In the first theft of its size, a user loses most of his balance of Bitcoins – the digital peer-to-peer currency.
A Bitcoin user had his virtual wallet hacked this week and lost 25,000 BTC, which works out to about $487, 749. He started a thread on the Bitcoin forum titled “I just got hacked – any help is welcome!” and posted:
Hi everyone. I am totally devastated today. I just woke up to see a very large chunk of my bitcoin balance gone to the following address: 1KPTdMb6p7H3YCwsyFqrEmKGmsHqe1Q3jg
I backed up my wallet.dat file religiously and encrypted it but that does not do me much good when someone or some trojan or something has direct access to my computer somehow.
Block explorer is down so I cannot even see where the funds went. I tried restoring an earler backup of my wallet but naturally that does not work because the transaction has already been validated. Needless to say I feel like I have lost faith in Bitcoin.
The digital peer-to-peer currency prides itself on being hard to forge, however, it is relatively easy to steal as the wallet is just a file on a computer, you just need access to the owner’s hard drive in order to take it.
Bitcoin is a decentralized network with no authority and the addresses used to send and receive the currency have no identities attached to them. This means that once they are stolen, it is very hard to trace and recover them.