UpBit, one of the leading South Korean crypto exchange, on Wednesday notified its users that its security has been compromised, resulting in the theft of 342,000 Ether (ETH).
The digital assets were transferred from the hot wallet of the exchange to an unknown wallet address.
The announcement was made by Lee Seok-woo, the CEO of Upbit’s operator Dunamu.
“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet. Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029,” the exchange noted in its official statement.
As a preventive measure, the exchange has transferred all other funds to a cold wallet and suspended all deposit and withdrawal services.
“It is estimated that it will take at least two weeks for the deposit and withdrawal to resume. I’ll tell you again when this is done,” the CEO stated.
As of press time, Ether is trading at $144 apiece, which puts the total value of the lost funds at roughly $50 million.
The exchange, however, assured the victims that they would be compensated with corporate assets of the exchange.
To address the panic in the market, the CEO highlighted that all other major fund transfers from the exchange’s wallets were not abnormal as they are moving funds from hot wallets to much secure cold wallet platforms.
Prior to the official announcement, the crypto community already noticed the unexpected large transactions from the crypto exchange and were suspected of hack or movement by whales.
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Large withdraws from #Upbit happening in a short time 😬
Maybe @whale_alert gets shadowed or api keys get revoked for “abuse” from tweeting too much in a 5min period
— harrydenley.eth ◊ (@sniko_) November 27, 2019
Meanwhile, other exchanges are extending support to UpBit to block hacked funds from being converted into fiats.
We will work with Upbit and other industry players to ensure any hacked funds that may make their way to Binance are immediately frozen.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) November 27, 2019