value of Bitcoin is currently extremely volatile, but at the time of
writing, the amount stolen was worth approximately $80m.
The hacked service was NiceHash, a Slovenia-based mining exchange.
It said it was working hard to recover the Bitcoin for its users, adding: “Someone really wanted to bring us down.”
attack happened early on Wednesday, said NiceHash’s chief executive
Marko Kobal. Attackers accessed the company’s systems at 01:18 CET
(00:18 GMT). By 03:37 the hackers, whom the company believes were based
outside the European Union, had begun stealing Bitcoin.
The theft comes as the price of Bitcoin continues to surge, dumbfounding experts and stoking concerns of a bubble.
attacks like this are not uncommon, with several large breaches and
thefts hitting Bitcoin and other related services over the past year.
is a mining service, a company that pairs up people with spare
computing power with those willing to pay to use it to mine for new
Download now (quick server)
Mr Kobal appeared on Facebook Live to address concerns about the hack.
“We have not abandoned you guys,” he said.
explained that an employee’s computer was compromised in the attack. He
added that “forensic analysis” involving local and international
authorities was taking place, but did not expand on which specific
agencies were involved when asked by the BBC.
The company was
heavily criticised by its users who commented in droves on Facebook.
Communications were complicated further when a spoof Facebook page for
the company was set up and spreading disinformation about the breach.
Security issues involving Bitcoin and other related services are a frequent cause for concern for virtual currency traders.
Other recent controversies involving digital currencies include:
- the firm behind digital currency Tether said that close to $31m (£23.4m) worth of its tokens were stolen
- a “code bug” in Ethereum’s digital wallets being blamed last month for freezing more than $150m worth of Ether, preventing investors from being able to cash out
- a South Korean exchange, Bithumb, saying that one of its employee’s PCs had been hacked in June. Several of its customers reported follow-up scam calls
- another South Korean exchange, Yapizon, being breached in April. Reports have said North Korean hackers are suspected of stealing about $5m worth of funds
- an Israeli crypto-currency trading company, CoinDash, reporting that $7m was stolen from investors in July after its website was breached and an initial coin offering’s contact address altered