Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp halts withdrawals due to 'nuisance attack' by hackers
Bitstamp, one of the biggest online Bitcoin exchanges, has suspended withdrawals, the latest setback for the virtual currency since a service disruption at a Tokyo-based exchange last week.
A denial-of-service attack, in which a website is flooded with requests for data, obstructed Bitstamp's ability to check account balances, the exchange said in a statement. Customers won't be able to withdraw funds until a fix is issued, and transactions that failed in the past two days will be canceled, the company said.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be used to buy everything from Tesla Motors Inc. cars to Gummi bears.
Mt.Gox, the other major online exchange, said on Friday that it stopped withdrawals because of a technical issue. The virtual currency has since declined about 19 percent and was trading at $642.29 on Tuesday afternoon in New York, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, which averages exchange prices.
“This is a nuisance attack,” said Andreas Antonopoulos, chief security officer for Blockchain.info, a provider of online wallets for digital currencies. “Funds have not been lost and have not been affected. What it's done is slow down their accounting system from reconciling transactions.”
Antonoupoulos said withdrawals probably will resume within two days.
“No funds have been lost and no funds are at risk,” Bitstamp said in the statement. A message sent to the office of Bitstamp seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.
The governments of India, China and Russia have sought to ban or limit the use of Bitcoins, which exist as software and aren't controlled by any central authority. Some American-based exchanges have closed at the behest of law enforcement or had difficulties obtaining business bank accounts because of regulatory concerns.
Mt.Gox said its services were restored and that customers can take out cash “as normal.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- IBM to pay $1.5B to shed chip division
- Streaming won’t mean the end of cable
- Fannie Mae might take 3% down
- PPG Industries to buy Westmoreland Supply paint store chain
- Natrona Bottling Co. keeps soda pop operation small, putting effort into craft, taste
- Stocks on upswing
- Hackers rip into heart of open-source software
- Student loan debt presents paradox
- Open enrollment puts varied impact of health care law back in focus
- Energy Spotlight: Steve Anthos
- Large-scale batteries are integral in shift to renewable energy