Bitcoin’s top investigative journalism site was attacked by a hacker Friday, days after the news organisation claimed to have obtained a 1,000-page document detailing alleged action against GAW Miners and specifically against the Chief Executive of the company, John Garza.
Coinfire claimed the document alleged that GAW was in violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. Section 17(a) is the most direct form of fraudulent accusation.
Due to the very clear-cut language in which rule violations in that section are laid out, accusations of Section 17(a) breaches are usually only found in cases only where the prosecutor is in possession of unequivocal evidence that the perpetrator has violated the law knowingly and repeatedly over a long period of time spent under undetected surveillance by law enforcement authorities.
Garza threatened Coinfire with legal action, maintaining that the site had “released libelous and false information about our company and have allowed people to believe we had something to do with the hacking of your site (which, you know we did not do).” The entire text of the letter sent by Garza to Coinfire’s Editor can be found here.
Coinfire have more than any other Bitcoin news organization, been by far the most enterprising and ruthless in their reporting of the post-plunge fall-out in the last two months. As the price of Bitcoin dived below $250 over Christmas, and then below $200 after New Year, many miners and affiliated firms have been caught out by what were dwindling cashflow positions to begin with.
Some of these firms have as a result been unable to meet customer orders or pay their creditors, which has been news to the third parties involved, who assumed from previous statements made to them by their counterparties that they were plenty liquid no matter what happened.
The Bitcoin community had come to rally around the team at Coinfire, with the most moving show of solidarity as one with the journalists posted by a Reddit user under the title “Coin Fire deserves some love and support right now”:
So… “someone” just hacked coinfire.cf, their twitter and reddit. Coin Fire has been the only crypto news outlet doing anything resembling real journalism into the GAW/Garza/Paybase scam, probably saving a lot of people from losing money. They have stepped up, where Coindesk and CoinTelegraph have been utterly silent.
It is crazy really, that noone else did any sort of investigative journalism after all that was revealed on reddit before Bitcoin Miami. Now they have been dealt a severe blow by someone (I wonder who?), and all I see is people critizing them for having bad security practices..?
Come on guys, they are journalists, not running an exchange. I think we should show them some appreciation for the service they have done to the community, and I for one will donate some btc to get them through this, if they set up a donation adress after getting their online presence reestablished.
Thanks Mike and Coin Fire for your efforts, hope you get through this and continue being the (so far) only REAL journalists in the crypto space.
Mike from CoinFire posted this Tweet on Saturday, January 24, 2015:
Update your bookmarks and site links. We are back at http://t.co/80vJS9LEJu – We will work on getting SSL service back online ASAP.
— CoinFire.cf (@CoinFireBlog) January 24, 2015
He also posted this on Reddit:
“I have active control over the Twitter account, Bitcoin Talk account, and this reddit account at the moment.
I’ve asked a few members of the bitcoin community to come here and verify that this is actually me, and I expect they will do so in the near future. Many members of this community do have my cell phone number and as such, I have asked them to contact me and verify this information.
I wanted to address what happened today and let you know what we know, what we don’t know, and what we are working on doing to get things restored.”
Check the full post from Mike here.