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Author Topic: HOWTO: create a 100% secure wallet  (Read 275351 times)
christop
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April 07, 2013, 08:56:58 PM
 #2141

I have windows 7 on my laptop. In the instructions above, are you suggesting that I make the USB drive wallet out of an operating system other than windows?
Other operatings systems like Linux are preferred for their security and ease of use. It's also plain more difficult to install and run Windows from a USB thumb drive than it is for Linux.

What do you mean by savings account?
A savings account is one that you don't withdraw money from very often. It's intended to be something you put money into more than take money out. That's relatively easy to do with Bitcoin because you can still put money in while you keep the private key securely locked away. You need the private key only to withdraw money from your Bitcoin "savings account".

As Bitcoins are so expensive is it ok to only buy one and put half of that coin in one wallet and half in the other?
You can buy a small fraction of one Bitcoin and split it up however you wish. They can be divided up into pieces as small as 0.00000001 of one Bitcoin, and the system can be extended later to support smaller units if that isn't small enough.


Am I right in saying, that as my laptop is only ever used by me, it is NOT classed as a netoworked computer?

If you connect your computer to the Internet, it is networked. The Internet is a large network.

Is it like this - For each transaction, you need a public address key, and a private one, which matches the public one?
To spend bitcoins, you need the private keys that correspond to the addresses that have bitcoins; those are "your" private keys and no one else's. You also need a public address (yours or someone else's) to send the money to. You can calculate a public address from a private key but not the other way around. The Bitcoin client that you created a key in will manage the private keys and addresses inside the wallet file automatically.


Am I right in hurrying to buy bitcoins as they seem to be going up all the time?

That's really up to you and what you plan to do with them. If you plan to spend them immediately, their price in the future doesn't matter. That is, if you buy $10 in Bitcoins (about 0.063 Bitcoins at the current rate) to buy something for $10 worth of Bitcoins, you'll spend the same whether they are worth $150 or $15000.

If you plan to hold on to them for some time, you ought to figure out what the risks are for you. They could double in value or they could become worthless in a week. Is that worth it for you?

I spent a small amount of my personal savings on Bitcoins; if I lose it all (not likely), it would certainly suck, but I wouldn't be hurting financially. On the other hand, if they become 10 to 100 times more valuable in a couple years (quite likely), I'll be a little bit more well off than I currently am.


I actually don't follow these instructions. I prefer to print out a "paper wallet" from a page like https://www.bitaddress.org/ on a secure computer (that page works offline). The paper wallet consists of several private keys and their public addresses, as well as their QR codes to make it easy to scan them into a computer. Then I scan or type the public addresses from the paper wallet onto an online computer and then store the paper copies in physically secure locations like a fire-proof safe. I can send bitcoins to one or more of the addresses in the paper wallet and they'll be relatively safe. When I want to spend bitcoins from my paper wallet, I'll need to import (scan or type) one or more private key from the paper wallet into the Bitcoin client on an online computer, then I'll have immediate access to my funds. If there's any amount I don't want to spend right away, I'll send it back to my paper wallet to an address that has not been imported (the private key is no longer secure enough for an offline savings account once it has been imported).

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April 07, 2013, 09:25:54 PM
 #2142

Thanks for the Guide!
Primrose
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April 07, 2013, 09:37:02 PM
 #2143

I have windows 7 on my laptop. In the instructions above, are you suggesting that I make the USB drive wallet out of an operating system other than windows?
Other operatings systems like Linux are preferred for their security and ease of use. It's also plain more difficult to install and run Windows from a USB thumb drive than it is for Linux.

What do you mean by savings account?
A savings account is one that you don't withdraw money from very often. It's intended to be something you put money into more than take money out. That's relatively easy to do with Bitcoin because you can still put money in while you keep the private key securely locked away. You need the private key only to withdraw money from your Bitcoin "savings account".

As Bitcoins are so expensive is it ok to only buy one and put half of that coin in one wallet and half in the other?
You can buy a small fraction of one Bitcoin and split it up however you wish. They can be divided up into pieces as small as 0.00000001 of one Bitcoin, and the system can be extended later to support smaller units if that isn't small enough.


