Facepalm: Being left with a couple of password guesses before getting locked out of a system is something many have experienced, but not with $240 million on the line. That’s the unenviable situation facing Stefan Thomas, who has lost the password to a hard drive containing 7,002 Bitcoin.
The New York Times reports that the German-born programmer, who lives in San Francisco, was given the haul of Bitcoin over a decade ago, back when they were worth just a few dollars each. Thomas stored them in a digital wallet on his IronKey hard drive and wrote the password down on a piece of paper, which he lost. With the price of Bitcoin surging recently, that drive now has around $240 million on it.
The IronKey allows for ten incorrect passwords before its contents are permanently encrypted. Thomas already has eight failed attempts.