Around $30 million in units of the Ethereum cryptocurrency has been stolen from the three of the largest wallets.
The Ether multi-sig wallets were accessed and around 150,000 units were extracted, an amount placing the heist among the most major to have hit the cryptocurrency space.
News of the security breach and theft is likely to have a significant effect on the value of the cyrptocurrency, while knocking the confidence of users throughout the space.
First to raise the alarm were the contract coding company, Parity, subsequently releasing a warning that version 1.5 of the wallet software or later could put users at risk, and stating the problem was “critical”.
Tyler Moffitt, Senior Threat Research Analyst at cybersecurity firm Webroot said: “This latest incident has serious ramifications. In fact, ETH price has actually taken a dip, and is likely due to the uncertainty around this breach. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in multi-sig wallets from Parity – drastically different from the ICO CoinDash hack that happened earlier this week. While the hackers were making the transactions, there was also an unknown white hat group that actually used the same exploit to drain ether from other Parity multi-sig wallets into different wallets to save them.”
With CoinDash also having been recently targeted by hackers, a trend could be emerging of cryptocurrency being targeted.
“The white hat group was able to save over 377,000 ETH which is about $75 million. The current advice for businesses using Parity’s multi-sig wallets to move their funds to other wallets ASAP. If your accounts have been drained, then I recommend also checking the white hat address as it may have been saved,” said Moffitt.
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This instance may make many reconsider their approach to using the cryptocurrency, causing them to look to options that provide added security and reassurance when engaging in its use.
Moffitt said:“The key takeaway from this hack is that we’re still exploring the Ethereum space and wallet security is more important than ever. As a threat researcher, I personally recommend hardware or native wallets (desktop wallets); they are the most secure, as you are in control of any transaction. Do NOT store lots of currency in exchanges that control your private address. Only use them to make trades then back out to safe addresses.”