A site administrator said the hackers were able to manipulate the computer code, which enabled them to withdraw more than $2.7 million worth of the online currency.
This follows attacks that were similar on two individual exchanges earlier in the week. Both of those exchanges trade in bitcoins.
The Silk Road 2 site has been known for its sale of illegal items including drugs. It is only accessible by using Tor, a network where user can browse online anonymously. The Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is often used for transactions as it gives users some amount of anonymity.
The original site Silk Road was shuttered in 2013 by the FBI, but the people operating it said they would begin from scratch and shortly thereafter opened Silk Road 2.
A statement was posted on the forums of Silk Road 2 by the site’s administrator referred to as Defcon. The statement said the site had been hacked.
It continued by saying nobody was in danger and no information had been leaked. The statement said the attacker never gained server access.
Preliminary investigations have indicated that one of the site’s venders exploited a vulnerability recently discovered in the protocol for Bitcoin referred to as transaction malleability. The hacker was able to withdraw coins from the system unit all had been taken.
Bitcoin is considered a new currency with virtual tokens instead of physical notes or coins. However, like other currencies the value of it is determined by the amount people are willing to pay in exchange for it.
To process transactions of Bitcoin, a procedure referred to as mining is required, which involves a computer being able to solve a complex mathematical equation with a solution that is 64-digits.
For each of the problems solved, one group of bitcoins can be processed, in addition, new bitcoins are rewarded to the miner.
This is an incentive for people to give computer processing power in order to solve the equations.