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Bitfinex Hot Wallets Hacked, More Than 1,400 Bitcoin May Be Stolen

Op-ed - Bitfinex Hot Wallets Hacked

Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex announced around 5 a.m. EDT today the startup’s hot wallets were compromised and some bitcoin were stolen. The exchange also advised its users to immediately stop depositing bitcoin to old addresses in their Bitfinex account.

It is unclear how much has been lost in the hack, but according to a company statement, the hot wallets held only 0.05 percent of the exchange’s bitcoin holdings. Though still unconfirmed, RedditorgowithBTC followed a string of transactions on the blockchain to what he believes is Bitfinex’s hot wallet. If correct, it would put the amount of bitcoin lost in the hack just more than 1,400 or around 0.06 percent of the company’s total holdings.

Bitfinex said that any losses experienced by users would “be fully absorbed” by the exchange but did not give any specific timing as to when they would be reimbursed or how victims could notify the startup of their damages. The company currently is creating a new hot wallet and will update the public on the situation within the next several hours.

BitcoinTalk hacked as well

Yesterday, the popular Bitcoin forum went offline due to a social engineering attack, which led to website’s servers being compromised. Targeted at the forum’s ISP, NFOrce, the attacker tricked the ISP into handing over passwords, emails, and other security sensitive information.

The owner and operator of BitcoinTalk, who goes by the pseudonym Theymos, said the hacker got access to the website’s servers for 12 minutes, “so he probably wasn’t able to get a complete dump of the database.” He also advised users to consider that their email and passwords were compromised and act accordingly.

It is unclear whether the two incidents are related, and how Bitfinex was hacked is unknown as well.

We will update this developing story as we learn more.