Trust the professional hackers to reach where the action is the busiest. Undoubtedly, Bitcoin exchanges have virtually been on fire over the past few weeks, and the result is that there have been reports of attacks on many popular sites that engage in trading of the cryptocurrency.
There has been a natural and organic growth in the number of people accessing these exchanges to try their hands at investing in Bitcoins and making some quick bucks.
With the result, the exchange platforms experience heavy traffic flow with which they cannot cope, and site crashes can occur. However, such downtimes have been immediately addressed and the exchanges were back in business and accepting trades both ways.
The latest Bitcoin news is that these attacks on Bitcoin exchanges were of the nature of distributed denial-of-service (or DDoS) attacks. These cyberattacks are perpetrated by the hacking community through a process of flooding the site with a massive volume of information until the site starts gasping for breath and collapses.
Peaking of Bitcoin Pricing a Major Attraction
With regularity, the public has been aware of recent Bitcoin news mainly relating to the unprecedented levels the cryptocurrency is being traded at.
With the market predictions that Bitcoin could be traded as high as $10,000 by the end of 2017, there will be no letup in the interest surrounding the cryptocurrency.
So, exchanges that trade in this currency will only witness an exponential growth in the number of transactions on their sites. And hackers would also want to play their dirty tricks when the opportunity arises.
No Assets Stolen So Far
Though the cyberattacks have affected the exchanges, there is no Bitcoin news that indicates these attacks have resulted in any accounts being broken into and Bitcoins being stolen.
One has to remember that in most cases of worldwide hacking, the attackers have demanded that ransom amounts must be paid in Bitcoins. Therefore, there is a strong connection between the hackers and their desire for Bitcoins.
The other fact is these currencies cannot be easily traced and it gives them some kind of security from the investigating authorities.
But it is also possible within the overall scenario that these DDoS attacks were just warnings to the exchanges, proving they can hack these sites at will and that many more direct attacks of a serious nature (with even more real damage) might happen in the future.
The Exchanges Attacked
Here is a brief account of some top Bitcoin exchanges that have suffered DDoS attacks recently.
Bitfinex is one the most popular exchanges trading in this cryptocurrency, with its origins in Hong Kong. This has been on the Bitcoin news sphere since August 2016 when it witnessed a hacking attack.
At that point in time, around $70 million worth Bitcoins were siphoned off. In February 2017, this site was subjected to DDoS attacks that seriously impacted traffic on the site for a considerable period of time.
Coinsecure is an India-centric cryptocurrency exchange and, according to the recent Bitcoin news, this site faced a DDoS attack but has managed to restore functioning quickly.
One platform that faced a typical DDoS attack just prior to the one performed on the Indian site was BTC-E. This exchange might have lost to some of the others over time though; it has been one of the oldest in this business.
To be fair to them, after being in Bitcoin news sources for quite some time, the site managed to fortify their security firewalls and have not faced any further trouble.
Poloniex is one cryptocurrency exchange that has figured more often in Bitcoin news in the recent past. Experts are blaming the exchange’s administrators for their failure to anticipate the growing volume of business on its site and the need to expand the bandwidth to allow for the increased traffic.
There are others who even go to the extent of saying that what is being described by Poloniex as DDoS attacks are not really brought about through hacks, but genuine crashes on the site due to it is inherent weak structure.
The company must take some rapid steps to stay in the business and retain its current customer base.
Other Bitcoin news sources have revealed suggestions that these DDoS attacks were deliberately brought about by small platforms trading in Bitcoins through hiring hackers to precipitate these attacks—but this is not verified.