In the world of cryptocurrency, a lot of people have had some sort of experience with the Electrum wallet. It is a convenient solution which works well on most devices. Unfortunately, it seems a major flaw was discovered in the Electrum wallet software which could expose funds to malicious entities. This seemingly also affects all “copied” versions of Electrum, which has put a lot of funds at risk all of a sudden.

Electrum bug could Become a Major Problem

It is not the first time a popular cryptocurrency wallet has suffered from a bug that could potentially cost users millions of dollars. In the case of Electrum, most people use it because it is convenient and lightweight. Unlike more traditional solutions, Electrum is an SPV client, which doesn’t require a download of the full blockchain to start working. This is a blessing for people who just want a wallet capable of sending and receiving funds in a quick and secure manner.

Moreover, Electrum has become a go-to solution for altcoin developers who want to build mobile wallets for specific currencies. Electrum has solid source code in this regard, and there are many different versions of this code out there as of right now. Sadly, all of these versions are potentially at risk of having funds stolen by third parties. This bug was reported on Bitcointalk yesterday, although it remains to be seen how bad things really are.

To be more specific, there is a vulnerability in the Electrum wallet code. If you’ve used an Electrum wallet – or any of its clones – with no wallet passphrase, there is a good chance your private key has been exposed. This is only a concern if you had a webpage open at the same time which used some form of JavaScript. This bug affects all Electrum wallets prior to version 3.0.4, and thus upgrading to the latest version is the best course of action for the time being.

Do keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your specific Electrum wallet was not compromised due to this weakness. Anyone who still uses an older client may want to ensure all funds are moved to a newly-generated wallet just to err on the side of caution. People who have not used their Electrum wallets for weeks or months shouldn’t open them until they’ve upgraded to the new client. It is evident this bug could be very problematic for the cryptocurrency community. Even so, there is no indication that anyone actually had funds stolen because of the bug.

Thankfully, the new version comes with a fix to address this flaw. Once the Electrum developers were notified about the problem, they quickly released a new version which keeps user funds safe from future harm. It is best to always protect wallets with a passphrase of some sort, preferably something unique. Anyone who still uses a cryptocurrency wallet without setting up additional authentication will eventually fall victim to theft of some sort. 

Incidents like these need to be taken very seriously in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. It is never a good sign that one of the most popular clients can be compromised by JavaScript code. At the same time, the speed at which the developers released a new and secure version deserves a lot of praise as well. Upgrading to the latest Electrum version should be the top priority right now, especially for those people who are concerned about any funds they keep in this wallet or any of its clones.