Satoshi Nakamoto’s Email Provider Sheds Little Light on Bitcoin Hacking, Creator Account Deletion

Last week, the internet was abuzz with news of the threat of unmasking the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, known only as “Satoshi Nakamoto”. One or more hackers entered Nakamoto’s email account – satoshin@gmx.com – and announced their intention to “dox” the creator of Bitcoin unless a ransom was paid. In an interview with Vice, one person with access to the address was “vague about the details of how he gained access to Nakamoto’s email account and what he was able to get out of it, but he insisted throughout our conversation that ‘he was 100% sure he had discovered Nakamoto’s identity. “But since … crickets.

Nakamoto’s identity has not been revealed, and the satoshin@gmx.com email account was closed. Messages sent to it are now returned as undeliverable; “Mailbox unavailable” indicates the error message.

“I did not hear anything [from the hacker], tells Michael Marquardt, alias “theymos”, who was one of the first report that the address had been compromised. “Maybe he was careless and didn’t log the emails before GMX locked the account.”

Thomas Plünnecke, spokesperson for 1 & 1, the German company that owns GMX, the messaging provider for Nakamoto in Pennsylvania, says the company cannot discuss what exactly happened with the account due to its privacy policy not to disclose information about an account holder to third parties. But he was generally able to answer one of the theories circulating as to how Nakamoto could have lost access to his account: that the account expired because it was inactive for 6 months and someone from another took control.

“Yes, according to our T & Cs we have the right to terminate an account if it is inactive for six months, ”Plünnecke said by email. Six months ago, after being inactive for years, Satoshi Nakamoto returned to the Internet to post a message on a forum he frequented saying that he was not Dorian Nakamoto, the man designated by Newsweek as the creator of Bitcoin. The email affiliated with the forum – the P2P Foundation – is that of GMX – as evidenced by the fact that the hacker was able to access the forum account once he had control of the email address through a password reset. So, did Nakamoto access the email account six months ago to publish his Dorian Nakamoto post, then ditch it, leaving it terminated and reset by a hacker?

Plünnecke couldn’t answer that. But he said that when an inactive GMX account is terminated, “all of its content will be deleted with the account.” The person who had access to the satoshin@gmx.com account had access to their archives and was able to forward old messages from the account to journalists and previous correspondents. Thus, either the hacker did not get the address because it was made available due to the closure of an inactive account by GMX, or a technical error was made by GMX while posting the address. .

Plünnecke says GMX is doing its best not to wrest an account from an unsuspecting user. While termination after six months of inactivity is the “standard procedure for inactive accounts”, GMX “gives the user additional time to come back and use the account,” Plünnecke explains. “During this time, we will also try to contact inactive customers, reminding them to use their GMX account again.”

Satoshi Nakamoto’s email address is now deleted, but the mystery surrounding his takeover remains intact.


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June J. Lopez

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