A distributed denial of service (DDOS) is taking place against the bitcoin network and disrupting a number of exchange operations, Blockchain.info chief security officer Andreas Antonopoulos has revealed on Twitter.
The attack is taking advantage of the transaction malleability issue we’ve been hearing a lot about since Mt. Gox mentioned it extensively in an update on withdrawal issues Monday.
Antonopoulos says user funds across the network are safe, and Blockchain.info’s implementation of a bitcoin wallet is not affected, though the same can’t be said for other bitcoin properties, in that their internal bitcoin wallet systems are going out of sync with the network.
While we’re already well familiar with the withdrawal issues taking place at Mt. Gox, and Bitstamp announced today they are suspending bitcoin withdrawals for the time being:
Bitstamp’s exchange software is extremely cautious concerning Bitcoin transactions. Currently it has suspended processing Bitcoin withdrawals due to inconsistent results reported by our bitcoind wallet, caused by a denial-of-service attack using transaction malleability to temporarily disrupt balance checking. As such, Bitcoin withdrawal and deposit processing will be suspended temporarily until a software fix is issued.
Bitstamp reminds users that no funds have been lost or are at risk of being lost, and pending withdrawals will be canceled and funds returned to the owner’s account.
Andreas Antonopoulos says he expects to withdrawals to resume in 24 to 72 hours at affected exchanges, and although he acknowledges the issue is serious, he doesn’t think it will be the end of bitcoin as we know it.
“The death of bitcoin has been prematurely announced so many times already that the obvious conclusion is that bitcoin is far more resilient than its critics would like to think. I am confident that in a few days, those who predicted the death of bitcoin will once again be proven wrong,” he said.