Bitcoin (BTC) informational website hacked by scammers; domain disabled after over $17.8k theft

Key Takeaways

  • Hackers allegedly compromisedpopular Bitcoin (BTC) education website o Wednesday
  • A pop-up window on Bitcoin.org promised to double all funds sent to a wallet address, a popular cryptocurrency scam
  • With over $17.8 thousand stolen, the hosting platform Namecheap took down the website’s domain

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — On Wednesday, hackers successfully targeted Bitcoin.org, the most popular informational website of Bitcoin (BTC).

In what appears to be a well-planned attack, scammers compromised the oldest-running BTC education website Bitcoin.org to promote dubious Bitcoin giveaways. The site has been running since 2008.

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Noticing the Bitcoin (BTC) scam

On Wednesday night, unsuspecting users visiting the Bitcoin educational resource website ran into a surprise. A new pop-up window greeted them, promising to double any amount they would send to the given wallet address. The message even included a QR scan code for the said address. 

“The Bitcoin Foundation is giving back to the community!

We want to support our users who have helped us along the years. Send Bitcoin to this address, and we will double the amount in return!” 

the pope-up window read.
Hackers target popular Bitcoin (BTC) educational site Bitcoin.org, stealing over $17.8 thousand in funds through pope-up window scam
The pope up window that appeared after the hack : Credit: Twitter

Such messages are typical with giveaway scams. Often, scamsters give false promises of doubling any funds sent to a wallet address. Many unsuspecting users fall for such messages and send money to the mentioned address. These Victims, hoping to double their money, receive nothing in return and lose the crypto they sent.

Long-time Bitcoin developer and Bitcoin Core contributor Matt Corallo was quick to share the news on Twitter. In informing the community of the hack, Corallo warned users not to send any funds to the address given by the hackers. 

Other Bitcoin fans also joined in spreading the message, hoping to prevent people from falling for it. 

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Website down after $17.5K theft in Bitcoin 

By the time the message about the hack spread, hackers could do a certain amount of damage. 

According to blockchain.com, the wallet address has received over $17,828.17 in various transactions in writing. In addition, the owner of the wallet has also transferred $17,815.79 of the funds from the wallet. 

On receiving the news of the hack, the hosting platform Namecheap temporarily disabled the domain. As a result, the website is currently down. 

Hackers target popular Bitcoin (BTC) educational site Bitcoin.org, stealing over $17.8 thousand in funds through pope-up window scam

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The hacked website and the Craig Wright lawsuit 

As an open-source project that aims to support Bitcoin development, the hacked website is not officially affiliated with the Bitcoin Foundation. However, its domain name appears among the first search engine results when people search for “Bitcoin.”

Hackers target popular Bitcoin (BTC) educational site Bitcoin.org, stealing over $17.8 thousand in funds through pope-up window scam
The updated website data after the hack.

The website’s owner goes under the name Cobra but remains anonymous. However, in June this year, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin, took Cobra to court in London. Wright demanded Cobra take down the Bitcoin white paper from the website in a lawsuit, owing to copyright concerns. 

Another user had also alleged Cobra stole access to the said website from him.

Because Cobra did not appear, the court granted Wright’s petition and ordered Cobra to put a notice up on Bitcoin.org for six months about the default judgment. The court also ruled that Cobra has to pay Craig’s costs, £35,000 in interim payments.

A month later, the website was hit by a distributed denial of a service (DDOS) attack. 

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Bitcoin.org owner Cobra questions Cloudflare

With the record of a legal battle hanging on his neck, Cobra’s reputation can easily be questioned. Users on Twitter were already wondering if the website was hacked or Cobra himself was behind the scam message. 

Meanwhile, having confirmed that his website was hacked, Cobra pointed the finger at infrastructure and website security company Cloudflare.  

Demanding an explanation, Cobra claimed his server did not get any traffic during the hack, confirming none of his accounts got compromised. 

https://twitter.com/CobraBitcoin/status/1440912752151867397

The attack comes ten days after Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said crypto exchanges are a popular target for cyber attackers

The Bitcoin prices seemed unaffected by the hack at writing, trading above the $44,000 mark. Popular analyst Michael van de Poppe was also optimistic about Bitcoin, claiming charts displayed great daily candles. 

Earlier this year, hackers compromised verified accounts of many celebrities to peddle fake giveaway scams. Kanye West, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, US President Barack Obama, and Joe Biden also fell victims to identity theft incidents.

Despite regular warnings by state authorities and financial watchdogs, hackers continue to implement old tricks to scam unsuspecting investors.

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