South Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Hacked for the Second Time in Twelve Months, Lost $19 Mn Worth of Cryptocurrencies


Leading South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb has been hacked once again in a period of twelve months. In the latest hack, the exchange has lost $19 million worth of digital currencies.

According to the release by the exchange on 30th March 2019, the exchange detected some unusual withdrawal at around 10:15 PM on March 29th, which turned out to be an attempt to syphoning-off funds from the exchange. However, in the release, the exchange confirmed that all lost funds pertained to the exchange and no customers funds were stolen from the exchange. The exchange noted:

“All the spilled cryptocurrency is owned by the company, and all the member’s asset is under the protection of cold wallet.”

The exchange, however, has not revealed any exact figures of the loss, but as per many blockchain analysis, around 3 million EOS tokens worth around $12.7 million had been stolen from the exchange’s hot wallet. Another crypto news outlet The Block pointed out that more 20 million XRP tokens worth more than $6.2 million were also stolen from the exchange.

In the press briefing, the exchange noted that at the time of detection, it secured the rest of cryptocurrency to the company’s cold wallet and checked them by blocking deposit and withdrawal service. It also said that the exchange is suspecting some internal hands to the heist and is currently prioritizing security from some external sources while it ignored any internal threats.

The exchange added: “It was our fault that we only focused on the defence of outside attack and lack of verification of internal staff.” 

Last month, the exchange had laid-off almost 50 per cent or around 160 employees from its workforce in an attempt to rejig the operational structure of the exchange due to the prevailing crypto winter.

Further analysis shows that the hackers are now moving the tokens to other leading exchange for liquidation. As per the understanding, the involved exchanges is working with Bithumb to restrict the movement of tokens and blocking it.

In the earlier attack, Bithumb has lost $30 million worth digital assets, but the exchange later claimed that it had recovered almost $14 million worth of hacked cryptocurrency.