Ethereum has become a top target for hackers.
The promising cryptocurrency that’s also a stage for decentralized software has dropped in value during the last six months (although it also had a serious drop in price in the past couple of months). But hacker attacks and theft of ether are very commonplace, and the last one is one of the worst so far.
An unknown hacker or a bunch of hackers exploited a vulnerability in the manner by that Parity, an Ethereum wallet, executed multi-sig wallets, stealing some 153,000 value of ether, which was valued around $32 million in the time of theft.
According to a security alert on the Parity blog dated July 19, the vulnerability was fixed, but “any user with resources in a multi-sig pocket made in Parity Wallet prior to 19/07/17 23:14:56 CEST,” was exposed to ether theft.
The thieving has indeed happened and it could be seen on Ethereum’s blockchain here. And additional funds were stolen from other companies such as Edgeless Casino and Aeternity.
A multi-sig wallet is a wallet which needs more than one touch for a task to be performed on its own contents. Users who had regular wallets on Parity were not in danger (incidentally, the author of this text has until recently held some ether at a Parity wallet, but maybe not a multi-sig one).
What makes this theft particularly troublesome is that Parity is among the most trusted pockets at the company. The business was founded by Gavin Wood, who’s also a co-founder of Ethereum and has composed the first implementation of Ethereum back in 2014. What’s more, it seems that no quantity of caution on the consumers’ side could have prevented the theft.
Those transactions can be viewed here. The group has promised to return the capital to their owners once the vulnerability is fixed.
His isn’t even the first ether theft this week. On Tuesday, a first coin offering (ICO) of an Ethereum-based startup called CoinDash went south as hackers managed to change the wallet speech on the project’s webpage, siphoning away more than $10 million value of ether.
To repair the harm, Ethereum’s management decided to create a tough fork in the software, undoing the theft but also splitting Ethereum to two separate cryptocoins: Ethereum and (today far less precious) Ethereum Classic.
Ethereum is a system and programming language which makes it possible for any developer to construct and release next-generation decentralized software. In summary: Ethereum is your internet, with no web servers. Ethereum may be used to codify, decentralize, protected and exchange just about anything: voting, domains, financial markets, crowdfunding, business governance, contracts and arrangements of most form, intellectual property, as well as wise property as a result of hardware integration.