system compromise – What’s with this seemingly nonsensical Bitcoin “hack” story about a kid with 400 BTC live on his malware-infested PC?

I read this very strange story yesterday, and I really need to ask about it:

Hackers knew that everyone would be staring at the sun and away from their computers, so they chose that precise moment to pounce. Erik watched the eclipse like the rest of the world but he happened to get tired of it a little early,. He returned to his computer to see crazy flickering and movements on his screen. Oh st, he said to himself, and somehow he booted them from his system just in time.** (Amazingly, he didn’t lose any crypto to hacks, but says his email and Twitter were compromised for months.)


(Emphasis added by me.)

To me, this reads like a scene from some garbage TV series with “CSI” in the title rather than reality. As if somebody who knows nothing about computers is trying to make up a story about “hackers” based on what they have seen in Hollywood movies.

“Crazy flickering” and “movements” on his screen? Why would they do anything involving the GUI at all? Why would they need to wait until he was away from the computer? How could a human possibly detect somebody connecting via the network cable and snatching his wallet.dat? Was he really storing all those 400 BTC in his “live” Bitcoin Core?

And how would they get access to his machine in the first place? This just doesn’t sound like a real story. It sounds like a dumbed-down/made up fictional story which just makes no sense. You don’t just “hack” somebody like that. It would have required either some sort of serious exploit (unlikely) or the planting of a trojan by sending him an e-mail attachment or something… But is a person with 400 BTC really likely to execute random executeables sent to them by strangers?

It just doesn’t sound right to me. Even if it’s “dumbed down” to make a “good” story (it’s just nonsensical to me), it really makes me wonder what actually happened…