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Author Topic: HOWTO: create a 100% secure wallet  (Read 249612 times)
gromit1977
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July 12, 2011, 06:53:12 PM
 #341

thanks for this i am new and security IS needed Smiley
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owowo
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July 12, 2011, 07:44:31 PM
 #342

I always thought there is nothing 100% secure, but death and taxes,... ;o)
Leon
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July 12, 2011, 10:05:14 PM
 #343

Thanks for the tip!

Opening a webhost soon. Free for the first 5 orders!
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edge06
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July 13, 2011, 02:16:14 AM
 #344

Thanks for posting this! Smiley
petemole83
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July 13, 2011, 04:01:45 AM
 #345

I downloaded BitCoin and installed the program, and it shows up in my C;/Program Files, but no where in there is a wallet.dat file. Does anyone know why?

Look in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin

Note: the AppData folder is hidden, you'll have to edit folder options to see it.
mvoss
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July 13, 2011, 05:38:34 AM
 #346

wow, thanks. SEE?!?! I am a total newbie. Hope to change that soon. Got the mining working, buying a "middle-of-the-road" quality 6870 video card tomorrow. THANX for the info!
coinslot
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July 13, 2011, 08:38:32 PM
 #347

Here's what I do (on a Mac)

I created a symbolic link to point to an encrypted volume which contains my wallet.dat. Unless I've mounted that encrypted volume (which is just a megabyte), I can't send bitcoins.  I use Knox to manage the security of this volume, with AES 256bit encryption (http://agilebits.com/knox). I keep this volume safe (offsite and onsite).

You can also use this method using TrueCrypt, which is free but not as easy to use.

# I'll never understand why people post their Bitcoin address in signatures.
Exo
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July 13, 2011, 09:04:27 PM
 #348

Thank you  so much for this, finally. I can secure some of my coin eh?
jrb596
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July 14, 2011, 12:36:33 PM
 #349

cool
tidus_13
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July 14, 2011, 02:47:08 PM
 #350

Very good post, im going to backup my wallet.dat

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BrimStone
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July 14, 2011, 03:18:42 PM
 #351

A good security control process for the wallet is going to become more important as the value of the currency increases.

What are the chances that an encrypted "wallet bank" starts up?

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catfish
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July 16, 2011, 03:05:04 PM
 #352

OK, it's a big old thread and I've not read it all, so apologies if this point has been made, and apologies if it reads like flamebait, because it's not...

...but I think this thread, whilst useful, is alarmist. Unfortunately, right now, if you don't already know how to build the 'clean-room' Linux environment (and why) described in the OP, you're probably likely to make a mistake following a procedure which will be unfamiliar, and end up with an at-risk wallet.dat. However if you *do*, then you probably already have done (if you have enough BTC to need one).

A complicated methodology that 80% of users follow incorrectly will either leave a false sense of security (if the user *thinks* he or she has correctly followed the instructions, but hasn't), or leave a false sense of heightened danger (that one's wallet.dat is at constant risk of theft unless you're a 1337 Linux h4x0r).


The most important point IMO here is that a copy of the file can be used by the bad guys for transactions at ANY TIME - even if you've put the wallet.dat on a CD, chucked it in your safe and burned the computer used to make it. If the file is stolen at any time, it won't be able to be made secure again. Hence you've got two choices - either create the wallets in clean-room environments (as this guide attempts to), or accept that there are black-hats around *very occasionally* and spread your money around multiple wallets, made in different environments, none of which you cannot survive without if stolen. Better still, keep moving the money around and keep an eye on transactions made using your account.


I'd go with these points (out of deference to the C-literate CompSci grad, heh):

0. Each wallet.dat is only as secure as the least secure copy of it *ever* created and accessible;
1. You can't 'back up' to physical media without *properly* destroying the original file / other copies - you'll be reasonably OK if you use decent 'secure erase' tools to zap the original file (surely Windows can do this??) - just make sure it's not nicked before you 'back up';
2. Wallet.dat files are cheap. If you suspect ANY chance of compromise, create a new one in a clean environment (best efforts - go with what you know) and send your coins to the new wallet BEFORE the bad guys do. In fact, a regular rotation of files is probably good advice, as per standard advice to regularly change passwords / PINs / etc.;
3. Don't hold balances on wallets that you can't afford to lose. You are your own bank security with Bitcoin and you're not insured.


