Hackers have been mobilizing for the last year in an effort to crack a bitcoin wallet holding more than $690 million.
According to a report by Vice, hackers have been congregating on forums and underground marketplaces in an effort to break into a bitcoin wallet holding 69,370 BTC ($707 million). The wallet represents the world’s seventh-largest holding of BTC, behind addresses belonging to crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi.
Alon Gal, CTO for cybercrime intelligence company Hudson Rock, first drew attention to the wallet on Twitter after noticing the address being advertised on a popular hacker forum.
Gal told Motherboard hackers had been circulating the wallet’s address for years without any luck in cracking it.
Stealing Bitcoin wallets from victims worldwide is a common goal among cybercriminals. Wallets tend to be protected by strong passwords and in the event that a cybercriminal manages to obtain a wallet and cannot crack the password he might sell it to opportunistic hash crackers who are individuals with a large amount of GPU power.
Wallet Recovery Services owner “Dave Bitcoin” told Vice it was possible the wallet had been forged to reflect a high balance. He said,
The wallet file contains pairs of public key & encrypted private key of the addresses it controls. So one could modify the file in a binary editor and change the public key of one of the address pairs to that of a high value BTC address.