Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox reports an especially strong denial of service attack not long after it resumed trading on the virtual currency. Trading was halted on Thursday at Mt. Gox after the sheer number of new accounts and trades being conducted on the exchange caused it to lag, which the exchange said triggered a mass panic sale of bitcoins. The value of the currency plummeted 61 percent initially before making a relatively small recovery.
Then less than two hours after bitcoin trading was resumed, Mt. Gox went back offline after apparently falling victim again to a denial of service attack. The exchange had experienced denial of service attacks late last week as cyber thieves attempted to destabilize the system and then buy up bitcoins as soon as the price dropped.
Late last night, the exchange reported on its Google+ page what it said was “a stronger than usual DDoS.” Mt. Gox reportedly went offline to dodge the attack, but when it came back online again, the value of bitcoins continued to fall.
Also the BBC reports that malicious software is targeting bitcoin owners specifically. A phishing group has apparently posted in a bitcoin discussion forum saying that Mt. Gox was going to begin trading “litecoins,” which the group said was a bitcoin alternative. The message included a link that supposedly took the reader to a Mt. Gox page.
However, those who clicked on the link ended up receiving malicious software designed to empty bitcoin wallets. At least one trader was apparently hit by the attack and reported the loss of 34 bitcoins.