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What is IronKey?
What is IronKey?
Security

What is IronKey?

By Marco Cavicchioli - 17 Jan 2021

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In the last few days, IronKey has been talked about a lot because of the story of Stefan Thomas, the computer developer who risks losing 220 million in bitcoin because he lost his password. 

IronKey is in fact the name of the encrypted storage device used by Thomas to store the private keys of his wallet.

Unfortunately, Thomas did not register and store the seed or the private keys of his wallet so that they could be easily recovered, but instead he saved them on this password-encrypted device.

Certainly, they are secure when stored on the IronKey, but then again, they are too secure since even he cannot recover them.

The fact is that this device stores the data encrypted so that it cannot be deciphered by anyone. So in order to access and read this data, it must be decrypted using the password that has been set on the device.

Thomas lost the paper on which he had saved this password, and now he can no longer remember it. The IronKey only allows the user to enter a password ten times, after which it becomes inaccessible.

The developer has already tried eight times and failed, so he only has two attempts left. 

IronKey is a brand owned by Kingston Digital, the flash memory subsidiary of Kingston Technology Company. 

IronKey is a Microsoft-certified USB flash drive for Windows designed for high security. 

This means that if you don’t have a password to access your data, it’s completely inaccessible, or indecipherable. 

In other words, Stefan Thomas has only one way to regain possession of his private keys, and that is to find out which password unlocks his IronKey. 

For this reason, the way he has chosen to store his private keys is not one of the best. In fact, the responsibility for the eventual loss of his bitcoin lies solely with him. 

First off, it is better to save the seed or private keys directly to a secure medium, and not the password to the device they are stored on, because in this way even if the device is lost, or no longer usable, the wallet can still be recovered.

Moreover, by saving the seed on sheets of paper it is always possible to save several copies on different sheets of paper, perhaps avoiding saving all the words of the seed on the same sheet of paper and storing the various sheets in different places. 

Finally, it is necessary to underline that in case of loss of wallet, seed and private keys, there is no way to recover the bitcoin stored in that wallet. 

 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 25 thousand subscribers.

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