From the official Bitcoin FAQ:

Could miners collude to give themselves money or to fundamentally change the nature of Bitcoin?

... Bitcoin is a distributed network, so any changes implemented to the system must be accepted by all users. Someone trying to change the way Bitcoins are generated would have to convince every user to download and use their software

If somebody hacked bitcoin.org, couldn't they send out an update to the Bitcoin protocol/client that contained malicious "steal all your money" code?

Since the update came from official sources, everyone running bitcoin would see this as a regular and standard update, when it actually was malware.


1 Answer 1


No, Bitcoin would not be compromised, only individual users who downloaded the malware.

For Bitcoin itself to be compromised more than half of all its users needs to be affected, and that is virtually impossible (given it has no auto-update functionality).

So any tampering with the binaries/source will be discovered long before that it can become a problem.

  • 1
    However, with the issue this month there was a message that appeared on the majority of clients urging them to update. Such a message combined with a malware update could conceivably compromise more than half of the users.
    – Cory Klein
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 15:14
  • @CoryKlein but to send that message you need a private key, hence you would need to both break into the repository and get that key.
    – o0'.
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 18:40

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