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Author Topic: [overview] Recover Bitcoin from any old storage format  (Read 2672 times)
This is a self-moderated topic. If you do not want to be moderated by the person who started this topic, create a new topic. (2 posts by 2 users deleted.)
LoyceV
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April 24, 2019, 12:18:57 PM
Last edit: June 07, 2019, 05:44:56 PM by LoyceV
 #41

I found several topics with good information that I haven't had the time to check (and Merit) thoroughly, so I'll leave them here:
Re: How to decode an encrypted WIF key ?
Multibit HD seed in Electrum
Old private key problem that I haven't seen until today
I have recovered an old wallet.aes.json from Blockchain.info but its a raw key

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April 24, 2019, 10:27:54 PM
 #42

I have a wallet.aes.json file backup from blockchain.info (from 2013), I know first password, but I forgot second, I know about which might be but I do not know the exact variation, 12 phrase word is lost too.
You will likely not be able to open that file in any other wallet application...

There is no way to recover a "2nd password" from a blockchain.info wallet, except via brute force... And that will take a very long time unless you have a very good idea of what the password was.

The best you could probably hope for is a script (perhaps modified btcrecover) that will allow you to test 2nd password variations? As far as I'm aware, it only supports trying to brute force the first password.

It wouldn't also hurt to know when the wallet was created as the encryption schemes and KDF iterations changed even within the same wallet version.

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April 25, 2019, 12:51:17 AM
 #43

The wallet was created in April or May 2013, and backup file is from June 2013.
I have 2 wallets on one email address, first wallet works perfectly without second password, second wallet has 2nd password and I forgot it.
I use a few passwords for all wallets, and probably making a mistake in one letter or number, but how can I use brute force or backup of wallet?

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April 25, 2019, 04:06:34 AM
Last edit: May 15, 2019, 04:00:28 AM by pooya87
Merited by malevolent (1)
 #44


this is a "broken code" problem which you don't really see with "wallets" that people use.
the interesting thing about that topic is that it showed how broken the code of many of these tools are (even Electrum1) they don't validate the input private key properly! instead they base58-decode, drop the extra bytes instead of validating them and use the leftover as the "key"!

edit: 1 by the way, this was fixed in Electrum.

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July 10, 2019, 05:34:03 PM
 #45

Bump

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July 10, 2019, 10:53:00 PM
 #46

The 2nd post after OP asks us to:

MAKE A BACKUP ON REMOVABLE MEDIA BEFORE DOING ANYTHING.

Wanna know something.

What IF:

- I keep all the backup in a USB drive (removable media) or an external hard drive that goes either broken or completely corrupt?

- As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?

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July 11, 2019, 06:10:04 AM
 #47

What IF:

- I keep all the backup in a USB drive (removable media) or an external hard drive that goes either broken or completely corrupt?
Then you're screwed Tongue When using digital storage media, you shouldn't rely on just one copy, and you should check all copies once in a while (or, considering the price of storage media, just make a new one once in a while).
With properly stored paper, you can be pretty sure it lasts a lifetime and longer. With digital storage, I've seen too many defective disks and USB sticks to really rely on them.

Quote
- As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?
I guess this varies per device. I'd prefer an Open Source solution for encryption.

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July 11, 2019, 05:32:24 PM
 #48

As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?
I guess this varies per device. I'd prefer an Open Source solution for encryption.

What kinda solution? Any preference you'd share here to make us aware of it?



As you asked me not to rely on one single device for the storage of all such wallets and privkeys,
What IF:
- I've only stored my keys on paper wallet(s) and it is the only source that's prone to fire, water and tearing?

On a side note, what's a steel wallet and how does it work? Can it help me save money on one hand while also providing me the level of security needed to store such sensitive data?

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July 11, 2019, 06:00:45 PM
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #49

As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?
I guess this varies per device. I'd prefer an Open Source solution for encryption.

What kinda solution? Any preference you'd share here to make us aware of it?

Personally i'd recommend using LUKS or LUKS2 encryption. If you use linux, you could either use gnome-disks (GUI) or cryptsetup (terminal)

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July 11, 2019, 06:26:20 PM
 #50

What kinda solution? Any preference you'd share here to make us aware of it?
I was thinking of something like KeePass (or KeePassX), or TrueCrypt (although I didn't know until now it's discontinued).

Quote
What IF:
- I've only stored my keys on paper wallet(s) and it is the only source that's prone to fire, water and tearing?
You'll need another backup at another location to be safe. I still haven't found the right balance between "the risk of having a wallet compromised" and "the risk of losing access myself". Well, I have a balance, but it still doesn't make me feel totally at easy.

Quote
On a side note, what's a steel wallet and how does it work? Can it help me save money on one hand while also providing me the level of security needed to store such sensitive data?
Basically, any piece of steel with a private key stamped into it will do. You can get a cheap letter punch on eBay, but most sets don't have lower case letters.

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July 11, 2019, 09:42:13 PM
Merited by malevolent (1)
 #51

Or you can spend $$$ on things like:
https://bithd.com/Frozen-Armor.html
https://cryptosteel.com/
https://steel-wallet.de/
https://www.simbit.com/
etc

Noting that most of these solutions are aimed at storing BIP39 seed mnemonics... as you only need to store the first 4 chars of each seed word to be able to recreate it (it's a feature of BIP39 wordlist)... in general, they're not suitable for storing a full Base58 private key.