Am I right in saying, that as my laptop is only ever used by me, it is NOT classed as a netoworked computer?

If you connect your computer to the Internet, it is networked. The Internet is a large network.

Is it like this - For each transaction, you need a public address key, and a private one, which matches the public one?
To spend bitcoins, you need the private keys that correspond to the addresses that have bitcoins; those are "your" private keys and no one else's. You also need a public address (yours or someone else's) to send the money to. You can calculate a public address from a private key but not the other way around. The Bitcoin client that you created a key in will manage the private keys and addresses inside the wallet file automatically.


Am I right in hurrying to buy bitcoins as they seem to be going up all the time?

That's really up to you and what you plan to do with them. If you plan to spend them immediately, their price in the future doesn't matter. That is, if you buy $10 in Bitcoins (about 0.063 Bitcoins at the current rate) to buy something for $10 worth of Bitcoins, you'll spend the same whether they are worth $150 or $15000.

If you plan to hold on to them for some time, you ought to figure out what the risks are for you. They could double in value or they could become worthless in a week. Is that worth it for you?

I spent a small amount of my personal savings on Bitcoins; if I lose it all (not likely), it would certainly suck, but I wouldn't be hurting financially. On the other hand, if they become 10 to 100 times more valuable in a couple years (quite likely), I'll be a little bit more well off than I currently am.


I actually don't follow these instructions. I prefer to print out a "paper wallet" from a page like https://www.bitaddress.org/ on a secure computer (that page works offline). The paper wallet consists of several private keys and their public addresses, as well as their QR codes to make it easy to scan them into a computer. Then I scan or type the public addresses from the paper wallet onto an online computer and then store the paper copies in physically secure locations like a fire-proof safe. I can send bitcoins to one or more of the addresses in the paper wallet and they'll be relatively safe. When I want to spend bitcoins from my paper wallet, I'll need to import (scan or type) one or more private key from the paper wallet into the Bitcoin client on an online computer, then I'll have immediate access to my funds. If there's any amount I don't want to spend right away, I'll send it back to my paper wallet to an address that has not been imported (the private key is no longer secure enough for an offline savings account once it has been imported).

Hi

I really appreciate you taking the time out to explain all of this to me. I have read it and will c+p it to keep on my hd.
I already have bitcoin qt on my laptop and have agb usb stick, which I am having a bit of a struggle with.
I could not follow the instructions in the guide, maybe everyone else on here is tech savvy but i am not.
I tried to download linux creator, but got stuck as I needed an iso file and aint got a clue what that is.
 
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April 07, 2013, 09:56:24 PM
 #2144

very nice tutorial. hour per hour i get more info stuff to start my gold rush in a few days Wink
Coincrazy
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April 08, 2013, 02:56:54 AM
 #2145

For Windows users, I have found LinuxLive USB Creator a really simple way of creating a bootable USB drive that loads Linux. You can choose the Linux flavor you are going to install.

If you have the time, patience and skill, please post a how-to for windows users, on how to create a bootable linux distro (any one) bootable from a CD

Bit coins or no Bit coins, this would be helpful

TIA
Regards

CC
Manein
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April 08, 2013, 03:09:29 AM
 #2146

blockchain??
VishwaJay
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April 08, 2013, 06:30:07 AM
 #2147

For Windows users, I have found LinuxLive USB Creator a really simple way of creating a bootable USB drive that loads Linux. You can choose the Linux flavor you are going to install.

If you have the time, patience and skill, please post a how-to for windows users, on how to create a bootable linux distro (any one) bootable from a CD

Bit coins or no Bit coins, this would be helpful

TIA
Regards

CC

For those computer lametards users who fear using Linux, we need something that has everything basically done, with a script to R/W the wallet from/to an external USB stick (though I will agree with the OP that the SD card idea is completely awesome).

Some of us don't like using computers more than we have to (because we live like monks in a temple and don't allow the modern world to influence us the way it does all those geeky computer arts experts out there). And we're not allowed the time to have a learning curve, which is why unattended mining is so attractive as a hobby.
Coincrazy
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April 08, 2013, 07:03:11 AM
 #2148

For Windows users, I have found LinuxLive USB Creator a really simple way of creating a bootable USB drive that loads Linux. You can choose the Linux flavor you are going to install.

