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Over $1m bitcoins stolen in Australian heist

Hackers have attacked an Australian bitcoin bank holding over $1 million worth of the crypto-currency.

The attack, which reportedly took place on 26 October, has left a number of users with nothing, making it one of the largest thefts since the online currency launched four years ago.

The service's operator, known only as Tradefortress, said 4,100 bitcoins were stolen in the attack, which have a value of $1.3 million.

He offered the service called, which he now claims was "one of the most secure web wallets on the market". Customers were charged a small fee to keep their bitcoins there.

Tradefortress told Fairfax Media that some of the money lost in the hack will be repaid to those affected, with the operator using 1,000 of his own bitcoins, as well as the money the hackers did not steal to do so.

Researchers from Cornell University recently claimed that bitcoin is vulnerable to "selfish" attacks that would allow cyber criminals to take control of the digital cash system.

By Asim Shah