As to the Windows snarks - I'm a Mac hacker so you can add 'elitist' to 'snob' if we're playing OS pissing contests Grin but remember that 99% of financial institutions use Microsoft operating systems both on the client and certain server environments. Banks lose money all the time, from thefts or bad loans, doesn't matter. Your money is only guaranteed to a certain minimum level and if your bank's Windows network gets cracked, a load of money and goodwill is lost and the bank folds, you'd better hope that you've got under the guaranteed balance in that bank's account. It's all about risk management. With Bitcoin, you are your own bank, and your network security is actually probably better than many banks' - but the basic rule about account balances doesn't change. Don't hold more than you can afford to lose in *one* account - in the BTC world that probably means creating wallet.dat files in differing environments.


One n00b question - given the basis in public/private key pair cryptography, surely a new wallet.dat can be created *without* access to the Internet? If so, surely the most obvious 'easy secure' method isn't using bloody Linux (for the Windows-only n00bs), but instead a fresh install of your *most familiar* operating system on a machine NOT CONNECTED TO THE NET - not only familiar to the user, but how can it be less secure (short of hardware keyloggers, in which case you're SOL)?


...catfish

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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July 16, 2011, 03:07:27 PM
 #353

useful

http://www.80sidea.com/
tmand
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July 16, 2011, 08:31:24 PM
 #354

@catfish
I would agree with what you've said and what the OP said to start the thread.  It sounds as if securing the wallet (using truecrypt, or any encryption tool) on an unsecure computer is rather pointless, the more I read about this.  Because once you unlock the wallet, it's available for anyone to grab.  The one point that I've heard a couple times is the one made by this thread -- create a couple wallets to use for day to day stuff, which to me means on your daily computers.  And then create one wallet on a fresh install or at least on a machine that has no day to day use.  Then send money to that savings account like you would a normal savings account.

I'm not sure if rotating the savings account is important though.  It would seem as though if you trusted creating the savings account to begin with, then why create another one?  Creating more savings accounts would only cause you to be less secure, no?  I mean every time you have to do this you must somehow get into this "clean room" environment and create the account, copy the wallet's across a host of devices to ensure they're backed up.  Take it with you to some bank and lock it in a vault, etc.  All of these things are susceptible to a "bad guy" getting access to it, and the more you do this the more chances you leave for it to get out.

One question I have:  I am a n00b to this, but am trying to find my way by reading the forums and such.  One thing I haven't quite figured out is how you go about finding these "10 addresses" that are automatically created for each new account.  Whenever I start up bitcoin for the first time, I only see 1 address.  I can create more, but I'm not sure if that's the same thing.  Either way, I figured I'd just remember the 1 address that's created by default and send all my money to that one address.
_saiko
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July 17, 2011, 12:05:34 PM
 #355

Nice info!

One thing keeps me puzzled. The contents of wallet.dat do change (additional data added) upon new btc address/keys creation right?
If you have a wallet.dat file stored somewhere in a safe and not used for a few years, and you actually use another wallet.dat (a copy of the safely stored one), what happens once you decide to bring up the safely stored wallet.dat on a different PC after some time?
Do you have all your funds or only the funds that you gained with the old keys available on both wallet.dats?

Not sure If a explained my issue here clearly..

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tmand
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July 17, 2011, 01:15:00 PM
 #356

One thing keeps me puzzled. The contents of wallet.dat do change (additional data added) upon new btc address/keys creation right?
If you have a wallet.dat file stored somewhere in a safe and not used for a few years, and you actually use another wallet.dat (a copy of the safely stored one), what happens once you decide to bring up the safely stored wallet.dat on a different PC after some time?
Do you have all your funds or only the funds that you gained with the old keys available on both wallet.dats?

I believe the keys (addresses) don't change when you are sent money, so the wallet you have stored in a safe would remain the same after years of sending it money.  The wallet that you use to send money would be updated though.  That's what I've read around here at least Smiley
Fr0sty
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July 17, 2011, 09:32:04 PM
 #357

Thanks for this, it was useful
CaptainDDL
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July 18, 2011, 05:39:11 AM
 #358

Encrypt your wallet...makes sense. Thanks for the post!
damon1492
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July 18, 2011, 09:45:26 PM
 #359

I just use trueCrypt,
works fine for me and much secure.
ryouiki
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July 19, 2011, 05:52:24 AM
 #360

Thanks for the info

have fun with bitHopper Mod : https://github.com/ryouiki/bitHopper

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