Thursday, December 16, 2021

Crypto Merchant Cheated by Hackers, US$196 Million Token Taken Away

Cryptocurrency trader Bitmart was scammed by hackers. Blockchain security and data analysis company Peckshield estimates the value at US$196 million, equivalent to Rp. 2.8 trillion (assuming exchange rate: Rp. 14,300).

Meanwhile, Bitmart confirmed the hack in an official statement and wrote that the hacker withdrew about US$150 million in assets. This is adapted by detikcom from CNBC, Monday (6/12/2021).

Bitmart added in a statement that all withdrawals have been temporarily suspended until further notice, and it is reviewing security thoroughly.

Peckshield was the first to spot the irregularities on Saturday, noting that one of Bitmart's addresses showed steady outflows of tens of millions of dollars to an address Etherscan called "Bitmart Hackers."

Peckshield estimates that Bitmart lost around $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the ethereum blockchain and another $96 million in coins on binance. The hackers escaped by stealing more than 20 tokens, including binance, safemoon, and shiba inu coins.

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Bitmart said the affected ethereum and binance smart chain "hot wallets" carried only a small percentage of the exchange's assets. Bitmart says that all other wallets are safe.

CNBC has sought to reach out to several Bitmart employees to ask for more clarity about the hack, including whether customer funds were specifically targeted in the breach, and if so whether users would be compensated.

CNBC has yet to receive a response, but an email to the office address of Bitmart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia returned with a message that read, "Recipient address denied: Access denied."

Bitmart said it was still unclear what method the hackers might have used, but what happened after the breach was fairly straightforward, according to Peckshield. According to the security firm, it's a classic case of transfer-out, swap, and wash.

After transferring funds from Bitmart, the hacker apparently used a decentralized exchange aggregator known as '1inch' to exchange the stolen tokens for ether. From there, the ether coins are stored into a privacy mixer known as Tornado Cash which makes the money harder to track

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