Upbit Hack Is the Seventh Crypto Exchange Hack This Year, but Is It the Last One?
Feb 4, 2020 at 11:22 am UTC by Teuta Franjkovic · 4 min read
The hack that was yesterday confirmed by Upbit is the seventh major attack on crypto exchanges this year.
The recent Upbit hack crashed all the cryptos down and again reminded crypto investors how vulnerable this sector is. However, this was the last among seven majors hacks that happened this year. So, let’s mention some of them:
Around January 15, New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia said there was $3.2 million in tokens stolen and the company went into the liquidation. However, on Jan. 20, it was reported that as much as $16 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens were stolen. The attack continued for two weeks following the initial breach as the exchange had not regained control of its wallets. Hackers stole and additional 1,675 ETH ($175,875) from 17,000 Cryptopia’s wallets, and it was reported that, among the 17,000 affected wallets, 5,000 were emptied when the platform was first breached, but subsequently refilled. Afterward, the exchange tried to right its ship after the hack and even briefly reopened trading services in March. However, it again went into liquidation in May and 10 days later filed for bankruptcy.
Singaporean crypto exchange DragonEx declared it lost an “undisclosed” amount of user funds in a March 24 hack. The company didn’t want to disclose the exact amount but few days later it revealed over telegram that it lost $7 million in the security breach.
The difference is, that DragonEx did not promise its users a full refund, as the other exchanges did. Instead, it said it was making a “preliminary compensation plan” that would compensate victims’ lost funds in Tether or Dragon Token equivalent.
Bithumb was hacked in March and first, it was thought that there were “only” $13 million of EOS that was missing. However, a little bit later, this South Korean exchange found out that there was $6.2 million in XRP also missing. This rip-off came only a few months later after another massive hack that snatched $31 million in late 2018 happened. From the company, they said they are suspecting they were hacked from someone from the inside because there was “abnormal withdrawal” from one of its wallets. The exchange claims there were no user assets lost in the hack.
A humongous sum of 7,000 Bitcoin was stolen from Binance in May. The approximate value of this at the time was around $40.7 million. The world’s biggest exchange by volume found a soft spot inside its hot wallet. However, Binance said only 2 percent of total funds were in that wallet at the time of the hack. Hack was actually brilliantly made because the stolen assets were moving through a network of smaller and smaller wallets as hackers quickly tried to wash their stolen coins. Some of the funds were, of course, turned into fiat.
Binance couldn’t do anything but to shutter deposit and withdrawal services for a week to build up security protocols. The exchange reopened services on May 15 and promised to refund users from its emergency fund.
Another Singapore crypto exchange was hacked this year. In June BiTrue exchange lost $4.2 million of its users’ funds, mostly XRP ($4.01 million) and ADA ($231,800). It was later explained that the breach exploited BiTrue’s internal user access review process.
Be it as it may, the hackers grabbed more than they expected. They managed to transfer 9.3 million XRP and 2.5 million ADA into different exchanges. BiTrue said it worked with partner exchanges to freeze those funds and pledged to refund all users.
Japanese exchange Bitpoint lost huge $32 million in a July hack and more than 50,000 users were robbed. After that, the exchange closed its door for a month and it’s never revealed how the hackers breached Bitpoint’s security. However, to be fair, Bitpoint’s parent company, Remixpoint, promised to compensate affected users. Trading in Bitpoint’s five supported cryptos (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin and XRP) started up again in August.
The latest hacking victim happened this week and lost $49 million. Upbit’s customers were confused because they noticed quite a few irregularities with their accounts. In a recent publication, Upbit has now confirmed that a large and unauthorized amount of funds was moved to an unknown wallet. An “abnormal transaction” led to a 342,000 Ether loss.
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