One of the longest standing, online Bitcoin account providers Coinapult has suffered a hot wallet attack in which 150 Bitcoins have been lost. The total loss has been estimated to be close to $43,000.
The company has initiated an inquiry into the incident and made an official statement on its website:
“Coinapult is investigating a compromise of its hot wallet. Customers should NOT SEND bitcoin to existing Coinapult addresses starting IMMEDIATELY. This includes Lock Addresses (automatic lock address). Updates will be provided here as they become available.”
Customers who have unknowingly sent Bitcoins post the compromise or those having questions can submit their inquiries at email@example.com.
The startup has also made public the complete report of the March 17 attack.
The services have been halted until the attack vector is determined and patched. But users need not worry as the company has promised to refund the customers manually if the investigation stretches beyond a few days. All other funds, excluding the lost 150 Bitcoins, are safe and the situation is under control now.
As a part of the investigation process, the company is taking all possible measures to discover the scenarios which could have led to the attack. Coinapult COO and CFO Justin Blincoe stressed that, “our team is looking into all possible scenarios in regards to what happened.” The staff has already shut down all hardware in the data center and is planning to run forensics on the hard drives.
Till the latest update, the investigation had revealed that an intruder had accessed several machines and tampered with logs.
Interestingly, on March 13, the data center had suffered an all-day outage. Post that, the servers were to be moved out of the data center, which according to Coinapult staff, could have triggered the attack. The staff is now finally proceeding with moving hardware out of the data center.
Founded in 2012 by Ira Miller and Erik Voorhees, Coinapult has been building Bitcoin technology in order to foster growth and access to the revolutionizing digital currency industry. Coinapult is operated by Numeraire Ltd., and offers Bitcoin merchant services, payment processing services, and serves as a web wallet as well.
Spate of attacks hits Bitcoin in 2015
Coinapult is not the only Bitcoin business that has been affected by scams, thefts, and attacks in 2015.
In January, the popular Bitcoin exchange BitStamp lost $5 million after a hot wallet compromise. In February, China-based Bitcoin exchange Bter.com was robbed of $1.66 million or 7170 Bitcoins in a massive hack. February also saw Exco.in shut down its operations after successive DDOS attacks. However, on March 14, the innovative cryptocurrency exchange announced on Twitter that a relaunch plan is being worked out.
“We are in the process of preparing our infrastructure to relaunch the new Excoin trading platform.” – Exco.in, @ ExcoinExchange.
Attacks such as the Coinapult case and several others, severely dent the investors’ confidence which consequentially arrests the growth of the industry. As the news broke, market participants started selling the digital currency and the price collapsed to $280.