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$500,000 Worth of Bitcoins Stolen 622

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
olsmeister writes "A Bitcoin user allegedly has had $500,000 worth of Bitcoins stolen from him. A hacker supposedly gained access to the user's home computer and managed to get the user's wallet.dat file, which contained the cryptographic keys that allowed him to drain the user's balance."
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$500,000 Worth of Bitcoins Stolen

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  • Re:Brilliant... (Score:5, Informative)

    by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:06AM (#36461644)

    There are nowhere near $500,000 worth of asks on any of the BitCoin exchanges, selling anywhere near that amount would cause BitCoin's value to drop very quickly.

    However I agree that it isn't the best idea to store $500,000 worth of BTC in one BitCoin account.

  • Oh /. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:51AM (#36462186)

    This thread was on Reddit 2 days ago. Here's the link:

    To summarise:
      * it could've never been $500k, that's purely theoretical. In practise it would be worth far less.
      * "allinvain" is a true idiot. He was keeping the coins on his main computer which had a virus on it. He was browsing the web and IRCing with it. He found the trojan the night before, had seen that his payout address was changed to another and then to fix this he "changed it back" and went to sleep. He then "moved [his wallet] to a Ubuntu linux vmware install. On the same machine."
      * It's probably a hoax

  • by DamienRBlack (1165691) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @09:53AM (#36462192)
    About $2 million is traded at mt gox every day. And it is always going up. You could get $500,000 in about a week without effecting prices much. No problem.
  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @10:17AM (#36462518)
    It's not even for drug dealers! Drug dealers want MONEY for their drugs. This is only for the people at the top of the pyramid. You go somewhere trying to buy drugs with bitcoins and you're going to get stabbed.
  • Re:Brilliant... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chapter80 (926879) on Thursday June 16, 2011 @11:40AM (#36463736)

    You started being incorrect in the third paragraph.

    The thief transferred the Bitcoins out of the user's account and into his or her own. At that point, it was too late for "allinvain" to do anything.

    But to answer your other question.. what if two people spend Bitcoins at approximately the same time? Well, the "network" spreads the transactions pretty quickly. So the spending would have to be near instantaneous to be confusing to the network. Even a 2 second head start will likely have one transaction HIGHLY favored over the other. None the less, the network can hold two transactions, temporarily, that are in conflict.

    And then the miner who solves the next puzzle is the tie-breaker. No miner will have two conflicting transactions. Each miner would reject the 2nd conflicting transaction, and, although different miners may consider different transactions as the "first" one, there will likely be one transaction that is highly favored over the other, and that's the one that is likely to be honored.

    It's the same concept as if you have $100 in your checking account, and you mail two $100 checks to two different people. Who wins? Most likely (but not always) the one who receives your check first. Most likely (but not always) the one who cashes it first. And the bank will make an arbitrary decision if they both come in at approximately the same time.

    The difference is, with a check you won't know for days. And even after a week, the bankers/government can come and reverse the transaction later. With Bitcoin, you will know within 10 minutes with some degree of certainty, and within an hour with almost absolute certainty.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.