Lose Your Wallet Password? Here’s Where To Start The Recovery Journey
As crypto enthusiasts, many of us have a love-hate relationship with passwords. While we need them to access our online accounts and protect our privacy and financial data, they’re often challenging to keep track of (safely). Moreover, they are at risk of attack, exposing our identification, and worse, opening up our financial assets to nefarious actors.
As the crypto industry continues to grow in value, users must implement strong measures to keep their cryptocurrency safe from cryptojacking.
Managing Your Crypto Coins
To own cryptocurrency, first, select a reputable crypto exchange or wallet (visit CoinMarketCap to start your research). You can then establish a password or keyphrase, purchase crypto, and determine how you want to manage your holdings.
When keeping your wallet on the exchange keep in mind that you aren’t in full control of your coins. They can also be exposed to security breaches or hacking.
A better option might be to act as your own bank, by establishing your own cryptocurrency wallet using a wallet app installed on your mobile device or desktop. While these non-custodial wallets allow you access to a range of crypto activity, they also require you to be responsible for and safeguard your password.
Once you’ve established your non-custodial account, keep your password, or private key, and recovery phrase in a safe place, because if you lose it, you can lose access to your cryptocurrency.
You can also keep track of your coins using hardware wallets and paper wallets. Here, the selection of the wallet type and provider depends on the level of security and range of crypto activity options that you desire.
What Happens If You Lose Your Password?
The basic steps in recovering your password, if not recorded, misplaced, forgotten, or physically destroyed, is to try logging in with every possible password or combination of versions you might have used. If you were required to set up a 12 or 24-word recovery phrase, this process offers a slightly different set of parameters to navigate.
If you come up short on these attempts, it’s time to utilize a password hacker. There are password cracking tools, such as John the Ripper or Hashcat. Get familiar with how these tools work before installing any software.
Another option is to use a password recovery service, such as Wallet Recovery Services (WRS). Dave Bitcoin (pseudonym), owner of WRS has been cracking codes since 2013, gaining a reputation as the trusted person to go to for wallet recovery.
The launch of WRS wasn’t easy in the beginning. In reviewing original discussions on the Bitcoin forum, bitcointalk.org, it’s clear what Dave Bitcoin was up against. As expected, building trust in the community was the biggest challenge. Today, with countless testimonials to date, Dave has grown a sustainable business, bringing financial happiness and relief to those who had misplaced their credentials.
Dave understands and appreciates that different clients build trust in their own ways, and for Dave, he’ll take the time that’s needed to establish these connections.
As the Blockchain industry continues to explode and evolve at warp speed, so does the need to stay up with the latest wallet technology. Dave says, “supporting the widest range of wallets and associated problems is something I specialize in.”
Dave says he regularly gets queries on lost passwords, corrupt wallet files, hundreds of different wallet types and cryptocurrencies, incorrect recovery phrases, misconfigured derivation paths, and crypto sent to incorrect addresses and even incorrect blockchains.
So What’s Needed to Attempt A Recovery?
To attempt solving a password or 12 or 24-word recovery phrase, a few pieces of information are needed. This includes the type of coin and wallet, what particular problem the client is having, and the user’s best guess on possible passwords or fragments that frequently make up the usual passwords. Dave says that it's also important to establish that the client is in fact the owner of the wallet and that the wallet is not stolen or acquired (usually from the internet).
He remarks, “I also try to establish how likely it is that the wallet might be unlocked. I think it's fair to provide the client with a realistic evaluation of how things might go.”
For details on how to contact Dave, visit his Contact Us page.
How Difficult Is It to Crack the Code?
Dave’s ability to recover a password depends on a few considerations, such as the type of wallet and how accurate the client’s recall is. Dave says, “we are able to identify some in 10 seconds or less, while others take months of computer time.” But Dave is constantly improving his system. In fact, Dave’s been able to crack a notably different case 3 or 4 years later.
Recovery phrases present interesting challenges. Because they follow a fixed pattern, for example, a sequence of 12 or 24 words drawn from a list of 2,048, working with phrases can be easier than finding a freeform password where there is no obvious pattern. If a customer misrecords a single word, testing all 2,048 replacements will find the solution. The challenge comes when multiple words are misrecorded, unreadable, or jumbled.
In this case, Dave Bitcoin says: “three unreadable words in known locations would require 8.5 billion tests to check all possibilities … becoming rapidly impractical even if you parallelize the tests across multiple fast computers.”
Biggest Mistakes When Setting Up & Storing Passwords
Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Creating a highly unusual or difficult password can make cracking the password much harder. But the opposite is just as true in terms of security and safety.
So what gives?
Well, the moral to the story is this: whether you use a randomly generated password or create a highly complex one of your own…
Write. It. Down.
And, Dave suggests storing it in two different spots, in places where it will go undisturbed, but not forgotten. Otherwise, you run the risk of throwing it away, losing it during a move, or unfortunately destroying it by water or fire.
Dave also advises to never take a snapshot of your phrase or password and leave it on your phone, as you may forget it the next time you reset your phone or buy a new one. The same goes for keeping it on your hard drive. This might work for a few years, that is until your computer gets old and you need to replace it. Dave says he’s seen all these mishaps happen to clients!
Another option to consider is a password manager. This third-party service generates cryptographically secure passwords that you can keep in a secure location and access them as needed.
A few providers to review are Keeper, Dashlane, RoboForm, which have been written up in the Best Password Managers of 2021. Of course, evaluate and do your research.
For more information on the process of recovery, cost, testimonials, FAQs, and more, visit Wallet Recovery Services.