One of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges, Bithumb, has just been a target of the newest hacking attack. The exchange was hit on June 20th and the attack resulted in hackers getting away with up to $30 million in cryptocurrency.
Bithumb’s response to the hack was to immediately suspend all deposits and withdrawals, which occurred at 00:53 UTC. The details of the attack, including the exact time, are not yet known, but the information regarding the time of withdrawal/deposit suspension gives at least some clues.
Following the suspension, the exchange started transferring its assets to various cold wallets, until the systems are restored, and vulnerabilities fixed.
The exchange Tweeted that up to $30 million in cryptos was lost in the attack, but also that the exchange will cover this loss. Unfortunately, the said Tweet has recently been deleted. Some users are worried that this might mean that the exchange is going back on its promise to provide compensation, but Bithumb Support reassures them that this is not the case.
We are providing compensation, it just has to be a more regulated process.
— Bithumb Support (@BithumbSupport) June 20, 2018
Additionally, the exchange has asked its users not to deposit their funds into the exchange’s wallet for the time being, at least until the security issues have been taken care of.
Bithumb urgently ask our valuable customers not to deposit any fund into Bithumb wallet addresses for the time being.
— Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) June 20, 2018
Small attack with large consequences
As for the theft itself, it is presumed that it came as a result of the hack. Interestingly enough, the exchange has yet to confirm this. Still, with only the “small amount” being stolen, the theft is probably a result of the hacker gaining access to the exchange’s hot wallet, which is connected to the internet. The wallet probably only contained some smaller assets, which are not as popular as the bigger cryptos.
According to the exchange, all losses will be covered so the only thing that users lose is their ability to move assets on Bithumb.
This marks the second time that exchanges in Korea were hacked during this month alone. The previous hack happened only two weeks ago, and the target of this attack was Coinrail, which lost around $37.2 million in various coins. Bithumb is the second target this month, with a relatively similar amount stolen.
Despite the fact that the hacks are pretty small compared to previous ones that managed to steal hundreds of millions, they still have large consequences. The price of many coins suffers after each such attack, and some argue that Bitcoin is losing the most. It lost almost $200 in value only one hour after the attack was reported, which effectively erased nearly all recovery that this crypto, as well as the rest of the market, has seen in the 48 hours prior to the attack.