Bitcoin exchange MtGox faced 150,000 attacks per second: report

Mar 09, 2014
File photo taken in April 2013 shows a pile of Bitcoin slugs ready to be minted in Sandy, Utah

Bitcoin exchange MtGox faced massive hacker offensives last month, coming under some 150,000 DDoS attacks per second for several days ahead of its spectacular failure, a report said Sunday.

The Tokyo-based exchange, which filed for in February and admitted that it has lost half a billion dollars in the , has come under serious cyber-attacks in particular since around February 7, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

While MtGox faced hacker attempts to steal Bitcoins, the exchange also confronted massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling its systems, the newspaper said without naming its sources.

Under DDoS attacks, hackers hijack to send a flood of data to the target, crippling its computer system.

The on MtGox lasted for several days and many Bitcoins were stolen, the Yomiuri said.

MtGox's lawyers said 750,000 Bitcoins belonging to the firm's customers had gone missing, along with around 100,000 units that the company owned.

Unlike traditional currencies backed by central banks, Bitcoin is generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet.

After trading for cents per Bitcoin for the first two years of its existence, it began a frenzied climb in 2011 that took it to $40 a coin in late 2012 and $1,100 last year, before falling off to the current $610 level.

Its relative anonymity and lack of regulation has been attacked by critics who fear it could be used to finance organised crime or terrorism.

US Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen has said the Fed had no powers over a currency that only exists virtually with no central authority behind it. Several countries, including Russia and China, have heavily restricted how Bitcoin can be used.

Japanese officials have said they were closely monitoring MtGox's bankruptcy proceedings, as they try to get a handle on how and why the exchange imploded.

Explore further: Japan considers Bitcoin tax after MtGox failure: report

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User comments : 4

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ar18
2 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2014
How much you want to bet this whole thing was orchestrated by big banks and government in order to "terrorize" citizens into distrusting Bitcoins and go back to trusting your government and big banks instead?
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2014
coming under some 150,000 DDoS attacks per second


A DDoS attack is a barrage of bogus requests sent to a server or a router to tie it down and disable it for any legitimate traffic. A DDoS attack itself consists of thousands and thousands of requests per second typically from a botnet of at least several thousand compromized computers.

A rate of 150,000 DDoS attacks per second would be a stupendously massive undertaking which would probably require one to utilize every single internet-connected computer in the world - unless they were tiny attacks, like some kid browsing to their website and pressing F5 repeatedly using two proxies.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2014
How much you want to bet this whole thing was orchestrated by big banks and government in order to "terrorize" citizens into distrusting Bitcoins and go back to trusting your government and big banks instead?


I can't remember for sure, but it was discovered that you could double-spend your bitcoins in some manner if you made a transaction to Mt.Gox while it was too busy to process the request and then cancelled it.

So everyone tried it at the same time.
rkolter
not rated yet Mar 10, 2014
coming under some 150,000 DDoS attacks per second


A rate of 150,000 DDoS attacks per second would be a stupendously massive undertaking which would probably require one to utilize every single internet-connected computer in the world - unless they were tiny attacks, like some kid browsing to their website and pressing F5 repeatedly using two proxies.


Er... no.

A DDOS attack of 150,000 requests per second, depending on what kind of DDOS attack it was, could be managed by a very small number of systems. Consider... even if each system only sent one request per second (absurdly slow), you would just need 150,000 computers - hardly "all the internet connected computers in the world". More likely, you're looking at somewhere around 1000 - 3000 computers. A small botnet, easily hired, or obtained.