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Author Topic: HOWTO: create a 100% secure wallet  (Read 249549 times)
coinerbit
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January 25, 2014, 01:23:51 PM
 #2501

I absolutely love this OP! Great info and not all geeky worded, it's nice to see that some people still have personality. I'm going to start working with digital coins and found this with some searching online.

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January 26, 2014, 06:28:01 AM
 #2502

-= 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

I plan to use these tips. 
Sutters Mill
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January 26, 2014, 08:42:24 AM
 #2503

I'm going to set up a wallet on my raspberry pi. It's portable and it's running Linux, which I hear is safer. Anyone confirm that?

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January 26, 2014, 08:54:16 AM
 #2504

I'm going to set up a wallet on my raspberry pi. It's portable and it's running Linux, which I hear is safer. Anyone confirm that?

For the Linux part, definitely it is better than Windows Cheesy (most of the virus are targeting to Windows users).

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January 26, 2014, 08:57:49 AM
 #2505

Brainwallet is a nice feature to have and unless someone can find a way to crack into people's brains, then it should be secure.

Not secure at all if you use simple words like "baseball" or "password".

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January 29, 2014, 01:16:23 AM
 #2506

it's so useful, I am newbie to coins world, seeking to go more further now. Smiley
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January 31, 2014, 02:12:39 PM
 #2507

Why not just adapt a 'paper wallet'. Encrypt it in a puzzle. I'm thinking of having my key engraved on to some puzzle pieces, mixing it up and then locking it in a safe. I don't have a huge amount of coin at the moment but it's safe all the same. Nobody will know what it means at the moment even if they do decipher it.

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January 31, 2014, 02:18:32 PM
 #2508

[引用作者= myrm链接=主题= 17240。 msg222367 # msg222367日期= 1308141081]
一个linux发行版,一切你可能需要来得不够快。 就好如果很小,基本上是一个向导,用户完成所有必需的步骤走到安全的钱包。 如果我有时间我就会恢复正常。

它仍然会100%安全吗? 什么是恶意软件的当前状态驻留在BIOS ? 我知道这是什么真是酷毙了从前。 我认为,机器开始引导OSs,安全事后运行持续从同一媒体杀一些。如果公元前起飞,我们会看到一个回到那些日子吗?
(/报价)
12345678

Can't understand the font..?

lol.
Why did someone make a chinese post here?
And, the google-translated version doesn't make any sense....

Valerian77
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February 01, 2014, 01:17:29 AM
 #2509

Why not just adapt a 'paper wallet'. Encrypt it in a puzzle. I'm thinking of having my key engraved on to some puzzle pieces, mixing it up and then locking it in a safe. I don't have a huge amount of coin at the moment but it's safe all the same. Nobody will know what it means at the moment even if they do decipher it.

Funny idea - but if one gets the puzzle out of the safe he may be able to solve it.

Simply create an encrypted paper wallet. Print it out five times. Split the key into ten chunks and write one chunk on every print out. Then fold them and seal them with some kind of stamp. After this the five sealed printouts should be given to reliable persons with the instruction only to unseal them in case of your death or on your request. It is a good idea to have at least someone in the group who is not in good relationship to the others.

So then you have a perfect backup of the coins even for your heirs or in case you loose your wallet key or the password.

Bitmessage: BM-2cTHvwzzG3cDJxmM7YrYXSaBex4oRobJxu
First.Bitcoins
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February 05, 2014, 04:51:28 PM
 #2510

Great guide, testing it out today.

Founding Dev of ArtByte, the crypto supporting the arts, started in NYC - May 1, 2014 ArtByte.me
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February 05, 2014, 05:15:38 PM
 #2511

Newb question - is this still largely relevant? I'd like to link it on my site, but not if it's outdated and/or incorrect. I should mention that I have NOT read through all 126 pages of the thread Tongue

Rit.

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lowjo
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February 19, 2014, 01:52:10 AM
 #2512

This is an awesome thread, thanks to OP! I'm reasonably paranoid and for some reason I had a total brain fart when it came to securing my coins...I went for wide distribution to reduce risk with any one wallet...this makes a lot more sense.


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March 13, 2014, 12:47:42 PM
 #2513

This information are always useful. Next step would be some company patenting some of solutions and providing them as service.

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March 13, 2014, 01:29:07 PM
 #2514

This information are always useful. Next step would be some company patenting some of solutions and providing them as service.
I don't think anyone could patent unplugging your Internet cable and booting up Live OS CDs. Cheesy


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March 13, 2014, 08:49:11 PM
 #2515

This information are always useful. Next step would be some company patenting some of solutions and providing them as service.
I don't think anyone could patent unplugging your Internet cable and booting up Live OS CDs. Cheesy

Lol!

Nice guide, thanks!



Nice guide
but 100 percent sure there is never
Pony789
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March 14, 2014, 11:44:17 PM
 #2516

This is helpful to all newbies, and everyone should really take a look at it.
IMO, this thread should be made sticky.  Smiley

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June 09, 2014, 10:42:07 PM
 #2517

Nice guide, will try to make 1 copy.
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August 03, 2014, 07:21:04 AM
 #2518

Is there any real safe way to store a wallet online? As in you encrypted it and placed it in some online storage service? I'm just wanting reliable off site backups.
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August 03, 2014, 11:58:48 AM
 #2519

A secure wallet is a 100% offline wallet IMO:
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August 03, 2014, 09:30:44 PM
 #2520

Is there any real safe way to store a wallet online? As in you encrypted it and placed it in some online storage service? I'm just wanting reliable off site backups.

Yes, you can store an encrypted wallet on Dropbox/Drive fairly securely.

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