Monday, March 10, 2014

Hackers take over Mt. Gox CEO's blog, including post claimed evidence of fraud

If you really, really, really anger the Internet community you might expect a visit from hackers. Thus, on Sunday, hackers took over Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles’s blog and published a post allegedly exposing fraud committed by him. The post was also published on Pastebin.

Mt. Gox was the world’s largest bitcoin exchange until about 850,000 units of the virtual currency bitcoin was allegedly stolen by (other) hackers. Given that, the Mt. Gox closed and filed for bankruptcy protection. The claims in the post, though, allege that the theft never occurred and that Karpeles still controls nearly 1 million bitcoin worth approximately $596 million at Monday’s exchange rate.

The post said, in part:
It’s time that MTGOX got the bitcoin communities wrath instead of Bitcoin Community getting Goxed. This release would have been sooner, but in spirit of responsible disclosure and making sure all of ducks were in a row, it took a few days longer than would have liked to verify the data.
The reference to "goxed" comes from the phrase that has been coined for Mt. Gox’s (prior and multiple) technical glitches: to be goxed.

Despite the evidence, as Forbes pointed out, the data may simply reveal poor accounting practices at Mt. Gox. Earlier, Mt. Gox was an exchange for “Magic: The Gathering” cards, which is where the name came from.

Users on Reddit are warning that included among the hackers’ files (TibanneBackOffice.exe) may contain malware designed to steal bitcoins. At the same time, though, other Reddit users, perhaps with good antivirus programs, have confirmed that they found their own account history in the data, indicating that it is not fake.

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