You can hardly open a news website, a newspaper, magazine, turn on the radio or television without hearing all about Bitcoin and Blockchain, often from people who are lacking in a detailed understanding of either, which unfortunately covers most of us.
This week saw yet another monster heist of Bitcoins, this time from the NiceHash cryptomining exchange. Not as big as the $460 meeelion 2014 Mt. Gox robbery and about the same size as the 2016 Bitfinex breach. This time the, err, ahem, looks uncomfortably at feet, victims are US based NiceHash, where it is claimed that hackers have stolen its entire BTC stash, presumably removing it to their secret lair to count whilst muttering mwahahahaski (or the Korean alternative of course). The amount – at today’s value something like $80 meeelion, tomorrow, $160 meeelion or 40 pence, who knows?
You will probably have heard about the inviolable and cryptographically assured ledger that is Blockchain and wonder how this could happen in such a sophisticated, if not somewhat complex and obfuscated modern day bank vault?
The common theme of these BTC robberies appears to be a combination of technology and social engineering. This has been claimed by NiceHash to the press here.
It seems that amongst the underlying issues are that having uploaded your private keys to facilitate easier trading, users (who are of course the real victims in all this) are at the mercy of the site security, and as any of you who have worked with Internet start-ups will know, security is not at the forefront of the t-shirt clad cool crazy cats that set out to shake up the world. Miaaow.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, none of these Bitcoin outfits are underwritten by consumer protection provided by old skool banks or governments.
With the value of Bitcoin soaring and the ‘relatively harmless’ perception of the crime by many people, it is imperative that you BTC hoarders out there take special care. Probably best not to have all your eggs in one basket.
Our annual security event is on the 31st January 2018 and will be held in a proper old vault. The subject will be about the imperative for basic hygiene and staff awareness. If you would like to attend please Register Here. Alternatively, email [email protected] or call 0207 517 3900. Jeans, T-Shirts, Hoodies, Shorts and flip-flops more than welcome.