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Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers

Bitpoint Cryptocurrency Exchange Loses $32 Million In Hack



Days after admitting to a hack that caused the loss of $32 million in cryptocurrency, Bitpoint Japan, a cryptocurrency exchange operator run by Remixpoint, said on Sunday (July 14) it has discovered an additional $2.3 million was stolen.




Bitpoint cryptocurrency exchange loses $32 million in hack


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Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was also hacked through its hot wallet, reporting $41 million worth of stolen bitcoin on May 7. The hackers were able to pass security checks completely, although the company acted quickly and halted all withdrawals once aware of the breach.


Likewise, Bithumb, a South-Korean crypto exchange, confirmed the hack of $13.1 million from its hot wallet on March 30, which the firm suspected to be an insider job. After discovering the cyberattack, the exchange moved the rest of the funds in its hot wallet to its cold wallet while it identified the cause of the breach and secured any vulnerabilities.


South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb said 35 billion won ($32 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.


A more detailed document(Opens in a new tab) from Bitpoint's parent company Remixpoint says $23 million of the stolen funds belonged to the exchange's customers. According to Nikkei Asian Review(Opens in a new tab), Remixpoint plans to compensate those customers.


Cryptocurrency exchanges getting hacked isn't new, but the last couple of months have been particularly bad. Days ago, Singaporean crypto exchange Bitrue was hacked to the tune of $4.2 million. In May, Binance lost approximately $40 million due to a hack.


Bitpoint also isn't the first Japanese exchange to get hacked. In Sept. 2018, Japan's Zaif suffered the same fate, with hackers making off with $59 million worth of coins, and in Jan. 2018, another Japanese exchange, Coincheck, lost a devastating $424 million in a hack.


Cryptocurrency exchange BitMart said on Saturday that it was hacked for $150 million in what was the third hack of a cryptocurrency exchange of last week and the second-largest crypto-heist of the year.


Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan.[1] Launched in 2010, it was handling over 70% of all bitcoin (BTC) transactions worldwide by early 2014, when it abruptly ceased operations amid revelations of its involvement in the loss/theft of hundreds of thousands of bitcoins, then worth hundreds of millions in US dollars.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


On 13 June 2011, the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange reported some 25,000 BTC (US$400,000 at the time) robbed from 478 accounts. Then on Friday 17 June, Mt. Gox's user database leaked for sale to pastebin, signed by cRazIeStinGeR and tied to auto36299386@hushmail.com.[23] The theft of Bitcoins from Mt. Gox accounts continued, reportedly, throughout that day.[24] On 19 June, a stream of fraudulent trades caused the nominal price of a bitcoin to fraudulently drop to one cent on the Mt. Gox exchange, after a hacker allegedly used credentials from a Mt. Gox auditor's compromised computer to transfer a large number of bitcoins illegally to himself. He used the exchange's software to sell them all nominally, creating a massive "ask" order at any price. Within minutes the price corrected to its correct user-traded value.[25][26][27][28][29][30] Accounts with the equivalent of more than $8,750,000 were affected.[27] To prove that Mt. Gox still had control of the coins, the move of 424,242 bitcoins from "cold storage" to a Mt. Gox address was announced beforehand, and executed in Block 132749.[31]


The company said it had lost almost 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins, and around 100,000 of its own bitcoins, totaling around 7% of all bitcoins, and worth around $473 million near the time of the filing.[69][70] Mt. Gox released a statement saying, "The company believes there is a high possibility that the bitcoins were stolen," blamed hackers, and began a search for the missing bitcoins.[7][38] Chief Executive Karpelès said technical issues opened up the way for fraudulent withdrawals.


Currently, Bitpoint, which is operated by Remixpoint, is collaborating with the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). The latter is a self-regulatory cryptocurrency exchange body launched last year. The JVCEA will help Bitpoint implement customer protection standards.


Crypto.com, one of the biggest and best known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world now backed by superstar actor Matt Damon, has admitted that 483 of its users were hit in a hack earlier this month, leading to unauthorized withdrawals of bitcoin and Ether worth $35 million. The company had initially said $15 million was taken in the heist.


The breach at Crypto.com is one of many hacks resulting in multimillion losses in the cryptocurrency industry. Indeed, it pales in comparison to the huge $600 million theft that hit blockchain-based platform Poly Network. That story took a strange turn when the hacker gave back all the funds.


Hackers allegedly breached gaming-focused blockchain platform Ronin Network last week and extracted cryptocurrencies now valued at more than $600 million, the company announced on Tuesday, marking the second-biggest hack ever in the burgeoning cryptocurrency space.


Only a $600 million hack of blockchain-based platform Poly Network in August is larger, according to Elliptic; those funds were ultimately retrieved after a slew of crypto exchanges and blockchain firms started tracking identity clues on the blockchain.


Hackers have stolen over $32 million worth of ether, a cryptocurrency that has soared in value almost 5,000 percent in the space of six months. The theft comes just days after another breach saw criminals steal over $7 million worth of ether simply by tricking victims into sending money to the wrong address.


