Silk Road 2.0 hacked with over £1.6m worth of Bitcoin 'stolen'

Mod called for thief to return the stolen currency

Silk Road 2 moderator Defcon has claimed that hackers have stolen over 4,000 Bitcoins after using a transaction malleability exploit to hack into the black market.

The deep web marketplace uses an escrow system to allow buyers and sellers to trade bitcoins, with the bug that was exploited masking transfers and allowing hackers to request the same amount of BTC again and again until the coffers were cleaned out.

It is thought to be the same technique that forced bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox to halt all transactions earlier in the week. Members of the bitcoin community have said that the exploit has been known about for a while, and that the onus is on websites that handle the currency to introduce measures to stop abuse of the vulnerability.

“I should have taken MtGox and Bitstamp’s lead and disabled withdrawals as soon as the malleability issue was reported,” said Defcon in a blog post. “I was slow to respond and too skeptical of the possible issue at hand.”

Defcon has also called on the hackers to return the stolen bitcoin, writing: "Given the right flavour of influence from our community, we can only hope that he will decide to return the coins with integrity as opposed to hiding like a coward."

Usernames employed during the theft have been listed, with users of the site now setting about tracking down the people behind the robbery. Defcon encouraged individuals to "use whatever means you deem necessary to bring this person to justice."

The incident has driven down the price of BTC by around 50 points, and it is now wavering at around 600.

"No marketplace is perfect," Defcon commented. "Expect any centralized market to fail at some point. This is precisely why we must unite in the decision to decentralise."

Famous bitcoin investors include Virgin founder Richard Branson, who previously promised to accept the cryptocurrency on Virgin Galactic.

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