BANDITS STEAL 43,000 BITCOINS

Online bandits made off with at least $228,000 worth of the virtual currency known as Bitcoin after exploiting a vulnerability in a widely used Webhost that gave unfettered access to eight victims’ digital wallets.

Ars Technica was able to confirm the theft of 46,703 BTC, as individual units of Bitcoin are known, worth about $228,845 in US currency based on current exchange rates. More than 43,000 of the stolen BTC belonged to a Bitcoin trading platform known as Bitcoinica, the company’s CEO and lead developer, Zhou Tong, told Ars. Another 3,094 BTC were lifted from the virtual purse of Marek Palatinus, a freelance programmer from the Czech Republic. He said in an interview that a separate Bitcoin user he’s been in contact with lost 50 BTC to the same attackers. And Gavin Andresen, the lead Bitcoin programmer, told Ars he lost all 5 BTC he had stored in one online account.

Hours after Palatinus and Andresen brought the Thursday-morning attacks to light, cloud services provider Linode confirmed that a hacker targeted Bitcoin wallets stored on its servers after compromising a customer service portal.

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