After a self-imposed 12-hour halt in trading due to crammed servers, Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox attempted to get back in business today with upgraded hardware — but it didn't take long before things went wrong again. The site is currently offline due to what the exchange tells The Verge is a "huge" DDoS attack; trading resumed for less than two hours.
We are experiencing a stronger than usual DDoS. We are working in it.— MtGox.com (@MtGox) April 12, 2013
Yesterday Mt. Gox issued a press release claiming that the service outages were due to increased demand rather than DDoS, but today this was followed by a seemingly contradictory release admitting that DDoS attacks had occurred over the past two days. The Verge contacted Mt. Gox to find out exactly what happened, and were told that while there were no DDoS attacks occurring at the time the initial statement was made, they came immediately after the server problems related to increased usage had been solved.
"We [suffer] DDoS every day, every single hour," said chief marketing officer Gonzague Gay-Bouchery. "This morning from 9 to 11 we had six." It wouldn't be the first time that DDoS attacks have disrupted Mt. Gox; last week the exchange suffered major DDoS-related technical problems after a heavy assault on its servers. But although this time Mt. Gox vowed to defend itself against the downtime with upgraded infrastructure — its new hardware is said to have 50 times the trading capacity — it would seem the exchange is unable to solve its DDoS problem.
"We are still being attacked by a yet unknown group of people."
"We are still being attacked by a yet unknown group of people that have clearly an intention in hurting Mt. Gox and Bitcoin as a whole," says Mt. Gox in its latest release. "But rest assured that we are not giving up and are dedicated to win this, one way or another!" The exchange says it still plans to handle all pending trades unless users wish to cancel, and will waive all trading fees for 48 hours. But with many worried Bitcoin traders posting angry messages on Mt. Gox's Facebook page, the episode is another example of how technical problems can have a real-world effect on the virtual currency.
Update: Mt. Gox is now back online.