It has been confirmed by the Pigeoncoin developers that a recently discovered bug in Bitcoin’s code has now been exploited to print approx. 235m Pigeoncoins ($15,458). It must be noted that Pigeoncoin is a newly launched and somewhat lesser known digital currency.
The reason the extraordinary feat was successfully pulled off by the hacker(s) is that many new cryptocurrencies that have been developed over the years have borrowed the public code of Bitcoin to use it as their own. So, when a bug was identified in Bitcoin a patch was released immediately and those cryptocurrencies that weren’t patched are at risk.
Piegoncoin perhaps is one from the unpatched lot. The code Bitcoin developers released this statement prompting cryptocurrency developers to patch their software.
“Pools and exchanges must upgrade immediately to resolve a double-spend exploit derived from Bitcoin source,” said the statement.
According to CoinDesk, the exploitation occurred on Sept 26 and the severe inflation bug (CVE-2018-17144) is responsible for the printing of such a huge amount of crypto coins. The bug allows an attacker to print as many coins as required and they can even surpass the hard-coded limits that are imposed on cryptocurrencies supply. Naturally, the attack has affected the value of all other cryptocurrencies currently held by investors.
Pigeoncoin, for your information, isn’t actually a mainstream digital currency and doesn’t even rank in the top 1,000 cryptocurrencies in terms of value, according to CoinMarketCap. It uses an X16r mining algorithm and the developers use a blockchain to prevent data collection from malicious cybercriminals, which has turned out to be insufficient and much less impactful in protecting Pigeoncoin.
It is worth noting that the digital currency has a total of 970million publicly traded coins, out of which the attacker was able to print 235million, about one-fourth of all. CryptoBridge, which is the only exchange supporting Pigeoncoin, has temporarily suspended the currency’s trading and the developers have released a software fix that the code Bitcoin developers released a few weeks back.
However, the bug has been fixed now and it is yet to be seen how the attacker will trade the stolen cryptocurrency now as he/she will need to convert Pigeoncoin into another more widely accepted cryptocurrency.