Bitcoin Problems for Android Users

Posted on Aug 18 2013 - 5:00pm by Robert

Usage of the Bitcoin virtual currency on Android phones has run into a bit of trouble. A reported fault in the Android operating system has left users of the application open to the risk of having cash stolen from them.

The news came out from the Bitcoin Foundation and the problem affects some of the users who use the wallet style apps such as BitcoinSpinner, Mycelium Wallet and Bitcoin Wallet.  The problem has come about because of an issue which Android has in generating secure, unique sequences of random numbers, while are needed for the security of the virtual wallets.

Money Already Stolen?

bitIt has been revealed that the SecureRandom Java program which Android uses to produce these numbers sometimes repeats numbers, which puts the user’s money in their wallet at risk. Comments on internet forums suggest that thousands of pounds may have already gone missing from Bitcoin accounts.

The first part of the solution is being worked on, with the developers of the affected apps updating them to remove the flaw. Users will then need to update the app on their device before generating a new address with the new number generator and then sending all their money onto their new address.

Another potential issue for Bitcoin is also on the horizon, with the New York Department of Financial Services asking companies who use Bitcoin services to tell them more about things like their anti money laundering systems. Bitcoin is probably the most popular virtual currency but it is clear that there are some points to clear up before it becomes even more widely used.

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