Menu
Bitcoin exchanges hit by DDoS attacks

Bitcoin exchanges hit by DDoS attacks

Bitstamp falls victim to online attacks that affect transaction receipts.

The problems plaguing Bitcoin worsened Tuesday as online attacks on the digital currency's software affected two more exchanges.

Major Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has suspended bitcoin withdrawals amid distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Last week, Mt. Gox, another big exchange, suspended bitcoin transfers from wallets it holds to external bitcoin addresses, as it had noted that a bug in the Bitcoin software could allow fraud.

The attack uses "transaction malleability to temporarily disrupt balance checking," Slovenia-based Bitstamp said on its website, adding that no funds have been lost and that it's confident that transactions will be back to normal soon.

Bitcoin withdrawals that failed on Feb. 10 and 11 will be canceled and the amounts added back to customer accounts, it said.

Bulgaria-based BTC-e, another large exchange for the digital currency, also wrote on Twitter that the DDoS attack could cause delays in crediting transactions on the two days.

"This is a denial-of-service attack; whoever is doing this is not stealing coins, but is succeeding in preventing some transactions from confirming," Gavin Andresen, chief scientist for the Bitcoin Foundation, wrote on its blog. "It's important to note that DoS attacks do not affect people's bitcoin wallets or funds."

Andresen said developers were working on a fix for the problem, which centers on so-called "transaction malleability," an underlying issue in Bitcoin's software.

The attacks have involved a flood of false transaction records.

"Users of the reference implementation who are bitten by this bug may see their bitcoins 'tied up' in unconfirmed transactions," Andresen added. "We need to update the software to fix that bug, so when they upgrade those coins are returned to the wallet and are available to spend again."

On Monday, the foundation, which provides funding support and other resources for the Bitcoin technology, said transaction malleability is a longstanding technical issue and that Mt. Gox should have been prepared for it.

Mt. Gox cited the problem in suspending bitcoin withdrawals to outside wallets, stating it can give people the ability to change transaction details after the fact.

Bitcoin was trading around US$660 on Wednesday, down sharply from around $850 last week, according to CoinDesk.

Members of the Bitcoin industry emphasized that they expect the problems to be resolved soon.

"By this time next week I expect the TX-Malleability issue to be correctly implemented by all major exchanges," Andreas M. Antonopoulos, chief security officer of Bitcoin wallet service Blockchain.info, wrote late Tuesday on Twitter.

The Bitcoin woes continued as financial services firm J.P. Morgan criticized the currency as being "vastly inferior to fiat currencies," according to reports.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesMt. Goxe-commerceBitstampBTC-einternet

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Show Comments