Well-known “bitcoin.org” site hacked in an attempt to defraud Internet users

The bitcoin.org site is the victim of an attack. For several hours, a scam attempt appeared on the home page, before the site was taken offline. It is now active again.

“The Bitcoin Foundation gives back to community members! We want to thank you for your help over all these years. Send bitcoins to this address, and we’ll resend double! Offer reserved for the first 10,000! “. This is the message that appeared on September 23, 2021, on the home page of bitcoin.org, the oldest bitcoin news site.

This was not a real informational post, however, but a scam, as the bitcoin.org site was hacked.


The message appeared on the morning of September 23, according to the first Internet users who sounded the alert. Shortly after, the site was taken offline – it has since been online again, as Numerama noticed on the morning of September 23.

All of the site’s resources appear to have come back online, such as the PDF of the Bitcoin Whitepaper, written by Satoshi Nakamoto and hosted on the bitcoin.org site. It was no longer available for a few hours, as the specialist site The Block had noticed.

At the moment, little information is yet available on the incident: it is not known who was behind the attack, or how the hackers went about it. It is also not known how the site came back online, or if the problem was finally fixed. The site teams have not communicated on the events, either on Twitter or on their site. We have also contacted them by email, but have not yet heard from them – we will update this article as appropriate.

However, some hypotheses are circulating on the origin of the hack: according to the account specializing in cybersecurity, it could be a DNS (domain name system) attack, a particular type of attack that makes it possible to scramble the communication between the servers and the targeted website, and let cybercriminals pass. This is still only a guess at this point, and nothing has been proven.


However, we do know that the address the hackers were sending back contained 0.4 bitcoin, or nearly $ 15,000 at the time of this writing. It’s not so much the amount collected in itself that is impressive: we are a long way from the $ 120,000 stolen in 2020 using a similar scam. Moreover, it is not even known yet if the hackers had already deposited them in this account, or if the hacking unfortunately claimed victims. What is impressive is that a site as important as bitcoin.org was targeted, and that the hack was successful.

Always remember that, even if the message comes from a trusted site, you should never believe messages asking to send bitcoin to an unknown address, let alone when they promise to return twice. This is indeed a very common scam in the cryptocurrency world: crooks regularly pose as Elon Musk, and use the same technique.