Hackers hack pretend bank for virtual money

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What sort of world are we heading for?   The people who have been running a bank with the pretend “Bitcoin” money have been robbed.  By hackers.

Hackers have stolen more than $5 million in virtual currency from Bitstamp, a major bitcoin exchange, forcing the company to freeze user accounts, suspend trades and block deposits.

The Slovenia-based company said that fraudsters made off with 19,000 bitcoins a day before being found out, Fortune reports.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the theft or how it happened.

Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič has said that his company will assume liability for all bitcoins lost prior to its warning today.

Remind me again why hackers are just harmless and their crimes victimless?  

Bitstamp has previously said that it tries to keep up to 90% of its funds on hard drives, known in bitcoin jargon as ‘cold storage,’ that are off the grid and therefore harder to hack into.

This attack appears to have targeted the remaining 10-15% that is stored on servers in a data centre.

They trust their own technology so much, they store the ‘serial numbers’ of bitcoins on harddrives that are locked away and remotely inaccessible.

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The problem with online security is that in the whole world, there has to be just one person smarter than anyone you hired, and what you did to protect yourself counts for nothing.

These crimes are untraceable.  They span jurisdictions that won’t even talk let alone cooperate together.

Amusingly, the whole idea behind Bitcoin was distrust of the establishment by geeky anti-government techie types, and now they have turned on themselves.

Yesterday it was a journalist’s emails and private conversations.  Or celebrity photos.   Or embarrassing emails from company execs.  Today, they are stealing $5M in real money, albeit from a virtual source.

A lot needs to change in our attitudes towards this before any of us can feel even remotely protected.

And at the same time, you have the likes of Russel Norman trying to stop our Government from tooling itself up to protect us by undermining each and every step the security services try to make.   The Luddite cites privacy as a reason.   He doesn’t get it.  At all.

Norman is scared of his own Government, and seems to have no concerns about anybody else.   Isn’t that just plain weird?

Or is it consistent?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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