The South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has recently seen a massive hack. Specifically, the exchange has notified users that a whopping 342,000 Ether have been stolen from the company’s hot wallet.
$50 million worth of crypto stole from Upbit
Furthermore, the CEO of Upbit’s operator – Dunamu – has since released an official statement. This statement confirms that the cryptocurrency exchange has seen a major theft of Ethereum.
The CEO of Dunamu, Lee Seok-woo apologizes for any “inconvenience” for users of the cryptocurrency exchange. Moreover, he also details the specifics of the “incident” which saw Upbit lose roughly $50 million worth of Ether.
“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.”
However, following this incident the exchange is now saying that it is undertaking measures in order to prevent similar future accidents. Perhaps most notably, Lee Seok-woo is not calling the incident an outright hack.
As such, the situation is currently somewhat unclear, as what exactly took place is still shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, Upbit is now pledging that it will protect user assets. Consequently, the exchange is saying that the theft of the 342,000 ETH will fall under protection by the exchange’s corporate assets.
Upbit’s corporate assets will cover the “incident”
With that said, however, it is clear that this substantial theft represents a serious issue to the South Korean crypto exchange. Upbit is indicating that deposits and withdrawals will not resume for two weeks. Lee Seok-woo will also publicly inform users as soon as this functionality resumes.
The cryptocurrency exchange has also seen some other large-scale transfers. Nonetheless, Lee Seok-woo assures that these were not “abnormal”. Rather, he said that these were instead part of an asset move between hot wallets and storage facilities.
The culprit behind this latest incident is, as such, still unknown. It is also unclear whether the likely cause could be hackers or perhaps people working for Upbit. What is known, however, is that Upbit has previously seen threats to its operations.
In March of this year, the exchange – together with the local cyber security firm East Security – said that North Korean hackers were targeting it. Specifically, hackers from North Korea were supposedly targeting Upbit users with a phishing scam.
It remains to see whether some of these funds can be found or frozen. At the moment, however, Upbit users will likely feel somewhat better knowing that the cryptocurrency exchange’s corporate assets will cover the incident.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.