In early December 2017 the crypto mining community suffered a blow unlike anything felt since Mt Gox was attacked (2014).
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) November 30, 2017
What is known?
Cryptocurrency mining marketplace NiceHash has confirmed that yesterday’s hack resulted in the loss of over 4,700 BTC, an amount worth more than $78 million at press-time prices.- coindesk
Why is NiceHash down?
They were hacked – See latest from twitter below
— NiceHash (@NiceHashMining) December 9, 2017
How was the hacker able to get in?
An employee’s credentials were obtained (somehow) and used by an outside IP address through a VPN
I didn’t try to investigate further to figure out how they were able to do this although, there are some hardcore internet junkies out there looking up IP’s and tracking blockchain transactions as I type.
When you’re lurking in the computer crime underground, it pays to watch your back and to keep your BS meter set to ‘maximum.’ – krebson security
How much was taken?
From the looks of things, “it ain’t pretty.”
All wallets were emptied – Each individual lost all of their holdings.
*average users had a value of $100 or less stored in NH wallets with few containing much more
…in a window of three to four hours the attackers were able to use a NiceHash engineer’s credentials to access their network using a VPN. From there they were able to “simulate the workings of [NiceHash’s] payment systems,” which allowed them to siphon thousands of bitcoins. – Inverse.com
Where are t
Well, they’re gone. The internet seems to believe that the coins are located in a wallet with the following address
Will they pay back those coins?
This remains to be seen. If the missing funds are not recovered, they may not be able to cover the cost of repayment.
Crypto is not insured, anonymous and risky which is why many people got involved, to begin with.
“Despite the pseudonymous nature of public blockchains like bitcoin, the data offers a level of transparency into the movements of the funds involved.
Yet the absence of identifying information beyond wallet addresses means that online sleuthing has its limitations.
On the other hand, in the event of a law enforcement investigation, such data could ultimately come into play. “- CoinDesk
Can they bounce back?
NiceHash is certainly hopeful as are their faithful miners.
We are aware many of you are waiting for the NiceHash service to come back – soon guys! Please give us your support by sharing photos of your mining rigs with the #NiceHashMiner tag! Let’s see how many of you are there!
— NiceHash (@NiceHashMining) December 10, 2017
Look at Tether, they are still online trying to operate after losing 31 million dollars worth of bitcoin.
The company was heavily criticised by its users who commented in droves on Facebook. Communications were complicated further when a spoof Facebook page for the company was set up and spreading disinformation about the breach. – bbc.com
Was it a NiceHack (inside job) as some are alleging or was NiceHash another lesson in security?
Companies hire ethical hackers to prevent infiltrations all of the time. So, a programmer who was formerly and formally accused of being a hacker should have been able to prevent just such an attack.
A bigger hacker appears to have fluttered through their system like a butterfly only touching what it needed to.
The NiceHash team has been reported as stating that someone wanted to “take them down”, it definitely seems so.
My personal hope is that this is a clever ruse to avoid paying out while bitcoin was at a high as many speculated during other crypto capers.
However, I fear that the heist may have been retaliation for the NiceHash teams past misunderstandings.
Maybe someone just got drunk and dropped their password.
The hackers definitely dealt a Mohammed Ali like strike.
What is being done?
There is an investigation. That is all.
The Slovenian police told Reuters on Friday the investigation into the attack continued, adding no further details could be given at present.
Separately, NiceHash also confirmed to Reuters that its chief technical officer is Matjaz Skorjanc. Skorjanc had been imprisoned in Slovenia for creating the Mariposa virus that infected millions of computers around the world around 2010. – reuters
More up to date info can be found at the sub-Reddit NiceHashHack
What is your opinion on the NiceHash vs NiceHack debate and debacle?