OKEx and Bitfinex Cryptocurrency exchanges suffered multiple denial of service attacks. Whether the attacks are connected is unclear as of now, though OKEx CEO has blamed the competitors on his personal Weibo page.
On February 27, at approximately 11:30 AM EST, OKEx first suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. CEO Jay Hao posted on his personal Weibo page as the attack unfolded, blaming unnamed competitors for the attack. The attack routed up to 200 gigabytes per traffic second which put strain on OKEx systems.
The denial of service attacks resumed on Feb. 28, at approximately 4:30 AM EST. As announced by the Twitter account of the exchange, Bitfinex was hit this time too.
The status page of Bitfinex shows that the attack lasted up to 5:30 AM for an hour, severely crippling the activity of the exchange during that period as the throughput dropped nearly nil.
OKEx was attacked again in the same timeframe with another DDoS attack, as Hao tweeted. The new denial attack allegedly routed 400 gigabytes of traffic per second, twice as much as the previous one.
An OKEx representative said that the denials of service were “properly handled within a short period of time and no overseas client is impacted.”
The attack was carried out shortly after completion of “temporary system maintenance,” which had disabled options and futures trading during the maintenance period. The representative stated that both events are completely unrelated.
Implementing Stricter Protection Levels
Bitfinex representatives stated that the team implemented a “stricter protection level” as normal activity was resumed.
Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino explained the attack as saying:
“The attacker tried to exploit concurrently several platform features to increase load in the infrastructure. While we use many different DDoS prevention mechanisms, the huge number of different IP addresses used and the sophisticated crafting of the requests towards our API v1 exploited an internal inefficiency in one of our non-core process queues.”
Cryptolydian reported earlier that, Altsbit, an Italian cryptocurrency exchange that lost almost all coins in hack on Feb. 5, announced that its services will be terminated in May 2020.