Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitmart Allegedly Loses Nearly $200 Million-Worth Assets in Hack

Sheldon Xia, the CEO of Bitmart said that the incident was caused by a stolen private key that had two hot wallets compromised

Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitmart Allegedly Loses Nearly $200 Million-Worth Assets in Hack

Investigations have been launched to track the hacker responsible for this Bitmart breach.

Highlights
  • A total of $196 million (roughly Rs. 1,479 crore) stolen
  • Screenshots of the stolen assets have been posted on Twitter
  • Investigations in the case have been launched

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart has emerged as the latest victim of a severe hack attack. An alleged $196 million (roughly Rs. 1,479 crore) stored as various cryptocurrencies have been stolen from Bitmart in this attack. The stolen tokens were directed to the unidentified hacker(s) hiding under the pseudo name of “Bitmart Hacker”. The breach that happened on the evening of Saturday, December 4 gained traction after security firm PeckShield posted about it on Twitter. While the stolen Ethereum-based crypto assets made up for $100 million (roughly Rs. 754 crore), the remaining $96 million (roughly Rs. 724 crore) worth of assets were based on the Binance Smart Chain, according to PeckShield.

In a series of tweets, PeckShield shared screenshots of the cryptocurrencies that have been stolen in this breach.

The hack has also been acknowledged by Sheldon Xia, the CEO of Bitmart who tweeted that the incident was caused by a stolen private key that had two hot wallets compromised. Internet-powered hot wallets are linked with public and private keys to facilitate crypto transactions while also acting as a security measure.

Xia also added that for the time being, Bitmart has chosen to suspend all withdrawals until further notice.

According to a report by NewsRoomPost, a decentralised exchange aggregator called “1inch” has been used by the hackers to swap the stolen assets in exchange for Ether tokens.

The obtained Ether tokens are being deposited into privacy mixer called Tornado Cash, making the hacked funds difficult to be traced.

Investigations have been launched to track the hacker responsible for this Bitmart breach.

A recent report has revealed that the total crypto crime in 2020 amounted to around $10.52 billion (roughly Rs. 79,194 crores).

In October, a major hack attack cost Ethereum-powered lending protocol called “Cream Finance” worth of crypto assets.

Earlier in November, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that cyber scammers are making innocent people use physical cryptocurrency ATMs and digital QR Codes to complete malicious transactions and dupe them off assets.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Further reading: Cryptocurrency, Hack, Bitmart, Ethereum, Binance
Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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