The Bitcoin Wallet – Electrum – Under Attack By A 14,000 Strong Bot-Based DoS Attack
DoS attacks, according to research over last year, is one of the few kinds of digital attacks that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are vulnerable to. And with the likes of Bitcoin Gold and Ethereum Classic being past examples, blockchain is not invulnerable.
All we need to do is look at the well-known and widely used Bitcoin-based wallet provider – Electrum – as it reports that it has come under heavy and continued attacks this week. The team has since taken the time to stress the need for users to be extra careful when making use of the digital platform until these attacks have been resolved.
According to observers and the Electrum team, the digital wallet provider was subjected to a highly sophisticated and co-ordinated botnet attack, which consisted of over . 140,000 machines. The objective of this botnet? To launch a continuous range of widescale Denial of Service attacks on the servers used by Electrum.
These attacks would then be put to use in directing oblivious wallet users onto compromised iterations of the Electrum software in order to steal their digital assets and has already managed to succeed in this objective.
These very same ‘bad actors’ have effectively managed to deploy their own ‘dedicated’ servers for Electrum, allowing them to effectively ‘backdoor’ versions of the Electrum client on a wide scale. Ultimately, what does this mean? Should a user unwittingly manage to sync up their digital wallet to a compromised or malicious ‘backdoor’ server (of which there are hundreds that have since been detected), they will subsequently be advised to update their client with a compromised version.
An individual that was well-versed as a security researcher and with the issues now faced by Electrum went on to discuss that if these fake iterations of Electrum were to be installed by users, any funds that were contained in the older ‘versions’ of their wallet would be immediately and irrevocably lost as a consequence.
“The total amount stolen is in the millions of dollars so far, with a single person alone losing almost $140,000, based on our analysis,” they said. “The DoS attacks are a new level, which only began about a week ago. People have seen 25 Gigabits per second worth of traffic being flooded at community run servers.”
From the moment that these attacks began, users of Electrum have since been warned that they may face interruptions to the service due to administrators being hard at work in order to mitigate any damage done to the platform and its traffic.
Speaking on behalf of the team, the lead developer for Electrum, Thomas Voegtlin stated that they are hoping to have this matter resolved quickly.“We hope to resolve this in the coming hours or days.”
Denial Of Service Attack – Possible Retaliation In Wake Of New Protections For Users?
The community has not been estranged to the chronic issues of Phishing on Bitcoin. In fact, it has been an issue that has blighted the Electrum team and its community by extension. Past attacks have included ElectrumStealer, a Trojan Horse attack which has already been responsible for stealing millions of dollars in Bitcoin from oblivious users.
At this moment in time, there is no tangible or explicit link found which could connect the Phishing campaign with the ongoing Denial of Service attack. This latest one, instead, appears to be more focused on users that are not using an updated client of Electrum.
The researcher previously mentioned stated that developers had managed to modify their Electrum servers in order to reduce the level of risk that users had to potential phishing scams. These same developers went on to speculate that this has since resulted in attackers changing tact, and moving to conduct a more large-scale attack such as the botnet based DoS attack against its servers.
“With the benign servers down due to the attack, there’s a strong likelihood of people connecting to the malicious ones,” they said. “Original versions of the attack used modified Electrum servers, abusing a bug in the Electrum wallet, to send messages telling users that they need to upgrade their software to a malicious version. These were originally tackled by using Google’s SafeBrowsing service to make them inaccessible to possible victims.”
At this moment in time, it has been speculated that there are approximately 200 domains detected which are using or hosting the Electrum malware, including iterations like ‘Electrumx.network.’ While the process of blacklisting these servers would work in a conventional way, Google has taking on the unfortunate habit of taking its time in updating the existing SafeBrowsing database, thus rendering this conventional strategy useless.
Working as the lead developer for Electrum, Voegtlin went on to stipulate that the patch had previously operated in order to force out of date, and vulnerable (as a result) models of Electrum wallets to go offline as soon as they had managed to obtain a secure connection to one of the discovered legitimate servers. He went on to mention that Electrum would require 8-10 connections in order to operate like this.
