Mt.Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, has been downed earlier today by what appears to be a “strong DDoS attack”.
“We are working hard to overcome it and will update when possible. It’s currently 2am in Japan so please forgive us if our Facebook/Twitter updates are not as quick, though the team is certainly not taking any breaks,” the operators stated on the service’s Facebook page.
“We’re very much looking forward to implementing a much stronger solution very soon and will make an announcement to that effect once it’s in place,”
The company has already employed Prolexic in order to minimize the impact of the DDoS attacks to which it is subjected.
The bitcoin exchange is attacked daily, they say, and it has been experiencing a number of disruptions in the last month – some due to the attacks, and some due to the unexpected influx of new customers and a rise in trading volume for which their platform was not prepared.
Since Mt.Gox handles more than 60 percent of all bitcoin transactions in the world, it’s easy to see how its smooth operation is crucial to keeping the price of bitcoin from swinging wildly, and why malicious users who are trying to profit from these swings have a vested interest in making them happen.
According to Computerworld, the service is also begun limiting the number of mini-transactions one trader can initiate, because submitting a huge number of minuscule sell order can make it seem like the price of bitcoin is falling and everybody is selling for that reason, which can in turn influence less careful traders to join the fray without thinking.
The exchange’s marketing director Gonzague Gay-Bouchery has also confirmed that they will be limiting the amount of this type and other types of trades when the trading engine is working overtime.