More than a million people may have lost their money in the spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency trading company FTX. NPR's Chris Arnold spoke to some of them as they try to figure out what happened and what to do next.


ARNOLD: Investing in crypto is inherently risky, but people didn't lose money this time because Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency plunged in value. It was that the FTX trading platform itself imploded - sort of like if you were investing in stocks using, say, E-Trade or Schwab or Fidelity, and the company said, oops, sorry, we're declaring bankruptcy, and you can't withdraw your money. And for Jake Thacker in Portland, Ore., it's a lot of money.


ARNOLD: Charlie Gerstein is an attorney who's filed class action cases against other cryptocurrency companies. The bankruptcy filings state that FTX could owe money to upwards of a million people, and he says the basic facts are pretty grim. FTX told investors it would keep their assets safe. So if it can't give people their money back, he says it probably broke the law by doing something else with it.


ARNOLD: There is also this. Hackers reportedly may have stolen several hundred million dollars of customers' money as well while all this was going on. Moving forward, the bankruptcy court will eventually try to sort out how much money is left and how it gets divvied up among all of these people. FTX said in a statement, quote, "we are going to conduct this effort with diligence, thoroughness and transparency." Meanwhile, the sudden collapse of FTX is having some contagion effects as people lose faith in other crypto trading platforms. Jake Thacker says the question basically is, if FTX collapsed, who's to say another one won't, too?


In 2019 alone, millions of people globally lost over $4.3 billion to cryptocurrency scams.[44] This is a significant increase from approximately $650 million in 2018.[45] During the global pandemic, scammers continue to defraud victims; the Department, among others, has recognized an increase in cryptocurrency scams during this time.[46] During the first half of 2020, scammers stole over $380 million.[47]


Collectively, these scams have resulted in substantial losses. From July 2019 to June 2020, Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, tracked approximately $100 million from victims located in North America lost to cryptocurrency to scammers.[51] Unfortunately, many victims will not recover the monies lost to these scams, so the best defense is not to become the next victim.


U.S. law enforcement authorities will start liquidating roughly $57 million worth of cryptocurrency seized from the now-defunct BitConnect crypto exchange to provide some restitution to defrauded investors.


This week, threat actors hijacked Bitcoin.org, the authentic website of the Bitcoin project, and altered parts of the website to push a cryptocurrency giveaway scam that unfortunately some users fell for. Although the hack lasted for less than a day, hackers seem to have walked away with a little over $17,000.


The US Treasury Department announced the first-ever sanctions against a cryptocurrency exchange, the Russian-linked Suex, for facilitating ransom transactions for ransomware gangs and helping them evade sanctions.


Well, it's certainly not stable and I don't necessarily believe that it will be. And actually as a trader, the volatility is what draws so many people to trading Bitcoin and their interest in it. But a Bitcoin it's a protocol it's math. And the computer has to effectively at the most basic level, computers around the world are competing to solve a complicated math problem. And when they solve it, that creates Bitcoin. It's a ledger that keeps these transactions on the blockchain. And once an individual block is locked, it's effectively unhackable. And so the idea is that you're not on a centralized server somewhere. You know, it's decentralized, it's spread all over the planet and the miners are creating Bitcoin. And like I said, you have these unhackable blockchain decentralized it's trustless. You don't have to trust a government or a central party. And that's really the appeal to a lot of people because you want to use PayPal or your bank or whoever it is. There's a third party involved in you transacting with someone else. And this eliminates that third party in a manner where you're at much less risk. But that said as an average person to understand that, you have to understand that you are now your own bank, nobody is going to bail you out. If you get hacked or if you get your Bitcoins stolen, you're not insured. So for the average person, I think it's actually terrifying. Most of them don't even understand that. I think they just buy it on an exchange and they leave it there. When you buy Bitcoin on an exchange and you leave it there, it's not really yours. There's a saying in crypto, uh, not your Bitcoin If you don't have the private T's basically. So unless you put it on your own hardware wallet or move it somewhere offline, I mean, there's a conversation that could go for hours. And, and it's funny because I actually was recently the victim of a pretty major hack attempt by some famous hackers in Europe. They swapped my SIM card. They attacked my exchange accounts, but because I have my proper security in place, I didn't actually lose any money. They made my life really miserable for a couple of weeks. But stories like that are going to drive your average retail person away from Bitcoin. And let's be honest, in 2017, when everyone was interested in Bitcoin, they were not interested in it because it was a hedge against inflation or because it could protect them from their government. They were buying it because someone told them that they make a ton of money selling it later. That's not a use case. That's just FOMO, fear of missing out. So at the end of the day, you can't explain all of that to a five-year-old effectively. And I think that's been one of the greatest impediments to Bitcoin because people just don't want to learn and they don't want to deal with that. They don't want to go buy a private hardware wallet and understand their seed phrases and private T's, and that they got to put one on a safe and one of the safe deposit box. It's really crazy. I mean, you really are your own bank.


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