An email account used by Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of crypto-currency Bitcoin, appears to have been compromised, giving hackers temporary access to his forum log-in details and potentially leaking some information as to his identity.
Bitcointalk forum admin "theymos" claimed to have received an email from an email address with which he had previously communicated with Nakamoto.
Within hours an unknown hacker posted a comment on Nakamoto's original 2009 post on the P2P Foundation website that announced the open source implementation of Bitcoin.
The new post claimed that the crypto-currency's inventor had been outed:
"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."
The hacker appears to have used the same Satoshi Nakamoto login that was used for posting the Bitcoin implementation message in 2009.
Nakamoto's Bitcoin wallet appears to be untouched, despite the compromise of his email account. Last year, Nakamoto was estimated to hold a million Bitcoin, worth around US$468 million at today's exchange rate on Winkdex.
An opportunist - possibly the same hacker - has posted a Bitcoin Address to receive donations that were supposed to go to Nakamoto. This adddress has so far received only 0.01611469 BTC (or US$7.54).
Bitcoin forum admin Theymos warned other Bitcoin afficionados that they should no longer trust messages from the 'firstname.lastname@example.org' address unless they are digitally signed.
For a short while, the hacker or hackers also had access to the Bitcoin project page on the SourceForge code repository.
The description for the project was changed to:
"Buttcoin is a peer-to-peer butt. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new butts or tracks butts. These tasks are managed collectively by the network. It’s like a bitcoin, but with butts instead."
The hacker also redirected the link to bitcoin.org to buttcoin.org.
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has long been a source of speculation in the Bitcoin community. In March this year, Newsweek claimed to have found the Bitcoin creator in Temple City near Los Angeles, California, saying his true identity was Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto later told the press the story was not true.