Tag Archives: Heist
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said 35 billion won ($ 31.5 million) worth of virtual coins were stolen by hackers, the second local exchange targeted in just over a week as cyber thieves exposed the high risks of trading the digital asset.
Bithumb said in a notice on its website on Wednesday that it had stopped all trading after ascertaining “some cryptocurrencies worth about 35 billion won were seized between late yesterday and early morning today.”
The exchange, the sixth busiest in the world according to Coinmarketcap.com, said it had stored “all clients’ assets in safe cold wallets,” which operate on platforms not directly connected to the internet.
It added that the company would fully compensate customers.
The Bithumb theft highlights the security risks and the weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets. Global policymakers have warned investors to be cautious in trading the digital currency given the lack of broad regulatory oversight.
In Ho, a professor at Korea University’s Blockchain Research Institute, said the stolen coins were most likely to be from the more insecure ‘hot wallets.’
“Since coins in the cold wallets are not at all wired to the internet, it would have been impossible for hackers to steal those in cold wallets unless they physically broke in,” said In, a blockchain expert at the research center.
Bithumb did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comments, and its statement did not say whether the stolen coins were stored in its ‘hot wallets’.
Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at ESTsecurity, said digital coins would continue to be juicy targets for hackers around the world.
“No security measures or regulations can 100 percent guarantee safety of virtual coins. It is held anonymously and in lightly-secured systems, which makes them an irresistible target,” Mun said.
On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin BTC=BTSP was down 1.8 percent at $ 6,612.92 by 0351 GMT, extending losses as a series of intrusions on cryptocurrency exchanges in recent weeks sparked concerns over security.
It has fallen roughly 70 percent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December 2017.
On June 11, another South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail said it was hacked. The cyber attacks come after a high-profile theft of over half a billion dollars worth of digital currency at Japan’s exchange Coincheck earlier this year.
In January, South Korea banned the use of anonymous bank accounts for virtual coin trading to stop cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering and other crimes. But the government said it does not intend to go as far as shutting down domestic exchanges.
Bithumb trades more than 37 different virtual coins, according to Coinmarketcap.com
Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Jacqueline Wong
DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s finance minister said late on Saturday he wanted to “wipe out” a Philippines bank that was used to channel $ 81 million stolen from the Bangladeshi central bank’s account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last year.
Abul Maal A. Muhith was responding to questions from reporters about a Reuters story on Friday that said Bangladesh Bank had asked the New York Fed to join a lawsuit it was considering filing against Manila-based Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) RCBS.PS seeking damages.
“The Bangladesh Bank has taken a decision (on filing a suit). They will let me know. We haven’t so far taken any steps as the Philippines government was taking care of it (investigating the heist),” Muhith said.
“But it seems Rizal bank has been playing delinquent. We want to wipe out Rizal bank from the world.”
Muhith did not elaborate. He did not respond to requests seeking comment.
Unidentified hackers stole the money using fraudulent orders on the SWIFT payments system. The money was sent to accounts at RCBC and then disappeared into the casino industry in the Philippines.
Nearly two years later, there is no word on who was responsible and Bangladesh Bank has been able to retrieve only about $ 15 million, mostly from a Manila junket operator. (reut.rs/2jk1W74)
The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record one billion pesos ($ 20 million) last year for its failure to prevent the movement of the stolen money through it.
RCBC has said it would not pay any compensation to Bangladesh Bank and that Dhaka bank bore responsibility for the theft since it was negligent.
RCBC did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on a Sunday about Muhith’s comments.
Reporting by Serajul Quadir, Krishna N. Das, Ruma Paul and Karen Lema; Editing by Toby Chopra