Hackers Steal $16 Million worth BTC via Electrum Software

Recently, the hackers stole 1,400 BTC, over $ 16 million worth of Bitcoin from a long-time user in a wallet exploit.

By · Aug 31, 2020 . 8min read

Bitcoin Wallet hack news

Sadly, a long-time holder’s wallet was a victim of a Bitcoin wallet hack. The hackers stole 1,400 BTC, over $ 16 million worth of Bitcoin in a wallet exploit. The rate and austerity of massive crypto exchange hacks have reduced as compared to the past. Thus, Bitcoin-related hacks have cooled in the media. There are various instances of crypto-related crimes. This includes phishing attempts, demanding ransoms, and SIM card hacks. The hacking of several high-profile Twitter accounts was in counterfeit of the Bitcoin scam. Therefore, hacking is common in crypto.

Hackers Steal $16 Million from BTC Wallet.

According to GitHub user “1400BitcoinStolen”, the massive sum of BTC corresponding to his username has now passed as part of a hack. This includes the Bitcoin Electrum wallet.

The user has been utilizing the Electrum software since the last time he accessed his BTC in 2017. According to the user, Electrum has since issued security updates that this user has not yet installed. He was required to update and potentially correct critical issues before he could move his Bitcoin. But when they did, the software contacted the hacker’s server utilizing an exploit that the real security update likely would have stopped. 1400 BTC from the wallet was stolen immediately. This proves to be a grim reminder to always keep the software up to date.

The software engineer, Ben Kaufman, explains the reason behind the hack in a more in-depth Twitter thread. He says that Electrum is a thin client. This means it must connect to the blockchain through a server. The attackers have established a public Electrum Server. It was tweaked so that, it always displays a malicious error message directing the Electrum clients to a phishing website to “upgrade” their Electrum version. It looks just like any valid error message within the app. Thus, it was easier for the attackers to fool the users. This is the other critical warning never to trust third parties with your private keys. He also added:

This did not affect users who were only connected to their own Electrum Server, since the problem is the error returned from an untrusted server. It is always best to use your own node, and when using Electrum, run and connect directly to your self-operated Electrum Server.

Ben Kaufman on Twitter

Cryptocurrency Scams on Rise

Earlier, we reported that Elon Musk and other high profile personalities like Bill Gates, CZ, the CEO of Binance, Cash App, had been hacked to tweet bitcoin scam. The hack appears to be a coordinated attack primarily targeting crypto communities. Noticed in this hacked trend are Binance Exchange, Coinbase, Gemini, Bitfinex, and other top exchanges twitter handle tweeting and retweeting the scam message. Subsequently, the hackers posted a bitcoin wallet address for unsuspecting victims to send funds to.  

We also reported that On April 24, several municipalities in the Kanto region received threatening emails. The hackers threatened with the sentence as “Bomb the city hall”. Some cities were commanding crypto assets like bitcoins (virtual currency). As per a report published by Chunichi Shimbun, the threats are centring public entities in the Kanto region. 

Additionally, hackers appear to be successful in their attempt to blackmail travel giant CWT out of a $4.5 million Bitcoin ransom payment. According to the Reuters report, the company suffered a ransomware attack recently where hackers stole around two terabytes of sensitive data. The hackers initially demanded $10 million in exchange for the data. CWT, however, is not in the best financial shape due to the pandemic. 

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