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NiceHash: more than $ 70 million stolen in bitcoin hack

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Hackers have carried out a heist on a leading digital forex platform, earning with bitcoins worth more than $ 70 million.

"Yesterday morning, around 1 am, a hacker or a group of hackers could infiltrate our systems through a compromised company computer," NiceHash executive director Marko Kobal said. in a video statement on Thursday.

NiceHash, which is described as the largest market for digital coin mining, said Wednesday night that it was suspending operations for at least 24 hours due to security breaches. Kobal said that attempts to put the system back online are still under way.

Approximately 4,700 bitcoins were stolen from the site account, the CEO said. Valen r approximately $ 75 million as of Friday afternoon in Asia.

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Cryptocurrencies are virtual "coins" that are "mined" by computers that use complex algorithms. Bitcoin is the most popular.

NiceHash provides a platform for users to extract other cryptocurrencies and earn money in bitcoin. That could involve significant sums: Kobal said the site had paid more than $ 1 billion since it began four years ago.

The value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed in recent weeks, crossing $ 17,000 for the first time on Thursday.

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NiceHash notified all the major exchanges of bitcoin and mining sites about the infringement to track and possibly recover the stolen currency.

It seems that the hackers entered the NiceHash system using the credentials of one of the company's engineers.

"Given the complexity and security of the systems deployed, this appears as an incredibly coordinated and highly sophisticated attack," said Kobal.

He did not say whether the funds had been taken from the accounts of NiceHash users as well.

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"While the full extent of what happened is not yet known, we recommend, as a precaution, that you change your passwords online," NiceHash warned users earlier.

"In addition to conducting our own investigation, the incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and authorities and we are cooperating with them urgently," he said.

Related: What is driving the bitcoin frenzy?

Cyber ​​heist is another reminder about the vulnerability of some digital currency platforms.

Bitfinex, a Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange, was briefly closed last year after hackers stole nearly 120,000 bitcoins, worth more than $ 65 million at that time.

The previous year, cyber thieves got close to 19,000 bitcoins after entering the European Bitstamp stock market.

Cybersecurity company FireEye recently warned that North Korean hackers are stepping up their attempts to steal bitcoins to support Kim Jong Un's authoritarian regime.

CNNMoney (New Delhi) First published on December 7, 2017: 3:02 AM ET

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