What remains unclear to the Electrum team are the underlying objectives of these entities, as well as what their motives are for this attack.
“We are not sure what motivates the attacker; it might be some kind of retaliation after we took steps last month in order to prevent phishing attacks,” he commented. “This counter-attack has been effective against phishing because it does not require a lot of legit servers; if you randomly connect to 10 servers, the chance that at least one of them is performing the counter-attack is very high.”
“We have not heard of any recent success at the phishing attack since we deployed the counter-attack.”
Those Most At Risk? Electrum’s ‘Forgotten’ Users
At this moment in time, Electrum has no specific system . or mechanics in order to ensure an auto-update is provided to its users. As a result, users are able to continue to operate on the system, while making use of wallets that may be out of date by two or more iterations.
It is with this in mind that lead developer, Voegtlin explicitly states that those who are most at risk from these kinds of attacks are those that downloaded the client long ago, and have not since made updates to this software.
“Indeed, updated versions are not at risk, but the service might be temporarily unavailable. If that is the case, we recommend to users that they stick to the same server (disable auto-connect) until they eventually manage to open a session,” he continued.
“Of course the attacker might be trying to take down legit servers in order to keep carrying out their phishing attack, but […] they do not simply need the user to connect to their server,” Voegtlin would go on to state. “What they need is a vulnerable client to connect exclusively to their servers, and that is a lot less likely.”
In order for users to ensure their longer-term safety within this platform, the Electrum team has stressed that they should only download the dedicated software for Electrum from the dedicated Electrum dot org domain, or from its dedicated and official repository on GitHub.
When it comes to ensuring your individual security within the Electrum ecosystem, installing and updating your client from one or both of these mentioned locations remain the best method of preventing these kinds of attacks.
The development team behind Electrum has also announced that it is currently working on a new patch for users coming soon. The team has also gone on to urge that users should only run these on their own legitimate servers, due to the kind of associated risks that come with using more questionable kinds of servers, with public Electrum ones allowing for the attack to be diluted.
Bitcoin News Today – Headlines for February 22
- Analysts and traders have long been waiting for BTC to “moon” once again
- The $14k mark might be the key to send BTC back to the moon
- The forthcoming halving could send BTC price to between $55k to $100k
Bitcoin News Today – Ever since the price of Bitcoin surged by more than 1,000 percent in 2017 to hit an all-time high of $20k, analysts have been waiting for the digital currency to “moon” once again. It seems like the moon – a noun-turned-verb used to describe the price of an asset surging significantly higher – is rapidly drawing near, that is if Bitcoin can break over one key hurdle point.
Bitcoin Needs to Break Over a Key Hurdle to Head to the Moon
While the largest digital currency in the world by market cap surged as high as $20k in 2017, it did not stay on that level for long. The digital currency failed to establish any semblance of support in that area. In fact, it ended the month of December around the $14k level, a decrease of 30 percent from its all-time high as the bulls failed to maintain momentum.
Recently, Delboy – a chartist – doubled down on this in a recent tweet. In the tweet, he said that the long-term chart of Bitcoin is showing signs that the $14k level might be key in sending the price of the digital currency back to the moon.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Today – BTC / USD
From the chart, it is obvious that once Bitcoin (BTC) surged over the monthly high of the 2013 bubble around the $1,150 mark, the bullish traction picked up quickly, taking the price of the digital currency to $20k by the end of 2017.
How High Can the Price of Bitcoin Go?
While the jury is still out on where exactly the next bull market can take the price of Bitcoin to, the consensus is a fresh all-time high of at least $50k, proven by a crazy accurate price model made by an institutional quantitative analyst. The model, which is known as a stock-to-flow model, equates to the scarcity of Bitcoin, derived from the above-ground supply divided by the rolling issuance of the digital currency, to the market cap of the asset.
It determined, to a 95 percent R squared, that after the reduction of block rewards on the Bitcoin network in May this year, the digital currency will have a fair value of anywhere between $55k to $100k. A Twitter user – GeertJancap – pointed out that according to his transfer function model of BTC’s price, the price of the digital currency will catch up to the model, created by PlanB – a pseudonymous analyst.
