Criminals have made off with a whopping US$5 million after raiding bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
The attack, in the early hours of Monday, pilfered the site's online operation wallets used for rapid currency exchange.
Administrators called police and moved to assure customers their bitcoins would be refunded provided they did not make new transfers to old addresses.
"On January 4th, some of Bitstamp's operational wallets were compromised, resulting in a loss of less than 19,000 BTC," the company said in a statement.
"This breach represents a small fraction of Bitstamp's total bitcoin reserves, the overwhelming majority of which are held in secure offline cold storage systems.
"We would like to reassure all Bitstamp customers that their balances held prior to our temporary suspension of services will not be affected and will be honored in full."
Founder Nejc Kodric said today the service would be up within two days after testing.
To restate: the bulk of our bitcoin are in cold storage, and remain completely safe.— Nejc Kodric (@nejc_kodric) January 5, 2015
It came after Bitstamp suspended services after a wallet was raided January 4.
Bitcoin exchanges and darkweb drug sites have been repeatedly targeted by hackers or insiders seeking to run off with the valuable anonymous currency. ®
Bootnote: A wag has posted this image of Bitstamp's CES stand to Imgur.