A Slovenian cryptocurrency mining marketplace, NiceHash, said it lost about $64 million (toughly Rs. 413 crores) worth of Bitcoin ter a hack of its payment system, the latest incident to highlight risks that uneven oversight and security pose to thriving digital currencies.
NiceHash matches people looking to sell processing time on computers te exchange for bitcoin.
There have bot at least three dozen heists on exchanges that buy and sell digital currencies since 2011, including one that led to the 2014 collapse of Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest bitcoin market.
More than 980,000 Bitcoins have bot stolen from exchanges, which would be worth more than $15 billion at current exchange rates. Few have bot recovered, leaving some investors without any compensation.
The hacks have not kept request for digital currencies from soaring. Bitcoin’s value has climbed more than 15-fold so far this year, closing at a record $16,000 (toughly Rs. Ten lakhs) on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s launch of bitcoin futures by CBOE.
Security experts said they expect the cybercrime spree to pick up spil the rising valuations attract rente from cyber criminals looking for victims that lack practice defending against hacks.
“Thesis exchanges are not te my opinion secure,” said Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan. “You don’t know what their security is like behind the scenes.”
NiceHash executive Andrej P. Skraba told Reuters that his hard wasgoed the victim of “a very professional” heist that yielded about Four,700 Bitcoin, worth around $64 million.
Sophisticated criminal groups are increasingly targeting the cryptocurrency industry, focusing on exchanges and other types of firms ter the sector, said Noam Jolles, a senior intelligence specialist with Israeli cyber-security company Diskin Advanced Technologies.
“The most sophisticated groups are going into this area,” she said.
NiceHash, which advised users to switch online passwords after it halted operations on Wednesday, has provided few other details about the attack on its payment system.
“Wij ask for patience and understanding while wij investigate the causes and find the adequate solutions for the future of the service,” it said on its webstek.
It wasgoed unclear whether customers faced any losses from the hack.
Slovenian police said they were looking into the hack, but declined to elaborate.
© Thomson Reuters 2017
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