One of the original core developers behind Bitcoin (BTC), Luke Dashjr, claims to have lost “basically” all of his BTC as a result of a hack that occurred just before the new year.
In a January 1 post on Twitter, the developer said the suspected hackers had somehow gained access to its PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) key, a common security method that uses two keys to gain access to encrypted information.
In the thread, he shared a wallet address where some of the stolen BTC had been sent, but he did not disclose how much of his BTC was stolen in total.
PSA: My PGP key is compromised and at least a lot of my bitcoins have been stolen. I have no idea how. Please help. #Bitcoin
— @[email protected] on Mastodon (@LukeDashjr) January 1, 2023
At the time of writing, the wallet address in question shows four transactions between 2:08 and 2:16 pm UTC on December 31, totaling 216.93 BTC, worth $3.6 million. at current prices.
Dashjr said it had “no idea how” the attackers gained access to its key, though some in the community pointed to a possible connection to an earlier post by Dashjr on Twitter on November 17 that noted its server had been compromised by “new malware/backdoors into the system”.
PSA: An unknown person accessed my server this morning. Full scan in progress, but be very careful to PGP-verify all downloads. #Bitcoin
— @[email protected] on Mastodon (@LukeDashjr) November 17, 2022
Dashjr told a user in his most recent Twitter thread that he had only noticed the recent attack after receiving emails from Coinbase and Kraken about the login attempts.
The incident also caught the attention of Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who offered his condolences and support in a Jan. 1 statement. to post.
“I’m sorry to see you lose so much. He informed our security team to monitor. If it comes our way, we’ll freeze it. If there is anything else we can help with, please let us know. We deal with this often and have relationships with law enforcement (LE) around the world,” she wrote.
Some in the crypto community have speculated that a lack of security could be to blame for the loss.
In a Reddit from January 1st threada user calling himself SatStandard suggested that Dashjr may not have taken the November 17 breach “seriously enough” and later suggested that the Bitcoin developer “did not keep different activities separate.”
“I had a hot wallet on the same computer that did everything else. It seems that he was really pleased.”
Meanwhile, a few others seem to suggest that it may not have been a hack at all, suggesting that someone stumbled upon the opening phrase somehow, or that it was part of an unfortunate “boating accident” before tax season. .
A boating accident in this context is in reference to a joke and meme originally used by gun enthusiasts, but repurposed by the crypto community about people trying to avoid paying taxes by claiming they lost all their BTC in a “tragic boating accident.”
First level boating accident.
—Nate (@beeforbacon1) January 1, 2023
Cointelegraph reached out to Dashjr via Twitter for more information on the alleged hack, but did not hear back by press time.
Related: The 10 Biggest Crypto Hacks and Exploits in 2022 Saw $2.1B Stolen
The news has also ignited a debate on self-custody, which became a hot topic after the FTX collapse last year.
Binance’s Zhao, who previously warned the crypto community on self-custody, he said: “Sad to see even a core OG #Bitcoin developer lose over 200 BTC ($3.5 million). own custody [has] a different set of risks.
Udi Wertheimer, BTC influencer on online social media, also took the time to Question whether self-custody was a viable and secure option, commenting that one “shouldn’t manage your own keys”.
“If even one of the Bitcoin OG developers messes this up, I really don’t know how other people are expected to do it safely.”
“That does not mean that self-custody is bad. But you shouldn’t manage the keys directly,” she said.