A stealthy series of transactions took place in the cryptocurrency world Wednesday. "Black hat" hackers stole $32 million worth of Ether from a Parity multi-signature wallet, a place where multiple parties can store their cryptocurrencies, via three separate transactions.
When a "white hat" hacker group became aware of this vulnerability, it swooped in and took $75 million worth of Ether in order to prevent further theft. To gain access, the "white hat" hackers used the same vulnerability the "black hat" hackers exploited. Circa is told the "white hat" hackers plan to return the money to its owners while the company works to correct the breach.
Swarm City, one of the three accounts that had its entire wallet drained during the hack, said in a blog post that it immediately notified the Ethereum Foundation and other development groups after it noticed the theft. A bug was later discovered in a Parity Multisig smart contract called Wallet.Sol.
If you do have funds in the multisig contract: carefully move your funds to a new account ASAP. If your funds are no longer in your multisig, please check the Black hat and White hat addresses. They might have been saved by the White hat group.
Swarm City recommends that those who have cryptocurrency stored in multi-sig wallets transfer the money over to a safer account, as single-user wallets are not affected by the bug.
Circa met up with Naomi Brockwell, the master of ceremonies at FreedomFest 2017 in Las Vegas to ask her about the July 19 Parity hack. She is the co-founder of the Nakamoto Index and creator of Bitcoingirl.org. Brockwell told Circa that this attack is proof that there are honorable hackers out there. "It's a testament to how this community rallies around cryptocurrency," she said.