Bitfinex and OKEx Hit by DDoS Attacks

February 28, 2020 / by Crypto.IQ

Two major crypto exchanges, Bitfinex and OKEx, were hit with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in a span of 24 hours. Bitfinex was down for under an hour, and OKEx was down for several hours, but both exchanges are up and running now.

A DDoS attack is when a hacker sends a flood of messages and requests to a server in order to overwhelm the server. Essentially, the server will be so busy handling the attacker’s requests that requests from regular users will not work, resulting in the website appearing to be down or working very slowly.

The Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Bitfinex, Paolo Ardoino, said that the DDoS attack was highly sophisticated, and therefore the person behind the attack had deeply prepared for it.

This makes it seem likely that the same hacker was behind both attacks. Fortunately, Bitfinex says this same attack will never work again.

In addition to Bitfinex and OKEx, apparently the small decentralized exchange (DEX) Deversifi was hit by the attack. Notably, Deversifi was launched by Bitfinex.

Ultimately, it is unclear what the hacker’s motives were, and there are no signs that any damage occurred besides the brief shutdowns of OKEx, Bitfinex, and Deversifi.