Bitcoin hit by denial of service attacks as regulators prepare clampdown

A chain of block erupters used for Bitcoin mining is pictured at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, California October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam


Bitcoin is being hit by attacks from unknown computer hackers who are sending “mutated” lines of code into the program that runs the virtual currency, a spokeswoman from its main trade organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

The attacks are responsible for problems experienced by two bitcoin exchanges that caused them to temporarily halt withdrawals by customers who stored bitcoins in digital wallets provided by the exchanges, the Bitcoin Foundation said in a statement.

“This is a denial-of-service attack,” said the spokeswoman, Jinyoung Lee Englund. “Whoever is doing this is not stealing coins, but is succeeding in preventing some transactions from confirming. It’s important to note that DoS attacks do not affect people’s bitcoin wallets or funds.”

Englund said a team of core software developers who focus on bitcoin were working to fix the problem, but until it was solved some users would not be able to do anything with their bitcoins, and the affected bitcoins would appear to be “tied up” in transactions.

“Only users who make multiple transactions in a short period of time will be affected,” she said.

On Tuesday, Slovenia-based Bitstamp became the second major bitcoin exchange to halt customer withdrawals in the past several days, citing “inconsistent results”, and blaming a denial-of-service attack.

That was a day after Mt. Gox, the best-known digital marketplace operator, said a halt on withdrawals would continue indefinitely. Traders reacted to the halt by sending the value of bitcoin to its lowest in nearly two months.

The price of bitcoin, which has gained wider acceptance in recent months, varied dramatically from one exchange to another. On Tuesday, it was quoted at $645 per coin on Bitstamp’s exchange, down 6 percent on the day.


Also on Tuesday, Canada said it will toughen rules targeting money laundering and terrorist financing to keep a closer eye on the use of virtual currencies.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, expects to adopt consumer disclosure rules, capital requirements and a framework for permissible investments with consumer money.

“Our objective is to provide appropriate guard rails to protect consumers and root out money laundering without stifling beneficial innovation,” Lawsky said in a speech at the New America Foundation in Washington.

Lawsky said last month that his agency plans to issue rules for businesses handling virtual currencies, including a “BitLicense”, which could make New York the first U.S. state to regulate virtual currencies such as bitcoins.

Bitcoin proponents like the fact that it and a host of other currencies generated by computer programs are not backed by a government or central bank, and that their value fluctuates only according to demand.

“The really tricky question for regulators is how we structure those types of rules in light of the fact that the funds these firms hold are not denominated in dollars or other forms of traditional fiat currencies,” Lawsky said.

Lawsky expected to release the regulations in the spring or the summer of this year, and said the agency would seek public comment once it had published the plan in a so-called notice for proposed rule-making.

His agency is still wrestling with the question of whether to ban or restrict the use of “tumblers”, which obscure the record and source of virtual currencies. Tumblers are a concern to law enforcement, but they might also have legitimate uses.

He said most virtual currencies have public ledgers which, when combined with know-your-customer guidelines, could serve as anti-money laundering controls.

The remarks follow two days of hearings in New York on the potential regulation of virtual currencies. Witnesses at the late January hearings included state and federal prosecutors, as well as industry participants such as the investor twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.


Prepaid Funeral Plans

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With the high cost of funerals these days, many Australians are taking advantage of opportunities to prepare their finances in advance.

A prepaid funeral plan allows you to fix the price of your funeral at today’s prices. A contract is established with your preferred funeral director, setting out your desired type and style of funeral at an agreed price. There’s no more to pay at the time of your funeral, which means you’re protected from the rising cost of funeral prices into the future.

The money you pay for your prepaid funeral plan is held independently of the funeral director and invested in a funeral trust. In the event that your chosen funeral director ceases trading, your money will be allocated to another funeral director of your choice. Alternatively, you can purchase a funeral bond, which is a managed investment that accrues interest, and assign the benefit to the funeral director.

What other options are available to fund my funeral?

