Bitcoin software update fixes transaction ID malleability bugs

Bitcoin Core – as the Bitcoin infrastructure software has been renamed to in order to avoid confusion with the the Bitcoin network – has been updated to make, among other things, transaction ID malleability attacks more difficult to execute.

Five fixes that address this specific issue have been implemented in this new (0.9.0) version of the software, but many more have been incorporated to tackle issues related to block-chain handling and storage, mining, protocol and network, mining, and so on.

Instructions how to install the newest version or to upgrade from an older version are also included in the release notes.

The transaction ID malleability issue was the most pressing one, as it led to the temporary and/or permanent closure of several popular Bitcoin exchanges, including that of Mt. Gox, which allegedly sustained great losses in attacks that took advantage of the weakness.

The company behind the exchange filed for bankruptcy protection in late February, and stated that 750,000 of its customers’ bitcoins and 100,000 of its own had been lost.

But on Thursday they came up with some good news, as they have apparently found approximately 200,000 bitcoins on “certain old­format wallets which were used in the past and which, MtGox thought, no longer held any bitcoins.”

For security reasons, they have been transferred to offline wallets, and these movements have been reported to the court supervising the bankruptcy proceedings.

Taking into account the existence of the 200,000 BTC, the total number of bitcoins which have disappeared is therefore estimated to be approximately 650,000 BTC,” they noted in a public statement, and added that “the reasons for their disappearance and the exact number of bitcoins which disappeared is still under investigation.”

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