Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy in U.S. to stop lawsuits

Mt. Gox filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the U.S. to temporarily stop lawsuits. On Sunday, hackers hijacked Mt. Gox CEO's blog and accused him of lying about Bitcoins being stolen.

Today in an effort "to temporarily halt U.S. legal action," Mt. Gox ‒ previously the world's largest bitcoin exchange ‒ filed for U.S. bankruptcy. Reuters reported, "The Chapter 15 filing allows Mt. Gox to ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to recognize its foreign bankruptcy and to assist in the Japanese proceedings by protecting its U.S.-based assets. U.S. creditors can contest Mt. Gox's request for Chapter 15 protection."

On Sunday, hackers hijacked Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles' personal blog and accused him of lying about Bitcoins being stolen. If the 950,000 bitcoin balance posted by unidentified hackers is accurate, then there are 100,000 bitcoins missing. On Feb. 28, Mt. Gox claimed to have lost 850,000 bitcoins and filed bankruptcy protection in a Tokyo District Court. But the hackers claimed, "It's time that MTGOX got the bitcoin communities wrath instead of Bitcoin Community getting Goxed." Next to a balance of 951,116 bitcoins, the hackers noted, "That fat [bleep] has been lying!"

The hackers wrote, "We stole no bitcoins. There were none to steal." However, the post included links to a zipped file with .exe and Mac .app files; Reddit users warned the file contains bitcoin-stealing malware.

Apparently Forbes looked at it before reporting:

The hackers also posted a 716 megabyte file to Karpeles' personal website that they said comprised stolen data from Mt. Gox's servers. It appears to include an Excel spreadsheet of over a million trades, a file that purports to show the company's balances in eighteen difference currencies, the backoffice application for some sort of administrative access to the databases of Mt. Gox's parent company Tibanne Limited, a screenshot of the hackers' access to those databases, a list of Mark Karpeles' home addresses and Karpeles' personal CV.

Forbes was unable to verify the info, but the many commenters over the web say it is the real deal. Then again, that could be social engineering so people with bitcoins will download the file, click on the tainted .exe, and lose their bitcoins to the hackers. Although the "attackers claim to have obtained database records containing transaction details from Mt. Gox," they "wrote they purposely withheld users' personal data. Mt. Gox had as many as 1 million customers as of December."

Elsewhere, a user going by nanashi___ posted on bitcointalk:

I am selling all data obtained in recently MT. Gox database hack. File is ~20gb and contains full personal information of all clients in gox system, including passport scan. This document will never be elsewhere published by us. Selling it one or two times to make up personal loses from gox closure. Asking 100BTC for entire document. Willing to sell it in pieces, 10BTC for 2gb of data.

I will verify that I am in possesion of this data before you make purchase. Interested buyers can contact me and I will send you all information contained in file about you personally. No one contact asking for parts of the file for free/me to send file before payment.

Forum moderators have since deleted the post, but at the start of March someone going by nanashi____ claimed to be the spokesperson for the group of hackers who "breached the systems of the now defunct Mt. Gox in an effort to find out what really happened to the world's largest Bitcoin exchange."

There are numerous angry hackers, bitcoin miners and "experts" trying "to analyze the blockchain to figure out where large stashes of bitcoins once held by Mt. Gox may have been transferred."  

Before Mt. Gox filed bankruptcy, there were at least two lawsuits going after it. One was from an Illinois resident who "sued the company in Chicago on behalf of all U.S. residents who paid a trading fee to Mt. Gox and those who had bitcoins or other currency with the exchange when it halted bitcoin withdrawals on February 7." The other was "filed by CoinLab Inc for breach of contract."

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