In an official report released by Chainalysis, it has been revealed that the Blockchain Bandit is currently moving funds. As per the report, it seems that for the first time in six years, funds were being transferred from the wallet of a prolific crypto thief.
As the notorious “Blockchain Bandit” has waited patiently for over 6 years before finally waking up and moving some of the $90 million worth of stolen funds sitting in their wallets, he has now begun transferring some of those funds. It is going to be discussed below how this prolific thief managed to steal crypto from thousands of users back in 2015 and 2016 by utilizing a method called “Ethercombing“.
It was in 2015 and 2016 that a group or individual of individuals, as yet unknown, emptied the wallets of over 10,000 cryptocurrency users that have been dubbed the Blockchain Bandit. The process was called “Ethercombing” in which we were able to identify and drain Ethereum addresses with weak private keys.
In order to gain access to an address’ private key, the thief used the fact that it was possible to find out its private key if he had access to its public key.
In order to take advantage of this vulnerability, the Blockchain Bandit has developed an automated system that scans a list of weak private keys that may be in use – for instance, single-digit private keys – in an attempt to determine if there are any addresses that are using those keys and drains the funds for those addresses. Blockchain Bandit employed this strategy in an effort to steal over 51,000 Ether.
This sudden surge in activity, which has been observed by Chainalysis, may have a lot to do with the recent surge in crypto asset prices. Analysts will monitor the situation closely and provide updates where possible, but in the meantime, this is an excellent opportunity to consider best practices surrounding private keys.
The best recommendation is for all users to store their funds in well-known, trusted wallets that don’t generate weak private keys. Besides, it’s better to consider using hardware wallets if you plan to hold a large amount of cryptocurrency for long periods of time, especially if you plan to transact infrequently.
There is a report that the Blockchain Bandit’s wallet has been almost entirely dormant for the past six years This changed on January 16, 2023, when the Bandit was again able to conduct transactions on the system. In the days leading up to January 21, nearly all of the holdings of the Blockchain Bandit were moved to new addresses, worth approximately $90 million at current prices, involving 51,000 Ether and 470 Bitcoin.