Just hours after it played a supporting role in the takedown of the Silk Road drug empire, the Bitcointalk.org website suffered a hack that exposed users' personal messages, e-mails, and password data.
"To be safe, it is recommended that all Bitcoin Forum users consider any password used on the Bitcoin Forum in 2013 to be insecure," an e-mail sent to registered users stated. "If you used this password on a different site, change it. When the Bitcoin Forum returns, change your password."
User passwords were cryptographically protected using 7,500 rounds of the SHA256crypt hash function, Bitcoin Talk administrator Theymos said in a forum on reddit. That's a significant measure that could add decades or even centuries to the task of cracking passcodes that are at least nine characters and randomly generated. Still, the hack could be damaging to the privacy of users who stored sensitive communications on the site. Bitcoin Talk administrators are in the process of figuring out how the compromise happened and don't plan to restore service until after the security hole is plugged.