- Crypto exchange HTX, formerly known as Huobi, has suffered a $7.9 million hack
- HTX says it has identified the hacker and offered a 5% bounty for the stolen funds’ return
- The hacker has a week to return the funds or face legal action
Crypto exchange HTX, formerly Huobi, has lost $7.9 million in a hack, although the exchange says it has identified the hacker and has issued a bounty offer. The theft took place on the 24th, with 5,000 ETH stolen from one of the exchange’s hot wallets. HTX communicated with the hacker via a blockchain message in which it offered a 5% bounty for the return of the funds, giving the hacker seven days to return them before it takes legal action.
5,000 ETH Stolen from Hot Wallet
The first reports of a hack on HTX emerged yesterday when blockchain security company Cyvers detected a “suspicious transaction” in which almost 5,000 ETH was sent out of one of HTX’s hot wallets into a wallet the exchange had never interacted with before:
🚨Red Code🚨Yesterday, our ML-powered system detected a suspicious transaction involving @HuobiGlobal and @HTX_Global.
Despite our attempts to reach out, we received no response. An EOA received 5K $ETH $7.9M from @HuobiGlobal‘s hot wallet.
🔍 This morning, we spotted… pic.twitter.com/3oqHhAVi8P
— 🚨 Cyvers Alerts 🚨 (@CyversAlerts) September 25, 2023
Following the theft, HTX has adopted the approach taken by many affected crypto companies and projects and offered the hacker a chance to return the funds for a ‘white hat’ bounty of 5% of the stolen ETH, equating to 250 ETH. The offer was communicated through a message added to one of Huobi’s other wallets.
Such methods have been successful in recent months, with hackers often preferring to take the majority of the funds they have stolen in return for apparent immunity from the victim, although of course there is nothing to stop HTX from going to the police afterwards. This would, however, de-incentivize any potential hackers from giving up any of the funds if they’re going to be targeted anyway.
Huobi investor Justin Sun posted about the hack on X but said that it wasn’t affecting the exchange’s operations:
HTX @HTX_Global has suffered a loss of 5,000 #Eth ($8 million USD) due to a hacker attack. HTX has fully covered the losses incurred from the attack and has successfully resolved all related issues. All user assets are #SAFU and the platform is operating completely normally.
— H.E. Justin Sun 孙宇晨 (@justinsuntron) September 25, 2023
The hackers have yet to respond to HTX’s offer.