This is a clear example of low quality press, pcworld which is supposed to be a technical magazine proves that it is not, it tries to create news that sell at the expense of lying, most low tech readers will believe the article.
There is no such thing as a fake bitcoin, a counterfit bitcoin does not exist, the only way a counterfeit could exist is if someone discovered a flaw in the bitcoin algorithm and up to present time it has not happened, and it is not likely that it will happen since bitcoin has a few years in existance and it is open source.
So to make things clear there are no phony or fake bitcoins, if you have a bitcoin it is the real thing.
What happens is that the database of a bitcoin exchange got compromised, and a thief stole bitcoins, the bitcoins that the thief stole were the real thing, however it appears that he altered the entry on the database for more bitcoins, that does mean a bitcoin can be fake, since in the wallet is where the bitcoins are actually stored and those are real.
It is just bad press, since the average person will think bitcoins can be fake, when in reality they can not.
The average person will think that the security of the bitcoin protocol has been compromised when in reality it is strong as ever, the only thing that was compromised was the security of the exchange and that has been fixed and improved.
For example if someone writes a check without funds no one in their right mind will say that the dollar has been hacked and it is faked, only the entry in the checkbook is fake not the dollar, same with bitcoin, if a microsoft virus steals your bitcoins it is not the bitcoin protocol that is insecure it is your windows pc.
The article mentions "the price of the online currency crashed, creating a buying frenzy", not true it was a hacker selling massive amounts of bitcoins and therefore bought the price down at the exchange, the price of bitcoin as a whole remained stabled at other exchanges at around 15 to 17 dollars, the buying frenzy was created when the hacker sold massive amounts of bitcoins, but it was only at the exchange, and it was because of a hacked account. The bitcoin currency never crashed, saying otherwise is misleading.
It is well known that a thief will sell what he/she steals below market price after all it costed him/her 0.
People do not say the dollar crashed because a bank got robbed, why create this nonsence with bitcoin, I got a feeling that the bitcoin got past the step where it was being ignored, now it is being attacked and using low quality press for that, after the bitcoin has a large percent of the market it will no longer be atacked, the same persons that talk bad about bitcoin, they will be saying that they new all along the bitcoin was going to be a great thing.
I used to be a cryptographer, and any good cryptographer will tell you the same thing there are no fake bitcoins. Someone can write an entry in a database saying they have 30 million bitcoins or on a pice of paper, so what those are not bitcoins, in the case of the dollar in can be countefeit, but countefeit for most people means something that looks like the real thing but it is not, not an entry on a database or something very different like the liberty dollar.
When I say the bitcoin can not be fake or phony I am talking in terms of computer science, math, and cryptography, under the law anything is possible some day some legislator could by definition define the bitcoin as counterfeit money, but at the same time on some other country it could be defined as legal tender money, so under the law anything is possible, but not under math, computer science, and cryptography which are sciences clearly and well defined.
By law the liberty dollar is counterfeit money, but using math it is not, the weights are different, the metals are different, a simple computer program or even a 3 years old could clearly see the difference between a quarter and a liberty dollar, but the real reason it was that it was not convenient to the government to have a competing currency.
The enemy of the bitcoins are the bankers, the bad press, and ironically the government.
The good news, once bitcoins survives the period of attacks by bankers, the bad press, and some governments, it will then be highly recognized by everyone, then the banks, the bad press, and the governments will be saying good things about the bitcoin, and its value will skyrocket by then, we will then speak of the milibitcoin.
For those of us that believe in the strength of the bitcoin we will be rewarded later, just like the early adopters have been rewarded already.