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How did the FBI obtain private keys? πŸ”‘

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/how-did-federal-agents-recover-bitcoin-and-access-a-crypto-wallet-tied-to-the-colonial-pipeline-cyberattack-11623182259

This is hugely concerning. Doesn’t this have the potential to undermine the entire network ?



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9 Comments

  1. As far as I know, they tracked the coins to an exchange (possibly Coinbase) and seized it by that exchange locking the account.

    All other claims that FBI somehow got a way to bypass or retrieve private keys is pure FUD!

  2. No, it doesn’t undermine anything about bitcoin. The ransomware folk didn’t use a secure wallet and/or didn’t properly protect their private key. A wallet can not be hacked.

  3. They did not brute force the the private key. Trust me, if they had those capabilities, there are a lot more crazy shit you need to be worried about lol. Think about all the data transmissions out there that uses asymmetric encryption, like come on dude.

  4. They issued a federal warrant to someone in California that had custody of the private key to bc1qq2euq8pw950klpjcawuy4uj39ym43hs6cfsegq

    I suspect that the warrant was issued to a server operator in California.

    Here is the warrant: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/E3TkG9oXMAMZ651?format=png

    “The seizure warrant was authorized through the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California”

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/07/politics/colonial-pipeline-ransomware-recovered/index.html

  5. > Doesn’t this have the potential to undermine the entire network

    It’s yet another warning to foolish Bitcoin users – not your keys, not your coins

    > hugely concerning

    We don’t like concern tolls here. Also, please don’t post google amp links. It’s lazy

  6. There’s a few possibilities here. Two are not concerning, two are more concerning than you realize.

    **FBI seized coins from an exchange:** This should come as a surprise to nobody. Not your keys, not your coins. If the FBI comes knocking on the door of an exchange they’ll give them the bitcoin if not the keys. No (new) concern here.
    **FBI caught one or more of the suspects and they gave up their private key:** Digital security doesn’t do anything against a $5 wrench. Bitcoin doesn’t change this. No (new) concern here.
    **FBI managed to find the address(es) where the money was sent. Previous outputs to this address had been spent revealing a P2SH script and they were able to derive a valid signature from the public key:** Hugely concerning beyond bitcoin. It likely means ECDSA is compromised. It’s unlikely only the FBI has access to this and the ability is likely to spread.
    **FBI managed to find the address(es) where the money was sent with no spent outputs and derived the private key after “dehashing” the address:** Even more concerning. It would mean that SHA256 and ECDSA are both broken.

    The second two are extremely unlikely. Not for any belief that SHA256 and ECDSA cannot be broken (they can and will be someday), but rather anyone who is capable of such a thing wouldn’t risk revealing that over something like this. Much more valuable to keep that information as secret as possible and use it to spy on foreign networks and/or anyone communicating without a centralized key store.

  7. AFAIK an affiliate/client of the real hackers got 85% of the money. He wasn’t a hacker probably or very technical necessarily. Propably he didn’t know enough about Bitcoin or he woulnd’t have been so careless with his “private keys”. The other 15%, which went to the actual hackers, have not been recovered.

What do you think?

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