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342,000 Ether(ETH) theft from Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange

Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange has informed users of the theft of 342,000 Ether(ETH) from its hot wallet – run by a subsidiary of Korean tech giant Kakao.

On November 27, the incident was confirmed in an official statement written by Leo Seok-woo, the CEO of Upbit’s operator, Dunamu.

Upbit can use company  funds to shield user assets

 Lee Seok-woo reavealed in his statement that:

“At 1:06 PM on November 27,2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transfered from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet. Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029”.

Apologizing to users for any “inconvenience”caused,the CEO listed measures by the exchange taken after it detected the incident while stopping short of calling it a “hack.”

The exchange has pledged to shield user assets,stating that the 342,000 ETH(roughly $50 million by press time) are going to be lined by company assets. It has already carried all crypto assets that was held in its hot wallet to cold storage. 

With Lee Seok-woo promising to tell users as soon as they reopen,deposits and withdrawals will take  minimum of two weeks to resume.

The CEO further specified that all other recent large-scale transfers were not abnormal, however they were associated with the exchange moving assets between hot and storage facilities.

Active threats

Upbit and local cybersecurity firm East Security supposed that a phishing scam targeting its users had been committed by hackers from North Korea in march 2019.

South Korea’s four largest cryptocurrency exchanges -Bithumb, Upbit, Coinone and Korbit- makes a hotline for major exchanges to ensure suspicious transactions can be detected and frozen immediately after being disclosed in January 2018.

Most recently in March of this year, Bithumb has to date suffered three major security breaches.

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