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This article was published on February 18, 2015

Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange is shutting down after a suspected hack

Canada’s largest Bitcoin exchange is shutting down after a suspected hack
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Canadian Bitcoin exchange Cavirtex has announced that it may have suffered a security breach and is shutting down its operations shortly.

The Calgary-based company says it believes an older version of its database, including two-factor authentication secrets and hashed passwords, may have been compromised on February 15.

While the company says it hasn’t lost any of its reserves, it feels “the damage to [its] reputation caused by the potential compromise will significantly harm [its] ability to continue to operate successfully.

The company adds that while the breached database didn’t contain identity documents, it cannot guarantee that login details were not leaked. In its public statement, it urges customers to change their passwords immediately.

On the bright side, Cavirtex says it hasn’t lost any funds and will be able to return its customers’ funds in full. The company has ceased accepting deposits and will halt withdrawals on March 25.

It’s sad to see companies trying to do something to take business into the future come under fire like this. Chinese exchange Bter lost $1.75 million to hackers earlier this week, and $5 million was stolen from Slovenia’s Bitstamp last month.

As they seem to be soft targets for cybercriminals, businesses dealing in cryptocurrency should invest heavily in security measures and aim to promote research and development to maintain the fidelity of their data and assets. Let’s hope that this is the last Bitcoin breach we hear of — this year, at least.

Cavirtex shutting down [Cavirtex News via Straight]