BTC Wallet Involved in Giveaway Was “Hacked” Using Brute Force

Michael LaVere
  • A bitcoin wallet being used in a puzzle-solving giveaway was "hacked" using brute force, according to the contest's creator Alistair Milne.
  • Milne had been releasing clues to the wallet's 12-word seed phrase in regular intervals before a user was finally able to crack the address. 

A bitcoin wallet containing 1 BTC that was being used in a community giveaway was hacked by brute force. 

According to Altana Digital Currency Fund chief investment officer (CIO) Alistair Milne, the 1 BTC he was holding in a wallet as part of an ongoing community giveaway was hacked on June 17. 

Milne had been running a puzzle-solving giveaway to obtain the 1 BTC since May, releasing a new clue for the 12-word mnemonic seed in regular intervals for community members to guess.

Milne intended to release the final three clues all at once, in order to prevent the use of a brute-force program to solve the seed phrase. 

However, Milne claims he woke Wednesday morning to find the bitcoin wallet empty. According to Milne, the wallet had been brute-forced, with the “hacker” likely renting additional computing power to complete the task.

While Milne had intended for the seed phrase to eventually be solved and the 1 BTC transferred, he was impressed by how quickly an attacker was able to force the final seed words. 

Milne claims it took the hacker just 44 hours to crack the wallet and that the user paid 0.01 BTC ($93) in mining fees to transfer the bitcoin before others could employ the same brute force attack.

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