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I read about Mt. Gox and how 850,000 bitcoins has been "stolen" from it. I do not understand how someone can steal bitcoins: if MtGox has bitcoins, and MrThief wants to use this bitcoins, then MrThief must show a transaction moving bitcoins from MtGox's accout to MrThief's account. But such a tranasaction must be signed by the private key of MtGox. Does it mean that, in order to steal bitcoins, MrThief must somehow find the private key of MtGox and sign transactions in its name? Or is there another way by which bitcoins can be stolen?

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    Simplifying greatly, MtGox's private keys were controlled by their software, so that transactions could be automated. Thus it was possible to exploit vulnerabilities in that software to get it to send out coins that should not have been sent. You don't have to steal the keys if you can trick the owner into using them the way you want. See also bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/22104/… – Nate Eldredge Mar 28 '17 at 4:58

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