Upbit, a South Korean crypto exchange, has confirmed that 342,000 Ethereum coins have been stolen from its crypto wallet and have been transferred to an anonymous wallet by unknown persons. The crime took place on November 27th and amounts to about $49 million. As a result, the exchange has moved all of its assets to offline wallets so they can be safe from further attacks for the time being. Therefore, all withdrawals and deposits have been suspended for two weeks. Upbit has assured users that it will immediately replace the missing coins from its own assets, but they need to wait two weeks before they can access their wallets.
As for the person or group responsible for the attack, there’s no clear indicator as to who it could be. Upbit has identified the wallet used and is urging its users and the crypto community to block transactions from it. However, due to the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, there’s no saying who could be behind this wallet. Furthermore, they could transfer the stolen coin to other wallets and use it from there. Possible perpetrators could hacker groups, company employees or even shady government entities. It’s really anyone’s guess right now.
Although $49 million may sound like a lot of money, this isn’t even remotely the biggest crypto heist to be carried out. This is the seventh major crypto hack to take place in 2019 alone. Instances like these are the last thing cryptocurrency needs right now. Public opinion of crypto is already skeptical at best, and events like these serve to drive people further away from crypto currency, despite its many benefits. What this tells us, though, is that organizations dealing with cryptocurrency need to make their systems more secure in order to prevent heists like these from happening again.