World’s Largest Bitcoin Exchange Bitfinex Crippled by DDoS
Bitfinex, the world’s largest US dollar-based Bitcoin exchange, is still suffering from the effects of a DDoS attack on its systems earlier this week, rendering IOTA deposits unavailable for users.
The exchange first tweeted it was under attack on Tuesday, just a day after it launched trading in IOTA tokens, crypto-currency based on a new distributed ledger technology that proponents believe is superior to Blockchain.
It’s unknown if the two events are related, but with demand for IOTA high following its launch, it would have been a perfect time for a rival or miscreant to target the exchange.
As of yesterday, services still appeared down. Bitfinex tweeted:
“IOTA deposits and withdrawals are currently unavailable due to wallet maintenance. Funds are safe.”
DDoS attacks against crypto-currency exchanges and other stakeholders are nothing new, in fact just last week, Russian exchange BTC-e tweeted that it was “currently” suffering an attack.
Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge, argued that DDoS attacks on Bitcoin-related companies are likely to be an attempt “by unfair traders and speculators” to influence the exchange rate.
"At this moment, I'd avoid spending a single dollar on a digital currency where the exchange rate can be manipulated by a DDoS attack accessible to anyone on the black market,” he added.
“Decentralization is one of the major advantages of blockchain technology that is inherited by Bitcoin. However, it is actually one of its biggest risks and challenges as well. Many people see Bitcoin as a freedom from unnecessary governmental control, over-regulation and bureaucracy. However, once their wallet is compromised and crypto-coins are stolen by cyber-criminals, they usually complain to law enforcement agencies seeking justice and protection.”
Kolochenko warned of more attacks in the future, not just to influence the exchange rate of the crypto-currency in question but also to steal funds.
Last year, Bitfinex suffered a major cyber-attack leading to the theft of around $66m worth of the crypto-currency
Source: Information Security Magazine