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July 12, 2019, 03:55:25 AM
Merited by malevolent (1), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #52

You can get a cheap letter punch on eBay, but most sets don't have lower case letters.

In these cases you can always change your encoding from any base to any other base that doesn't have mixed case digits. The most common is base-16 aka hexadecimal format, there is also base-36 (0-9 and a-z); neither one of these have the checksum that base-58 (WIF) has.
And finally there is bech32 which currently is only used for addresses but it can also be used for private keys although there is no standard for it yet but it offers the checksum and also error detection both of which are needed for storage purposes.

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July 12, 2019, 08:44:16 PM
Merited by LoyceV (1)
 #53

What IF:

- I keep all the backup in a USB drive (removable media) or an external hard drive that goes either broken or completely corrupt?

- As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?

1. There are data recovery companies that may assist you with that. No guarantees, though.

2. Use tested open source solutions such VeraCrypt or LUKS.

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July 14, 2019, 05:55:06 PM
 #54

What IF:
- As some of the USB drives have their own security system software installed, I wish to know are these softwares actually trustworthy to be kept in it (like to add a password to password-protect it to secure our USB drive and/or even external hard drive)?

2. Use tested open source solutions such VeraCrypt or LUKS.

Personally, I'd zero-out (wipe) any USB you plan to use to store private keys or seeds on. Then reformat the USB on an offline laptop, ideally using a linux live system.
Luks might be more convenient but veracrypt is much more secure (when set to Serpent-Twofish-AES - 256x3). The Luks default is AES-256 if I'm not mistaken.
I'd also recommend creating both a veracrypt file as well as a partition on seperate disks. The files are more reliable, as well as to replicate, the partitions are less reliable.
The veracrypt partition option is useful for creating full disk encryption, such as with tiny useless USBs, that are more resistant than luks default encrypted partitions.
Finally I'd recommend never making just 1 backup (this is a single point of failure still), make multiple on cheap USBs for a distributed backup system instead.

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July 14, 2019, 06:08:53 PM
 #55

Finally I'd recommend never making just 1 backup (this is a single point of failure still), make multiple on cheap USBs for a distributed backup system instead.

It'd also be better to also use more than one type of data storage medium in each location, ideally a combination of USB drives, SSDs, HDDs, M-Disc DVDs, and LTO tapes if you have a tape drive. I would be a little worried if I had to rely solely on flash memory.

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July 14, 2019, 06:13:31 PM
 #56

Finally I'd recommend never making just 1 backup (this is a single point of failure still), make multiple on cheap USBs for a distributed backup system instead.

It'd also be better to also use more than one type of data storage medium in each location, ideally a combination of USB drives, SSDs, HDDs, M-Disc DVDs, and LTO tapes if you have a tape drive. I would be a little worried if I had to rely solely on flash memory.

Don't forget micro and standard SD's as well! I'd go with USB, SSD, HDD, even hybrids, but not convinced about discs and tapes. Too easily damaged in my opinion.

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July 15, 2019, 06:14:15 PM
 #57

Don't forget micro and standard SD's as well! I'd go with USB, SSD, HDD, even hybrids, but not convinced about discs and tapes. Too easily damaged in my opinion.

Fair point, but discs (especially M-disc) and tapes generally have longer life-span. While it's easily damaged, IMO it's expected user know who bother use those have knowledge to store those properly.

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July 16, 2019, 05:15:34 PM
 #58

Don't forget micro and standard SD's as well! I'd go with USB, SSD, HDD, even hybrids, but not convinced about discs and tapes. Too easily damaged in my opinion.

Fair point, but discs (especially M-disc) and tapes generally have longer life-span. While it's easily damaged, IMO it's expected user know who bother use those have knowledge to store those properly.

What about Blu-ray DVDs?
I used to play with these things way before but now less likely to store on them as I find them too much vulnerable towards getting corrupt or damaged. Any simple yet favorable to any conditions kinda device that'd actually deliver to store these kind of things without having to fear a lot about it? I don't want to think a lot saving my entire savings into a device I believe I could rely upon.

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July 16, 2019, 06:04:04 PM
 #59

What about Blu-ray DVDs?
I used to play with these things way before but now less likely to store on them as I find them too much vulnerable towards getting corrupt or damaged. Any simple yet favorable to any conditions kinda device that'd actually deliver to store these kind of things without having to fear a lot about it? I don't want to think a lot saving my entire savings into a device I believe I could rely upon.

Both BD & DVD also have longer lifespan, even though it usually only applies on expensive one, because cheap ones uses cheap/bad material will rot quickly (usually called "disc rot").
Storing them isn't too difficult if you store it on disc case on cool & dry environment.

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July 18, 2019, 11:30:42 AM
 #60

One of the most important questions I want to ask:

What if I store my privkeys and all these wallets over CLOUD services?

Based on this, 2 more questions:
- If I store on an online cloud service!
- If I store on an offline cloud service!

And if I keep them over telegram (through their saved messages feature) but somehow lose control to my number (or else it gets automatically allocated to someone else)? Will I still be able to get back my telegram ever or is it gone with all my data I used to bookmark and save in it?

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