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South Korean Gov’t Investigating Bithumb Security Breach, World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange

Local news publications and leading media outlets in South Korea have reported that Bithumb, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, suffered a security breach that affected 30,000 users on the trading platform.

Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office for Advanced Criminal Investigation has announced that it had taken over the case and is currently in progress of analyzing the hacking attack and linking traces back to the anonymous hacking group that successfully breached into the emails of Bithumb employees and eventually gained control over the system.

According to reports, funds of Bithumb users were not stolen during the hacking attack. But, sensitive personal and financial information of at least 30,000 users has been leaked.

The Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office for Advanced Criminal Investigation led by supervisor inspector Shin Bongsu, revealed that hackers targeted Bithumb employees with phishing emails, sending malware to the computers used by employees within the Bithumb headquarters. By using the emails of employees, the hackers were able to extract personal information of over 30,000 users.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Department of Cybercrime, told reporters that several Bithumb users notified the agency of suspicious transactions and bank account activities. Some users claimed that the personal information that was leaked during the security breach involved banking information, which allowed hackers to withdraw money from the bank accounts of Bithumb users.

In the next few days, Bithumb will collaborate with government agencies and the South Korean police to investigate the security breach, and implement necessary security measures to prevent such attacks in the future.

In June, Bithumb suffered a similar security breach at a larger scale, which led to the loss of $1 million in cryptocurrency funds including Bitcoin and Ethereum, and the theft of user data. At the time, Bithumb compensated each user that was affected by the hack, crediting each account with $100 in compensation. In total, the Bithumb team compensated $1 million to the users that had their personal data stolen, and another $1 million to the users that have had lost their funds during the hacking attack.

As the largest Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange in the world and South Korea, Bithumb has consistently been the target of North Korean hackers. In September, FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, revealed that that North Korean hackers have been targeting South Korean Bitcoin exchanges such as Yapizon through sophisticated attacks including spear phishing.

“In 2016 we began observing actors we believe to be North Korean utilizing their intrusion capabilities to conduct cyber crime, targeting banks and the global financial system. This marked a departure from previously observed activity of North Korean actors employing cyber espionage for traditional nation state activities,” stated FireEye researchers.

But, given the exponential growth rate of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market, FireEye researchers noted that the interest of the North Korean government towards the market was somewhat expected.

“Add to that the ties between North Korean operators and a watering hole compromise of a bitcoin news site in 2016, as well as at least one instance of usage of a surreptitious cryptocurrency miner, and we begin to see a picture of North Korean interest in cryptocurrencies, an asset class in which bitcoin alone has increased over 400% since the beginning of this year,” the report added.

The Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office for Advanced Criminal Investigation as well as the Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office for Advanced Criminal Investigation are focusing on the involvement of North Korean hackers in the recent Bithumb security breach.

COMMENTS(28)

  • alexx3064
    1 month ago alexx3064

    had a friend of my dad robbed of 300mil krw (approx 266k usd) from bithumb. she started with 10mil 2 years ago and suddenly one day, all of the coins were withdrawn from her account. It was Authentication-required account and it was not possible to log-in without the google authenticator she had. Somehow the coins were able to leave her account. This is just one of the tragedy, she already got a lawyer and so did many others who were robbed. I hope this investigation finds any clue about this

  • Dissent Doe
    1 month ago Dissent Doe

    South Korean Gov’t Investigating Bithumb #DataBreach, World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange:http://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

  • Joseph Young
    1 month ago Joseph Young

    South Korea’s Bithumb, the world’s largest #bitcoin & crypto exchange, hacked reports claim. 30,000 users affected.http://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

  • CryptoXshark [NO2X]
    1 month ago CryptoXshark [NO2X]

    Wondering if this will affect the price of $XRP for #SwellByRipple (today)

  • CryptoXshark [NO2X]
    1 month ago CryptoXshark [NO2X]

    Reports say http://bithumb.com  South Korea’s largest Cryptocurrency exchange hacked. More to follow.http://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

  • allyougottado
    1 month ago allyougottado

    They are no where near the largest exchange.

  • Bull
    1 month ago Bull

    Relax guys. No need to panic..pic.twitter.com/vG7dNd1AC7

  • CryptoNavi [No2X]
    1 month ago CryptoNavi [No2X]

    not a big deal

  • Joseph Young
    1 month ago Joseph Young

    They got hacked again this month. 30,000 users affected, no funds stolen but personal info leaked

  • 솜뎃
    1 month ago 솜뎃

    Qash is the next big cryptocurrencyhttps://cointelegraph.com/news/can-quoine-provide-the-missing-link-in-the-crypto-economy …

  • D_Great_Leader_NONYA
    1 month ago D_Great_Leader_NONYA

    pic.twitter.com/ui5RnE5AWJ

  • elitegamerbros
    1 month ago elitegamerbros

    Bithumb employees with phishing emails, sending malware to the computers used by employees within the Bithumb headquarters

    Jesus, can we get an alternative to email already that is more secure ?

  • btcnewsupdates
    1 month ago btcnewsupdates

    Why does Blockstream boy want to show this on r/btc?

    What are you playing at??

  • Treasonaire
    1 month ago Treasonaire

    No funds stolen.

    • petskup
      1 month ago petskup

      Some users claimed that the personal information that was leaked during the security breach involved banking information, which allowed hackers to withdraw money from the bank accounts of Bithumb users.

      • Treasonaire
        1 month ago Treasonaire

        It’s fiat, they’ll get it back. No funds stolen.

  • Mohamed E
    1 month ago Mohamed E

    Thanks @iamjosephyoung. Thats terrible news. Many will lose. Exchange is a dangerous place to store cryptos.many alts are toxic & overvalued

  • Tamara Davis
    1 month ago Tamara Davis

    South Korean Gov’t Investigating Bithumb Security #DataBreach, World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange! [email protected]://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

  • VERIS Community DB
    1 month ago VERIS Community DB

    South Korean Gov’t Investigating Bithumb Security Breach, World’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange http://ift.tt/2gHnLvY  #databreach

  • RedpilledByCrypto
    1 month ago RedpilledByCrypto

    Bet it’s their friends to the north.

  • Douglas K [NO2X]
    1 month ago Douglas K [NO2X]

    People need to use a DEX #bitshares #OpenLedger

  • KryptoKrazy
    1 month ago KryptoKrazy

    Real World Usage #CryptoCurrency

    #Electroneum #Mobile #Gaming #Mining

    140,000 INVESTORS
    22.5+ MILLION USD$ RAISEDhttps://goo.gl/MN8iEj 

  • bagHODŁing
    1 month ago bagHODŁing

    World’s Largest #Cryptocurrency Exchange #Bithumb hacked! N. Korean president has begun his looting of #bitcoin http://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange … $btcpic.twitter.com/fo98rN5hVU

  • BBOD
    1 month ago BBOD

    We need decentralized exchanges. We need decentralized world!

  • BBOD
    1 month ago BBOD

    We need decentralized exchanges. We need decentralized world!
    #Decentralization #blockchainhttp://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

  • ReconSecureComputing
    1 month ago ReconSecureComputing

    At least 30,000 user accounts’ data leaked. #Blockchain #DataBreach @SecReconhttp://news.8btc.com/south-korean-govt-investigating-bithumb-security-breach-worlds-largest-cryptocurrency-exchange …

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