A computer hacker that once testified before the U.S. Senate helped a crypto investor recover millions of dollars worth of tokens that were trapped in limbo.
Joe Grand, also known as Kingpin, tells his 39,300 YouTube subscribers how he went about rescuing the altcoin Theta Network (THETA) from a Trezor One hard wallet after the owners forgot their password and PIN.
After 16 failed attempts at entering the seed phrase, the wallet by design resets the private key – meaning that the contents inside were locked.
Starting in early 2021, Theta rose dramatically from under $2 to an all-time high above $15 in April. Electrical engineer Dan Reich and his friend, who had bought their THETA for $0.21 each in 2018, had lucrative reasons to seek a solution to access their tokens.
After months of preparation and testing before meeting with Reich to hack into the actual device, Grand was able to manipulate an older design feature of Trezor wallets where the private key and/or PIN are temporarily transferred to the RAM (random access memory).
Although the successful hack was accomplished in May of last year, Grand only posted a video documenting the experience this month, prompting Trezor to respond to concerns about its products being vulnerable to hacks.
“Hi, this is an outdated exploit that is not a concern for current users and that we fixed in 2017, right after a report we received through our responsible disclosure program.
The attack requires physical access to the device and there is no record of any funds being compromised.”
Back in 1998, Grand and other young hackers testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs about internet security.
At time of writing, THETA is off 81.7% from its peak last April and trading for $2.89.
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