News Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions

Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions


- Advertisment -

This week, three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin Gold, Verge, and Monacoin — were hit with a rarely-seen cyber attack. The hack, called a 51 percent attack, allowed the hackers to steal about $20 million, mostly from the Bitcoin Gold ledger.

If you’ve never heard of a 51 percent attack, that’s because for the most part, crypto experts weren’t particularly worried about them before now, according to Motherboard. These attacks weren’t very common and had only affected very small coins (there were two attacks just for a few thousand dollars in 2016), in part because there had been only a few cryptocurrencies out there. And the ones that did exist were so popular that they would have been difficult to commandeer.

But it’s no coincidence that last Sunday’s episode of the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” featured a 51 percent attack, which sidelined the characters’ recently-launched cryptocurrency. A few days later, the real-life hacks started happening.

A 51 percent attack works when someone takes over the majority of a blockchain network’s computational power. This control allows the person or group behind the attack to start their own, private ledger for the particular cryptocurrency. With this majority share of the network, the person in control can buy something with their cryptocurrency (or cash out) on the public, official ledger, and then send out their private ledger, which other computers on the network adopt as the real thing. Now it’s like they never spent their cryptocurrency at all, but still benefitted from the transaction — essentially double-spending whatever coin they’ve taken over. While they control the network, a person conducting a 51 percent attack can also make sure they get all the newly mined coin that appears on the network.

So far, it’s not clear who committed the cybercrime. And there’s no indication that authorities have yet started looking into it.

In the future, smaller cryptocurrency blockchains may be able to protect themselves by upping the amount of computational power required to buy or sell the currency. While that wouldn’t make them invulnerable to 51 percent attacks, hackers would need many more servers and computing power to take over such a big chunk of the network.

While it’s hard to assign blame for this spate of attacks on the episode of “Silicon Valley,” it doesn’t seem like this is a coincidence, either. Lots of startups eerily similar to inane businesses from the show have popped up IRL, which makes it quite possible that someone watching it was inspired to bang out some quick code and make a quick buck.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Why could GLBrain become a great solution to receive support during the crisis?

To support smaller and medium-sized businesses during the ongoing crisis, GLBrain offers services cost-free for all Austrians....

Make Fast and Secure Trades Using is a Cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to buy and sell their Cryptocurrency in a...

Network Security Using Cryptography: Everything you need to know

This article will describe what is Network Security Using Cryptography and everything you need to know before...

Mercuriex Cryptocurrency Exchange Launches New Utility Token, SURF

MercuriEx Cryptocurrency Exchange, originally developed in 2017, came under new ownership in December 2019. Since taking over the exchange,...
- Advertisement -Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions

Fungibility: Bitcoin Mixers Favorite Term That No One Understands

Fungibility, perhaps the most important concept when dealing with a decentralized and anonymous currency, but does bitcoin...

Crypto can’t thrive in the real world – but stablecoins can

We can safely say that the hype about cryptocurrencies is pretty much over. The claims of Bitcoin...

Must read

Make Fast and Secure Trades Using is a Cryptocurrency trading platform that...
- Advertisement -Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole MillionsHackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you