Skip to main content

Nearly $64 million in bitcoin is missing following NiceHash marketplace hack

Cryptocurrency is booming — the rise and rise of bitcoin has been one of the biggest stories of the latter part of 2017. Now, we have seen a glimpse of the more troubling side of the technology, as an attack on a major mining marketplace has resulted in almost $64 million worth of bitcoin being stolen.

“Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website,” reads a statement posted by the company in response to the situation. “We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.”

NiceHash is a service that allows customers to exchange their hardware’s processing power for the purposes of verifying bitcoin hashes. When they want to cash out, they are paid in bitcoin.

The payment system employed by NiceHash was reportedly compromised, which allowed thieves to drain the contents of its bitcoin wallet. The authorities have been notified and the company is working on its own investigation into exactly what happened, and the best course of action.

Approximately 4,700 bitcoins were stolen, according to the company’s head of marketing Andrej Škraba, who spoke to The Guardian. Concerns were first raised among users when the website began behaving strangely, at which point NiceHash’s social media presence was the target for a bevy of queries and complaints.

“We would not exist without our devoted buyers and miners all around the globe,” read its response to the attack. “We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service.”

It’s easy to see why there’s so much excitement about cryptocurrency, but a situation like this demonstrates what can go wrong. This isn’t tried-and-tested infrastructure, and attacks can and will happen — as we saw with the high-profile Equifax hack, unseen vulnerabilities are all-too-common.

This isn’t to say that bitcoin or cryptocurrency are inherently dangerous or untrustworthy, but there is certainly an element of risk when it comes to using a service like NiceHash.

Brad Jones
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Brad is an English-born writer currently splitting his time between Edinburgh and Pennsylvania. You can find him on Twitter…
Steve Wozniak sues YouTube, Google over Bitcoin scam videos
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is suing YouTube and Google for videos on their platform that use his likeness in cryptocurrency giveaway scams. 

In a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California on Tuesday, Wozniak claims that the videos used his likeness without his permission. He and 17 others are suing YouTube and its parent company, Google, over the video scams. 

Read more
How Coinbase stopped the Twitter Bitcoin hack from being even worse
twitter and laptop hacked

The hackers behind last week's massive Twitter security breach made off with more than $100,000 through their Bitcoin giveaway scam. But it could have been much worse.

Quick responses from Twitter and Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase reportedly kept a combined $300,000 away from the hackers' pockets.

Read more
FBI moves in to investigate Twitter’s massive Bitcoin hack
Twitter symbol photo. Credits: Twitter official.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now examining the major hack that hit Twitter on Wednesday, July 17, in a bid to find out who was behind the incident, the Wall Street Journal reports

Twitter accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, among other high-profile users of the microblogging service, were hit in a scam that involved a fake tweet encouraging followers to send payments to a Bitcoin wallet. It had some success, too, as data on Blockchain.com showed that more than $115,000 via 392 transactions was sent to the Bitcoin wallet posted in the messages.

Read more