Earlier this month, as CCN reported, Slovenia-based bitcoin mining marketplace NiceHash was successfully breached, resulting in the loss of about 4,700 Bitcoin, at the time worth $62 million. Its users noticed that the marketplace’s website had gone offline for an abnormally large period of time, before the company finally revealed it had been compromised.
At the time, through a Facebook livestream, the company’s CEO Marko Kobal, along with co-founder Sasa Coh, addressed user concerns. They said that due to the company’s success, it “became a target,” adding that someone “really wanted to bring us down.” During the livestream, some users claimed to believe it was all an inside job, partly because the company’s representatives declined to comment whether they would restore user wallets or not.
In a letter sent to its users, the question has now been answered: wallets will be restored. The letter, signed by the company’s CMO Andrej Skraba, reveals that a group of international investors helped the company reserve enough funds to restore user balances. It reads:
“We are happy to announce we have been able to reserve the funds required to restore balances from a group of international investors. Old balances will therefore be restored by January 31, 2018. We need this interim period to ensure all legal paperwork is processed correctly, so please be patient while we do this.”
NiceHash didn’t clarify whether its users would be paid back in fiat or in Bitcoin, although some Reddit users claim their BTC balances are back on their dashboard, even though they aren’t yet accessible.
Tightening up security
The company’s comeback was also announced via Twitter, and included a few tips for its users, so as to guarantee security would be tightened up. In its tweet, the mining marketplace advised users to change their passwords, set up a new two-factor authentication method, and avoid old deposit addresses.
NICEHASH IS BACK 👉https://t.co/GPTBTgO46S 💪
Please make sure to:
– Set a new password
– Set a new 2FA
– Do not use your old deposit address
– Generate a new NiceHash wallet address
– If you used NiceHash wallet address in NiceHash miner, you need to update it pic.twitter.com/cwpyXQFv2r
— NiceHash (@NiceHashMining) December 20, 2017
At the time of the hack, it wasn’t clear whether the attackers managed to get user data along with their bitcoins, so users were advised to change all of their online passwords – just to make sure.
Since it got back online, NiceHash has been regularly updating users via social media, and already revealed it successfully completed its first payout after the breach. It noted, however, that “due to extra security measures,” changes were made to its payment and withdrawal system.
Notably, given the Bitcoin network’s high transaction fees, NiceHash is working on implementing altcoins payments as part of the changes. At press time, the suggested bitcoin transaction fee is of 960 satoshis/byte, equaling 216,960 satoshi if we consider the median transaction size to be of 226 bytes. Given that Bitcoin is currently trading at $12,800, this means the suggested transaction fee is of about $26.
At the end of his letter, NiceHash’s CMO stated:
“We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that the hack may have caused. We hope you will want to continue to invest your money and your faith in the world’s largest crypto-mining marketplace.“
Excerpt: NiceHash is back, and promised to reimburse users for their losses by January 31.
Featured image from Shutterstock.