Stefan Thomas, a crypto aficionado from Switzerland, is in a unique predicament. In 2011, he was rewarded with Bitcoin for producing a video explaining the cryptocurrency. Fast forward to today, and that Bitcoin is worth a whopping $235 million. The catch? It’s locked in an IronKey USB drive, and Thomas has misplaced the password. With only two password attempts left before the drive becomes inaccessible forever, the stakes are high.
Enter Unciphered, a Seattle-based crypto recovery firm as reported by Wired. They’ve recently made headlines by claiming they can unlock such drives as reported by Wired. After an exhaustive eight-month research phase, they managed to bypass the IronKey’s ten-attempt restriction, granting them virtually unlimited password tries. Their method involved a blend of cutting-edge equipment, intricate hardware analysis, and consultations with engineers who had insights into the drive’s 90s-era components.
Feeling confident after their recent success with a similar drive, Unciphered approached Thomas with an offer to unlock his treasure trove. However, there’s a twist. Thomas has been collaborating with another team for over a year on this very issue. This team has been promised a slice of the Bitcoin pie once the drive is unlocked. While Thomas hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Unciphered joining forces with his current team, he’s not ready to switch allegiances just yet.
In a bid to win Thomas over, Unciphered is gearing up to release a video and an open letter detailing their achievements. Nick Federoff, the head of operations at Unciphered, quipped, “Unlocking the drive was one thing; now we need to win over Stefan.”
While their technical breakthrough is commendable, Unciphered remains tight-lipped about their exact methodology. Their caution stems from concerns about potential misuse, which could jeopardize the security of older IronKey drives.
Regardless of the outcome with Thomas’s drive, Unciphered’s commitment to the crypto community remains unwavering. They’re dedicated to helping others retrieve their locked-away digital fortunes.