More and more people are buying Bitcoin and the biggest exchange is the target of concerted attacks of criminal organizations interested in destabilizing Bitcoin. They can’t attack the network itself, so they try to hit the easiest target.
Last year, Mt.Gox saw an average of 9,000 to 10,000 new accounts created every month. This number doubled in January, tripled in February, and sextupled in March. In this month alone, over 57,000 new accounts were created!, said Mt.Gox
Here is an explanation from Mt.Gox (the biggest exchange) for the problems that they’re having:
[…]we are continuing to experience a DDoS attack like we have never seen. While we are being protected by companies like Prolexic, the sheer volume of this DDoS left us scrambling to fine-tune the system every few hours to make sure that things don’t go beyond a few 502 error pages and trading lag.
Why has Mt.Gox become the target of a DDoS attack?
It is not yet clear who is behind this DDoS and we may never know, but these actions seem to have two major purposes:
1. Destabilize Bitcoin in general.
It is not a secret Mt.Gox is the largest Bitcoin exchange with more than 80% of all USD trades and more than 70% of all currencies. Mt.Gox is an easy target for anyone that wants to hurt Bitcoin in general.
2. Abuse the system for profit.
Attackers wait until the price of Bitcoins reaches a certain value, sell, destabilize the exchange, wait for everybody to panic-sell their Bitcoins, wait for the price to drop to a certain amount, then stop the attack and start buying as much as they can. Repeat this two or three times like we saw over the past few days and they profit.