Business 7 June 2018

Gerald Fenech

Bitfinex back online after yet another cyber attack

The cryptocurrency markets continued to experience attacks and scams in the past days and weeks with the latest victim being Hong Kong-based exchange Bitfinex.

Bitfinex has been the target of another distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which happens when a large number of compromised computer servers attack a target and eventually overwhelm the system. This time, it appears that the DDoS attack happened on Tuesday, shortly after the platform was relaunched.

On its website, the cryptocurrency exchange explained: “The previous outage was caused by issues with one of our infrastructure providers. While the platform was recovering, the attack caused extreme load on the servers.”

Later in the day, the Bitfinex Twitter account tweeted that the site was currently under extreme load. The exchange had just announced around 15:00 UTC that its site was returning operations but that it was also monitoring the situation very closely. At 16:42, it provided another update, stating that it was up and running and back to normal. This outage caused the Bitcoin price to drop to around $7,400 just after the news, according to the Coinmarketcap price.

Bitfinex, founded in 2012, has had quite a chequered history with regards to hacks. In 2016, it had reported a loss of nearly 120,000 units of BTC, which at the time were worth around $72 million, to a hack. In June of last year, the cryptocurrency exchange was reportedly a victim of several cyberattacks.

Security continues to be an issue where cryptocurrencies and exchanges are concerned however. There have been a consistent number of scams and attacks featuring top exchanges, including the mammoth half a billion dollars’ worth of NEM from Coincheck at the beginning of the year. The incident eventually crippled the Japanese-based exchange which was then bought out and also spurred the Japanese financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), to take a much more proactive approach to other cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and to determine more stringent security measures to ensure the safety of customer’s assets.

Slovenia-based crypto exchange NiceHash was also reportedly a victim of a hack in which 4,700 BTC were stolen last December, with the value of the hack worth around $63 billion at that time. The South Korea-based exchange YouBit has also been a victim of hackers and this caused it to file for bankruptcy since the stolen funds amounted to about 17 percent of its net value.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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