Last updated on September 10th, 2014 at 03:00 pm
The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currency bitcoin, is still unknown. Newsweek supposedly found out who the founder was – Dorian Nakamoto – but it turned out to be false and helped discredit the publication, or at least the journalist.
Fast forward to September, one hacker has reportedly gained access to Nakamoto’s email account and is threatening to expose him.
Wired Magazine spoke with the hacker, who named himself “Jeffrey,” and is claiming to have the real identity of the reclusive tech enthusiast. Jeffrey refused to give the tech magazine much information other than he managed to take control over [email protected] that Nakamoto allegedly uses.
“The fool used a primary gmx under his full name and had aliases set up underneath it. He’s also alive,” Jeffrey wrote to the website, but didn’t confirm how exactly he gained access to the email account.
Jeffrey also made posts on Pastebin, in which he stated that he would release all of Nakamoto’s secrets if someone would pay him 12 bitcoins ($12,000) to his bitcoin address. He claims that he has emails dating back to 2011.
Apparently, the hacker has infiltrated other Nakamoto accounts. He wrote on P2P Foundation that the information regarding Nakamoto is already being sold across the Internet – Jeffrey did not offer any evidence to support his claims.
“Apparently, you didn’t configure Tor properly and your IP leaked when you used your email account sometime in 2010,” noted Jeffrey. “You are not safe. You need to get out of where you are as soon as possible before these people harm you.”
The bitcoin community has come up with two possible scenarios:
1) Nakamoto disappeared from the public eye and thus hasn’t used the email since 2010, which prompted the webmail provider to permit someone else to use the account – GMX terms of service states that any account dormant for more than six months can be deleted.
“After termination, you will no longer have access to your account and all information or content, including but not limited to emails or other data files associated with your Account may be deleted. GMX accepts no liability for such deleted information or content. GMX may, in its sole discretion, make such information or content available to you to the extent it has not been deleted.”
2) Jeffrey did actually breach the email account and now has access to an abundance of personal information and key documents relating to the formation of the digital currency.
Peter Todd, a bitcoin developer, began to tweet Monday that the Nakamoto email address started to forward him old emails from the account from 2011, which shows that the culprit at least has access to a treasure trove of archives.
“Interesting, got another forwarded email from ‘satoshi’, from 2011 – indicates this was a hijacked account, not expired and re-registered,” Todd tweeted. “Hilarious! ‘satoshi’ just forwarded me a private email from another dev to him complaining that he didn’t leave a manifesto. #trollllll.”
Interesting, got another forwarded email from "satoshi", from 2011 – indicates this was a hijacked account, not expired and re-registered.
— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) September 9, 2014
He tweeted Wednesday: “Because people keep asking: I’ve carefully checked with another dev and am 99% sure the forwarded emails prove Satoshi’s email was hacked. Does anyone have anything at all signed by Satoshi’s PGP key? So far I have zero evidence that ‘Satoshi PGP signed everything’ was true.
Because people keep asking: I've carefully checked with another dev and am 99% sure the forwarded emails prove Satoshi's email was hacked.
— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) September 10, 2014