Tether, the firm behind a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency widely utilized in the market’s exchange trade, is claiming that its systems have been hacked and that $30 million worth of its tokens have been stolen.
In a post on the project’s web site (which has because been removed), Tether blamed a “malicious action by an external attacker” for the theft of $30,950,010 USDT yesterday. Originally launched as Realcoin and later rebranded, Tether aims to serve as a proxy for the US dollar that can be sent in between exchanges including Bitfinex, Poloniex and other markets.
In response, Tether stated it would move swiftly to make sure these exchanges do not trade or otherwise introduce the stolen funds back into the cryptocurrency economy.
The firm wrote:
“$30,950,010 USDT was removed from the Tether Treasury wallet on Nov. 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address. As Tether is the issuer of the USDT managed asset, we will not redeem any of the stolen tokens, and we are in the approach of attempting token recovery to prevent them from getting into the broader ecosystem.”
Notably, the firm stated that it is releasing a new version of the Omni Core software client (which Tether runs on top of) in a bid to efficiently lock up the tokens it alleges had been stolen. Should nodes in the network adopt the software, it would effectively blacklist the stolen address, enacting an emergency fork to include the funds.
Representatives from the Omni Core application project mentioned they would seek to release new software program in the coming days that will let Tether to retrieve the stolen tokens.
“The tether.to back-end wallet service has been temporarily suspended. A thorough investigation on the cause of the attack is getting undertaken to stop similar actions in the future,” Tether wrote.
The announcement comes amid a period of expanding discussion – and controversy – about Tether.
Under scrutiny has been the unclear connection among Tether and the troubled British Virgin Islands-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex – and extended-standing allegations the exchange has been utilizing the asset to engage in fraud and industry manipulation. Complicating matters is that the two firms are stated to share a common ownership, even though particulars remain murky as to the exact nature of the connection.
As such, today’s hack claims are probably to additional drive the controversy, which started following Bifinex’s hack final August, in which it lost more than $70 million in customer funds.
CoinDesk will continue to monitor this building story.
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Published at Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:15:59 +0000