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Hackers Steal Millions in Bitcoin



Cryptocurrency-mining exchange NiceHash announced yesterday that hackers have stolen an as-yet unknown amount in bitcoins, with estimates ranging from $60 to $70 million dollars in value. The announcement came after a 12 hour site service outage that was originally labeled an ongoing maintenance issue.

“Unfortunately, there has been a security breach involving NiceHash website. We are currently investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours. Importantly, our payment system was compromised and the contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet have been stolen. We are working to verify the precise number of [bitcoin] taken,” NiceHash representatives said in a statement.

While the exact amount is unclear early estimates indicate the hack might have robbed NiceHash of the entirety of its bitcoins, leaving customers with wallets in the mining marketplace with nothing. The perpetrators appeared to have opened a bitcoin “wallet” late Tuesday night and then transferred customers’ money into that wallet over the course of about ten minutes. The identity of the hackers and the full extent of the attack remains undetermined.

NiceHash has not released any statements after their initial announcement, including no word when or if customers can expect to see the monetary value of their cryptocurrency returned to them.   

This week saw a number of high profile hacks. Duke Energy Corp., a recent acquisition by Paypal, suffered a data breach that leaves hundreds of thousands–even potentially millions–of customers’ banking and personal information compromised. Detroit-based healthcare organization Henry Ford Health also announced this week a hack exposed approximately 18,000 patients’ information, with yet no word on if the information has been used criminally.

All three industries—cryptocurrency, healthcare, and critical infrastructure—represent the most consistently predicted top targets for cybercriminals in 2018. With John McAfee’s prediction that Bitcoin will reach $1 million in value by 2020, the breach of NiceHash will certainly not be the end of such heists.

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