Other options to fund your funeral include:

  • A dedicated savings or investment plan.
  • Funeral insurance such as Suncorp Funeral Insurance Plan, which pays a lump sum benefit on your death to cover funeral expenses and other related costs. With cover costing from just a few dollars per week, it’s an affordable financial safety net for you and your loved ones.

Dukan diet

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To lose weight when there is an abundance of food around you is not natural, is difficult and often unsuccessful. The Dukan method proposes a healthy eating plan that returns to the foods which founded the human species, those eaten by primitive man, the hunter-gatherers, proteins and vegetables, 100 foods including 72 from the animal world and 28 from the plant world. These foods come with the magic words: “AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE”.

Slimming advice for natural weight loss One of the major advantages of our slimming method is its strong integrated support structure. If you follow our healthy diet plan to the letter, you will lose weight regularly. A method for losing and stabilizing your weight in 4 Dukan Diet phases 4 phases which occupy the dieter from day one so that they never again feel like abandoning the diet. 4 phases, from the strongest, most supported and effective, to the most open and stabilizing. 4 phases to be carried out successively in order to reach the ideal weight target: lose weight naturally, rapidly and stabilize for good.

Below are the 4 Dukan Diet stages:

1 – Dukan Diet Phase 1- The Attack Phase.  A brief and headlong ATTACK phase with immediate results. During this phase, the diet is made up of 72 high-protein foods enabling quick weight loss.

2 – Dukan Diet Phase 2- The CRUISE Phase.  This second phase is leading to the True Weight. During this phase, the diet alternates Pure Protein days (PP phases) and Proteins accompanied with 28 recommended Vegetables (PV phases).

3 – Dukan Diet Phase 3- The CONSOLIDATION PHASE. In this third phase   of 10 days per kg lost which prepares for the return to a balanced diet. Monitored freedom with a target of establishing this freshly conquered and still vulnerable ideal weight. This phase sees the gradual return of pleasurable foods with two festive meals.

4 – A definitive stabilization phase based on 3 simple, concrete, easy but non-negotiable measures. This phase is both the easiest and most essential in our slimming method because 95% of people who follow a diet put back on the weight they have lost.

A planetary success

The Dukanian community on the Internet

One morning in May 2000 a Quebec woman who had followed the Dukan diet wrote a message expressing her satisfaction in a forum. This was the start of a unique adventure, the spontaneous creation of a community of women-supporters who, having lost weight and stabilized their weight, were so happy about it that they formed a group to share it with others.

It was this enthusiasm and this willingness to share, so rare in modern times, which acted as an amplifier for broadcasting the Dukan method by bringing it legitimacy, an audience and millions of new users.

There are now more than one hundred forums, sites and blogs entirely dedicated to the Dukan method, in which thousands of volunteers with very few resources but with a lot of heart work to advocate this method. There are too many to cite here, but all express their enthusiasm and their gratitude in their choice of usernames, which are as affectionate as their blogs: duduche, dukanons, dukanettes, dukaniennes, dudufamily, Pierre Dukan’s girls. These forums have also spread to,,, amonst others.

All these Dukaniennes work to educate, support and help Internet users who are following the Dukan diet. Find them on the forum.

French doctors

The French medical establishment, in common with all Western countries, feels helpless faced with the steady rise in obesity that the WHO (World Health Organisation) describes as the “first non-infectious epidemic”. Medicines to treat it are rare and of limited use, sufferers try diet after diet demonstrating the absence of consensus on any effective method. Given this context, many general practitioners, struck by the results obtained by their patients and especially by their long-term weight stabilization, have adopted the Dukan method, either by learning it and applying it to their patients, or by advising them to buy the Dukan Diet book.

One method for all

The Dukan method has now been translated into 10 languages and is sold in more than 20 countries and cultures as far flung as Korea, Russia or Bulgaria… All these arguments combined led Pierre Dukan to remark during a medical conference: “This mobilisation of converted users, a word-of-mouth movement powerful enough to cross cultures and frontiers, aided by the support of the medical establishment leads me to think that perhaps I have touched on a universal dimension of weight loss. A method which uses natural eating to counteract poor cultural dietary habits linked to over-abundance which leads to the excess weight problems we are seeing today.”



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