Email and forum accounts used by the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto have apparently been taken over by hackers or squatters, according to a series of odd posts made from accounts confirmed to belong to Nakamoto himself.
A post made under Nakamoto's P2P foundation username—the first since Nakamoto responded to a Newsweek cover story that incorrectly identified him as a 64-year-old California engineer—claims the hackers have been trying to sell his information online:
Dear Satoshi. Your dox, passwords and IP addresses are being sold on the darknet. Apparently you didn't configure Tor properly and your IP leaked when you used your email account sometime in 2010. You are not safe. You need to get out of where you are as soon as possible before these people harm you. Thank you for inventing Bitcoin.
Another online commenter appeared to confirm that Nakamoto's email, at the very least was no longer under his control, writing on a Bitcoin forum that he had received strange emails from an address formerly used by Nakamoto demanding he "send some Bitcoins before I hitman you."
Today I received an email from email@example.com (Satoshi's old email address), the contents of which make me almost certain that the email account is compromised. The email was not spoofed in any way. It seems very likely that either Satoshi's email account in particular or gmx.com in general was compromised, and the email account is now under the control of someone else. Perhapssatoshin@gmx.com expired and then someone else registered it.
I wonder when the email was compromised, and whether it could have been used to make the post on p2pfoundation.ning.com. (Edit: I was referring here to the Dorian Nakamoto post. After I posted this, there was another p2pfoundation.ning.com post.)
One possible explanation currently making the rounds on the Bitcoin forums: Nakamoto's email lapsed, and a squatter grabbed it with no extra hacking necessary; if Nakamoto's p2pfoundation posting account is no longer under his control, it may have been compromised through that email.
Update 10 pm:
Wired's Robert McMillan spoke with the purported hacker, who claims he has private information on Nakamoto, writing "The fool used a primary gmx under his full name and had aliases set up underneath it. He's also alive."
The hacker tells Wired he's willing to sell the information about Nakamoto for the Bitcoin equivalent of about $12,000.
[image via AP]