HACKERS HAVE SWIPED millions of pounds worth of Bitcoins from the cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash.
Taking to social media. NiceHash had the not very nice task of explaining it is investigating the potential digital thievery and will shut its service down while it goes criminal chasing.
Dear NiceHash users,— NiceHash (@NiceHashMining) December 6, 2017
we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused. Our team is working hard to resolve the issues on the service, it might take longer than expected. We'll keep you updated!
While some may be winding down for Xmas, that doesn't look likely to be the case for NiceHash, which needs to first discover how many Bitcoins were stolen from its marketplace.
"We are working to verify the precise number of BTC (Bitcoin) taken," the company said. "Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days. In addition to undertaking our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and law enforcement and we are co-operating with them as a matter of urgency."
"While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords."
Reddit users have pointed towards a Bitcoin wallet containing 4,736.42 Bitcoins the equivalent of around £50m, a fair bit to have pilfered in one go.
While the distributed ledge nature of Bitcoin is meant to make it hard to directly breach, NiceHash offers a network for Bitcoin users to rent out their computer resources to others who wish to carry out the processing of complex equations needed to 'mine' Bitcoins, and thereby acts as an exchange for Bitcoins to be passed into cryptocurrency wallets.
As such, an attack against the exchange by sophisticated hackers could see them gain access to piles of valuable Bitcoins.
It would appear that the hackers were skilled cybersecurity breachers, as gaining access to Bitcoin wallets and exchanges in no easy process for mere 'script kiddies'.
As such, there's a chance the hackers could get away with the digital heist, especially if they slowly syphon and convert funds from the wallet that now contains the massive amounts of Bitcoins, and then slowly fade away to other dark corners of the internet.
Given the rising value of Bitcoins, it's no surprise hackers go after them; even North Korean state-sponsored hackers are apparently stealing Bitcoins to fund their government's regime. µ
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