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Author Topic: How to steal BTC just with public key.  (Read 203 times)
electrobit
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April 25, 2018, 12:00:40 AM
 #1

Can the BTCitcoins of a wallet be stolen just with the public key?

Example: I have 50 BTC in my wallet, any person very far from me asks for I sell them 50 BTC and they say me they need a POF (Prove of founds), so they ask for I send a small amount of btc, (can be 10,000 satoshis) for they check the wallet in blockchain and make sure I have the enough amount to sell.

I ask this because I have heard a wallet can be cleared just to have the public key and with to have sent satoshis previously.

Please let me to know and if is possible, technical examples why can exists the possibility this happens. Or technically why this cannot happend.

Thank you!

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April 25, 2018, 03:16:50 AM
Last edit: April 25, 2018, 03:27:10 AM by pooya87
Merited by RodeoX (1), electrobit (1)
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to put simply every single transaction in every single bitcoin block contains the public key inside them. there are lots of cases of address reuse even by the big services (eg. bitfinex cold storage has thousands of coins in it and is being reused), if it were possible to steal bitcoin by knowing just the public key all these funds would have been stolen already.

it is about how Elliptic Curve Cryptography[1] works. the process of getting the public key from private key is easy but the reverse is impossible. in other words it is a "one way function".

p.s. in order to prove you have bitcoin you don't have to send anything. you can sign a message[2] but the message has to be unique and have timestamp.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptic-curve_cryptography
[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=990345.0

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April 25, 2018, 07:03:17 AM
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Can the BTCitcoins of a wallet be stolen just with the public key?
Yes.  Absolutely. 

The Public Key is mathematically related to the Private Key by an algorithm.  If you get the Private Key, you can steal the Bitcoin.  Just work a little bit to discover the algorithm which converts the Public Key to the Private Key and you are totally golden.  First one to discover it is a millionaire!!!  But don't be greedy.   If others find out you did it, the whole system will get less valuable fast.

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April 25, 2018, 08:27:25 AM
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Please let me to know and if is possible, technical examples why can exists the possibility this happens. Or technically why this cannot happend.

It's possible, but probably not with our current technology. Simply put, Bitcoin's cryptographic protocols were built in such a way that it would be almost completely impossible to crack for current computers. The same goes for pretty much every secure system out there.

That being said, the next generation of computers probably could.

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April 25, 2018, 09:04:59 AM
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Bitcoin has a decentralized system that can be seen by everyone, and if only in that way it would not be possible that bitcoin could be stolen as easily as you say.
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April 25, 2018, 09:16:12 AM
 #6

Can the BTCitcoins of a wallet be stolen just with the public key?

Example: I have 50 BTC in my wallet, any person very far from me asks for I sell them 50 BTC and they say me they need a POF (Prove of founds), so they ask for I send a small amount of btc, (can be 10,000 satoshis) for they check the wallet in blockchain and make sure I have the enough amount to sell.

I ask this because I have heard a wallet can be cleared just to have the public key and with to have sent satoshis previously.

Please let me to know and if is possible, technical examples why can exists the possibility this happens. Or technically why this cannot happend.

Thank you!

This is impossible, public key is wallet address only.
For send bitcoin need private key and sign transaction.
TX can't sign without private key.
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April 25, 2018, 10:14:02 AM
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I've never heard that way, and I think stealing bitcoin can not be as easy as you say, and bitcoin does have a decentralized system and it does not matter.
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April 25, 2018, 10:20:20 AM
 #8

That isn't possible. If the attacker does not have a private key from your wallet, he can not take possession of your bitcoins.

electrobit
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April 25, 2018, 02:18:53 PM
 #9

What I mean is if I send any amount of btc to somebody else, through the transaction can be a way.

I don´t know how to explain it, for example, if you send btc through that transaction any code or any script is given when a transaction is signed and sent.

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April 25, 2018, 02:23:44 PM
 #10

No of course not.  Roll Eyes

If that were the case then none of us would have a penny. It is impossible. Don't let anyone without a clue or a bitcoin tell you different. I'll prove it. Anyone want some bitcoin? Here is the public key, whoever gets it can have it.

https://blockchain.info/address/1Q1fDcqMBFYFi6Qd6JDnRnNsRLwHBKtqwq

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electrobit
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April 25, 2018, 02:25:34 PM
 #11

No of course not.  Roll Eyes

If that were the case then none of us would have a penny. It is impossible. Don't let anyone without a clue or a bitcoin tell you different. I'll prove it. Anyone want some bitcoin? Here is the public key, whoever gets it can have it.

https://blockchain.info/address/1Q1fDcqMBFYFi6Qd6JDnRnNsRLwHBKtqwq
I mean when you send some fraction to somebody else. It has to be some way because when you send a transaction, your public key is connected with the private key.

