Bitcoin exchanges once again find themselves making headlines in mainstream media news over the past few days. As we have some to expect from our mainstream media colleagues, positive Bitcoin news is not worth reporting, but a bit of drama always sells more copies. Unfortunately for us Bitcoin enthusiasts, the mainstream media has had multiple feeding frenzies over what went down across some of the major digital currency exchanges this past weekend.
China : Huobi & BTER Suffering From Attacks
The biggest drama was coming – once again – from China, as the Bter exchange allegedly got hacked and lost over 7,000 Bitcoin. According to their official statement, funds has been stolen from their cold wallet by an unknown hacker, and the company offered a 720 Bitcoin bounty to whoever could return the coins to their rightful owner. Up until this point, no one has taken Bter up on that offer yet.
Sadly enough, this is not the first time coins go missing on the Bter exchange. Earlier in 2014, security had been breached as well, and a hacker ran away with 50 million NXT – worth over US$1.6 million at that point in time. There is this saying about “fool me twice, shame on me…”, but apparently the folks running Bter have still not learned their lesson in exchange security.
If we start totaling up both breaches, over US$3 million has been stolen from BTER in less than 12 months. Needless to say, this is – once again – not creating any favorable press for Bitcoin and other digital currencies. We can only hope to see Bter tighten up security in a more serious manner this time, as their customer base will keep dwindling with this new security breach being exposed.
Huobi, which is one of China’s other major Bitcoin exchanges, also faced some issues with their Bitcoin order book a few days ago. The team quickly announced that no user funds was affected, but that there was some downtime due to a massive Denial of Service on the Huobi servers. After a few hours, everything was up and running again and Bitcoin trading resumed without skipping a beat.
Exco.In Hacked Twice in Five Days
The Exco.in exchange is probably unknown to a lot of people in the Bitcoin world, but their name will become synonymous with being hacked twice in just five days (February 6th & February 10th). During these two attacks, the exchange managed to lose all of the Bitcoins in their accounts, allegedly due to “two separate traders spiraling out of control due to either a bug or an exploit”.
Excoin lead Developer Samantha Chen stated : “We have located the real identity of the user ‘ambiorx’ who made the fraudulent withdrawals and we will be pursuing legal action. We are preparing to hand over our logs, database and other information to the authorities.”
HitBTC Disables Withdrawals Due To Possible Attack
Another Bitcoin exchange platform in trouble for the second time in a year is HitBTC. And for the second time in a row, customers have been unable to withdraw any of their funds without prior warning. However, the HitBTC team is making sure no malicious attack was executed against their platform, and has disabled withdrawals as a preventive measure.
“We have not confirmed that the attacks are connected, moreover, our hosting partners have not confirmed that the incident is actually a hacker attack. In our Terminal, you can see an official notice about the payment system downtime. No user funds were affected on our side. We will allow deposits/withdrawals as soon as we finish the security checks on our side. Appropriate security measures are being implemented on our side and we have a proactive security policy.”
CCEDK Suffering From DDoS Attacks
CCEDK, one of the larger European digital currency exchanges, has also been fighting persistent DDoS attacks these past few days. It has to be said though that CCEDK has used the Twitter medium actively to reassure their customers the funds on the exchange are safe and sound. One of the recent CCEDK tweets stated : “We have been experiencing a DOS attack, all funds are safe, we close however briefly next 5 hours for a security check. #CCEDK”.So far, that security check has turned up no account or wallet breaches, to great relief of all of the platform’s customers.
Who Will Be Next?
2015 Has proven to be a very tumultuous year for Bitcoin exchanges, and we are only halfway February so far. January was a very bad month for the Bitstamp exchanges, and February seems to be a dark time for semi-big exchange platforms all over the world. One would begin to wonder who could possibly be next….