– Around $64m worth in Bitcoin was stolen from Slovenian based Bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash.
– The operations are suspended until the breach is completely investigated.
– NiceHash has requested users to change their passwords in order to prevent further damage.
The Bitcoins were stolen by hackers in what is being called a “highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering”. It resulted in 4700 Bitcoins being stolen according to NiceHash head of marketing Andrej P Škraba. The amount doesn’t seem like much but this amounts to roughly $64m given the current value of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the talk of the town these days as it continues to grow and surprise people daily. It’s the first and biggest “cryptocurrency”, a tradable digital asset. Whether it’s a bad investment or not, many people have poured a lot of money into Bitcoin, the current valuation of all bitcoins in the world stands at $97 billion.
The growth of Bitcoin has attracted a lot of attention. With the value of Bitcoin having hit the $15,000 mark, it’s not surprising that some people would try to obtain these Bitcoins through any means necessary because of the current prices.
It also doesn’t help that there’s no real central authority which means that there is no regulation or censorship that can be put in place which attracts criminals who can trace a Bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.
After suffering such a huge loss due to the hack, the marketplace has shut down operations and is investigating the breach in security that has occurred. They say they are working with the relevant authorities with the utmost urgency as well as urging their users to change passwords, so they aren’t vulnerable to more attacks in the mean time.
NiceHash is a digital currency (Bitcoin) marketplace for people looking to sell processing time on their computers for miners to verify Bitcoin users’ transactions in exchange for Bitcoin. All the operations occur online through their website which if not protected can be vulnerable to the threat of an attack by hackers as was the case. The people who ultimately suffer are the customers whose Bitcoins get stolen.
The signs were there as the website faced problems over the past day or two. As a result, there were many complaints which was followed by panicking customers on NiceHash’s social media because of the hackers’ attack. NiceHash was eventually forced to break their silence over the issue.
NiceHash made a statement which said: “We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service.”
The price of Bitcoin has reached the $15,000 mark recently, surging from a mere $800 at the start of the year. According to CoinDesk, a real time Bitcoin monitor, Bitcoin gains around $2000 In value per day. The rapid growth of Bitcoin will only give incentive to hackers to carry out more attacks like this as it results in a high payload.
Due to this reason, only security for marketplaces such as NiceHash is crucial because of Bitcoin marketplaces becoming increasingly targeted by hackers due to Bitcoin’s immense value and extreme popularity.
Bitcoin is the new trend these days, many people join the trend whilst not fully understanding the ins and outs of the digital currency world which makes them prone to attacks by hackers which is why online security is a vital concern for many online marketplaces.
New laws were put in place in Japan after the failure of a Bitcoin exchange which lost approximately 850,000 bitcoins most probably to hackers. These laws regulate Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Some sort of Law enforcement needs to take place to regulate the rapidly growing market of bitcoins to keep people’s financial assets safe. Otherwise, there shall be huge losses. If nothing, the attack on NiceHash is an eyeopener because as Bitcoin’s value grows more in the future, there could be much more to lose than $64m.