$80m Bitcoin Hack
Slovenian based bitcoin marketplace, NiceHash, has reported that it was the victim of a professional attack. The reported security breach, a social engineering hack, has resulted in the theft of bitcoin with an estimated value of $80m.
Approximately 4,700 bitcoins were reported stolen by NiceHash last week. As a result, users of NiceHash were advised to change online passwords and operations in the marketplace stopped last Wednesday.
The chief executive of NiceHash is reported to have said that the attackers accessed the company’s systems. However the exact nature of the hack has not yet been released.
What Is NiceHash?
NiceHash is a digital currency marketplace with an estimated 750,000 users. It matches users looking to sell processing time on their computers with users who are willing to pay to use it to mine bitcoin. Various other ‘alt’ coins such as Ethereum and Litecoin can also be mined.
Bitcoin miners use software to solve maths problems and are issued a certain number of bitcoins in exchange. This provides a way to issue bitcoins and creates an incentive for people to mine. Bitcoin can then be traded for money at various websites.
It has been reported that NiceHash are working on a solution to reimburse all those affected by the hack.
Not The First Time
Over the last 6 years there have been dozens of attacks on digital exchanges. Such as the one that led to the collapse of , Mt. Gox, which at the time was the largest bitcoin market place. It is estimated the attacks have resulted in the theft of 980,000+ bitcoins, which is worth more than $15 billion today.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Bitcoin has gone from $1,000 per coin at the beginning of the year to around $16,000 at time of writing. This together with the rise in the number of bitcoins in circulation and new users have attracted the attention of hackers. These criminals take advantage of exchanges and firms in the young crypto-currency market that may not be secure against sophisticated attacks. Indeed there are even stories of shady companies scamming their users.
All businesses should make sure that they get the best possible advice and help. While Crypto-currency firms and exchanges need to invest in the most up to date systems to ensure protection for their customers. Users of these echanges should also ensure that they use secure passwords and where available two-factor authentication.
The official statement from NiceHash can be foud here.