Security

Hackers Steal £1.1m From Chinese Bitcoin Exchange Bter

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Bter said the funds were taken from its offline reserves over the weekend

China-based Bitcoin exchange Bter has been left stunned by the theft of 7,170 bitcoins (£1.1m), only a month after a similar attack on Slovenian exchange Bitstamp.

The theft occurred over the weekend, according to Bter, which said the funds were taken from its offline reserves, referred to as a “cold wallet”.

Bounty offered

ISIS
In a message replacing the front page of its website, Bter said trading has been suspended for the time being, with withdrawals of the unaffected coins to be arranged “later”. The company offered a bounty of 720 bitcoins for aid in retrieving the funds.

The company provided a link to Blockchain.info which it said records the transaction in which the funds were taken. Bter had initially posted a message stating that it was suspending operations while it carried out a “security check”.

In a statement on its Weibo page, Bter said it is working with the Chinese police to investigate the theft.

In the statement, Bter said it has suspended trading “in order to do further checks”, but will permit withdrawals of yuan and other virtual currencies “as soon as possible”.

Bitcoin targeted by hackers

“Please be assured that we will not run away, we will assume responsibility for the user to recover the stolen bitcoins,” Bter stated.

In August, hackers stole 50 million units of the cryptocurrency nxt from Bter, equivalent to about £1m at the time. Shortly after the incident, the exchange said via Twitter that it had been able to recover a portion of the funds and return them to traders.

Last month Bitstamp, based in Slovenia, lost nearly £3.5m in bitcoins to hackers, and later in the same month users of LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer marketplace for the virtual currency, had their funds stolen after the service’s chat client was hacked.

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