Bitfinex, known as one of the world largest cryptocurrency exchange was forced to shut down its ongoing operations after suffering a series of non-stop distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Tuesday, December 12th.
Based in Hong Kong, Bitfinex used its Twitter account to inform its customers about the situation and stated that “We are currently under heavy DDOS. API is also down. We are working on further mitigation.”
A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. In Bitfinex case, this is the second attack in just one week. On December 4th, the company suffered significant attacks on its server that carried on for days and stopped on December 7th.
While Bitcoin’s value is up to the sky, it is no surprise that a cryptocurrency exchange like Bitfinex came under cyber attacks. Also, CoinBase, another cryptocurrency exchange with more than 13 million customers was also under DDoS attacks earlier today yet it is unclear if both attacks are related.
At the time of publishing this article, websites for Bitfinex and CoinBase were online. However, Bitfinex’s service status page is informing users that “Some services returning online with reduced performance. Continuing work to mitigate the attack.”
The good news is that a DDoS attack does not result in theft user funds, unlike the incident that took place last Thursday in which NiceHash, a Slovenian cryptocurrency mining marketplace suffered a massive data breach in which unknown hackers stole more than $70 million of Bitcoin.
If you are running a business; calculate the cost and probability of a DDoS attack on your business with this DDoS Downtime Cost Calculator.