At press time, the world’s most dominant digital currency is struggling below the $10k level after several failed attempts to break over the $10,500 mark. Bitcoin is currently hovering around the $9,600 mark.
Bitcoin Has a Stale Block for the First Time Since 27 January 2020
- Bitcoin is known to be the most famous cryptocurrency with its price currently touching near $10,000.
- According to BitMex research, it announced Bitcoin had a first stale block since January.
- The stale blocks which are not part of the current best blockchain led to a small fork.
Bitcoin is known to be the most famous cryptocurrency with its price currently touching near $10,000 and beyond in good days. Millions of crypto-enthusiasts stalk the news about this cryptocurrency which uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no regulations from a central authority or banks.
BitMex is a Peer-to-peer crypto-products trading platform.
According to BitMex research, it announced Bitcoin had a first stale block this morning reaching the height of 618,466 since January 27 of this year, and it was in a 19 second time gap. Stale Blocks are blocks that got successfully mined but not included on the current best blockchain, likely because some other block at a similar height who had their blockchain extended first.
A blockchain is a chain of increasing blocks contains information mainly related to finance attaching to make it a collection of records in a way which cannot be altered and every block record various transaction occurs in the blockchain. The stale blocks are newly mined and not part of the current best blockchain because it got overridden by a longer chain and the more the height of the blocks is always a good sign to the strength of the bitcoin.
The stale blocks which are not part of the current best blockchain led to a small fork. The small fork is a result of nodes when geographically closer they pick up the block that was mined near to them. The current block in bitcoin is, however, quickly accepted into the main chain.
In the blockchain, no double-spends has been observed, and the stale block contained 18 Txns excluded from the competing block.
According to the ForkMonitor
Bitcoin is at the height of 618,503
Mined by: ViaBTC
Accumulated log2(PoW): 91.692145
Latest Blocksize: 0.17MB
Latest block transaction count: 359
Gold or Bitcoin, Which will Hit $3000 First? : Peter Schiff
- Peter David Schiff is an American libertarian, Financial commentator, economist, and a stockbroker.
- Schiff earned a nickname of Dr. Doom when he more or less predicted the financial crisis of 2007-2010.
- Schiff tweeted on twitter a poll on gold and bitcoin.
Who is Peter David Schiff ?
Peter David Schiff is an American libertarian, Financial commentator, economist, and a stockbroker. He is CEO of the Chief global strategist of Euro pacific Inc and the founder the Euro Pacific Canada. Schiff as a stockbroker and Financial commentator attached strongly to Gold and sees it as a savior in times of Prolonged decline in US Dollar. His love of Gold can be easily seen through the actions in Euro Pacific Bank LTD named offshore bank, which he introduced as the first 100% genuine gold and silver physically embedded global debit card systems back in 2011.
Schiff is not a fanatic of Bitcoin and sees like any other currency or more like a tulip mania bubble. He firmly believes that like the Tulipmania bubble it is destined to fall soon and the high price is temporary, nothing can replace gold according to him.
Dr. Doom and his predictions
Schiff earned a nickname of Dr. Doom when he more or less predicted the financial crisis of 2007-2010. Schiff has been criticized a lot for his theory, predictions, and definition of inflation, which Schiff believes that the definition of inflation will increase in consumer prices after a not so certain waiting period.
Schiff is criticized on a daily basis for his predictions and today also from the official twitter handle @PeterSchiff he tweeted
Gold vs Bitcoin:
The gold vs Bitcoin debate is still on, peter Schiff’s tweet was about the performance of the Gold price in the market and compared it with bitcoin. He explained how gold is rising to $3000 and today it is up 27$ and rose up above $1,640 which is all-time high than any other currency.
As not a Bitcoin fanatic, he wrote about how Bitcoin is now trading at $9,700 and the whole cryptocurrency market is bearish which he feels could drag the Bitcoin to $3000.
The one he is not certain which he wants to get an opinion from us is from Gold or Bitcoin which one is going to reach $3000 first and people can vote it through clicking the option you feel like in the poll feature twitter provides.