Recovering your hacked account with a local MS Windows Steem Wallet

in #steem5 years ago (edited)

You may have heard of the recent hack at If you are one of the unfortunate victims, fret not. Steemit has implemented a new way for a user to recover their compromised account - the Steem Account Recovery Process.

If your steem account is hacked, this guide shows you an easy way to recover it.

Things you need to have

You will need to have access to one of your previous "old" Owner private keys within the past 30 days.

You will need to contact your Recovery Account (a.k.a Recovery Agent).

You will need to have a local steem wallet - it can be a Linux, Mac or a MS Windows Steem Wallet. This guide show you the steps for a MS Windows Steem Wallet.

Download Wallet

Steem SoftwareLink
Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013
Steem Windows Wallet (optional)!rNZXEQwA!Bs4Kh8JBUqIhMRtt-Zx0Pehex9zuOcOcddz2dYmeE5g

> Download and install both the Microsoft C++ Redistributable

> Create a folder for the cli wallet, say L:\steem

> Download the "Steem Windows Wallet".  In this example, download ""

> Extract the files in to L:\steem

> Create a folder for the Steem blockchain, say L:\steem\chain

> Extract the files in  to L:\steem\chain


  • Downloading the is optional. But it helps because it saves you time from syncing. The blockchain was backuped on 17 July 2016 with steem running on version 0.11.0.
  • In this example, we are using the L drive. You may use C:\ drive or D:\ drive if you do not have a L:\ drive

Running the local CLI Wallet

Running Steemd (Blockchain Software) for the first time

Steemd is the software that manages the Steem blockchain.

> Open a new Command Prompt window

>cd L:\steem

>steemd -d L:\steem\chain --rpc-endpoint



The "-d" parameter specifies the location path to store the blockchain and configuration files. In this example, we choose L:\steem\chain to store them.

The "--rpc-endpoint" is to let the cli_wallet.exe (to be run later) to communicate with steemd.

You will see this error "Error parsing logging config from config file L:\steem\chain\config.ini, using default config". You can safely ignore it.

steemd will attempt to download the latest blocks from the network. We leave this command prompt windows running and wait for steemd to be fully in synced with the latest block.

We will now run cli_wallet to check the status of the blockchain syncing.

> Open a new Command Prompt window

>cd L:\steem

> You will see a "new >>>" prompt

Now, let's check the steem version to be sure we are running the latest software.


> At the cli_wallet "new >>>" prompt, type about

Check that your wallet version is or has a prefix "v0.11.0".

We will wait for steem to sync all the blocks. You can type "info" at the cli_wallet prompt to check. Check that the head_block_age is a few seconds old.



  • If you see "head_block_age" specify a time in the future, it means you need to synchronise your computer's clock with a internet time server.
  • The "participation" field shows the percentage of Witness participation. If you see a rate less than 50%, you could be in a minority fork. DO NOT USE the wallet if you are in a fork.

Running cli_wallet

Once the steemd is synced, you need to start the cli_wallet.

> Open a new Command Prompt window
> cd L:\steem
> cli_wallet.exe

First set a password for this new wallet.

At the cli_wallet "new >>>", type set_password mypassword

The prompt will change to "locked >>>"

At the cli_wallet "locked >>>", type unlock mypassword

The prompt will change to "unlocked >>>"


  • "mypassword" is just an example. Do make sure you use a real password and remember it! If you forget the password, you will lose access to this local wallet. The local wallet can be recreated as long as you have your Owner Private Key.

Import your old Account's Owner Private Key

You will need to have your OLD Account Private Key. This is the Owner Private key before your account was compromised by the hacker. Import this old key into your cli wallet.

> At the cli_wallet "unlocked >>>", import_key 5JhbGdzyXXXX7dxuGQgsPmZ


  • This Owner's public key is known as the recent_authority and it has to be valid for the past 30 days.

Generate your new Account's Public and Private Key Pair

The restored account will need a new Account Private Key (a.k.a new password).

> At the cli_wallet "unlocked >>>", type suggest_brain_key


You will see 3 keys created.

The "pub_key" is the Public Key.

The "wif_priv_key" is the Private Key.

The "brain_priv_key" is the Private Brain Key.


  • The two private keys (wif_priv_key and brain_priv_key) are the keys to your account and its fund. Store them (and the public key) securely in a secret place!
  • Note down the public and private keys. You can copy them to a notepad. They will be needed later to configure the miner.
  • We are using this key pair for our example
    "wif_priv_key": "5JsMnPge4rDKAh8JRhsVVFw3nHw3fkdjbEXHXUB2TMe3qJy58V9",
    "pub_key": "STM4uXGcRAJmh4gxedZ1Lx3EKakXzCa4hiKksz6N7gXzArfvCmhQr"
  • The pub_key will become the "new account authority". You will send this pub_key to your Recovery Agent.
  • BUT DO NOT use them in your actual setting. You need to generate your own keys!

Who is your Recovery Agent (a.k.a Recovery Account)?

Finding out who is your Recovery Agent

Let's use 'bitcube' as an example account.

> At the cli_wallet "new >>>" get_account bitcube


From the above screenshot, you can see "id: 2.2.880" and "name: bitcube". Scroll down further you will see the 'recover_account'. In this example, 'steem' is the recovery agent for bitcube.


You can also find out from the website

> Open a web browser and visit



'steem' is owned by Steemit. So bitcube will need to contact Steemit and let them know his account needed to be recovered.

Recovery Agent activates the Recovery Process

Your recovery agent will verify you as the original account owner. Once they are satisfied you are indeed the rightful owner, they will start the recovery process by making a request to the Steem blockchain.

