Dogecoin, a bitcoin-like digital currency, has been hacked, costing owners of the currency more than $12,000, founders of the service confirmed on Wednesday.
Reports of the hack first appeared on the Dogecoin forum, where many users reported that their funds were being stolen and sent to a different electronic wallet without their permission.
“Looks like somebody hacked and cleared my Dogewallet some minutes ago with a single transaction, I lost more than 1M,” one forum member reported.
According to the founders of Dogecoin, the attack was not targeted at individual accounts, and instead was aimed at the official Dogewallet page that was compromised so that all transactions were sent to a single account and not to their intended recipients, The Verge reported.
“We found many reports of Dogewallet transactions being sent to 'DQT9WcqmUyyccrxQvSrjcFCqRxt8eVBLx8,’” the founders said in a post on Reddit’s Dogecoin page. “We're currently looking at logs and have found thousands of attempts to hack our systems.”
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According to the post, the breach originated from a hacker gaining access to Dogecoin’s file system and modifying the send/receive page to send the currency to a static address. The Dogecoin website is currently offline as its logs are being reviewed for more information.
“We're incredibly sorry to all users who lost funds from the attack. Please use offline wallets as online wallets are meant for new users who aren't using them as a storage of coins. Offline wallets are more safe and secure than any online wallet due to possible attacks that can originate from anyone, anywhere,” the Reddit post said.
Compared to bitcoins, each valued at more than $700, Dogecoin is still in its infancy and each unit is worth approximately $0.00059, which is why the millions of dogecoins stolen have a combined value of only about $12,000, The Verge reported.
According to the founders, the accounts affected will be compensated.
Started as an alternative to bitcoin, the new cryptocurrency takes its name from the Shiba Inu "doge" meme. Dogecoin works by using public-key cryptography, in which a user generates a pair of cryptographic keys, one public and one private.
Anyone wishing to use dogecoins can create multiple dogecoin addresses, which are collected and tracked in "wallets." Anyone can send dogecoins to the public address provided by the owner of a wallet, while the private key must be entered by the wallet owner to send dogecoins.