Selfdescribed creator must pay in suit

Born22 January 1967Died26 April 2013OccupationForensic computer expertWebsite

Dave Kleiman (22 January 1967 – 26 April 2013)[1] was an American computer forensics expert, an author or co-author of multiple books and a frequent speaker at security related events.[2][3]

Craig Steven Wright claims Kleiman was involved in the invention of Bitcoin,[4][5] and that Wright himself was Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s main inventor. Wright’s claims are widely regarded as a hoax.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]


At the age of 21 in 1988, Kleiman was named United States Army Soldier of the Year. He received the Army Achievement Medal and a commendation signed by the Secretary of the Army. The commendation said in part, “Appearance, knowledge of general military subjects, current events and other subjects covered coupled with your strong dedication to duty, never failed to produce anything but outstanding results.”

After distinguished service in the Army, Kleiman returned to his hometown and became a sworn law enforcement officer for the Palm Beach CountySheriff’s Office (PBSO).[3] In 1995, a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed, requiring the use of a wheelchair. After his recovery, he continued working at PBSO and attained the rank of detective. He also worked as a System Security Analyst in the Computer Crimes Division and helped configure the Computer Forensics Lab. Kleiman went on to work at a number of high tech companies before becoming a partner in a computer forensics business. Kleiman died in his home in late April 2013, seemingly of natural causes related to complications from a MRSA infection.

Computer security & cryptography[edit]

Some of Kleiman’s most notable work took place at S-doc (Securit-e-doc, [12]) where his role was Chief Information Security Officer. While there he developed a Windows encryption tool that surpassed NSA, NIST, and Microsoft Common Criteria Guidelines. This technology was used at NASA, U.S. Dept. of Treasury, Office of the Inspector General, and the US Post Office. Cryptography was routinely used at S-doc to develop several products, broadly aimed at the reliable and verifiable transmission of data and messages, centered around the idea of an “unalterable, encrypted audit log system”.

Kleiman was also a regular contributor to cryptography and security mailing lists where discussions included technical aspects of cryptosystems and the politics of cryptography. Kleiman was a long-time member of the same Metzdowd Cryptography mailing list where Satoshi Nakamoto first announced Bitcoin on Oct. 31, 2008.

Kleiman held the following certifications: Information Systems Security Management Professional (ISSMP), Information Systems Security Architecture Professional (ISSAP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Forensics Investigator (CIFI), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CAS), Certified Computer Examiner (CCE), a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).

For multiple years, Kleiman was awarded Microsoft MVP for Windows – Security.

Alleged Bitcoin involvement[edit]

In December 2015 Gizmodo reported that Dave Kleiman may have been involved in the invention of the digital currency Bitcoin, based on documents sent to the press concerning Craig Steven Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin.[13] Wright repeated the claim to The Economist in May 2016.[14] To some, Wright’s claims about the creation of Bitcoin are extremely dubious, and possibly a hoax.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

In February 2018, Dave Kleiman’s brother Ira, the executor of his estate, initiated a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of the Kleiman estate against Wright over the rights to between 550,000 and 1,100,000 bitcoins, claiming Wright defrauded the estate of bitcoins and intellectual property rights.[4][15] The estate alleged that Kleiman was one of the early bitcoin pioneers and worked with Craig Steven Wright on its establishment as a cryptocurrency.[15]

Following a three-week trial in late 2021, a jury entered a verdict in favor of Kleiman’s estate but awarded him only $100 million in damages, far less than the more than $25 billion that Kleiman’s estate had sought at trial.[16][17]


  • Co-author: Microsoft Log Parser Toolkit; Syngress Publishing;ISBN 1-932266-52-6
  • Co-author: Security Log Management: Identifying Patterns in the Chaos; Syngress Publishing; ISBN 1-59749-042-3
  • Technical editor: Perfect Passwords: Selection, Protection and Authentication; Syngress Publishing; ISBN 1-59749-041-5
  • Technical editor: Winternals Defragmentation, Recovery, and Administration Field Guide; Syngress Publishing; ISBN 1-59749-079-2
  • CD and DVD Forensics: Technical Editor, ISBN 1-59749-128-4
  • How to Cheat at Windows System Administration: Contributing Author, ISBN 1-59749-105-5
  • Enemy at the Water Cooler: Real Life Stories of Insider Threats, Technical Reviewer, ISBN 1-59749-129-2
  • Rootkits for Dummies: Technical editor, ISBN 978-0-471-91710-6
  • Windows Forensic Analysis Including DVD Toolkit: Technical Editor, ISBN 1-59749-156-X
  • The Official CHFI Study Guide (Exam 312-49): Main author, ISBN 1-59749-197-7


  1. ^“Obituary: Former PBSO deputy dies in his home”. Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  2. ^“SANS WhatWorks Summit in Forensics and Incident Response”. SANS. Archived from the original on 2010-01-26.
  3. ^ ab“Dave Kleiman”. O’Reilly. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19.
  4. ^ abRussell Brandon (February 26, 2018). “Self-proclaimed Satoshi Craig Wright is being sued for stealing his partner’s bitcoin”. The Verge. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  5. ^ abVigna, Paul (2021-11-13). “Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Could Be Unmasked at Florida Trial”. Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2021-11-13.
  6. ^ abGreenberg, Andy (2015-12-11). “New Clues Suggest Craig Wright, Suspected Bitcoin Creator, May Be a Hoaxer”. Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Archived from the original on 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  7. ^ ab“ATO probes Bitcoin ‘creator'”. 2016-01-20. Archived from the original on 2021-03-14. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  8. ^ abJeong, Sarah (2015-12-09). “Satoshi’s PGP Keys Are Probably Backdated and Point to a Hoax”. Motherboard. Archived from the original on 2019-04-07. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  9. ^ abLee, Timothy B. (2016-05-02). “Craig Wright really wants you to think he invented Bitcoin. Don’t believe him”. Vox. Archived from the original on 2019-04-07. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  10. ^ abPearson, Jordan; Maiberg, Emanuel (2018-05-23). “Craig Wright Isn’t Mad, He’s Actually Laughing After Public Beef at Blockchain Conference”. Motherboard. Archived from the original on 2019-04-07. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  11. ^ abFox-Brewster, Thomas. “Time To Call A Hoax? Inconsistencies On ‘Probable’ Bitcoin Creator’s PhD And Supercomputers Revealed”. Forbes. Archived from the original on 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  12. ^“trademark application”. 29 Feb 2000.
  13. ^Sam Biddle; Andy Cush (2 May 2016). “This Australian Says He and His Dead Friend Invented Bitcoin”. Gizmodo. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  14. ^“Craig Steven Wright claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Is he?”. The Economist. 2 May 2016. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016.
  15. ^ abRyan Browne (February 27, 2018). “Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator sued for allegedly stealing $5 billion worth of crypto, other assets”. CNBC. Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  16. ^Crooks, Nathan (December 6, 2021). “Self-Described Bitcoin Creator Must Pay $100 Million in Suit”. Bloomberg News. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  17. ^“Man claiming to have invented Bitcoin wins dispute, gets to keeps $50B in crypto”. Newsweek. 2021-12-06. Retrieved 2021-12-07.
  • Dave Kleiman’s personal web site
  • CastleCops

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