Bitcoin and Lightning Network project developer John Cantrell explained how he was able to successfully hack a BTC address by verifying about one billion seed combinations over the course of 30 hours. The feat was accomplished as part of a contest launched on Twitter by Alistair Milne, the CIO of the Atlanta Digital Currency Fund.
Milne posted suggestions for a 12-word Bitcoin Storm wallet seed over the course of several days. Cantrell managed to force the mnemonic with only 8 of the 12 words, and eventually claimed the prize of 1 BTC contained within it.
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The developer rented several graphic cards
Cantrell decided to rent several graphics cards through the GPU markets and Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service after realizing that his Macbook could only verify 1,250 mnemonic combinations per second using his self-written CPU seed solver.
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The developer explained:
„I was worried that other people would do the same thing and that’s why I included a .01 BTC miner’s fee. I didn’t think even this was enough and I thought there might be a „race to the bottom“ where people continually raise the fee trying to get the miners to include their transactions in the next block.