Major news is breaking out of South Korea as one of its largest exchanges, Bithumb, has been hacked for $20 million. Fortunately, the company has said that users’ funds were stored in cold wallets, and as such remain safe, and it is only the company’s funds that have been transferred.
A notice released by Bithumb reads,
Our members’ KRW deposit/withdrawal service is normally available, and we will do our best to secure the stability of the service and to resume as soon as possible. Specific resumption schedule will be announced through a separate announcement.
All deposits and withdrawal services have been paused, and officials are working with other platforms to mitigate damage.
The real stir in this controversy is that Bithumb officials have themselves revealed that the breach might be an inside job. The tokens that were stolen were EOS (EOS) and Ripple (XRP). The statement says,
As a result of the inspection, it is judged that the incident is an accident involving insiders because the external intrusion path has not been revealed until now. Based on the facts, we are conducting intensive investigations with KISA, Cyber Police Agency, and security companies.
This isn’t the first hack that Bithumb has experienced. In June 2018, the exchange was hacked for $30 million, a move that then prompted the team to immediately move assets to cold wallets. The hack was preceded by a tax notice that required the exchange to pay $28 million in back taxes – a pair of events that raised some eyebrows in the space.
There have been quite a few incidents related to security and storage in the cryptocurrency space since the start of 2019: QuadrigaCX is yet to recover much of the missing funds, while Cryptopia is just restarting operations after its $16 million hack.