Bitcoin outfit “Tether” has reported a US$31m BitBuck BitHeist.
Tether offers the chance to “to store, send and receive digital tokens pegged to dollars, euros, and yen person-to-person, globally, instantly, and securely for a fraction of the cost of any alternative.” Those tokens are exchangeable 1:1 with the boring old pre-digital currencies and the company even retains fiat currencies in a reserve account to keep things stable.
The company gives is tokens names like “USD₮” to indicate they're a “tether” on a blockchain, rather than the folding stuff.
Tether is in beta and seems to have been going about its business with the ambitious earnestness typical of the field, until the Monday November 20th post that revealed “$30,950,010 USDT was removed from the Tether Treasury wallet on November 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address.”
“Yesterday, we discovered that funds were improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker,” the post continued.
As a result, the company's wallet service has been suspended. Tether has also released new versions of OmniCore, the open source software it uses to facilitate interoperability between blockchains, that it said “should prevent any movement of the stolen coins from the attacker’s address.”
“Accordingly, any and all exchanges, wallets, and other Tether integrators should install this software immediately in order to prevent loss,” the post said and offered this GitHub repo for the update.
The company added that it is “working with the Omni Foundation to investigate ways that will allow Tether to reclaim stranded tokens and rectify the hard fork created by the above software.”
Once that's done, the company said it “will reclaim the stolen tokens and return them to treasury.”
Tether's “critical announcement” of the mess offered no detail about how it was cracked, but promised a thorough investigation. The company was able to identify the destination of its missing bitbucks: the bitcoin address
16tg2RJuEPtZooy18Wxn2me2RhUdC94N7r and warned world+dog not to accept any tokens from that entity, as they will not be redeemable for currency, virtual, cryptographic, notional or otherwise constituted. ®