A hacker recently spent an entire day trying to exploit a vulnerability of the Pigeoncoin cryptocurrency to steal 235 million PGN tokens. However, these tokens were worth only $15,000.
On September 27th, the users from the BitcoinTalk forums noticed suspicious blockchain activity. It was then later traced back to a user by the name of “mrsandman1”.
The actual vulnerability was a bug in the Bitcoin code which was found and patched eight days back. The bug, known as CVE-2018-17144 is one of the more severe bugs on the Bitcoin network.
As reported by ZDNet, the bug was fixed by the Bitcoin team. However, it would take some time for other cryptocurrencies who are based on the Bitcoin code to patch this bug as well.
Emin Gün Sirer said “Copycat currencies are at risk. By definition, there’s always a group upstream that knows their vulnerabilities”. Emin a renowned cryptographer and a cryptocurrency expert. He is also a professor at Cornell University.
This is what happened to Pigeon coin. The developers were unable to patch the bug and it was still vulnerable when the hacker tried gaining access. By the time the bug was eventually patched, the hacker was able to access 235 million PGN tokens. This is about 25 percent of the total PGN coins on the market (923 million).
The reason that the hack was able to steal such a low amount of money was that Pigeoncoin is among the least traded cryptocurrencies on the crypto market. In fact, one PGN coin is equal to $0.000066. The market cap of this currency is $60,000.
The hacker did not pay attention to these factors and hence they put in a whole day to extract a sum of $15,000 in the process.
Notably, all the major cryptocurrencies that are based on the Bitcoin code, such as Litecoin have already patched the bug.
This article was first published on ZDNet.