Bitcoin was announced in 2009 and before that, no other cryptocurrency existed. It came with amazing features which no other currency could offer, making it unique in every possible way. It was created and held electronically and no one including the government could control it. These were features completely unheard of at that time, because they were the opposite of fiat currencies, which were printed and controlled by central banks. At first, many were reluctant to embrace it, but four years down the line, in May 2013, Bitcoin witnessed one of its amazing weeks since its inception as its price rose from $3 to $126 in just one week. Since then it has continued to grow in both its price and value currently at $1,056.30, and $17.15, respectively.
The above statement only shows one side of the story — the good side — Bitcoin has its cons, too. The main con is without a doubt its vulnerability to online crimes such as hacking that has left many investors with serious financial losses. For example, take a quick look at Mt.Gox, which by Feb 2014 was the biggest Bitcoin exchange but collapsed and months later was liquidating its assets because around 850,000 Bitcoins worth around $450 million at the time belonging to its customers were allegedly stolen. Just as recent as last week, two people were convicted in connection of another Bitcoin exchange named Coin.mx. These are just a few cases where investors have lost their money.
On to a developing issue, according to HackRead, a famous dark web vendor who goes by the name of DoubleFlag is selling data stolen between 2011 and 2017 from 11 Bitcoin forums from traders and miners on a popular dark web market place. All the stolen data combined is more that 12 million and include:
- 536,727 from MerlinsMagicBitcoin.com in Jan 2017
- 514,501 from BitcoinTalk.org forum in May 2015
- 568,357 from BTC-E.com in Oct 2014
- 21,439 from BTC4Free.com in Jan 2014
- 3,153 from BitcoinLixter.com in Sept 2014
- 1,780 from BitLeakeak.net in Mar 2014
- 28,298 from Dogewallet.com in Jan 2014
- 61,011 from Mt.Gox in June 2011
- 34,513 from BitsCircle.com, breach date unknown
- 10,855,376 from BitcoinSec in 2014
- 3,149 from TheBitcoinShop.pixub.com, breach date unknown
The majority of these accounts contain email addresses, user name, location and passwords. In other cases, passwords have been decrypted while some cases SHA1 hash is being used to decrypt. As you may have noticed, some forums such as Mt.Gox are no longer active so the relevance of their data is not very important. BitcoinTalk.org and BTC-E.com are two of the most important Bitcoin related platforms, but their data has been sold before on the dark web by other dark web vendors.
DoubleFlag is has set the price for this data at US $400 equialent to around BTC 0.3817, the data may be worth more but that’s his choice. This is not the first time DoubleFlag has succeeded in hacking personal information, he has previously sold 126 million cell phone details of US Cellular customers. What’s more worrying is his feedback ratings have been positive throughout, this means that DoubleFlag has been selling legit data to buyers.
To remain on the safe side, if you have an account on any of the mentioned forums consider changing your password as soon as possible.