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U.S. Marshals blast email addresses of those interested in anonymous bitcoin auction

Accidentally leaked credentials; Insider attack

A government worker hit Cc instead of Bcc while inputting email addresses of people who had asked questions about the sale of 30,000 bitcoins confiscated from the now-defunct Silk Road black market.

The recipients were supposed to receive an FAQ, not see a list of potential competitors in the public sale.

The U.S. Marshals service is the federal agency assigned to carry out the auction of the bitcoins, originally seized by the FBI and now worth about $18 million.

U.S. Marshals spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue said:

“The message was not intended for any particular group of people, but for anyone who had emailed a question to the general mailbox to ask about the auction. Only recipient email addresses were disclosed.”

She added, “The USMS apologizes for this mistake which was in no way intentional.”

The resulting leak details a diverse group of individuals and possible bidders from the investment world, according to CoinDesk.

The agency said the message was sent to anyone who had emailed to learn about the auction, and suggested that not all of the parties had necessarily expressed an interest in buying the bitcoins, though all expressed an interest in the process. 

sector

Financial Services; Government (U.S.)

reported

June 18, 2014

reported by

CoinDesk

number affected

17 individuals

location of breach

United States

perpetrators

Employee

location of perpetrators

United States

date breach occurred

June 18, 2014

date breach detected

June 18, 2014