Science

Millions potentially lost after a bitcoin mining marketplace was hacked

Millions potentially lost after a bitcoin mining marketplace was hacked

Site operators advised users to change their passwords when the site returns online.

That's what appears to have done in NiceHash, a Slovenia-based Bitcoin exchange that claims its cryptocurrency wallet has been cleared out of $64 million worth of BTC.

The hack was "a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering" that resulted in approximately 4,700 bitcoin being stolen, worth about $63.92m at current prices, said NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P Škraba.

"Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website", the company wrote, adding that it was freezing all operations for at least the next 24 hours while it investigated the hack. Later on, the mining company confirmed the news about the hack in a Facebook post.

Online security is a vital concern for cryptocurrency marketplaces and exchanges, with bitcoins contained within digital wallets that have increasingly become a target for hackers as the number of bitcoins stored and their value has skyrocketed over the previous year. "We are working to verify the precise number of BTC taken", the company said in a statement, calling the breach "a matter of deep concern". Futures for bitcoin will start trading on the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Sunday evening and on crosstown rival CME Group's platforms later in the month.

China says Indian drone violated its airspace, crashed
The standoff began in mid-June after Chinese troops started building a road on the remote Doklam plateau . He was quoted in Xinhua news agency as saying that India had "violated China's territorial sovereignty".

Bitfinex, a Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange, was briefly shut down a year ago after hackers stole almost 120,000 bitcoins - worth more than $65 million at the time. On Thursday it surged to over $14,100.74, up $1,000 in less than a day, according to Coindesk.

That compares with a value below $1,000 at the beginning of the year. Such currencies are not tied to a bank or government and allow users to spend money anonymously. Others say they can be helpful methods of payment, such as in crisis situations where national currencies have collapsed.

Miners of bitcoins and other virtual currencies help keep the systems honest with a blockchain, a global running tally of every transaction that prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice. That prevents cheaters from spending the same digital coin twice.

Bitcoin has always been a target for hackers.


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