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Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange goes offline after $350 million hack

4 years ago8 views

Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, is now offline after losing about $350 million to a two year-long hack that went undetected by the company.

Mt. Gox said that it was experiencing technical issues and recently stopped all customer withdrawals of bitcoin after it noticed what it called "unusual activity".

The "unusual activity" turned out to be hackers that were robbing the company blind. The hacking attack is explained in a leaked Gox "crisis strategy draft" plan that was published Monday by Ryan Selkis, a bitcoin entrepreneur and blogger. The document claims that Mt. Gox is insolvent after losing 744,408 bitcoins, worth about $350 million at Monday's market prices.

The theft is a setback for supporters of Bitcoin, who have been pushing for widespread adoption of the digital currency.

Mt. Gox posted a statement on its website Tuesday afternoon. "In the event of recent news reports and the potential repercussion on MtGox's operations and the market, a decision was taken to close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our users. We will be closely monitoring the situation and will react accordingly," it said.

Mt. Gox stopped transfers of bitcoin to external addresses on Feb 7. The company said it found a bug that allowed hackers to fool the transaction process into sending double the correct amount of bitcoins. According to the leaked document, hackers were even able to take out bitcoins from supposedly secure "cold" wallets that Mt. Gox stored offline. The documents said, "the cold storage has been wiped out due to a leak in the hot wallet."

The theft is a huge blow to those with massive Bitcoin boners, as serious investors will no doubt continue to write off Bitcoin. Might as well just park your money in the bank where it's safe.

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