Anyone who downloaded the Bitcoin Gold Wallet for Windows between November 24th, 13:11 UTC and November 25th, 2017, 22:30 UTC is at risk of a malware infection, BTG developers announced on the coin’s official site. The warning came after an unknown party replaced the official Windows wallet download with a different file in Bitcoin Gold’s GitHub repository.
It’s the second Bitcoin Gold wallet-related swindle in the past week — just days ago, a site claiming to generate BTG wallets for users who submitted their private keys instead stole the balances, netting over $3 million USD in various digital assets.
The unidentified wallet file sat available for download for 36 hours, said a “critical warning” posted on BitcoinGold.org. While developers were still analyzing the file, users should presume it is malicious.
The warning even advised those who downloaded the file to delete it, move any cryptocurrencies stored on local keys to new external addresses, and possibly even wipe their machine clean.
The incident serves as a public safety announcement to always verify cryptocurrency software downloads with the checksum developers provide. Users should assume such download sites are regular targets for key-stealing malware attacks, and be vigilant.
Those who verified their downloads using Bitcoin Gold’s SHA-256 checksum would have noticed instantly the file was not genuine. Those who installed it without verifying exposed themselves to danger. Likewise, anyone who installed the wallets by compiling the source code is probably safe.
The intruder replaced only the Windows wallet file, and Linux wallet users should not be affected. Developers are now performing security audits on Bitcoin Gold’s systems and examining the wallet file to discover its purpose.
The unidentified file does not trigger antivirus warnings, developers found. They said the GitHub repository is now secure with the official wallet file, and they do not believe a second attack is possible.
At press time, there haven’t been any confirmed accounts of BTG users losing funds to the mysterious wallet file. As with Bitcoin Cash and other blockchain forks in the past, however, some users have reported losing funds trying to split their existing balances into two separate currencies.
Have you downloaded a Bitcoin Gold wallet? Were you one of the users at risk? Tell us about it in the comments.
Images via Pixabay, BitcoinGold.org