Tether, is a finance start-up located in Hong Kong, that offers dollar-backed digital tokens and is dubbed as the next generation financial platform powered by the Bitcoin blockchain.
The company that promotes itself as ‘more stable than bitcoin’ has been hacked for more than $30 million worth of its tokens.
The company stated that it had performed the necessary actions required to prevent thieves from being able to access the funds but are requiring that current users to install an update.
The announcement posted by the startup yesterday detailed what happened and what they will be doing.
“Tether Critical Announcement, we discovered that funds were improperly removed from the Tether treasury wallet through malicious action by an external attacker. Tether integrators must take immediate action, as discussed below, to prevent further ecosystem disruption.”
$30,950,010 USDT was removed from the Tether Treasury wallet on November 19, 2017 and sent to an unauthorized bitcoin address. As Tether is the issuer of the USDT managed asset, we will not redeem any of the stolen tokens, and we are in the process of attempting token recovery to prevent them from entering the broader ecosystem. The attacker is holding funds in the following address: 16tg2RJuEPtZooy18Wxn2me2RhUdC94N7r. If you receive any USDT tokens from the above address, or from any downstream address that receives these tokens, do not accept them, as they have been flagged and will not be redeemable by Tether for USD.”
The company went on to detail the actions that they have take to begin to address the matter such as performing a “thorough investigation on the cause of the attack to prevent similar actions in the future” and “temporarily suspending the tether.to back end wallet”. They are also seeking to provide “new builds of Omni Core to the community, this is the software used by Tether integrators to support Omni Layer Transactions)”. The latest build can be found at this address https://github.com/tetherto/omnicore/releases/tag/0.2.99.s.
These updates are supposed to allow for increased protection and prevention of the movement of stolen coins from the attackers address.
They made sure to reiterate, any tokens from the attacker’s address will not be redeemed, and there will now be a temporary hard fork to the Omni layer. In the end Tether is seeking to reclaim the tokens and return them to the treasury.
The startup goes to further state “Tether issuances have not been affected by this attack, and all Tether tokens remain fully backed by assets in the Tether reserve. The only tokens that will not be redeemed are the ones that were stolen from Tether treasury yesterday. Those tokens will be returned to treasury once the Omni Layer protocol enhancements are in place. We will provide further updates as they come available, and we appreciate the community’s patience, understanding, and support while we work to rectify the situation in the best possible manner to everyone’s benefit.”
Another interesting point made by the community has been around the ownership of Tether.to and Bitfinex. “Is the owner of both the same, are they partners?” They’ve also been accused of seeking to manipulate the market in the past as Bitfinex has also been through a hack in the past.
The price of bitcoin was somewhat affected by this news and had a slight dip but bounced back to it’s latest high.
This news comes amidst others also dealing with similar issues such as the recent Parity technologies hack, the issue related to Bithumb, Yapizon and Coindash.
For more info on the announcement, read here