Ethereum cryptocurrency

Third Major Cryptocurrency Theft in Three Weeks

Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin came into being with bold promises to provide both privacy and security in exchanging funds outside of official banking channels. Yet since its appearance, Bitcoin has become best known to average consumers as the currency used to pay cyberthieves to unlock computers frozen by ransomware. A recent string of online thefts may further undermine confidence in cryptocurrencies. On June 29th, a hacker broke into South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb and looted $1 million in Ethereum and Bitcoin. A few weeks later, $7.4 million of Ethereum was stolen from trading platform CoinDash. In the latest theft, on July 18th, $32 million in Ethereum was stolen from three victims because of a critical vulnerability in Parity’s Ethereum Wallet software. In a unique effort to stop the bleeding, a group of white-hat hackers preemptively grabbed an additional $75 million dollars of Ethereum exposed by the Parity vulnerability, so cybercriminals could not get it. The white-hats have promised to return it to the rightful owners, once the vulnerability in the Parity’s software is patched. —AK

Photo: iStock.com / BackyardProduction

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