Well-liked wallet developer Electrum has issued an emergency patch for a essential bug in its bitcoin wallets. The flaw permitted any site hosting the Electrum wallet to potentially steal the user’s cryptocurrency. A vulnerability meant that passwords had been exposed in the JSONRPC interface, granting hackers comprehensive control of the wallet. The very first patch failed to fix the dilemma nevertheless, forcing Electrum to concern a second update on Sunday evening.
Final week, the tech world was rocked by news of a bug in Intel laptop chips that had lain undiscovered for years. It’s a comparable story with the Electrum wallet vulnerability, with some reports stating that it had been in existence for over two years. Google vulnerability researcher Tavis Ormandy claims to have discovered the bug, even though the flaw had been flagged final year. Inside hours of Ormandy pointing out the vulnerability, Electrum had rushed out a patch to remedy it.
In a Bitcointalk forum post, internet site admin Theymos explained: “If at any point in the past you had Electrum open with no wallet passphrase set and had a webpage open then it is achievable that your wallet is currently compromised. Especially paranoid individuals might want to send all of the BTC in their old Electrum wallet to a newly-generated Electrum wallet.”
He later updated his post, adding: “If you had no wallet password set, then theft is trivial. If you had a somewhat-decent wallet password set, then it seems that an attacker could “only” get address/transaction info from your wallet and adjust your Electrum settings, the latter of which appears to me to have a high likelihood of becoming exploitable further. So if you had a wallet password set, you can lessen your panic by a handful of notches, but you should still treat this really seriously.”
The person who first reported the flaw on Github on November 24 explained: “While the electrum daemon is operating, somebody on a diverse virtual host of the web server could simply access your wallet by way of the nearby RPC port. Currently, there is no security/authentication, giving an individual access to the RPC port complete access to the wallet.”
Electrum is free computer software that’s employed by several cryptocurrency web sites, like merchants and exchanges, to shop bitcoin. Any person can run an Electrum server and the computer software supports hardware wallets such as Trezor, Ledger and Keepkey. Enhanced functions incorporate multi-sig and the potential to sign transactions utilizing a cold storage device that is not connected to the internet.
The bug seems to have been fixed before any harm was carried out – albeit at the second try soon after the first patch proved ineffective – even though offered the length of time it lay undiscovered, it is difficult to say for specific that no funds were stolen. The case illustrates, when once more, the dangers of leaving bitcoin stored in a internet wallet.
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Photos courtesy of Electrum and Github.
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Published at Mon, 08 Jan 2018 07:25:49 +0000