Chris & Charlie Brooks describe themselves as “ethical hackers“ with a mission to assist owners who are potentially sitting on massive Bitcoin wallets, having made relatively small investments within the digital currency’s early years before forgetting their passwords. And it is a surprisingly common occurrence.
Millions of lost Bitcoin are recoverable
A report by The NY Times shows that approximately $140 billion in Bitcoin has not been claimed by owners who forgot their keys. this is often corroborated by a recent report by cryptocurrency data firm Chainalysis showing that roughly 20% of the 18.6 billion Bitcoin mined in total is taken into account to be “lost” in wallets that have seen no movements in years. Dramatically, a British man asked his local council if he could search a landfill as he believed a hard drive he mistakenly threw out could be there — the device contained 7,500 bitcoins which today would be worth over $280 million.
The Brooks family found that a lot of of those “lost” assets aren’t irretrievably lost & that they have helped owners to regain access, sometimes uncovering a trove of digital currency that has risen dramatically in value since it had been lost — Bitcoin, for instance , reached a worth of $48,152 in August. “We came up with variety of about 2.5% of that lost Bitcoin that we feel could still be recovered,” Chris Brooks told HypeBeast in an interview. “which are some things like $3.2 billion USD.” The father-son duo both unsurprisingly have a background in programming & computing . Chris Brooks said that while thinking of cryptocurrency-related business ideas in 2017 he realized that a lot of people that had become curious about Bitcoin in its early-days had since lost their passwords, preventing them from gaining access to assets that were rapidly rising in value. That’s how the Brooks’ company Crypto Asset Recovery was born.
‘Brute forcing’ a digital wallet
The father & son duo say that hacking into a Bitcoin wallet is simpler than many would think. However, it are often an incredibly time-consuming process that needs tons of knowledge about the way people choose their passwords. so as to assist their clients, the duo interview first them so as to place together a rough outline of what their password could be . “The more information they will give, the higher , because then we might extrapolate on how they create passwords & their thought process behind it,” Charlie Brooks told HypeBeast. the daddy & son then compile a huge list of potential passwords which is then wont to “brute force“ the owner’s digital wallet.
On their website, the Crypto Asset Recovery team say “bitcoin & alt-coin passwords are secure enough to foil a brute force password attack when the attacker has no prior knowledge of the password. However, when the crypto asset owner knows a part of their own password the probability of recovering it increases dramatically.” The success rate is currently at around 27%, though the daddy & son say this is often lowered dramatically by fraudulent or inaccurate claims made by people trying to urge into the wallets of others. When it does work, the team say that clients have recovered life-altering amounts of cash .