Doge, the Internet meme of a grammatically-challenged Shiba Inu dog that prefers comic sans, is so popular that it has its own online currency called Dogecoin. The fact that Dogecoin exists may be news to you, but it’s also news that Dogecoin is temporarily stopping its service after its database (the Doge Vault) was hacked.
First off, we have to address the question, “What makes a goofy picture of a dog so popular?” It’s very difficult to explain what makes a meme popular. Memes are goofy pictures on the Internet that people add text to as a way to communicate jokes. When it comes to something like the phenomenon of Doge, either you get it and “lol” at every Doge meme, or you don’t get it and Doge makes you feel sad for the state of society.
Dogecoin is the combining of Doge with another popular Internet trend, cryptocurrency–with Bitcoin being the most well-known of all the cryptocurrencies. Essentially, cryptocurrency is a virtual currency not backed by any governments or anything physical like gold. Like real money, cryptocurrency can be exchanged for goods and services if you can find anybody willing to accept it–like other fans of Doge. Some Internet users look to cryptocurrency as a good investment because each “coin” holds actual value. According to this video endorsed by Doge, Dogecoin was thought by many to make for a great investment:
For the most part, people that use Dogecoin do so for novelty’s sake. It’s pretty hilarious to be paid in Dogecoin, and seeing that one Dogecoin is valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.000001-to-$0.0005, everybody can afford to get in on the joke. Somehow, Dogecoin peaked at a market value at $100 million and it’s often listed among the top five cryptocurrencies in use.
However, all of these positive feelings towards everybody’s favorite dog-themed cryptocurrency changed on May 11 when a hacker infiltrated the Doge Vault and made off with 280 million Dogecoins (valued at $55,000). Losing that many Dogecoins is bad, but what’s worse is that the hacker also had access to the account information of people who bought Dogecoins. Which means that, if you bought Dogecoins as a fun joke to share with your friends, then the joke’s on you because a hacker may now possess your credit card information.
Doge Vault, the online wallet service that stores Dogecoins, issued this statement:
It is believed the attacker gained access to the node on which Doge Vault’s virtual machines were stored, providing them with full access to our systems. It is likely our database was also exposed containing user account information; passwords were stored using a strong one-way hashing algorithm. All private keys for addresses are presumed compromised; please do not transfer any funds to Doge Vault addresses.
If you happen to be a user of Dogecoin, we recommend that you change your online account passwords and be sure to frequently check your credit card statement for fraudulent purchases.
A hack like this brings up the volatile nature of Internet security. Not every website is a secure place to spend your money. In a case like Dogecoin, you may spend just a little bit of cash on a few hundred Dogecoins as a fun way to make an ironic investment, but this little venture in cryptocurrency could go bad and cost you much more than you bargained for.
When it comes to Internet security, you need a real guard dog like TMS watching over your company’s online security, not some bewildered Shiba Inu like our friend Doge. To take advantage of the latest online security solutions for your business, give us a call at 1 (626) 737-2960–and no, we will not accept Dogecoin as payment for IT services rendered.