Recovery Agent starts the recovery process

Recovery Agent will use his local wallet and type in the following command in his cli_wallet.

> cd L:\steem

> cli_wallet.exe

> At the cli_wallet "locked >>>", type unlock mypassword 

> The prompt will change to "unlocked >>>"

> At the cli_wallet "unlocked >>>", type request_account_recovery "steem" "bitcube" {"weight_threshold": 1,"account_auths": [], "key_auths": [["STM4uXGcRAJmh4gxedZ1Lx3EKakXzCa4hiKksz6N7gXzArfvCmhQr",1]]} true


  • This step is carried out by the Recovery Agent. The hacked account holder skips this step.
  • The Recovery Agent types in this command syntax : request_account_recovery recovery_account account_to_recover new_authority true
  • The actual function is : request_account_recovery( string recovery_account, string account_to_recover, authority new_authority, bool broadcast )
  • BUT DO NOT use them in your actual setting. You need to generate your own keys!

Recover Account to complete the Process

Once your Recovery Agent initiated the request to the blockchain, you will be informed to recover the account. You will do this step with your cli_wallet.

> cd L:\steem

> cli_wallet.exe

> At the cli_wallet "locked >>>", type unlock mypassword 

> The prompt will change to "unlocked >>>"

> At the cli_wallet "unlocked >>>", type recover_account "bitcube" {"weight_threshold": 1,"account_auths": [], "key_auths": [["STM5wf7YDmZdh6L6f5GDDeB239f6WzrLWcrueNywDa69zX8zuXRkA",1]]}  {"weight_threshold": 1,"account_auths": [], "key_auths": [["STM4uXGcRAJmh4gxedZ1Lx3EKakXzCa4hiKksz6N7gXzArfvCmhQr",1]]} true


  • You type in this command syntax : recover_account account_to_recover recent_authority new_authority true
  • The actual function is : recover_account( string account_to_recover, authority recent_authority, authority new_authority, bool broadcast )
  • You will need to perform this step within 24 hours upon your Recovery Agent making the recovery request. The request will expires after 24 hours. If this happens, your Recovery Agent will need to create another recovery request to the blockchain.
  • DO NOT use the above keys in your actual setting. You need to generate your own keys!

Let's check if your account is now using the new Account Key

> At the cli_wallet "unlocked>>>" get_account bitcube
> Look our for the field "owner".  You will see that your Owner Key has changed to the new public key, which in this example is "STM4uXGcRAJmh4gxedZ1Lx3EKakXzCa4hiKksz6N7gXzArfvCmhQr"

Further reading


imformative enough

Informative post. But unfortunately Windows itself isn't really that good for security. People should consider running a version of Windows in a virtual machine that is normally not online all the time, or start to learn to play with Linux.

MS Windows can be secured in similar ways to Linux. I used both types of OS and I used to be a system administrator. Windows is no less secured if configuration is done right.

You can remove the local wallet file once you are satisfied that your account has been successfully recovered. This will enhance security further. But do remember to save your new Owner public and private keys some where secured. And change your posting key before login to

We need a proper cross platform GUI wallet. CLI is not user friendly.

Great post but I don't think an average user will be able to do this.

I'm trying this for fun to get a windows wallet and the problem seems to be that it's looking for an "L" directory. Any suggestions? I've tried in an external "E" directory and root "C".


I really don't want to create a new partition.

{"path":"L:/steem/chain","inner":"Dynamic exception type: class boost::filesystem::filesystem_error\nstd::exception::what: boost::filesystem::create_directories: The system cannot find the path specified: \"L:\\steem\"\n"}
th_a  filesystem.cpp:219 fc::create_directories

Oh is that all. Whewwww I thought would be difficult. Lucky for my buddy @djiboutidave
Thanks for the info though, worth knowing.

Yeah it would be nice if I could get back into my account without having to be a programmer.

Thanks, hope I never will need this.

Any way to breaking down even more simpler? Or maybe make a video? Thanks for great post still brilliant for security!

Coin could all overtake easily, it is really a good thing to blokcheyne, all promise to do something about raising money and pulled, and everything is done and went public with the finished product, the main thing that no problems with hackers) Fly to coin odnaznachno up IMW .

Thanks! very helpful post!

Good info. thanks for it :)

i hope really work well.

Interesting article

Hmm...I get the message that miners and witnesses are not configured on the first CMD window, and the cli_wallet CMD window just keeps saying head_block_age is 24 hours old. Do I need to change something in the config.ini file?

"The miner and witnesses not configured" message can be safely ignored.

You may need some seed to speed up syncing. Add the following to the L:\steem\chain\config.ini file.

seed-node =
seed-node =

(If you need more seed nodes, you can get them here -

Save the config.ini and restart steemd.exe

Nice, that worked, thank you! Next question -- how do we contact our recovery agent (@steem in my case) without being able to private message? It looks like the slack is down, too...

The 'steem' account is owned by This means Steemit is your Recover Agent/Authority. You may contact them via email - [email protected]

ummmmmmm thanks

Welp, looks like I'm fucked.

Will the reddit recovery not be implemented? I saw you recovered your key... Did you follow the instructions above? Thanks!

@rok-sivante check this out ! I hope this will never happen to me :(

Wow - not sure if i could do this - sounds too complicated for me, but thanks for the info,handy to know just in case

It would be great if you make video tutorial. Thanks.

Thanks for informing us of what to do just in case.

great to know this, tested this just in case I needed to use it on the wallet interface. But in the end, used it via the web site Recover account option.

Thanks for the info! And to be sure again you afterwards never loose your keys again! Store them safe after your recovery in the Steem Wallet:


Thank God i made my account yesterday!