A cryptocurrency pioneer has been hacked. After a mysterious attack, a top ecosystem developer lost all of his bitcoins.
The year 2023 starts badly for Luke Dashjr. On his Twitter account, the developer explains that he has lost access to a large part of his bitcoins. The private key (PGP, ie ” Pretty good privacy ») has been compromised. With the private key, which consists of a long sequence of characters, it is possible to take control of a wallet.
PSA: My PGP key has been compromised and at least a lot of my bitcoins have been stolen. I have no idea how. Help please. #Bitcoins
—@[email protected] on Mastodon (@LukeDashjr) January 1, 2023
According to blockchain data, 216.9 bitcoins were stolen at the time of the deal, or more than $3.5 million at current prices. That’s all his luck, says Dashjr, who admits he’s living a real nightmare.
” My PGP key is compromised and at least a lot of my bitcoins have been stolen. I have no idea how. Help me please “says Luke Dashjr, arousing the amazement of Internet users.
Luke Dashjr is one of the pioneers of Bitcoin. A developer for over 20 years, Dashjr has been working for a long time Bitcoin Core, the open source software that provides access to the cryptocurrency network. He entered the world of Bitcoin in 2011, and notably participated in the activation of the Segwit update.
Read also: Discover the crazy story of the 50,000 bitcoins stolen from the Silk Road in 2012
A mysterious trick
In a series of tweets, he claims he has no idea how the thieves did it. According to him, all of his data has been compromised. Oddly enough, the attackers also managed to get their hands on it his physical wallet, the accessory that secures transactions. This so-called “cold” wallet is not connected to the internet as a security measure. The thieves probably physically took the tool. The attack appears to have been orchestrated for some time.
The developer uploaded the blockchain address where the stolen funds were transferred. The attack took place on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2022. After recovering the loot, the hacker promptly sent the bitcoins to CoinJoin, a mixing service. Mirroring Tornado Cash, this type of tool allows transactions to be made anonymous by mixing cryptocurrencies. These services are popular with criminals to cover their tracks and protect themselves from the authorities.
In response to a user, Luke Dashjr says he has contacted the police. Unfortunately, the police couldn’t help him. He also got in touch with the FBI through his Twitter account. So far, these steps have yielded nothing.
Binance is committed to freezing stolen funds
Still on Twitter, Changpeng Zhao, CEO and founder of Binance, challenged Luke Dashjr. The manager has promised that the exchange he will act if funds go through it:
“I’m sorry to see you lose so much. I’ve alerted our security team to organize surveillance. If they come to us, we freeze them. If there is anything else we can help you with please let us know. We frequently deal with and maintain relationships with law enforcement agencies around the world.”
It’s not uncommon for a platform like Binance to accept block cryptocurrency from hacking or fraud. Once frozen, stolen cryptocurrencies cannot be recovered by a fraudster. Given the means used to rob Luke Dashjr, we imagine that the attackers did not make the mistake of passing the funds on a centralized exchange.
I’m sorry to see you lose so much. Informed our security team to monitor. If he comes at us, we will freeze him. If there is anything else we can help you with please let us know. We deal with these issues frequently and have relationships with law enforcement (LE) agencies around the world.
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) January 1, 2023
Some internet users have questioned Luke Dashjr’s claims, believing his testimony is aimed at avoiding paying taxes on his cryptocurrencies. In reaction to these claims, Peter Todd, another well-known Bitcoin developer in the ecosystem, confirmed the victim’s claims:
“FYI, I confirmed this to be real and not a Twitter hack through a mutual friend.”
According to him, hackers used a backdoor into Gentoo, a Linux distribution, to suck in Luke Dashjr’s private keys. The developer did not separate his activities on different desktops to increase his security. For Peter Todd it’s negligence, but it happens to everyone, ” even to the experts”.