South Korean Upbit Hacked! Exchange Says it Lost $50M Worth of Ether

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit has announced that approximately 342,000 Ether was stolen from its hot wallet as a result of a security breach earlier today.

According to an official statement by the exchange’s CEO, Lee Seok-woo, the incident occurred at about 04:00 UTC today, which prompted the exchange to take stringent measures to halt any further attack. 

“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbit Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet address 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029,” Seok-Woo was quoted as saying.

As per the announcement, immediately Upbit noticed that its hot wallet had been hacked, it temporarily suspended withdrawals and deposits, and moved other tokens from its hot wallet to a cold wallet to prevent further losses. 

However, multiple sources indicated that cryptocurrencies worth more than $100 million were subsequently moved from the exchange’s hot wallet today after the development, with Seok-Woo saying that the large-scale transfers were not abnormal, but was conducted to provide better storage for the tokens. 

Notably, Upbit reiterated its stance in shielding users from incurring any loss while dealing with its trading platform by stating that the exchange’s corporate assets will cover the 342,000 ETH (approximately $50 million at press time). 

Going further, the exchange apologized for any inconvenience the incident must have caused, stating that withdrawal and deposit services will take at least two weeks to resume after the necessary security measures have been put in place. 

The crypto exchange further urged its users to report any transaction involving the Ether address to its customer care unit to help with its investigation. 

Upbit, in collaboration with top crypto exchanges in South Korea including Bithumb, recently launched a new hotline to aid information sharing of suspected fraudulent transactions conducted on their servers and subsequently block the related accounts. 

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