Bitcoin Blockchain And Mt.Gox Knocked Offline By DDoS Attacks

The Bitcoin Blockchain, which shows every transaction involving bitcoins, has seen its website knocked offline by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and the site remains down. The biggest exchange in the world, Mt.Gox, has been hit too.

The operators of the Blockchain site tweeted three hours ago it “should not be long” until the site returns. A cached version of the site is still available, as content delivery network (CDN) CloudFlare keeps up “snapshots” of its customers’ websites in case there is an outage.

“Still investigating how the attacker was able to discover our real none-CloudFlare IPs,” the tweet read.

CloudFlare had not responded to a request for comment on the outage at the time of publication.

DDoS on data centre

An hour before, the Blockchain team said: “Due to a large DDoS attack the datacenter has null routed our IP addresses during the night. Servers themselves are fine.”

Mt.Gox’s website has been up and down intermittently today, with “bad gateway” errors showing on visiting the main site, although there is little information on why. A Mt.Gox spokesperson told TechWeek: “Not sure yet, waiting for confirmation but most likely it is indeed a DDoS.”

Subsequently, the service posted on Facebook: “We can confirm that the problems are/were caused by a strong DDoS, but we are on it with Prolexic and should be stable shortly.” A spokesperson said it was a layer 7 DDoS attack, which are more easily traceable, as they rely on apparently valid HTTP requests.

Mt.Gox has been attacked numerous times in recent weeks, with one at the start of April measuring in at a significant 80Gbps.

Meanwhile, beleaguered Bitcoin exchange BitFloor has shut up shop, suspending all trading, and is promising to return everyone’s coins.

“I am sorry to announce that due to circumstances outside of our control BitFloor must cease all trading operations indefinitely,” a message from BitFloor founder Roman Shtylman read.

“Unfortunately, our US bank account is scheduled to be closed and we can no longer provide the same level of USD deposits and withdrawals as we have in the past. As such, I have made the decision to halt operations and return all funds.

“Over the next days we will be working with all clients to ensure that everyone receives their funds. Please be patient as we process your request.”

BitFloor was hit by a nasty breach last year, in which $250,000 worth of coins were stolen.

The value of bitcoins is wavering around the $90 (£59) per coin mark, having reached highs of above $200 earlier in the month.

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

View Comments

  • The Bitcoin Blockchain is a database shared via peer-to-peer connections and cannot knocked offline. blockchain.info, a web site that displays data from the Blockchain, went offline but that has no effect on bitcoin itself.

  • They might have been as you state, "promising to return everyone’s coins", but to date they have not. They have largely returned US$ funds, but not the bitcoins.

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