Chinese Bitcoin exchange Bter has suspended its services following the theft of 7,170 BTC, worth roughly $1.7 million.
The incident is being investigated by both the company and local police. A message posted on its website informs users that Bter is prepared to offer a 720 BTC reward, worth $170,000, to anyone who can help retrieve the stolen funds. Bter says it will arrange the withdrawal of unaffected coins at a later date.
The alert on Bter’s website claims the Bitcoins have been stolen from a cold wallet, also known as an offline wallet. Theft from a cold wallet usually involves insiders, but as users have pointed out on Reddit, a statement written by the company in Chinese suggests that the cryptocurrency wasn’t actually stolen from a cold wallet.
This isn’t the first incident involving Bter. In August 2014, the company announced that hackers had stolen $1.65 million worth of NXT, a cryptocurrency launched in November 2013.
Bter is not the first Bitcoin exchange to suffer a data breach. In early January, Bitstamp announced the loss of 19,000 BTC, which at the time was worth approximately $5.2 million.
In response to recent security incidents, the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) and Bitcoin security platform BitGo have started developing what they call the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS). The CCSS outlines security best practices for the storage and usage of cryptocurrencies within an organization. A draft of the CCSS was made available last week.