encoder and paste the sha512 code... Now go to blockchain.com import/export/add new private key and paste the sha256 code... Now erase the bitcoin adress and there you had, an ultra secure adress than you can remember and access without wallet.dat o pappel copy.
memorysnake
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April 06, 2013, 05:14:37 AM
 #2098

Is easier than that... Just go to online sha512 encoder, put a word you can remember... Then go to online sha256 encoder and paste the sha512 code... Now go to blockchain.com import/export/add new private key and paste the sha256 code... Now erase the bitcoin adress and there you had, an ultra secure adress than you can remember and access without wallet.dat o pappel copy.

That is pretty hardcore! Smiley
anonbro
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April 06, 2013, 05:23:42 AM
 #2099

Thanks go to the OP!

I will just briefly describe my process and maybe any experienced folks can let me know if I stuffed up somewhere.

So

1. downloaded ubuntu and put it on usb drive.
2. reboot pc into ubuntu.
3. download bitcoin-qt
4. generate addresses and send them to myself on email
5. find wallet.dat file and copy it to two 32mb sd cards and one usb drive.
6. restart computer.

was the bitcoin app supposed to finish synchronizing with network?

also im planning to have a day to day wallet on my phone, is there any danger in using the savings address to recieve payments online, if im not planning to buy anything or use it it makes sense to skip one extra transfer and seems safer no? (probbly sounds stupid but still getting my head around how all of this works).

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April 06, 2013, 06:08:03 AM
 #2100

Great help thx heaps
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