Bitfinex Targeted in “Severe” DDoS Attack Amid Bitcoin Price Surge

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Prominent bitcoin exchange Bitfinex revealed it was struck by a significant DDoS attack late Tuesday night (UTC).  However, the denial of service attack was promptly mitigated, with minimal impact on operations.

The Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange confirmed it was “under severe DDoS attack” on a social media post yesterday. The attack coincides with bitcoin prices reaching some of the highest prices set in its entire history, as bitcoin-seeking extortionists continue to attack the most straightforward target for demanding bitcoin ransoms.

The Bitfinex platform is under severe DDoS attack. We are working to return to normal operations ASAP

— Bitfinex.com (@bitfinex) February 21, 2017

The disruption impacted users, some of whom pointed to the crypto-exchange’s chosen DDoS protection service CloudFlare blocking API functions.

@Rapsutinn Yes, we are temporarily in a high-protection mode right now. Things will gradually return to normal – sorry for the disruption.

— Bitfinex.com (@bitfinex) February 21, 2017

The exchange further confirmed that API performance took a hit.

The attacks began late Tuesday night as BitFinex began investigating the disruption at 21:34 UTC. To its credit, Bitfinex took measures to identify and block the DDoS attack in a 15-minuite monitoring period.

“We have taken steps to identify and block the attack. The system is returning to normal” the exchange confirmed soon after.

Information from its status page reveals that all services were back to normal, less than an hour after the attack caught attention.

Bitfinex has faced outages due to DDoS attacks in the past. In mid-2015, when the website was still in its “beta” phase, the website was completely knocked offline following a DDoS attack. The exchange had previously made headlines that year following a hack of its hot wallet. It is speculated that just about 0.5 percent of the exchange’s bitcoin holdings, approx. 1,400 BTC, was stolen during the hack. The hack pales in comparison to the infamous 2016 theft of nearly 120,000 bitcoins, approx. $65 million at the time, which promptly sent bitcoin price crashing after the exchange suspended trading.

In recent times, Bitfinex has become the dominant bitcoin exchange by daily trading volume globally.

Figures from CoinMarketCap reveal the Hong Kong-based exchange leading others by a significant distance.

Bitfinex also leads the pack in overall trading of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, followed by Kraken.

Image from Shutterstock.

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