Verge (XVG), a cryptocurrency designed for everyday use and an improvement upon the original Bitcoin blockchain, is currently experiencing a DDOS cyber-attack.
The company confirmed this with a statement on Twitter, “It appears some mining pools are under ddos attack, and we are experiencing a delay in our blocks, we are working to resolve this.”
Ocminer on a BitcoinTalk forum suggests an attacker appears to have altered the Verge blockchain. The attacker manipulated a bug in the Verge code allowing malicious miners to set false timestamps on blocks and then rapidly and quickly mine new ones.
This is not the first time Verge has experienced this, in April 2018, Verge experienced another cyber-attack when a malicious miner acquired 20 million XVG (more than $1.1 million during that time period), despite explaining the importance of maintaining cryptocurrency privacy on their website.
Principal security technologist at NETSCOUT Arbor, a cyber security company specialising in DDOS attacks further explained, “Cybercriminals are quick to tap into new avenues for growth, so it’s no surprise that hackers are eyeing the booming cryptocurrency market for opportunities.”
There are suggestions that the attacker gained control of two of five mining algorithms on Verge’s protocol by using false timestamps to trick the network into accepting them into the main chain. In just a few hours, the attacker has been able to gain around 35 million XVG which is worth $1.75 million at the current exchange rate.
Critics such as Ocminer claimed that a recent upgrade was a “band-aid” and did not eliminate the underlying vulnerability in Verge’s systems. Furthermore, XVG currently has a market cap of around $752 million and since the attack; the price has declined fast and is likely to worsen.
After a recent decision of Mind Geek accepting Verge as a cryptocurrency payment in April, lead maintainer for privacy-centric cryptocurrency Monero sarcastically wrote on Twitter, “Well clearly @mindgeek made the right decision and chose a secure, robust cryptocurrency to implement.”