clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Second major Bitcoin heist this month allegedly takes over $1 million

New, 32 comments
Bitcoins (Casascius)
Bitcoins (Casascius)

Hackers have allegedly stolen over a thousand bitcoins from the European payment processor BIPS in a theft that's now valued at over $1 million. BIPS tells Mashable that most of the bitcoins — 1,295 in total — came from the company's own holdings, but "several consumer wallets" were also compromised in the hack. The payment provider says that it was initially hit with a DDoS attack on November 15th, followed by a second attack on November 17th that managed to take the funds. Though BIPS disclosed some information on the attack just two days later, full details don't appear to have been given until last Friday.

"You may want to find alternative storage solutions as soon as possible."

BIPS says that the attacks appear to have originated from Russia and neighboring countries. It's now turning to law enforcement for help, but BIPS says that it'll first ask users for permission to turn over data about their bitcoins. Even with law enforcement's involvement though, users likely won't be seeing their lost bitcoins again — and at a time when they're becoming increasingly valuable. Because of the rapid fluctuation of Bitcoin's price, the stolen bitcoins were only worth around $650,000 at the time of the alleged theft, while they're now significantly more valuable.

Since the hacks, BIPS — which offers a free online wallet for storing Bitcoin — has been telling bitcoin owners that they should really be storing large quantities of the digital currency offline, where it can't be hacked. "Web wallets are like a regular wallet that you carry cash in and not meant to keep large amounts in," Kris Henriksen, BIPS founder, writes in a forum post. "Please be advised that attacks are not isolated to us and if you are storing larger amounts of coins with any third party you may want to find alternative storage solutions as soon as possible."

Another major hack took around 4,100 bitcoins from the wallet service earlier this month, then worth over $1 million as well. While Bitcoin hacks have contributed to crashes in the currency's pricing in the past, Bitcoin has only been rising lately — likely only making the currency all the more attractive to hackers.