The leading South Korean crypto exchange has lost around $19 million in digital assets in a recent attack.
As announced by the Bithumb on March 30, the platform detected some “abnormal withdrawal” at around 10:15 pm on March 29, which turned out to be siphoning of funds from the exchange.
The crypto trading platform, however, confirmed that all the lost funds belong to the exchange itself and none of its customers were affected.
“All the spilled cryptocurrency is owned by company, and all the member’s asset is under the protection of cold wallet,” the exchange noted.
Though the South Korean platform did not officially reveal any figures of the loss, according to multiple blockchain analyses, more than three million EOS tokens worth around $12.7 million were transferred from a hot wallet. In addition, crypto news outlet The Block reported that another 20 million XRP tokens valued around $6.2 million were also compromised from the exchange.
On a positive note, the exchange stated that it has “secured all the cryptocurrency from the detection time with a cold wallet and checked them by blocking deposit and withdrawal service.”
The exchange is also suspecting that it was an “accident involving insiders.” Bithumb, in the press release, also admitted that it was prioritizing security from external sources while it ignored internal threats.
Interestingly, last month, the exchange laid off more than 150 employees – 50 percent of its total workforce.
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“It was our fault that we only focused on defense of outside attack and lack of verification of internal staff,” the crypto exchange added.
As it can be seen on the blockchains, the attackers are now transferring the stolen funds to major exchanges for liquidation.
The involved exchanges also confirmed that they are working with the victimized exchange for recovery.
Hey there! We are working in close cooperation with Bithumb and all participants of the investigation. $EOS payins have been temporarily disabled; we will keep you updated on the situation!
— ChangeNOW (@ChangeNOW_io) March 30, 2019
A Vulnerable Exchange
This is the second cyber attack on the South Korean exchange in a period of twelve months. Out of the $30 million in digital assets that were stolen last time, the exchange later said that it had retrieved $14 million worth of hacked tokens.
The attack on Bithumb is the third confirmed hack of digital asset exchanges this year. Recently, Finance Magnates reported that Singapore-based DragonEx had been hacked for an undisclosed sum of crypto assets followed by an attack on Cryptopia, earlier this year.