- Unciphered has offered to unlock a locked drive with $245 million worth of Bitcoin on it
- Former Ripple chief technology officer Stefan Thomas has forgotten the details to his wallet and has two attempts left before the drive erases the data
- Unciphered says it has developed a method to safely crack the hardware and access the private keys
Recovery firm Unchiphered has petitioned former Ripple chief technology officer Stefan Thomas for a chance to have a crack at a drive containing more than ₿7,000 that he has been unable to access for years. The IronKey drive, which is today worth nearly $245 million, is locked with a system that will see the data rendered irretrievable if the wrong password is entered too many times, and Thomas has only two goes left before this happens. Unciphered would take a percentage of the accessed funds were it to be successful, but it is up to Thomas whether he is prepared to take the gamble.
Unciphered Has Two Cracks at Glory
Unciphered made the offer in an open letter dated October 25, where if offered to try and unlock the IronKey drive. The drive contains private keys to a Bitcoin wallet that holds precisely ₿7,002, but Thomas has forgotten the details needed to access it. The IronKey drive allows 10 incorrect password entries before it erases all data on the drive, and Thomas has already tried eight, giving Unciphered just two attempts.
— Unciphered LLC (@uncipheredLLC) October 25, 2023
According to the company, its team has developed a method to crack the hardware and safely access the private keys that have been stored on the drive for years. Wired reported that Uncihphered successfully retrieved the password for a similar IronKey after 200 trillion tries, although this only took one night’s work for the supercomputer used for the task.
Estimates from 2022 suggested that approximately 20% of Bitcoin’s total supply, amounting to billions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, is inaccessible.