Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has announced that it would resume services later today after suspending operations because of a damaging hot wallet attack on January 5th. Later the company’s CEO Nejc Kodrič confirmed in a statement that “less than 19,000 BTC” was stolen due to the attack. The market value of 19,000 bitcoins represents roughly $5 million.
“We are happy to announce that we are back open for business with a newly redeployed website and backend systems that are safer and more secure than ever. Thank you for your patience during our temporary disruption of services this week. We’d like to share with our customers and community an update on the events of this week.”
Moreover, Damijan Merlak, Bitstamp co-founder, reported to Reuters that “trading will resume during the day today.”
Kodrič noted in the blog post that the company has rebuilt its systems so that to prevent a repeat of the attack. The improvements include a movement to Amazon’s AWS cloud infrastructure, new hardware systems and the integration of BitGo’s multi-signature wallet technology:
“Upon learning of the breach, we immediately notified all customers that they should no longer make deposits to previously issued bitcoin deposit addresses. As an additional security measure, we suspended our systems to fully investigate the incident and actively engage with law enforcement officials. We took the decision to rebuild our systems from the ground up from a secure backup for a few reasons. By redeploying our system from a secure backup onto entirely new hardware, we were able to preserve the evidence for a full forensic investigation of the crime. We have also taken this time to implement a number of new security measures and protocols so that customers can resume using Bitstamp with full confidence and trust. While this decision means we have not been able to provide you with services for a number of days, we feel this extra measure of precaution was in the best interest of our customers. Our team has been working day and night to rebuild and restore security to the Bitstamp site so customers can resume transacting with us quickly, safely, and confidently.”
On Wednesday, January 7th, Bitstamp had said it expected that trading could resume within 24 hours and added that customers would not lose money because of the attack and that security would be increased.
Thanks to our incredible customers for their patience. We appreciate all the support from community, friends, and partners.
— Bitstamp (@Bitstamp) January 9, 2015
Merlak said various institutions from the European Union and the United States were investigating the security breach without naming them.
Last February, Bitstamp claimed that developers had come up with a solution to thwart cyber attacks against its platform after Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchanges, lost an estimated $650 million worth of the virtual currency when its computer system was hacked.
Bitstamp is also providing commission-free trading to all of its customers until 17th January at 11:59pm UTC.
“As a note of thanks to our loyal customers, all transactions conducted on Bitstamp through the end of the North American Bitcoin Conference — January 17th (at 11:59pm UTC) — will be commission-free, ” Kodrič stated in the blog post.