Bitcoin has been in the government’s crosshairs across the world since it became popular. Now, a new warning has surfaced on Bitcoin.org – the quasi-official Bitcoin website expressing concerns about a potential threat.
The latest update on the website cautions the Bitcoin community to be “extra careful” while downloading the new updates. With a new Bitcoin Core release around the corner, the website anticipates an attack by government-sponsored hackers on the Bitcoin Network. The Chinese Bitcoin community is speculated to be the most vulnerable to these attacks mainly due to two reasons.
- China is a major contributor to the Bitcoin network in terms of hashing power and trading activities.
- China has been the main focus of various intelligence agencies across the world in recent days.
The state-sponsored attackers are expected to target the community with compromised Bitcoin Core binaries. The use of such malware infected files may lead to the user participating in an attack on the network and/or loss of bitcoin.
“Bitcoin.org has reason to suspect that the binaries for the upcoming Bitcoin Core release will likely be targeted by state-sponsored attackers… This malicious software (compromised Bitcoin Core binaries) might also cause your computer to participate in attacks against the Bitcoin network. We believe Chinese services such as pools and exchanges are most at risk here due to the origin of the attackers.”
In order to prevent such attacks, the Bitcoin Core binaries will be cryptographically signed with a key belonging to Bitcoin Core maintainer, Wladimir J van der Laan. Bitcoin.org requests the users to verify their downloads using the key provided on the website as well as from other sources to ensure its authenticity.
Bitcoin.org has also provided a link to the gitian signatures repository for users to verify the downloaded binaries by cross-referencing it with multiple signatures.
The message comes at the time when the tensions are at an all-time high between China and Western nations. Beyond the cyberspace, China’s stand on its newly built artificial islands and its control over South China sea has created a diplomatic minefield among various nations.
Also, there are chances of the United States intelligence agencies retaliating against the digital currency after a hacker group, Shadow Brokers released confidential NSA files allegedly connected to the Equation Group, an elite cyber-attack team.
Ref: Bitcoin.org | Image: NewsBTC