Yerevan, 23.October.2018,

Blockchain bandits hit crypto start-ups

In early September, developer Stephanie Kent watched the approach of Hurricane Hermine with growing trepidation.

A hurricane making landfall is never welcome but it looked set to strike Ms Kent's home in Florida at the worst possible time.

Back then, Ms Kent was fighting hackers seeking to take over her digital cash start-up Krypton - a services firm based around a variant of Bitcoin's underlying technology, the blockchain.

Ms Kent and her coding team had just recovered from one attack and had seen early signs that another was under way.

"We were hit by the hurricane during the second attack," she says.

Then, the savage storm knocked the power out.

"That really didn't help," she says.

Undeterred, Ms Kent decamped to a local convenience store, plugged in her laptop and got back to work battling the hackers.

Krypton defeated them by drawing on some rarely-used features in the blockchain code which helped to thwart the attempted takeover. But that was not before the bad guys got away with virtual Krypton cash worth about $6,000 (£4,900).

Ms Kent wasn't alone in getting hit. A similar attack, probably by the same group, was used against a separate crypto-currency start-up called Swift.

"There are a lot of malicious actors in crypto-currency right now," says Ms Kent. "It's the gunslinger era."

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