Fraudsters hacked the database of Bitcoin service Instawallet, according to IDG News Service. The storing service acknowledged the security breach, but didnâ€™t say how many bitcoins were stolen. The company also suspended the service indefinitely and plans to develop a new architecture.
â€œOur database was fraudulently accessed, [and] due to the very nature of Instawallet it is impossible to reopen the service as-is,â€ Instawallet said. â€œIn the next few days we are going to open the claim process for Instawallet balance holders to claim the funds they had stored before the service interruption.â€
The company also announced it will accept claims for individual Instawallets for the first 90 days, using the walletsâ€™ URL and key to file the claim. Clients will then be refunded the currency value if the balance is less than 50 BTC.
Claims for online wallets holding more than 50 bitcoins â€œwill be processed on a case by case and best efforts basis,â€ Instawallet said.
The breach follows a series of attacks targeting bitcoin services. In September 2012, Bitfloor has suspended all operations after a hacker stole $250,000 worth of bitcoins. In May of last year, exchange site Bitcoinica was also breached, and attackers managed to grab bitcoins valued at $90,000. After the attack, the companyâ€™s founder resigned, saying that â€œmaking money isnâ€™t that important after all.â€
Users have recently shown an ongoing interest for the virtual currency, increasing the value of a bitcoin to over US$140, the IDG News Service reports. Bitcoin is an experimental virtual currency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world. The method uses peer-to-peer technology and doesnâ€™t operate with any central payment authority.