Probably not, but reportedly a user of Bitcoin kept about half a million dollars worth of the new decentralized cryptographic currency on their Windows laptop, and somebody stole it.
Misappropriated Bitcoins are, by design, difficult to trace, and with appropriate precautions, almost impossible.
To steal your Bitcoins, all someone needs is access to your “Bitcoin wallet”, a small file that by default, will be stored unprotected on your hard disk by the official Bitcoin software. Having a backup of your wallet doesn’t help, anyone that can read your wallet can empty it. They don’t even need to modify your wallet file to do this.
If someone gains access to your wallet, your only defense is to empty it before they do.
Even simple precautions, like storing your Bitcoin wallet in an encrypted disk, will be scant defense against someone who can gain physical or digital access to your computer (as they can use a keylogger to discover your passwords). Worse, with the large dollar values we’re talking about, extortion also becomes a real threat.
Indeed, the ease with which someone can steal something so valuable, with so little threat of getting caught, is almost unmatched. The very things that make Bitcoins such a powerful concept, are the very things that make it a tempting target for smart thieves.
Additionally, as the value of Bitcoins has skyrocketed since the online currency’s initial creation 2 years ago, many early adopters now own hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins. Many of these people probably have nothing like the kind of protection that would be employed to protect any other commodity of this value.
At this point it is difficult to know what to do, except perhaps rely on safety in numbers.
So if you are one of the “Bitcoin wealthy”, don’t tell ANYONE!
p.s. Oh and unfortunately for me I’m not one of those people, honest!