In the wake of the Slush pool hack we are evaluating the way payouts are handled at ABCPool. NEWS: Auto-payout changes to lower the impact of a security breach.
The news that shocked the Bitcoin world earlier today was that several Bitcoin services were compromised
after the super-admin password of their provider Linode had leaked. An enormous amount of Bitcoins was stolen. The Bitcoins were stored in wallets on these servers. This allows them to be easily transferred to customers, but also to a potential hacker.ABCPool was not affected, as we are hosted on Amazon EC2.
Many services (possibly including the services that were hacked today) employ 'cold storage': An off-site wallet that contains the part of the balances that is not directly needed. The cold storage is chosen to be a place that's difficult to reach for a hacker. Cold storage decreases the impact of a hack because only the hot Bitcoins can be stolen. The trick is then to keep the size of the hot wallet as small as possible.
ABCPool has had such a cold storage facility since the security incident we had last year. In light of recent events we felt we needed to review the payment and storage procedures for the pool once more. We've now deployed several changes that make the pool an even less interesting target to hack than before.
By making the payment schedule more dynamic, we ensured that our hot wallet is now continuously hovering near 0.What does this mean for ABC Miners?
* Lower impact in case of a security incident, which means a higher chance of us being able to reimburse you for any losses.
* Payout timing is less predictable. If you're in a rush, request a manual payout.
* Payouts are now processed all day long, not only at 11:00 and 23:00.
* The payout threshold has been replaced by an autopay toggle.
* Payouts are still nicely rounded amounts. Any amount left on your account balance will be part of a future payment.
We will be monitoring payouts closely for a while and play with the knobs to create an optimal balance between security and payment speed.
Let us know what you think or if you encounter any problems.
Happy Hashing everyone!