Hacking The System - IAN Balina hacked and Lessons Learnt

1.9 Million USD Stolen

Ian Balina is an influential blockchain and cryptocurrency Investor. More than $1.9 million USD where hacked from his cryptocurrency wallets.

Even though there has been a lot of controversy around Ian Balina, due to him getting generous amounts of tokens for promoting certain projects, it is still a terrible thing to a happen.

How Ian Balina was hacked

Hackers gained access to Ian’s College email account. With access to this account they were able to access and reset various other accounts including Evernote.

Apparently, Ian stored his private keys in an encrypted Evernote file. A big faux-pas in terms of security in the crypto community.

I have no idea why an influenctial advisor for ICO projects would not have a better handling of security. 

How to encrypt text and image files inside Evernote



With the private keys, it was only a matter of seconds for the hackers to transfer all the funds out of the wallets to another wallet. The funds are still on the hackers wallets which can be seen below




Hacker Ether Wallets:





Lessons to be learnt

There are many lessons to be learnt. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Do NOT Store Private Keys in Clear Text on your PC

  • If you want to keep your private keys on your computer, only do it with a strong encryption program such as keepass

This is especially useful for all coins that still do not have ledger support such as Iota.


Install 2FA on your Email Accounts

If you want to invest large sums of money into cryptocurrency, it is crucial that you take security measures extremely serious. A two-factor-authentication process on all your email accounts that are used for cryptocurrency is the only way to go.


You also need to activate 2FA for your trading accounts such as Binance and Bitfinex.


Buy a hardware wallet

Ledger Nano S or Trezor

Keep your funds safe with a hardware wallet. The hardware wallet stores your private keys and does not share them with third party providers.

You can buy the ledger nano s here and the trezor here.

Be careful which advisors you trust

Many new cryptocurrency investors like to look for cryptocurrency gurus on twitter, youtube or reddit. Even though the “Do your own research” mantra is repeated over and over again, it can not be emphasised enough.

Looking at cryptocurrency advisors on youtube is not a replacement for research. Especially, since many of the cryptocurrency youtubers have their own agenda and only promote coins that have paid a generous sum.