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Author Topic: .dat file question  (Read 73 times)
cryptobusinesss
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March 03, 2018, 02:37:20 PM
 #1

Hi everyone

I'm a bit paranoid about my computer being hacked and someone stealing my .dat file and hence stealing my funds. But at the same time I'm also paranoid about encrypting my wallet because I have this fear that I will set a password and then when I go to enter it it will say wrong password even though it's the right one even though it seems irrational

So the questions I have are:

1. If I encrypt my wallet but before doing so save the unencrypted .dat to a usb stick, will that .dat still remain password free even after I encrypt the wallet on my PC or will it also become encrypted?

2. Is there a way for a hacker to steal my .dat via virus and if so how common/easy is it to do?

3. Will I still be able to stake my coins if I encrypt my wallet (not as important)

I recently had cmd pop up randomly and close in a second so I disconnected my PC from the internet immediately and am writing this post because I want to be safe, my wallet says that my coins are still there but it's not synced now so I'm not sure how accurate it is.. I also did a deep scan and my computer found 4 suspicious files. So you could say I'm shitting myself.

If anyone who knows about these questions can answer I will appreciate it thanks
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buwaytress
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March 03, 2018, 03:04:50 PM
Merited by OgNasty (1)
 #2

1. If I encrypt my wallet but before doing so save the unencrypted .dat to a usb stick, will that .dat still remain password free even after I encrypt the wallet on my PC or will it also become encrypted?

The wallet file on usb stick will be password free. Encryption only affects ("locks") the wallet active.

2. Is there a way for a hacker to steal my .dat via virus and if so how common/easy is it to do?

If your device/storage is compromised, there are various ways for someone to gain access and retrieve your files. This is why it's important to protect your wallet as much as possible - encryption is one of those precautions.

3. Will I still be able to stake my coins if I encrypt my wallet (not as important)

I recently had cmd pop up randomly and close in a second so I disconnected my PC from the internet immediately and am writing this post because I want to be safe, my wallet says that my coins are still there but it's not synced now so I'm not sure how accurate it is.. I also did a deep scan and my computer found 4 suspicious files. So you could say I'm shitting myself.

If anyone who knows about these questions can answer I will appreciate it thanks
Bitcoin wallets don't stake... but yes, encryption doesn't prevent you from staking coins for those that do. So that's not a reason to not encrypt.
If you suspect your devices might be compromised, I'd recommend you clean that device and transfer out to new wallet. Even with encryption, if the hacker also gained your seed, he could just recover the wallet elsewhere and access your coins.

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March 03, 2018, 03:10:17 PM
 #3

1. If I encrypt my wallet but before doing so save the unencrypted .dat to a usb stick, will that .dat still remain password free even after I encrypt the wallet on my PC or will it also become encrypted?

The wallet file on usb stick will be password free. Encryption only affects ("locks") the wallet active.

2. Is there a way for a hacker to steal my .dat via virus and if so how common/easy is it to do?

If your device/storage is compromised, there are various ways for someone to gain access and retrieve your files. This is why it's important to protect your wallet as much as possible - encryption is one of those precautions.

3. Will I still be able to stake my coins if I encrypt my wallet (not as important)

I recently had cmd pop up randomly and close in a second so I disconnected my PC from the internet immediately and am writing this post because I want to be safe, my wallet says that my coins are still there but it's not synced now so I'm not sure how accurate it is.. I also did a deep scan and my computer found 4 suspicious files. So you could say I'm shitting myself.

If anyone who knows about these questions can answer I will appreciate it thanks
Bitcoin wallets don't stake... but yes, encryption doesn't prevent you from staking coins for those that do. So that's not a reason to not encrypt.
If you suspect your devices might be compromised, I'd recommend you clean that device and transfer out to new wallet. Even with encryption, if the hacker also gained your seed, he could just recover the wallet elsewhere and access your coins

Thanks this helped me a lot!!
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March 03, 2018, 03:37:41 PM
 #4

If I encrypt my wallet but before doing so save the unencrypted .dat to a usb stick, will that .dat still remain password free even after I encrypt the wallet on my PC or will it also become encrypted?

Encrypting is an active process.
If you don't encrypt your wallet.dat, it will stay password free until you decide to do so.



2. Is there a way for a hacker to steal my .dat via virus and if so how common/easy is it to do?

If you are targeted directly in an attack, it probably wouln't be too hard to compromise your system (assuming you don't have any further security precautions).
Even in a properly updated system maintained carefully there is a medium risk of getting compromised by 'every-day usage' of an computer.

Even if one is not targeted directly there is quite a big risk (through *.dat stealing malware) to lose confidential wallet files.
You should not store big (relative to your holdings / what you can stand losing) amounts on a desktop wallet.
For amounts you really don't want to lose use either a hardware wallet or a paper wallet to store them offline.



my wallet says that my coins are still there but it's not synced now so I'm not sure how accurate it is..

You can always check your balance through a blockchain explorer if you don't want to wait for finished sync.
E.g. https://www.blocktrail.com/BTC or https://live.blockcypher.com/btc/



I also did a deep scan and my computer found 4 suspicious files. So you could say I'm shitting myself.

You should remove all suspicious files and check whether everything else seems fishy.
Do further checks of your system and remove anything suspicious.
Make sure to backup all important wallet files. If you want to be sure your system is clean you probably should use a fresh OS install.



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March 03, 2018, 11:00:39 PM
 #5

1. If I encrypt my wallet but before doing so save the unencrypted .dat to a usb stick, will that .dat still remain password free even after I encrypt the wallet on my PC or will it also become encrypted?

Be VERY careful if you choose to do this... you need to be aware that (for Bitcoin Core HD wallets) as soon as you add (or change) a password to Bitcoin Core, it generates a completely new seed... so any backups from BEFORE the password is added (or changed) will likely not generate the same addresses as the new wallet.dat.

refer:
Attention: Encrypting the wallet will create a new (random) seed which requires a new backup!

So, your backup of unencrypted wallet.dat is rendered obsolete if you encrypt (or change the password). Also, because the new seed is randomly generated, if you restore an old unencrypted backup and add exactly the same password again, it will generate a different seed and different addresses to the previous encrypted wallet.dat!

Note that even after the wallet.dat is encrypted for the first time (and on subsequent password changes), it "stores" all the previously generated private keys/addresses, so you won't lose anything... as long as everytime you add or change the password you make new backups.

Your best bet is to create multiple backups of your encrypted wallet.dat... store them on different media and/or in different locations etc.

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