State-sponsored Attackers May Compromise Bitcoin 0.13.0 Binaries

There is hardly ever a dull day in Bitcoin, and today will be no different. The website currently displays a message saying how upcoming Bitcoin Core binaries may be targeted by state-sponsored attackers. Since the website cannot defend itself from attackers, everyone who downloads a wallet from the site needs to tread with caution.

Bitcoin 0.13.0 Creates More Drama

The upcoming Bitcoin 0.13.0 release is triggering a warning on the internet site. Since most people download the wallet software from this website, there is a big incentive for anyone who managed to sneak in malicious binary files. While the talk about state-sponsored attackers may be slightly exaggerating, it is not unlikely someone will try to do some damage.

Downloading the wrong binaries can lead to losing all of the funds stored in the Bitcoin wallet. Since bitcoin is non-refundable, that would mean the coins are gone forever. Moreover, there is no telling what other damage these malicious files may cause moving forward. It is not unlikely computers would be used to turn against the Bitcoin network as a whole.

The only way to verify the integrity of upcoming Bitcoin 0.13.0 binaries is by verifying the signature key and hashes. This process is far from straightforward, and most people will not even bother to do so. If people can’t even trust the official website anymore, things are not looking overly positive for Bitcoin right now.

The Bitcoin community is rather divided over this message, as it is not certain this is a legitimate posting either. Since no particular people or groups were named as potential state-sponsored hackers, there will be plenty of speculation among community members.  In fact, there is zero indication of anyone attempting to mess with the binaries either.

What is even more worrisome is how one person with access to the website can discredit the entire ecosystem if he wants to. Posting this message will scare off novice users who want to get involved in cryptocurrency. It is safe to say this notice will cause an even bigger debate as to which clients people should use.

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