$62 Million Gone? Cryptocurrency Mining Market NiceHash Hacked

$62 Million Gone? Cryptocurrency Mining Market NiceHash Hacked

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. It also allows NiceHash users to purchase computer processing power from other users.

"This is a matter of deep concern and we are working hard to rectify the matter in the coming days", the Slovenia-based NiceHash said in a statement.

NiceHash customers frequently move the cryptocurrency they earn on NiceHash off the service and into their own digital wallets or onto a bitcoin exchange.

Speaking to Reuters, Andrej P. Škraba, head of marketing, NiceHash, said, "The hack was a highly professional attack with sophisticated social engineering and about 4,700 bitcoin, worth about $63.92 million at current prices, were lost".

They came up with that estimate by looking at the total amount sitting in a recently-created bitcoin wallet, which some company users have suggested belongs to the hacker. The speculation fuelled by the fact that the majority owner of NiceHash is a company named H-Bit, owned by Martin Skorjanc, the father of Matjaz Skorjanc, convicted author of the Mariposa bot.

NiceHash initially sent out two tweets on Wednesday informing customers that its servers were down for "maintenance" and its team was working on a fix.

NiceHash, which describes itself as the largest marketplace for mining digital currencies, said Wednesday that it was suspending its operations for at least 24 hours because of a security breach.

NiceHash, one of the most popular crypto-mining marketplaces, has apparently suffered a breach that resulted in the theft of the entire contents of the NiceHash Bitcoin wallet.

NiceHash said in a statement: "We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service". While the full scope of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your online passwords. We will endeavor to update you at regular intervals.