The Bitcoin community lost its voice last night thanks to a social engineering attack on its official community, Bitcointalk.org. Reportedly, the site’s ISP was tricked into giving an unauthorized party access to the website.
Generally, when we think of bitcoin, we think of an outwardly attack via ransomware against a school or business. Now the community is apparently attacking itself as the currency implodes in price.
According to the site’s administrator, Theymos, users should consider all passwords and personal data to have been compromised during the attack:
You should act as though your password hashes, PMs, emails, etc. were compromised. The forum will probably be down for 36-60 hours for analysis and reinstall. I’ll post status updates on Twitter @bitcointalk and I’ll post a complete report in a post in Meta once the forum comes back online.
There has been much criticism in the bitcoin community regarding the state of the currency’s official site. This is the fifth extended outage during the past year. The forum has raised nearly $500,000 in donations yet still runs an outdated version of Simple Machine Forums (which is free software) and continues to experience periods of extended downtime.
What is Social Engineering?
A Social Engineering attack against the ISP means that the attacker was able to obtain the administrator’s personal information and used it in order to compromise the admin’s account. Such attacks are common against celebrities whose personal information is commonly leaked.
Bitcoin (BTC) is a popular digital currency that allows consumers to make online purchases with little to no fee. It’s anonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, vanished in 2010 with an estimated one million BTC. Bitcoin is currently trading at just under $235 per coin with a market capitalization of $3,342,928,664 according to Coinmarketcap.com