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You have more than $ 200 million in bitcoins, but you lost the paper with the password and cannot access them

A Lost password separates Stefan Thomas, a German programmer residing in San Francisco, from a fortune of more than 200 million dollars in bitcoins. A figure that reached close to 300 million with the recent record.

To access them, you need the code to unlock the IronKey memory that contains the private keys of your digital wallet with no less than 7,002 bitcoins. His main problem, explains the report of the The New York Times that has made history known, is that lost the paper on which you wrote down the password.

Beyond having lost the password, the main problem is that you only have two chances to enter the key before the high-security memory is encrypted

A lost password and an impregnable USB stick

Memory Stick 1267 620 1920

The second problem in German is the security provided by the memories you used to save the wallet keys, units flash Encrypted USB that is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and includes AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption in XTS mode. They are apparently impregnable and, in addition, they only allow ten mistakes when entering your password.

Of those ten opportunities, Thomas only has two left. He tried to try eight passwords that turned out to be incorrect and, for now, it does not seem that he will try again in the face of the danger of failing again and that the keys are encrypted perhaps forever.

It is estimated that around 20% of existing bitcoins are in lost or abandoned wallets; currently that figure represents 140,000 million US dollars

The list of the worst passwords of 2020 has two new ones in the top 10: one takes 3 hours to guess and the other only 3 seconds

The story of this engineer is that of many other people who have lost access to the wallets in which they kept more or less bitcoins. According to the company Chainalysis, 18.5 million existing bitcoins, about 20% appear to be in lost or abandoned wallets. Those bitcoins are currently about $ 140 billion.

Following the story, widely shared on social networks, Facebook's Security Director has suggested to stop guessing, buy a score of memories like his and instruct professionals to spend six months trying to find a way to breach security. "I'll make it happen for 10%. Call me", He has written Alex Stamos.