Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

Crypto Exchange Upbit Becomes the Latest Hack Victim

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Upbit becomes the latest victim of the recent wave in crypto platforms hacking. This is according to reports released on Wednesday 27th November 2019. Upbit’s CEO confirmed the theft of 342,000 ether worth approximately $49 million at the time of reporting.

The CEO remarked in a blogpost that abnormal transactions were witnessed earlier on Wednesday the 27th of November. He went on to add that the loss would be covered by its own assets and that deposits had been suspended as a precaution.

Rise in Exchange Hacking

By the end of business on Wednesday, Upbit had witnessed transactions worth more than $100 million of multiple currencies. In response to the transactions, the crypto platform moved cryptos from hot wallets to cold wallets to prevent further losses. The funds were transferred from Upbit’s wallet to an unknown Ethereum address starting with 0xa09871.

2019 has witnessed a sudden rise in the number of crypto platforms hacking. Upbit is the seventh major cryptocurrency platform to fall victim to hackers. The hack serves as a constant reminder on the danger of storing cryptocurrency on exchange platforms.

Other major firms that have fallen victim to hacking in 2019 include, but are not limited to, Cryptopia, DragonEx, Bithumb, Binance and Bitrue.

Centralized exchanges are a perfect target for hackers, as they deal in large amounts of crypto transactions on a daily basis. It appears that customers at Upbit haven't been affected by this hack, but the risk of loss is real for anyone who trusts their tokens to a counterparty that acts as both exchange and custodian.

Paralyzed Exchange Works to Carry on

Upbit also confirmed that the loss didn’t come from user funds. The hack deals a huge blow to the platform’s operations and reports have it that their functions will be suspended for at least two weeks.

It remains to be seen whether the firm will recover from such a major blow. The recent rise in hacking on crypto platforms hacking not only advocates for caution by exchange platforms but also by crypto exchange users. Hackers are getting smarter by the day but there is hope that the crypto ecosystem will rise above the challenge.

Of course, hacks are nothing new. With any digital technology, the risk of loss to bad actors exists. There have been a number of hacks in the established financial system as well, some of which affected millions of people around the world. As we grow into a digital society, we will have to address serious security issues.