- A developer was fixing a bug that let hackers steal funds from virtual wallets
- But the developer accidentally left a second flaw in its systems
- When the user tried to undo the damage by deleting the flaw in the code, this locked the funds in the wallets permanently
- The only way to reverse the issue is a ‘hard-fork’, but not everyone supports this
If you’ve invested in the cryptocurrency, Ethereum, you may want to check that your funds are safe.
More than £200 million ($280 million) of the virtual currency, ether, has been lost after a developer accidentally deleted a vital part of the code while trying to fix a flaw to stop hackers.
Experts describe the error as a ‘suicide’, and predict that this loss is roughly 20 per cent of the entire Ethereum network.
While you might expect such a huge loss to be caused by a hack, it was actually destroyed by accident, according to Parity, the developer that built the digital wallets in which ethers are stored.
To access and transfer funds, multi-signatory wallets require several people to enter secure keys.
Yesterday, Parity was fixing a bug that let hackers steal funds from several multi-signatory wallets.
But the developer accidentally left a second flaw in its systems that allowed one user to become the sole owner of every multi-signature wallet.
When the user, known as ‘devops199’ realised what had happened, they tried to undo the damage by deleting the flaw in the code.
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