Wild West of cryptocurrency: Hackers use DNS to steal $400,000

Cryptocurrency is the new Wild West and the bad guys just robbed the stagecoach full of gold.

Despite the quest for international legitimacy as an alternative method of payment, it should come as little surprise that cryptocurrencies and hacking go hand in hand. The recent run-up in Bitcoin and the easy exchanges by which people can transfer currencies has only made it more enticing.

In addition to instant millionaires, there have been many reports of theft of the keys (that represent the value) in the news. Cryptocurrency is the new Wild West and the bad guys just robbed the stagecoach full of gold.

BlackWallet hacked: Over $400,000 in cryptocurrency stolen after hackers hijack DNS server

This latest hack takes an innovative approach by robbing the exchange itself by altering the DNS records at BlackWallet.co. The DNS, or domain name system, is the internet’s phonebook that translates human-readable addresses into the IP addresses that machines understand. By taking over the DNS they were able to point incoming queries to their own server and in doing so steal $400,000.

This is one of those times when we reiterate that the DNS can be the Achilles heel of IT security because it is often overlooked by organizations. Why? In many ways, the success of the DNS as a system that works well without requiring a lot of oversight makes it easy to forget about. When faced with the day-to-day fires that most IT departments deal with, the DNS can often be neglected.

We continue to recommend keeping the primary DNS safe behind a firewall and using a secondary provider with a global footprint, and with the full-time job to manage the DNS servers. In this case, if the domain can be locked at the registry then that would help to prevent unauthorized changes. To conclude on a little bit of a product story, D-Zone Anycast DNS with Domain Lock enabled would help to protect this important piece of technology for any organization.

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