Bitcoin/ cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift offline following hack, company rebuilding platform

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange service ShapeShift AG is offline following a breach of the service April 7.

The full details of how the breach occurred are not available however Chief Executive Officer Eric Voorhees took to Reddit to explain that while the service had been hacked, no customer funds were stolen, however, an unspecified amount was taken from ShapeShift’s own hot wallet.

“Yesterday afternoon, we noticed several pieces of evidence indicating our server infrastructure was compromised and threatened,” Voorhees wrote. “We made the decision to scrap that infrastructure, and rebuild in a wholly new and safe environment. This is what we are currently engaged in. While we hate having the service offline, it was the safer path.”

Safe by design

ShapeShift itself works as a platform that allows users to exchange Bitcoin and other cyrptocurrencies directly, so at no stage does ShapeShift itself hold onto funds, meaning that even here where the company was hacked directly, there was nothing, aside from the company’s own funds, for the hacker to steal.

“We’ve built customer protection into our platform – hacks may be inevitable, but customer losses should not be,” Voorhees added. “Not a cent of customer funds was lost, nor could they have been.”

An update from Voorhees Sunday night committed ShapeShift to further ongoing transparency in relation to the hack, with a promise to provide more details of what happened later, as well as a full post-mortem once work on the site is complete.

“A proper forensic investigation takes some time. ShapeShift’s service will be offline for at least another 48 hours while we continue to work. There is no danger or risk that ShapeShift will not be coming back online, but it needs to be done with diligence. We are learning some interesting things,” Voorhees noted.

“I’d like to sincerely thank many in the industry who reached out to us, offering to help and providing valuable intelligence. It has been heartwarming, to say the least.”

It’s refreshing to see this level of transparency when something like this occurs, and while it’s unfortunate it has caused ShapeShift to go offline for now, we wish them a speedy recovery and return to business.

Any customers who had pending orders on ShapeShift at the time the site was taken offline should constant customer support to have their balances returned.

Image credit: ShapeShift
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Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is a senior writer at SiliconANGLE covering Startups, Bitcoin, and the Internet of Things.

Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.

Tips? Press releases? Intersting startup? email: duncan@nichenet.com.au or contact Duncan on Twitter @duncanriley

Duncan Riley

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