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Bitfinex Customers Lose Millions in Major Cyber Attack

Major Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has suffered a suspected hack leading to the theft of an estimated $66 million worth of the crypto-currency at current exchange rates.

The Hong Kong-based firm – which is said to be one of the biggest of its kind in the world – explained in a homepage message that it had suffered a security breach forcing it to halt all deposits and withdrawals.

It continued:

“We are investigating the breach to determine what happened, but we know that some of our users have had their bitcoins stolen. We are undertaking a review to determine which users have been affected by the breach. While we conduct this initial investigation and secure our environment, bitfinex.com will be taken down and the maintenance page will be left up.”

Although the firm itself has been coy on how many customers have been affected, director of community and product development, Zane Tackett, has been answering customer questions on Reddit.

He claimed that nearly 120,000 Bitcoin were stolen in the attack.

It’s still not clear how it was carried out, however, with the firm’s security vendor BitGo claiming on Twitter: “Our investigation has found no evidence of a breach to any BitGo servers.”

The news has unsurprisingly sent Bitcoin shares tumbling as investors panic that the platform could suffer similar attacks going forward.

In fact, the history of the crypto-currency and others like it has been littered with examples of cyber-attacks, security breaches and online heists like this one.

Perhaps one of the most famous was Mt Gox, at the time the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, which claimed hackers stole 650,000 Bitcoins.

Just last month, hackers attacked The DAO – an investment fund for crypto-currency Ethereum – and made off with around $60m worth of ‘ether’ – putting the entire future of the project in jeopardy.

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