Hacker makes off with $60 million in cryptocurrency

Attacker stole millions in Ether by exploiting flaws in 'smart contracts'

Hacking on keyboard

Hackers have made off with $60 million in cryptocurrency Ether, by exploiting a flaw in an investment collective's contract software.

The DAO - or Decentralised Autonomous Organisation - uses code-based 'smart contracts' to pay for goods and services. A flaw in the code left it open to a "recursive calling vulnerability", meaning the attacker initiated the payment transfer process many times within a single contract.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The co-founder of Ethereum - the blockchain platform that the money was stolen from - Vitalik Buterin has reassured users that the Ethereum platform itself is secure, stating that "miners and mining pools should resume allowing transactions as normal," and "exchanges should feel safe in resuming trading ETH".

Additionally, a software fork has been proposed that would prevent the funds from being used by the attacker while efforts are made to reclaim them.

However, while he advised that "DAO token holders and Ethereum users should sit tight and remain calm", he also urged contract authors to be wary of such bugs going forward.

The bug that allowed the thief to make off with the money was not a zero-day. In fact, it had been known about for some time.

Ethereum's former CCO Stephan Tual published a blog post in 12 June, stating that the problem had been identified and fixed. "This is NOT an issue that is putting any DAO funds at risk today," he wrote.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

In another post following the attack, he reaffirmed his faith that the community would come together in order to fight the theft.

"Word to the wise, he said; "these attackers would do well to understand that all exchanges are currently cross referencing shorts information from the last 2 weeks, which could they could very well be traced and prosecuted".

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular

Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020
high-performance computing (HPC)

IBM dedicates supercomputing power to coronavirus research

24 Mar 2020