My father's computer was infected with a CryptoWall virus. The virus attacker asks for Bitcoins to send me an app to decrypt my our files.

Is there any way to identify the Bitcoin address owner?

How can I identify his country? How can I let his local police know about this cyber crime?

I didn't send him Bitcoins.

See: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptowall-ransomware-information

  • Hah! Hah! Hah. You very funny. The exact reason that CryptoWall (and other ransomware) uses Bitcoin is because it is extremely difficult to trace.
    – abelenky
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 2:45
  • 3
    report fraud/scam bitcoin addresses via bitcoinwhoswho.com/address/THE_BITCOIN_ADDRESS You need to register first. Note that BTC addresses are linked to BTC wallets which are linked to people. Does reporting this way actually DO anything? Dunno.
    – brewmanz
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


First off, I'm glad you didn't send money as that often does not help in these situations. As for tracking the attacker through their bitcoin address, I'm sorry to say but most likely that is not possible. It's impossible to determine the location of a bitcoin address without some sort of identification tied in. They also most likely would tumble the bitcoins before sending them to any address actually tied to their identity.

You could give all the information you possess to your local police but most likely there is not much more they can do. These type of scams are pretty safe to commit sadly.

  • Thanks for your answer. That is a really bad point for Bitcoin in my opinion. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 13:30
  • 5
    @AkiraYamamoto From a philosophical perspective, you have to appreciate it. The features that make bitcoin so powerful are oft the ones which are turned upon us by criminals.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 16:39

It's very difficult to know because Bitcoin addresses are hashes of the public key of a public/private key pair, and it's very difficult to guess the corresponding private key of a public key's hash. And even if you knew the private key, you'd have much difficulty finding who it's real-world owner is.

  • 2
    What does the relationship of addresses, public and private keys have to do with the inability to identify the user?
    – Murch
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 23:52
  • @Murch It doesn't. That's why it's difficult "finding who it's real-world owner is".
    – Geremia
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 2:42
  • 3
    I don't see how this argument is anymore helpful than simply stating that the address is not linked to an identity. In fact that would be more to the point.
    – Murch
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 3:00

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