$62 Million Gone? Cryptocurrency Mining Market NiceHash Hacked

$62 Million Gone? Cryptocurrency Mining Market NiceHash Hacked

NiceHash is a cryptocurrency mining application that matches those with spare computing to power to miners wanting to create new coins.

While Bitcoin (BTC) passes $14000 (over £10,000) for the first time a 40% increase this month alone the NiceHash website made an official announcement to say that there had been a security breach through their site. Several reports from users noted that their Bitcoin wallets associated with NiceHash had been emptied. However, as this incident demonstrates, cloud mining services subject users to additional risks versus operating one's own hardware.

Users can send earned currency in an external wallet, or they can store it in local "secure and insured BitGo Bitcoin deposit wallets" (as described on the NiceHash homepage).

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The NiceHash website had gone offline earlier in the day, which the company had chalked up to maintenance. We are now investigating the nature of the incident and, as a result, we are stopping all operations for the next 24 hours.

Although the NiceHash team did not reveal any amounts that may be missing, users circulated a wallet address that indicated 4,736.42 bitcoins - worth more than $62 million - is missing.

The statement said, "Clearly, this is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days".

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The marketplace suspended operations on Thursday while it investigated the breach, saying it was working with law enforcement as "a matter of urgency" while urging users to change their passwords. Nicehash has indicated that they have reached out to and are cooperating with the relevant authorities, but unless they are able to find the individual (s) responsible and recover the massive amount of bitcoin it is not looking good.

"We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused and are committing every resource towards solving this issue as soon as possible", the statement added.

ZDNet has contacted NiceHash and will update if we hear back.

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