Black markets are where you expect all the shady and murky characters of the world to conduct their business. One would imagine them being streetwise and fully familiar with all the tricks that exist in the playbook. But the internet is where conventions get reversed and this is what happened on Thursday when Silk Road 2 – the internet's premium black market for illegal products and services – got their own stuff stolen.
Apparently, hackers exploited the infamous transaction malleability bug and completely cleaned up Silk Road 2's bitcoin account. In total, they stole 4474.27 bitcoins, the monetary value of which stands at a staggering $2.7 million.
The news was broken by the community's admin Defcon himself, who, in a forum thread, wrote: "We have been hacked... Our initial investigations indicate that a vendor exploited a recently discovered vulnerability in the Bitcoin protocol known as “transaction malleability” to repeatedly withdraw coins from our system until it was completely empty."
It wasn't long ago when the site used to take pride in its security strength. So what caused this lapse then? Defcon explained it himself, saying: "I should have taken MtGox and Bitstamp’s lead and disabled withdrawals as soon as the malleability issue was reported. I was slow to respond and too skeptical of the possible issue at hand."
Knowing full well that no matter how hard they or anyone try, nothing can be done at this point to get the stolen P2P money back, Defcon reverted to emotional appealing.
"It takes the integrity of all of us to push this movement forward,” he pleaded. “Whoever you are, you still have a chance to act in the interest of helping this community. Being a part of this movement might be the most defining thing you do with your entire life. Don’t trade that for greed, comrades.”