Understanding the Randstorm Vulnerability in Cryptocurrency Wallets: A Comprehensive Analysis

Cryptocurrency wallets, particularly those created between 2011 and 2015, have recently been thrust into the spotlight due to a significant vulnerability known as “Randstorm.” This vulnerability has raised concerns across the cryptocurrency community, highlighting the risks associated with outdated software and insufficient security measures in digital asset management.

What is the Randstorm Vulnerability?

The Randstorm vulnerability stems from a flaw in BitcoinJS, a JavaScript library used for building Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency applications. Specifically, the issue lies in the library’s use of a now-defunct randomization function, combined with weaknesses in pseudo-random number generators in major web browsers during 2011-2015. This combination resulted in the generation of crypto wallet keys that were not sufficiently random, making them vulnerable to brute-force attacks. The vulnerability is linked to insufficient entropy in the key generation process. Entropy, in this context, refers to the randomness in cryptographic keys, usually derived from random bits of user input like mouse movements and keyboard clicks. The affected keys often utilized less entropy than required, sometimes as low as 48 bits, instead of the recommended 256 bits. This shortfall made the keys easier to guess and crack. Several projects that used the vulnerable BitcoinJS library, like BrainWallet, CoinPunk, and QuickCoin, are no longer operational. However, some platforms that incorporated this library, such as, Bitgo,, and Blocktrail, are still active and potentially at risk.

The Discovery and Impact

Researchers at Unciphered, a startup focused on recovering inaccessible cryptocurrency wallets, uncovered the Randstorm vulnerability while assisting a customer in January 2022. The customer had lost access to a Bitcoin wallet created in 2014 on (now Although the recovery attempt failed, it led to the discovery of the vulnerability, which could potentially affect millions of wallets containing hundreds of millions of dollars.

The issue was not entirely unknown, as a security researcher identified similar flaws in 2018. However, the recent findings by Unciphered have brought renewed attention to the problem.

Moving Forward: Recommendations and Precautions

Wallets created before March 2012 are most vulnerable, but those generated up to 2015 remain at risk, albeit to a lesser degree. Unciphered estimates that around 1.4 million bitcoins could be parked in these potentially vulnerable wallets. Unciphered has advised individuals with assets in affected wallets to transfer them to newly generated wallets created with trusted, updated software. They have also been working with various entities to notify affected users and raise awareness about the threat.

The Bigger Picture: Open-Source Software and Security

This situation highlights a critical issue in the realm of open-source software and its security implications. Open-source programs, while beneficial for community collaboration and development, can age and become vulnerable if not adequately maintained and updated. This is a stark reminder for both developers and users to stay vigilant about the software they use, especially when it concerns financial assets like cryptocurrencies.


The Randstorm vulnerability presents a serious security concern in the cryptocurrency world, underscoring the need for continuous vigilance and updates in digital wallet management. As the digital currency landscape evolves, so too must the security measures that protect it. Users of potentially affected wallets are strongly encouraged to take immediate action to secure their assets and contribute to a safer, more secure cryptocurrency environment.

How Can Netizen Help?

Netizen ensures that security gets built-in and not bolted-on. Providing advanced solutions to protect critical IT infrastructure such as the popular “CISO-as-a-Service” wherein companies can leverage the expertise of executive-level cybersecurity professionals without having to bear the cost of employing them full time. 

We also offer compliance support, vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and more security-related services for businesses of any size and type. 

Additionally, Netizen offers an automated and affordable assessment tool that continuously scans systems, websites, applications, and networks to uncover issues. Vulnerability data is then securely analyzed and presented through an easy-to-interpret dashboard to yield actionable risk and compliance information for audiences ranging from IT professionals to executive managers.

Netizen is an ISO 27001:2013 (Information Security Management), ISO 9001:2015, and CMMI V 2.0 Level 3 certified company. We are a proud Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor for hiring and retention of military veterans. 

Questions or concerns? Feel free to reach out to us any time –

Copyright © Netizen Corporation. All Rights Reserved.