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Bitcoin exchange loses $5 million in security breach

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
January 6, 2015
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Bitstamp has just suspended its Bitcoin exchange services, because some of its operational wallets have been compromised. And, while it's nowhere near the scale of the Mt. Gox debacle (850,000 Bitcoins gone), the company says hackers still made off with 19,000 BTC or roughly $5 million. The service clarifies on its website (which now shows a splash page) that the stolen money came from its online wallets only and that the "overwhelming majority" of its reserves are stored safely offline. According to ZDNet, the service had $96.9 million store in offline storage in May 2014, but the amount might have gone down due to fluctuating Bitcoin values.

Bitstamp says it will honor any transaction made before January 5th, 4AM Eastern, but it warns users (in bold and all caps) not to transfer anything to "previously issued bitcoin deposit addresses" anymore as those transactions cannot be honored. It also promises to go back to business in a few days once it's done moving to a more secure server.

Some users believe this page lists the illegal transactions that's crippled Bitstamp, since they're worth 18,868 BTC in all made over the weekend. But we still don't know what exactly went down, especially since no group of hackers has stepped forward to claim the security breach. Seeing as authorities still don't have a clear picture of the Mt. Gox fiasco in 2014, we might have wait a long while before we find out what happened to Bitstamp.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

In this article: bitcoin, bitstamp, hack
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