In the past, a misplaced or lost password to a Bitcoin wallet would result in the loss of Bitcoin holdings. According to a Business Insider article published on October 3, 2018, Passware, a leading provider of password recovery, decryption, and computer forensic software, has, however, become the first company to help users retrieve lost or forgotten passwords from their Bitcoin wallets.
Decentralized Network Makes Password Retrieval Difficult
Passware recently released their Passware Kit Forensic 2018 Solution, which helps users gain access to their Bitcoin wallets if they have lost or forgotten their password. The software is initially available for Blockchain.com and Bitcoin Core wallet services.
Unfortunately, when it comes to retrieving a lost password on Blockchain.com or Bitcoin Core, the organization cannot help users recover their passwords or regain access to their wallets. The blockchain network is decentralized, so the company does not have access to an individual’s wallet or their password. In the event where someone loses their password, the Bitcoin holding will remain dormant forever, since there is no way to recover the private key(s) that will allow the individual to gain access to their Bitcoin holdings again.
How the Passware Kit Works
When it comes to retrieving a Bitcoin Wallet Password, the Passware Kit requires the wallet file. On Blockchain.com, the wallet is called wallet.aes.json, whereas on Bitcoin Core is known as wallet.dat. While these files are generally stored on a computer, they can also be downloaded from wallet’s website.
The Passware Kit can run through 500,000 passwords per second on a single graphics processing unit (GPU). The speed can also increase further via distributed computing. The Passware Kit Forensic also comes with numerous other features as it is designed for crime and computer forensic investigators. Anyone can however directly purchase the Kit from Passware and its resellers at $995, which comes with one year of free updates.
The Passware Kit: Ideal Tool for Law Enforcement
Since cryptocurrency transactions are pseudo-anonymous, they are a very advantageous and popular option for many criminals. According to Dmitry Sumin, the CEO of Passware:
“Law enforcement worldwide recognizes that cryptocurrency gives criminals nearly unlimited access to anonymous money movement.”
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency transactions can hide the original identity of criminals undergoing illegal activities such as the sale of illicit drugs, extortion, tax evasion, money laundering, and even terrorist financing. Sumin noted that not only does the anonymity help criminals, the lack of a customer hotline or ability to reset a password makes it nearly impossible to recover stolen cryptocurrencies from a suspect’s wallet.
Passware is however confident that the Passware Forensic Kit can solve these immediate issues.