Bithumb, the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange, suffered a devastating hack this morning, with thieves stealing over $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies from its platform.
The heist took place this morning at approximately 00:53 UTC, when the Seoul-based exchange froze all transactions – deposits and withdrawals included – and began transferring funds to cold wallets to prevent further losses.
*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 (@BithumbOfficial) June 20, 2018
The news was first released on Bithumb’s official Twitter account, where they also promised to compensate all users of their stolen funds.
“[Notice for the temporary suspension of the deposits]
Due to the increasing safety issues, we are changing our wallet system. Please do not deposit until we notify. All deposits are not deposited into your wallet until all changes are completed.”
Hacked Amount Relatively Small Compared to Previous Incidents
Although there has been no official confirmation by the exchange, it is suspected that this theft was caused by a hack. Nonetheless, the $30 million that was stolen from Bithumb is relatively small compared to other hacks in the past.
For instance, CoinCheck, one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, was hacked for $533 million in what is said to be the biggest digital currency heist in history. Earlier this month, another South Korean exchange, CoinRail, was hacked for around $50 million. And of course, we have the infamous Mt. Gox Bitcoin hack, which saw the exchange lose $340 million when they were attacked four years ago. As a result, the Japanese exchange was forced to shut down all operations because of the hack.
Relative to its predecessors, Bithumb – which used to be the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – got away rather lightly with this hack. According to CCN, the hacker might have gotten access to an internet-connected “hot wallet” for one of the more thinly-traded assets listed on the platform, or the hack could have been more devastating.
According to reports by the Sentinel Protocol, a program dedicated to scam, fraud and hack detection, the hot wallets were hacked on the night of June 19, with rumors of Ripple being one of the stolen cryptocurrencies.
As a result of the hack, the price of Bitcoin also dropped by over 3%, dipping past its $6,600 support level, but has recovered slightly to trade just above $6,600 at press time.
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