Electrum DoS Ongoing – 152,000 Wallets Now Affected

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Electrum wallet users continue to be affected by the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that has seen funds being taken from their accounts since mid-April, according to Malwarebytes, an anti-malware software group. The number of affected users now stretches to some 152,000, with the sum of stolen coins now sitting at almost $5 million worth, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Trojan Horse Steals Login Details

The Electrum hack was first revealed on April 12 and involved a 140,000-strong botnet attacking the Electrum servers, asking users to update their wallet client. This update contained a trojan horse that recorded the users’ login details and later used them to empty their wallets of funds. This initial attack was then followed by a series of DDoS attacks when Electrum developers tried to protect their users. According to Malwarebytes, the botnet is most highly concentrated in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) region and is constantly changing:

The number of victims that are part of this botnet is constantly changing. We believe as some machines get cleaned up, new ones are getting infected and joining the others to perform DoS attacks. Malwarebytes detects and removes ElectrumDoSMiner infections on more than 2,000 endpoints daily.

Electrum users are being urged not to download any software older than version 3.3.3, and to only download from the official Electrum site.

Wallet Debate Intensifies

The ongoing attack once again raises the discussion of software vs hardware wallets, although at this point, with Electrum users already having suffered a hack just four months before this one, and hacks of other centralized entities such as Cointicker, Monappy, and Coinomi, the debate is becoming more one-sided. With the improvements in usability and functionality of hardware wallets, and the introduction of hardware wallets built into smartphones, it is surely just a matter of time before software wallets are a thing of the past.