Attacks/Breaches

12/26/2017
12:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

EtherDelta Hack Begins Rocky Weekend for Crypto

Popular cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta announces a potential DNS attack and suspends service just days before Bitcoin hit a five-day drop.

EtherDelta last week suspended service when cyberattackers allegedly gained temporary access to the company's DNS servers.

The incident was part of a rough week for cryptocurrency, preceding a sharp drop in values at Bitcoin that hit a low ebb on Friday. The events illustrate the continued volatility of digital currencies, despite their rapid growth.

EtherDelta, a popular cryptocurrency exchange known for its broad selection of alt coins, posted a tweet on Wednesday, Dec. 20 indicating its server was compromised by attackers.

(Image: EtherDelta via Twitter)

(Image: EtherDelta via Twitter)

It seems the attacker(s) spoofed EtherDelta's domain to trick users into sending money. EtherDelta posted a follow-up tweet reporting the impostor's app had no chat button on the navigation bar, nor did it have an official Twitter feed on the bottom right. It also had a fake order book. After a series of updates, EtherDelta said it was running again on Dec. 22.

Users using MetaMask or a hardware wallet on EtherDelta were safe from the attack, as are those who had never imported their private key on the imposer's phishing site. Deposits can only be accessed through a user's individual key, the company noted on Twitter.

"If EtherDelta's tweets are to be interpreted literally, this was a rare kind of DNS attack, in which the registry and registrar were uninvolved, and the break-in happened on EtherDelta's own primary authoritative name server," says Farsight Security CEO Dr. Paul Vixie, a DNS security expert.

In this case, DNS was "incidental" to the attack, he explains. The same attacker could use a similar method to break into any other server using a similar trick, such as password guessing.

"If there's a lesson for all of us here, which there almost always is, it's that the keys to our kingdom are everywhere in our infrastructure, and there is no server or service we can operate with less care for its security than others," Vixie adds.

Shortly after the news of EtherDelta's attack, Bitcoin had a rough holiday weekend with a five-day drop that ended Tuesday, Dec. 26. While the two events were unrelated, the volatility of crypto should not go unnoticed, Vixie says. The recent "boom and bust" in crypto is almost entirely driven by "ignorance and the resulting bandwagon effect," he observes. Prices are unstable and any news -- from a cyberattack to political commentary -- can send them up or down.

"Unfortunately, this is just a tip of the iceberg," agrees High-Tech Bridge CEO Ilia Kolochenko. "Many crypto currency platforms and exchanges are compromised without even being noticed or publicly disclosed." Further, many don't have the resources to protect themselves, he notes.

Indeed, Youbit, a Korean cryptocurrency exchange, is filing for bankruptcy after two cyberattacks in 2017. Nicehash, a marketplace based in Europe, reported losing millions in a breach this month.

"We have collectively built systems so complex that we can't understand them," Vixie states. Attackers have the time and ambition to test enterprises' defenses in ways that the enteprises don't test themselves.

This is especially true of cryptocurrency systems like EtherDelta, which have so much money and many new systems and operators, Vixie notes. However, any enterprise is vulnerable and this should be viewed as a potential attack "against everything and anything," says Vixie. The only way to be even partially secure is with red-team testing, and internal and external auditing, he says.

Related Content:

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
WebAuthn, FIDO2 Infuse Browsers, Platforms with Strong Authentication
John Fontana, Standards & Identity Analyst, Yubico,  9/19/2018
Turn the NIST Cybersecurity Framework into Reality: 5 Steps
Mukul Kumar & Anupam Sahai, CISO & VP of Cyber Practice and VP Product Management, Cavirin Systems,  9/20/2018
NSS Labs Files Antitrust Suit Against Symantec, CrowdStrike, ESET, AMTSO
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/19/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: White Privelege Day
Current Issue
Flash Poll
The Risk Management Struggle
The Risk Management Struggle
The majority of organizations are struggling to implement a risk-based approach to security even though risk reduction has become the primary metric for measuring the effectiveness of enterprise security strategies. Read the report and get more details today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-17283
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-21
Zoho ManageEngine OpManager before 12.3 Build 123196 does not require authentication for /oputilsServlet requests, as demonstrated by a /oputilsServlet?action=getAPIKey request that can be leveraged against Firewall Analyzer to add an admin user via /api/json/v2/admin/addUser or conduct a SQL Inject...
CVE-2018-17282
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
An issue was discovered in Exiv2 v0.26. The function Exiv2::DataValue::copy in value.cpp has a NULL pointer dereference.
CVE-2018-14592
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
The CWJoomla CW Article Attachments PRO extension before 2.0.7 and CW Article Attachments FREE extension before 1.0.6 for Joomla! allow SQL Injection within download.php.
CVE-2018-15832
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
upc.exe in Ubisoft Uplay Desktop Client versions 63.0.5699.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file. The specific flaw exists within the processing of URI ha...
CVE-2018-16282
PUBLISHED: 2018-09-20
A command injection vulnerability in the web server functionality of Moxa EDR-810 V4.2 build 18041013 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands with root privilege via the caname parameter to the /xml/net_WebCADELETEGetValue URI.