Have you ever lost the password to something important, like your social media account or your online banking? Well, imagine losing the password to an encrypted USB drive that contains 7,002 bitcoins worth $235 million. That’s exactly the predicament Stefan Thomas, a Swiss crypto entrepreneur, is facing. A team of hackers known as Unciphered has developed a technique to crack a specific model of encrypted USB drive, and they believe they can unlock Thomas’ IronKey. However, despite their impressive feat, Thomas has declined their offer of assistance, as he is already working with two other teams. Looks like Unciphered has the key to the treasure chest, but no one to open it for.
Unciphered’s technique to crack IronKey S200
Unciphered, a team of hackers, claims to have developed a technique to crack a specific model of encrypted USB drive called the IronKey S200. This model is known for its high level of security and its ability to permanently erase its contents after 10 incorrect password guesses. However, Unciphered has found a way to bypass this security measure and gain unlimited attempts at guessing the correct password.
Value of the IronKey
Unciphered believes that an IronKey containing 7,002 bitcoins, worth around $235 million, is stored in a Swiss bank vault. This makes the IronKey an extremely valuable object, as it holds a significant amount of cryptocurrency. The value of bitcoin has been on the rise, making the potential treasure locked within the IronKey even more enticing.
Unciphered’s offer to unlock the IronKey
Upon discovering the potential fortune locked within the IronKey, Unciphered reached out to the owner, Stefan Thomas, offering their services to unlock it. However, Thomas declined their offer as he was already working with two other cracking teams. He had made a prior agreement with these teams, promising to give them a portion of the proceeds if they were successful in unlocking the IronKey.
Development of the cracking technique
Unciphered spent eight months developing their cracking technique specifically tailored to the IronKey S200. They have managed to successfully unlock a test IronKey using a three-word passphrase. This feat demonstrates the effectiveness of their technique and their ability to bypass the security measures of the IronKey.
Cracking of a test IronKey
Once the cracking technique was developed, Unciphered put it to the test by cracking a test IronKey. The USB drive was sent to Unciphered’s lab, and after approximately 200 trillion attempts, the passphrase was successfully cracked. This success further confirmed the validity and reliability of Unciphered’s cracking technique.
Closely guarded secret
Unciphered’s cracking technique remains a closely guarded secret. They have not revealed the full details of their research process to anyone outside of their company. This secrecy is likely aimed at maintaining their competitive advantage and preventing others from replicating their technique.
Successful cracking using a three-word passphrase
Unciphered’s technique involves using a three-word passphrase to unlock the IronKey. This method has proven to be successful as they were able to crack a test IronKey using this approach. The use of a passphrase, rather than a complex alphanumeric code, adds an element of simplicity to their technique.
Number of tries to crack the passphrase
To crack the passphrase, Unciphered had to go through approximately 200 trillion attempts. This staggering number demonstrates the computational power required for their technique to be successful. It also highlights the determination and persistence of the Unciphered team in unlocking the IronKey.
The Locked Treasure Chest
Stefan Thomas and his lost password
Stefan Thomas, a Swiss crypto entrepreneur living in San Francisco, is the owner of the IronKey in question. However, he has lost the password required to unlock it. Thomas has mentioned in interviews that he has already attempted eight incorrect guesses, leaving only two more attempts before the IronKey erases the keys stored on it.
Unciphered’s belief that they can access the bitcoins
Based on their successful unlocking of a test IronKey and their cracking technique, Unciphered firmly believes that they can access the bitcoins stored within Thomas’ IronKey. Their confidence stems from the fact that they have developed a comprehensive and reliable technique specifically tailored to the IronKey S200, which has already demonstrated its effectiveness.
Unciphered’s readiness to unlock the IronKey
Unciphered reached out to Thomas, offering their assistance in unlocking the IronKey. They have a mutual associate who can vouch for their capabilities and offer assistance. However, Thomas declined their offer, explaining that he had made a prior agreement with two other cracking teams. He remains committed to giving them more time to work on the problem, despite Unciphered’s proven success in cracking the IronKey.
Reach out to Thomas
After their USB-decrypting demonstration, Unciphered attempted to reach out to Thomas to offer their services. They believed that they had a provable and reliable attack that could successfully unlock the IronKey. However, Thomas declined their offer, signaling his commitment to the two other cracking teams he had previously made agreements with.
His previous agreement with two other cracking teams
Thomas had made a “handshake deal” with two other cracking teams a year earlier. In an effort to prevent competition between the teams, he offered each a portion of the proceeds if either one could successfully unlock the IronKey. Despite the lack of progress from these teams, Thomas remains committed to giving them more time to work on the decryption problem.
Commitment to give them more time
Despite Unciphered’s success in cracking the IronKey and their proven capability, Thomas remains steadfast in his commitment to the two cracking teams he had initially partnered with. He believes in honoring his agreements and giving the teams ample time to work on the decryption problem. This commitment shows Thomas’ loyalty and patience, despite the high stakes involved in unlocking the IronKey and accessing his bitcoins.
In conclusion, Unciphered’s development of a cracking technique for the IronKey S200 represents a significant breakthrough in the realm of cybersecurity. Their ability to bypass the security measures of the IronKey and achieve unlimited password guesses is a testament to their expertise and determination. The value of the IronKey, with its potential access to millions of dollars worth of bitcoins, adds an element of excitement and intrigue to the situation. While Unciphered is ready and willing to unlock the IronKey, Stefan Thomas remains committed to the cracking teams he had previously partnered with, despite their lack of progress. The outcome of this standoff between Unciphered and Thomas is yet to be determined, but it showcases the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity and the consequential implications it holds for individuals and their valuable assets.