If you have the time, patience and skill, please post a how-to for windows users, on how to create a bootable linux distro (any one) bootable from a CD

Bit coins or no Bit coins, this would be helpful

TIA
Regards

CC

For those computer lametards users who fear using Linux, we need something that has everything basically done, with a script to R/W the wallet from/to an external USB stick (though I will agree with the OP that the SD card idea is completely awesome).

Some of us don't like using computers more than we have to (because we live like monks in a temple and don't allow the modern world to influence us the way it does all those geeky computer arts experts out there). And we're not allowed the time to have a learning curve, which is why unattended mining is so attractive as a hobby.

Call me monk, call me lame, call me anything ..... TIA for creating a bootable linux CD that I can put into my laptop and use / try linux

Also, it would be great to have some basic spread sheet , word processing and browsing facilities, because when I get rich with bitcoins I need to count them and write my journals / notes for the next generation :-)


Regards
CC
VishwaJay
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April 08, 2013, 08:15:52 AM
 #2149

Just FYI: I really did live in a monastery for a while.

I'm one of those lametards users who lives like a monk in a temple.

And I reiterate the TIA for creating something the rest of us don't have to spend a lot of time learning. I barely keep my head above water as it is, fiscally speaking.
Coincrazy
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April 08, 2013, 10:31:41 AM
 #2150

Just FYI: I really did live in a monastery for a while.

I'm one of those lametards users who lives like a monk in a temple.

And I reiterate the TIA for creating something the rest of us don't have to spend a lot of time learning. I barely keep my head above water as it is, fiscally speaking.

Thanks Vishwa

If I understand you right, you know *something* about Linux and how to get a bootable Linux distro on a CD ?

or am I off mark ?
XaYdEk
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April 08, 2013, 11:32:24 AM
 #2151

What about using something like Liberte Linux or Tails with persistency enabled in a Truecrypt file (ok, fake outer file, hidden encrypted file that actually contains your wallet(s) for maximum paranoia) as your primary hold for the wallet and it's also anonymous (if you don't use it from home that is) ?
Keimoasd
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April 08, 2013, 11:57:24 AM
 #2152

Very useful thanks Smiley
Antipodes
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April 08, 2013, 01:17:26 PM
 #2153

Thanks - I like the vault ideas!
baggage
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April 08, 2013, 03:42:08 PM
 #2154

I'm a bit confused. Please pardon my ignorance.  I've been reading through the beginning of this thread to figure how to secure my wallet.

So by creating an offline wallet (USB, Paper etc.) do I empty my wallet on blockchain?  Or do I keep the wallet on their server?

I created a paper wallet. Does that mean if my online wallet is hacked and the bits are stolen, does my paper wallet replace them and I'm safe?

Another thing I don't understand is "encrypted,"  what does that mean? 

any explanations appreciated.
Ajay
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April 08, 2013, 04:01:06 PM
 #2155

Thanks for the info Smiley
offbyone
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April 08, 2013, 04:46:07 PM
 #2156

quick point: I'm guessing that similar procedures can be taken for btc as well as other coins like ltc?
tomwoods
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April 08, 2013, 05:16:26 PM
 #2157

For Windows users, I have found LinuxLive USB Creator a really simple way of creating a bootable USB drive that loads Linux. You can choose the Linux flavor you are going to install.
Hi,

I have installed linux live usb creator directly onto my usb drive, and I read afterwards that I should have downloaded it onto my computer.
Is that ok?
It seemed easier to do this.
Thanks.

Download the usb creator to your hard drive and install it as an application. When you open it as an installed application you will be able to follow the steps to crete the bootable linux USB drive. Its best to use the option that formats the USB drive.
tomwoods
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April 08, 2013, 05:20:46 PM
 #2158

If you have the time, patience and skill, please post a how-to for windows users, on how to create a bootable linux distro (any one) bootable from a CD

Bit coins or no Bit coins, this would be helpful

TIA
Regards

CC

Sure, I'll post it in a new thread and link to it here.
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April 08, 2013, 05:37:34 PM
 #2159

-= 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 for the info
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April 08, 2013, 07:38:47 PM
 #2160

good advices ! thank you
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