Although the stolen money has been recovered, Bitcoin is still the same secure Bitcoin

It is safe to say that based on currently known mathematical methods, it is temporarily impossible to crack the elliptic curve algorithm used by the Bitcoin system, and the FBI has never breached Bitcoin’s encryption system.

Although the stolen money has been recovered, Bitcoin is still the same secure Bitcoin

The U.S. Department of Justice said on June 7 local time that it has now recovered the equivalent of about $2.3 million in bitcoin ransom paid to the hacker group by the Coloniair Pipeline Transportation Company last month. U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said investigators recovered 63.7 bitcoins paid by Colonyer Pipeline Transport, according to the Associated Press. However, the 63.7 bitcoins are now worth about $2.3 million (about $14.71 million), a 38.5 percent shrinkage due to falling prices.

The cryptocurrency market was thrown into a panic when the news came out. As the most important cryptocurrency in the cryptocurrency market, the market suspected that the Bitcoin encryption system had been breached, thus triggering a wave of plunges.

So has Bitcoin really been breached? Is Bitcoin still the same secure, anonymous payment system?

The Never-So-Secure Bitcoin
In fact, ever since Bitcoin became popular with the gray industry, became an important method of underground trading and came to the attention of government agencies, security and anonymity have not been its primary characteristics.

Although Bitcoin does not require real-world identity information to be associated with wallet addresses, and the originators of transactions seem impossible to trace, and Bitcoin is widely used in less visible areas such as money laundering, illegal transactions, and anonymous transactions, the reality is that Bitcoin is not so “safe”. Several reports in recent years have shown how bitcoin transaction analysis can be used to counter anonymize users. In more than 100 cases, they were able to link someone’s suspicious blockchain transactions to their public accounts, which has led directly to several dark web sites being dismantled by regulators in various countries since 2018.

According to sources close to the regulation, anti-anonymization technology for digital currencies such as Bitcoin and ethereum is not new to regulation, with China, the U.S., Japan and other major digital currency trading countries almost all having mastered the technology. The bitcoin anti-anonymization technology developed in China emerged back in early 2019 and was used to successfully solve the PlusToken wallet pyramid scheme case. As can be found in the public information about the case, the technology started to be developed in late 2018, led by the Ministry of Public Security, and five months later it successfully corresponded the bitcoin accounts used by the PlusToken wallet to the suspects.

In the Coronel case, according to court documents, the FBI’s newly formed Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force obtained the keys to the Bitcoin accounts that received the ransom money to recover the property, but did not disclose how they obtained the secret keys.

Specifically, the FBI used a blockchain browser to trace the flow of the ransom money and obtained the secret key of the wallet used at some point in the process to recover the ransom money. Thus, the key to recovering the ransom is how to obtain the secret key of a particular wallet.

A more reasonable guess is that the FBI matched the relevant wallet address with a specific identity and obtained the secret key through arrest, interrogation, etc., or through a crypto service provider such as an exchange or custodian associated with the address.

U.S. media outlet NPR believes that the FBI may have obtained the secret key with the help of someone associated with the hacker group DarkSide or by searching the ransommer’s computer.

The blackmailer used a full-node wallet located in North America, and the full wallet leaks the node’s IP when broadcasting transactions. from a security perspective, each address can only be used once, and a query through the blockchain browser shows that the blackmailer has used the address to transfer funds twice bc1qq2euq8pw950klpjcawuy4uj39ym43hs6cfsegq to send bitcoins, resulting in an IP leak through which the FBI locked the actual controller of the wallet and obtained the secret key from him.

Li Tianzhao, the CTO of Coinprint, believes that the second possibility is higher. The hackers stored the ransom-earned bitcoin on a bitcoin wallet using a cloud service from a U.S. company whose cloud server is located within the United States and was taken over directly by the FBI, thus getting the ransom money back without the private key.

The ever-secure Bitcoin
But no matter which way the secret key was obtained, the likelihood of the Bitcoin encryption system being breached by the FBI is slim to none. Specifically, the Bitcoin private key uses the elliptic curve algorithm, which essentially uses the discrete logarithm problem to encrypt the private key.

Certicom launched a challenge in 1998 to compute discrete logarithms on elliptic curves with bit lengths ranging from 109 to 359. to date, only curves with 109 bit lengths have been successfully cracked. The last success was in 2004, when a team of 2600 people took 17 months to crack it. If the same algorithm were used, it would take 50 billion months to crack the private key of a particular Bitcoin account.

Therefore, it is safe to say that based on currently known mathematical methods, it is temporarily impossible to crack the elliptic curve algorithm used by the Bitcoin system, and the FBI has never breached the Bitcoin encryption system.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/although-the-stolen-money-has-been-recovered-bitcoin-is-still-the-same-secure-bitcoin/
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