Hackers make off with over $40,000,000 and Bitcoin has once again made the news for all the wrong reasons.
The news is also ironic, as it was other currencies and tokens that were stolen, and no bitcoin itself that was taken.
The price of world’s most famous virtual coin fell by more than 10% on Monday, bottoming out at its lowest price in two months after news emerged that that the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail had been hacked.
According to a tweet from Coinrail themselves, the relatively small exchange announced that their website had indeed been hacked, and that hackers had allegedly disappeared back into the internet from whence they had came with over $40 million worth of digital currencies and tokens.
As news of the cyber-attack spread, the value of bitcoin took a hammering before beginning to slowly rise back up again.
Coinrail stated that they had temporarily suspended all trading in digital currencies on their site, and was fully committed to cooperating with investigators and law enforcement agencies to trace the missing funds.
“Seventy percent of total coin and token reserves have been confirmed to be safely stored and moved to a cold wallet [not connected to the internet],“ a statement from the company read. “Two-thirds of stolen cryptocurrencies were withdrawn or frozen in partnership with related exchanges and coin companies. For the rest, we are looking at it with an investigative agency, related exchanges and coin developers.”
In a separate report, the Korea Herald newspaper claimed that South Korean Police had begun their own investigation, quoting a police spokesperson as saying: “We secured the access history of Coinrail servers and we are in the process of analyzing them.” The investigation is expected to focus as much on tracking the thieves as it is on Coinrail’s own security practices and culture.
No actual bitcoin was stolen?
Ironically, despite the fact that the theft was primarily made up other less well-known cryptocurrencies or ‘alt-coins,’ rather than bitcoin itself, as the de-facto flag bearer digital currency, bitcoin appears to have taken the main hit in the markets.
South Korea and Asia is one of the world’s major cryptocurrency trading centers. The latest attack has again only seemed to serve a perceived lack of security and overall weak regulation of cryptocurrency.
The Coinrail hack is the fifth major theft this year. Nearly $500 million was stolen in digital currency from the Japanese exchange Coincheck in January of this year. Another attack also took place just last week on Japanese site Shopin.