In a bad bit of bitcoin news, the online currency has become the target of anonymous hackers who have succeeded in causing two leading bitcoin exchanges to briefly stop customers from making withdrawals from their accounts.
On Tuesday, the Bitcoin Foundation attributed problems at Bitstamp, an online exchange based in Slovenia, and Japan-based Mt. Gox, to denial-of-service (DOS) attacks by unidentified cyber criminals. So far, the attacks have forced the two exchanges to halt withdrawals, the Bitcoin Foundation says, but the bitcoins in customers’ wallet accounts have not been compromised, Reuters notes.
Some customers of the exchanges will find bitcoins in their wallet accounts inaccessible until software engineers found a way to foil the DOS attacks.
Bitcoin values have fluctuated wildly in recent months as various pieces of bitcoin news sent the currency up and down. Continuing bitcoin withdrawal problems at Mt. Gox sent the currency tumbling again earlier this week.
Last month, there was more negative bitcoin news when the head of a leading exchange was arrested in New York on conspiracy to money-launder charges.
In November, bitcoin values surged to new highs on good bitcoin news after U.S. regulators told a Senate committee that they had no plans to regulate the online currency.