BTER’s site has suspended trading services and reports a theft of 7,170 bitcoins, worth roughly $1.7 million, from its cold wallet.
BTER is a bitcoin exchange in China that also offers a variety of altcoin trading. A few months ago, hackers stole over 50 million nxt, then worth $1.65 million, from the exchange. The hacker returned some of the funds after negotiations.
The home page of the website is now replaced with a message indicating the attack and offering a 720 BTC bounty for anyone recovering the funds. A link to the transaction on blockchain.info is provided, where one observes that it was split into dozens of smaller transactions, mostly in 15 BTC denominations.
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The page also says, “All wallets have been shut down and withdrawals of the unaffected coins will be arranged later.”
Trouble had been brewing earlier in the weekend when the exchange went offline and users observed the transactions in the blockchain. At the time, BTER said that it had suspended services due to a “security check.”
It is rare to hear of a cold wallet getting hacked. As the coins are physically disconnected from the internet, the chances of successfully generating their expenditure on the blockchain are extremely low. The fact that it was the cold wallet that was hit led some to believe that it was an inside job.