A string of thefts hit Bitcoin’s most reputable wallet service

coinbase07 Feb 2014 / The Verge – In a few hours on December 15th, Jeff lost nearly $10,000.

It was 10.6 bitcoins held in the wallet service Coinbase, the most well-funded and widely implemented service on the market. Jeff, who asked that we not use his last name, got the news of the transaction as soon as it happened, and after going back and forth with a customer-service representative, he had his money refunded. Exactly one month later, it happened again.

Coinbase told him he’d been hacked

This time, the news came while he was at the hospital for the birth of his daughter. He hurried to unlink his checking account, only to see a new purchase for $7,000 worth of bitcoins had just cleared. He quickly moved the new money out of Coinbase, dropping it in a secure offline wallet where the hackers couldn’t reach it. He’d saved the $7,000 from being stolen, but his original 10.6 bitcoins were now gone for good. Coinbase told him he’d been hacked, and didn’t qualify for a second refund.

It’s part of a string of Bitcoin thefts that have hit the service in recent weeks. The Verge has confirmed two other Coinbase users with stories similar to Jeff’s, one taken for $16,000 and another for $5,000. In the first case, the victim was using two-factor authentication and received a refund; in the second, two-factor hadn’t been enabled and the refund was denied, on grounds that the user hadn’t properly set up the account’s security measures. Several other as-yet-unverified reports have also been posted on the Coinbase subreddit…. Read more


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