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On Saturday night, a tweet from security analysis firm about an alleged hack on cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart put some people on high alert. One of Bitmart’s addresses showed steady outflows of complete balances, some with a value of millions of dollars, to an address currently labeled by Etherscan as the “Bitmart Hacker”.
Peckshield later followed up with a tweet estimating the losses to be $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum chain, and $96 million on Binance Smart Chain.
Interesting from @BitMartExchange … https://t.co/dFrzSww0fs pic.twitter.com/GuDB7bt2eC
— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) December 5, 2021
While in an official Telegram channel, Bitmart representatives initially claimed that the outflows were routine withdrawals and that the report was fake news, the exchange shortly after confirmed to have become victim of a hack.
Bitmart CEO Sheldon Xia took to Twitter and said that the “withdrawals” were indeed a hack resulting from a “security breach.”
1/3 We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. The hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately USD 150 millions.
— Sheldon Xia (@sheldonbitmart) December 5, 2021
While Bitmart’s investigation is still ongoing, with $169 million this is one of the largest hacks on a centralized exchange to date. Exchanges have stepped up their security measures in the past years and have been able to mitigate such breaches. Nevertheless two month ago Coinbase confirmed that at least 6,000 users became victim of a hack that gained unauthorized access to their accounts
Three years ago, Binance exchange reportedly lost 7,000 Bitcoins to hackers. In the same year, Japanese exchange Zaif became a target for almost 6,000 Bitcoins. At current Bitcoin price of $49,025, respective losses would have been $343 million and 294 million.
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Author: Peter Siu