$7 Million Lost in CoinDash ICO Hack

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Coindesk | Wolfie Zhao | Jul 17, 2017

An initial coin offering (ICO) for a little-know startup project called CoinDash was abruptly halted today when it was revealed the sale had been compromised shortly after it began.

In total, the ICO was able to raise $7.53m before the ethereum address it was using to solicit funds was altered to a fake one by an unidentified hacker, resulting in the ether going to another source.

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At the time of publication, the CoinDash website has been shut down, and the project is asking investors who have been affected to submit information to the provided link to collect the CoinDash token (CDT) they should be rewarded through the sale.

The company's statement reads:

"Contributors that sent ETH to the fraudulent Ethereum address, which was maliciously placed on our website, and sent ETH to the CoinDash.io official address will receive their CDT tokens accordingly."

Notably, as the project is still under attack, and the sale has been terminated.

In a statement, CoinDash urged investors not to send any ether to any address, since "transactions sent to any fraudulent address after the website was shut down will not be compensated."


Via CNBC | |

Fraudsters just stole $7 million by hacking a cryptocoin offering

  • More than $7 million worth of ethereum was stolen in about half an hour.
  • CoinDash said it will provide tokens to buyers except those who invested after its site was shut down.

Around 9 a.m. eastern time on Monday, Shawn Van de Vyver, a dentist in Michigan, went to CoinDash's website to check out the project's initial coin offering — a new way that cryptocurrency start-ups are raising money.

Van de Vyver has been building computers and websites for 20 years and started studying bitcoin when it was trading in the single digits (it's now priced at more than $2,000). He also invested a couple thousand dollars in digital currency ethereum, he told CNBC.

CoinDash is sometimes described as the E-Trade for blockchain and Van de Vyver was interested in tracking the project, even if he wasn't yet ready to invest.

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Shortly after 9, Van de Vyver got a text from a dentist friend telling him that the site had been hacked.

Visitors to the site had been told to send their ethereum to another address in order to participate in the ICO.

People who followed those instructions had their money stolen, according to the website. Over the course of about a half an hour, more than $7 million was routed to the hacker. According to Etherscan, which tracks the movement of ethereum, some 2,130 transactions took place.

"I could've been hoodwinked," said Van de Vyver, 37, in an interview Monday morning. "These are not sophisticated investors trying to invest in a company."

Welcome to the lawless world of ICOs. Start-ups building on blockchain are raising millions of dollars in exchange for tokens that give buyers future access to their network once it's up and running. The tokens also rise and fall in value and can be bought and sold, giving them characteristics of unregulated securities.

The SEC has yet to weigh in on the new market, meaning that buyers have little to no legal recourse if their money gets stolen.

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CoinDash said in a statement on its website that it will provide tokens (CDTs) to people who sent ethereum to the fraudulent address prior to the CoinDash site being closed down. But transactions that took place after the site was shut "will not be compensated," the company said.

"This was a damaging event to both our contributors and our company but it is surely not the end of our project," CoinDash said. "We are looking into the security breach and will update you all as soon as possible about the findings."

A CoinDash spokesperson had no further comment, but referred CNBC to the website.

To assist the investigation, the company tweeted out a form for people to fill out if they tried to purchase coins.

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