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article imageMajor virtual cash heist as bitcoins are stolen

By Tim Sandle     Aug 9, 2014 in Crime
More than $83,000 in virtual cash has been stolen by a thief who managed to hijack net traffic from 19 separate Internet service providers.
The basis of the heist was through internal access to a Canadian Internet service provider (ISP) that allowed the thief to divert Internet traffic from the "mining pools" that generate virtual cash and keep track of who spent what. According to Wired, the thief then directed the results of the mining and transaction tracking to his own server so he could cash in the virtual currency. The targeted hijacks only lasted 30 seconds but that was long enough to trick the collaborating computers into handing over the results of their work to the attacker.
Mining pools underpin the way many different crypto currencies work. They involve people connecting up their home computers to process the information generated when virtual cash is spent, swapped or gifted.
The virtual currencies collected consisted of bitcoins, dogecoins and worldcoins, The Guardian reported. A virtual currency is defined by the European Central Bank as "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community."
While the hijacker has not been identified, CNET reports that the heist scheme can be blamed on a rogue employee of the Caandian ISP, an ex-employee with an unchanged router password, or simply a black-hat hacker. The victims have received no compensation.
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