A lot of Bitcoin mining pools were hit by Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. AntPool, BW.com, NiceHash, CKPool and GHash.io are some of the mining pools that were hit quite recently. All these incidents seem to have been initiated in the first week of March. On 11th March, Bitmain, the AntPool owner sent an email to customers explaining the DDOS attacks.
External pool users were also advised to set up failsafe pools during the event of a possible outage. The companies affected by these attacks have disclosed the motive behind them. According to them, the people who are behind them demand payment in Bitcoin in return for stopping further attacks.
Through their official blog, BW.com warned customers regarding the possible service disruptions caused due to the DDOS attacks. However, they did not disclose whether a Bitcoin ransom has been demanded. Many other Bitcoin mining pools sought help in Bitcoin Talk in order to warn users about these attacks. CEX.io, the operator for GHash.io further suggested that the pools that have already been affected are witnessing an escalation in DDOS threats.
Furthermore, the source responsible for the recent attacks on their pool came with more ransom demands. CoinDesk was informed by a spokesperson from CEX.io claiming that the attacks were conducted by a hacker who had previously attacked them in October last year. Earlier, the ransom for stopping such attacks was 2 BTC. Recently, it was increased to 5-10 BTC.
NiceHash, another Bitcoin mining pool admitted that they have also sustained DDOS attacks last fall. The source responsible for these DDOS attacks is known by the name DD4BC. The particular source is responsible for a lot of attacks on digital currency websites and services during the past year. An attack conducted last year on digital currency exchange Bitalo resulted in a ransom of 100 BTC.
After the recent DDOS attacks, Bitmain decided to contribute an extra 10 BTC to the resulting bounty. In light of these recent attacks, the affected pools claim that they have bolstered in-house defense mechanisms. However, customers were alerted to stay vigilant in case of similar future outages. Bitmain further declared that its cloud mining platform HashNest could also be affected in the coming days.