- Bithumb – South Korea’s sixth largest cryptocurrency exchange – suffers major security breach.
- “Cryptocurrencies valued about $30,000,000 was stolen. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered [by] Bithumb and all of [our] assets are being transferring to a cold wallet,” said Bithumb in an official statement.
- Exchange has implemented cold storage measures, with all payments and deposits temporarily halted.
Hackers have struck again, this time raiding one of South Korea’s leading crypto exchanges. Bithumb has seen $30 million wiped from user accounts, as it suffers one of its most severe security breaches in recent memory. For many, Bithumb has established a reputation for being a secure exchange, with it once carrying a 24-hour trade volume of over $374 million. In an attempt to source the root of the breach – and in the interest in client safety – all payments and deposits have been temporarily halted.
All Services Suspended
The announcement of the service suspension came through Twitter, “All deposit and withdrawal service will be stopped to make sure the security. We will keep notice you of the restart of the service. We apologize for your inconvenience and thanks for your understanding – @Bithumb.” The exchange – which currently ranks as the sixth biggest in the world – has stated that it will cover the losses of those that have been affected by the breach. Bithumb has also announced that all funds are being shifted into cold wallet storage as an increased security measure. “Cryptocurrencies valued about $30,000,000 was stolen. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered [by] Bithumb and all of [our] assets are being transferring to a cold wallet,” Bithumb revealed in an official statement.
Going From Hot to Cold
Bithumb initially started moving Ethereum into cold wallet storage after they determined that there had been abnormal access to the platform. What followed was an immediate server check that was authorized “in order to maximize security settings.” This maintenance was supposed to run between 5:20am KST to 9:00am KST, but it actually exceeded this time, which shows that the extent of the hack was likely more deep-rooted than first envisioned.
Korean based officials from the Sentinel Protocol – a group that specializes in fraud, scam, and hacking detection – stated that Bithumb was breached on June 19th. While the value of what was stolen is known, the actual coins lifted during the hack is a little vaguer. With it only being known that the stolen coins included Bitcoin and Ripple. At a time when South Korea is still trying to find its feet as a crypto hub, hacks like this don’t help matters.
South Korea’s Star Exchange Suffers
Bithumb might be $30 million lighter today, but it’s not the first South Korean exchange to suffer a major security breach lately. Just a few weeks ago, hackers targeted Coinrail, stealing approximately $37 million in the process. This hack has been blamed for the recent crypto crash by many leading analysts. Speaking on the misconception of its impact, industry commentator and analyst Joseph Young said, “[The Wall Street Journal] thinks Bitcoin price fell 11% because a small cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea which a very small portion of local users utilize was hacked. Bitcoin fell because people sold and not enough people were willing to buy, not because of a small hack.”