Social Engineering Attack Cripples Bitcoin Community

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The Bitcoin community lost its voice last night thanks to a social engineering attack on its official community. Reportedly, their 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 and the currency implodes in price.

Data Compromised

According to the forum’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 forum. This is the fifth extended outage during the past year. The site has raised nearly $500,000 in donations yet still runs an outdated version of Simple Machine Forums and had experienced several periods of extended downtime.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. This article from the washing post shows how easy it is to hack someone’s iCloud. It is actually how most if not all celebrity photos were obtained.

Bitcoin is a digital currency popular among cyber criminals, illicit drug traders, and international crime syndicates, because of its potential to allow transactions to remain anonymous when used properly. The inventor of the popular digital currency remains missing after vanishing with over 1 million bitcoins he mined while holding the lion’s share of the network hashing power.

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