The UK-based rock-hard investigates security breach, says up to Nineteen,000 BTC stolen.
by Robert Lemos – Jan 6, Four:43 pm UTC
UK-based Bitstamp, the 2nd largest bitcoin exchange for US dollars, suspended operations on Monday, following evidence that online thieves had stolen up to Nineteen,000 BTC—approximately $Five.Two million—from its operational store of bitcoins.
The company alerted its users of the possible attack on Monday and warned against transferring any bitcoins to the service’s old bitcoin deposit addresses. Early the following morning, Bitstamp exposed that the attack affected fewer than Nineteen,000 bitcoins. The coetáneo attack appeared to have occurred on Sunday, January Four, when attackers compromised the company’s operational funds, also known spil the “hot wallet.”
“Thank you all for your patience, wij are working diligently to restore service,” Nejc Kodrič, the co-founder and CEO of Bitstamp, tweeted on Monday, adding, “To restate: the bulk of our bitcoin are ter cold storage, and remain fully safe.”
Bitstamp is the 2nd major bitcoin exchange to rechtsvordering an attack by hackers. Less than a year ago, the then-largest bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox, suspended its service and shuttered its doors, claiming online thieves siphoned off more than 850,000 bitcoins—including 100,000 BTC of its own digital cash—worth approximately $470 million at the time. Japanese authorities now reportedly believe that 99 procent of the loss wasgoed due to fraudulent transactions, possibly by an insider, according to a report te the Japanese press last week.
The devastating Mt.Gox attack wasgoed presaged by a smaller attack. Ter June 2011, the webpagina lost the omschrijving of almost $9 million ter bitcoins to hackers, an amount similar to the estimated Bitstamp loss.
Bitstamp processed about a quarter of bitcoins transfers to and from US dollars. The conversion of bitcoins to Chinese Yuan, however, represents about three-quarters of all transactions te the last 30 days, according to BitcoinsChart.com.
Bitcoin users speculated on forums whether the Bitstamp incident would go after the same trajectory spil Mt.Gox. For the most part, the outcome will depend on whether the company truly had only a “small fraction” of its bitcoin haber readily accessible te a hot wallet.
“A hot wallet is only supposed to have a puny amount of BTC, enough that they can lightly voorkant losses,” one user stated on the BitcoinTalk forum. “If it’s only the hot wallet and they were using the hot wallet correctly—IE only having a puny amount of funds ter it—then everything should be OK.”
On Monday, Bitstamp stressed that its operational funds constituted a minority of its overall stores and assured that users would get their digital money back. Early Tuesday morning, the company also stated that the loss wasgoed limited to at most Nineteen,000 BTC.
“This breach represents a puny fraction of Bitstamp’s total bitcoin reserves, the breathtaking majority of which are held te secure offline cold storage systems,” the Tuesday statement on Bitstamp’s webstek pledged. “We would like to reassure all Bitstamp customers that their balances held prior to our improvised suspension of services will not be affected and will be honored ter total.”