Bitcoin password cracking attacks made hackers $103,000

Poorly secured accounts are cracked within minutes or even seconds after going live.

By - February 16, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
Bitcoin

Hackers have cleaned out around $103,000 worth of Bitcoin from accounts protected with passwords, instead of the the long cryptographic keys normally required.

This is according to a report on Ars Technica, citing a recently published research paper titled “The Bitcoin Brain Drain: A Short Paper on the Use and Abuse of Bitcoin Brain Wallets”.

Called “brain wallets”, security experts had long warned that the alternative security measure is a bad idea and should not be used.

Brain wallet passwords do not use a cryptographic salt and are passed through a single iteration of the SHA–256 hashing function.

A form of these insecurely hashed passwords are also stored in the Bitcoin blockchain, giving hackers everything they need to compromise the accounts.

The paper tracked attacks over a six year period, and found that hackers had cracked the passwords of 884 brain wallets, taking 1,806 Bitcoins.

“In total, approximately $100K worth of bitcoin has been loaded into brain wallets, with the ten most valuable wallets accounting for over three-quarters of the total value,” the researchers said.

“Many brain wallets are drained within minutes, and while those storing larger values are emptied faster, nearly all wallets are drained within 24 hours.”

Anonymous hacks and leaks South African government data

Networks in South Africa that host malware and botnets

Networks in South Africa that host malware and botnets

The South African government passwords cracked in Anonymous database hack

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Do you think online gambling should be regulated in South Africa?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

What the new Top Gear needs to be a smash hit

Top Gear

The much anticipated return of Top Gear to the BBC raises a big broadcasting question: is the post-Jeremy Clarkson version doomed to fail or will it help sustain the brand’s success?

SABC decision is not censorship: ANC

ANC logo on wall

The SABC’s decision not to broadcast footage of people destroying public property during protests should not be seen as censorship, the ANC said on Saturday.

Apple iPhone 6 prices – South Africa vs The World

Apple iPhone 6S

Here’s what the iPhone 6 costs in South Africa compared to 26 other countries.

How to stop your smartphone from being hacked

Apps on Smartphone

Unsecured mobile phones are among the top seven major causes of security breaches and your mobile number is all a hacker needs to start the attack.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
×