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electrobit
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April 25, 2018, 02:27:29 PM
 #12

to put simply every single transaction in every single bitcoin block contains the public key inside them. there are lots of cases of address reuse even by the big services (eg. bitfinex cold storage has thousands of coins in it and is being reused), if it were possible to steal bitcoin by knowing just the public key all these funds would have been stolen already.

it is about how Elliptic Curve Cryptography[1] works. the process of getting the public key from private key is easy but the reverse is impossible. in other words it is a "one way function".

p.s. in order to prove you have bitcoin you don't have to send anything. you can sign a message[2] but the message has to be unique and have timestamp.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptic-curve_cryptography
[2] https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=990345.0
Thank you Pooya87, well I don´t understand yet about that thing, to sign a message, I don´t know how it works, I will read and try to understand later. But check this answer about my thread. Smiley
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3390337.msg35530458#msg35530458

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April 25, 2018, 02:34:19 PM
 #13

No of course not.  Roll Eyes

If that were the case then none of us would have a penny. It is impossible. Don't let anyone without a clue or a bitcoin tell you different. I'll prove it. Anyone want some bitcoin? Here is the public key, whoever gets it can have it.

https://blockchain.info/address/1Q1fDcqMBFYFi6Qd6JDnRnNsRLwHBKtqwq
I mean when you send some fraction to somebody else. It has to be some way because when you send a transaction, your public key is connected with the private key.

To spend money or sign a message you must have a private key.  Each private key controls some number of public keys. As long as you use each public key only once it is very hard to determine an association between public keys and the private key that controls it.  But a public key alone is useless in accessing anyone's bitcoin.

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April 25, 2018, 02:35:11 PM
 #14

The public key is not possible to get the private key, but the private key can generate the public key, so only knowing the address is not possible to get the BTC.


electrobit
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April 25, 2018, 02:37:17 PM
 #15

No of course not.  Roll Eyes

If that were the case then none of us would have a penny. It is impossible. Don't let anyone without a clue or a bitcoin tell you different. I'll prove it. Anyone want some bitcoin? Here is the public key, whoever gets it can have it.

https://blockchain.info/address/1Q1fDcqMBFYFi6Qd6JDnRnNsRLwHBKtqwq
I mean when you send some fraction to somebody else. It has to be some way because when you send a transaction, your public key is connected with the private key.

To spend money or sign a message you must have a private key.  Each private key controls some number of public keys. As long as you use each public key only once it is very hard to determine an association between public keys and the private key that controls it.  But a public key alone is useless in accessing anyone's bitcoin.
So, in the case a person use always the same public key? Is there any vulnerability.

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April 25, 2018, 02:38:28 PM
 #16

The public key is not possible to get the private key, but the private key can generate the public key, so only knowing the address is not possible to get the BTC.


Thank you, read this. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3390337.msg35530458#msg35530458

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April 25, 2018, 02:39:27 PM
 #17

Can the BTCitcoins of a wallet be stolen just with the public key?

Example: I have 50 BTC in my wallet, any person very far from me asks for I sell them 50 BTC and they say me they need a POF (Prove of founds), so they ask for I send a small amount of btc, (can be 10,000 satoshis) for they check the wallet in blockchain and make sure I have the enough amount to sell.

I ask this because I have heard a wallet can be cleared just to have the public key and with to have sent satoshis previously.

Please let me to know and if is possible, technical examples why can exists the possibility this happens. Or technically why this cannot happend.

Thank you!
I don't think this is possible because if it then there has been cases reported already. This is the reason why we have to keeo our private key hiden and secret so only the owner has access. I believe only a private key can access our bitcoin balance as simple as that.
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April 25, 2018, 02:41:33 PM
 #18

No of course not.  Roll Eyes

If that were the case then none of us would have a penny. It is impossible. Don't let anyone without a clue or a bitcoin tell you different. I'll prove it. Anyone want some bitcoin? Here is the public key, whoever gets it can have it.

https://blockchain.info/address/1Q1fDcqMBFYFi6Qd6JDnRnNsRLwHBKtqwq
I mean when you send some fraction to somebody else. It has to be some way because when you send a transaction, your public key is connected with the private key.

To spend money or sign a message you must have a private key.  Each private key controls some number of public keys. As long as you use each public key only once it is very hard to determine an association between public keys and the private key that controls it.  But a public key alone is useless in accessing anyone's bitcoin.
So, in the case a person use always the same public key? Is there any vulnerability.
It may allow someone to make an association between two public keys and reveal that they were created by the same wallet. But it will not help an attacker to get your bitcoin. Only the private key can do that.

Can the BTCitcoins of a wallet be stolen just with the public key?
Yes.  Absolutely.  

The Public Key is mathematically related to the Private Key by an algorithm.  If you get the Private Key, you can steal the Bitcoin.  Just work a little bit to discover the algorithm which converts the Public Key to the Private Key and you are totally golden.  First one to discover it is a millionaire!!!  But don't be greedy.   If others find out you did it, the whole system will get less valuable fast.
This has never happened in the history of bitcoin and it would likely take billions of years if you were taking hundreds of guesses per second.

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April 25, 2018, 02:46:31 PM
 #19

I think it not possible..but may not be impossible if someone finds a way to make a private key based on public address.If it happens,the bitcoin value will go down to zero

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April 25, 2018, 05:56:02 PM
 #20

I think it not possible..but may not be impossible if someone finds a way to make a private key based on public address.If it happens,the bitcoin value will go down to zero

Oh that would be the least of your concerns. The encryption scheme used by bitcoin is used for all sorts of protection. Banks, databases, websites... It would be a free for all on stealing, and bitcoin would barely register compared with all the other assets protected by SHA.

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Free bitcoin in ? - Stay tuned for this years Bitcoin hunt!
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