The company has marked the stolen tokens with the digital equivalent of a dye pack to make them unusable
STARTUP CRYPTOCURRENCY FIRM Tether, which offers dollar-backed digital tokens called USDT, has been hacked to the tune of $31m.
About $30.95m was stolen on the 19th November, Tether said in a now-removed post on its website (which is down at the time of writing), though the company didn’t give any details on how the hacker was able to breach its defences.
Tether has confirmed that it will not redeem any of the stolen tokens, and is in the process of attempting recovery and preventing them from entering the general market. To do so, it is temporarily suspending its back-end wallet service as well as rolling out an update to its partner software, Omni Core, which will essentially lock the tokens inside the alleged hacker’s wallet.
One of Tether’s partners is the secretive crypto exchange Bitfinex, which is said to shareowners with the start-up. Rumours allege that the two companies have leant on each other to manipulate the cryptocurrency market before, and there are suggestions that the hack was an inside job – although all of this is hearsay.
Ilia Kolochenko, CEO of web security company High-Tech Bridge, said:
“High profits are unavoidably accompanied by high risks and dangerous pitfalls. Omitting fundamental questions of cryptocurrency reliability, many startups with great ideas significantly underestimate and ignore their own cybersecurity imperiling their business. We will likely see more disastrous breaches where many inexperienced investors into ‘digital gold’ will lose their savings.
“Every investor should properly enumerate and assess the risks related to a particular technology and especially to a cryptocurrency. If you don’t know how quickly you can exit back to cash, how the currency can be regulated, manipulated or impacted by a hack – you’d better find another digital asset to invest into, such as intellectual property.”
Bitcoin’s value fell more than five per cent following the news, likely due to concerns about the security of virtual currencies in general.
Source : Inquirer