Cryptocurrency Exchange CoinEx Hacked, Millions of Dollars Worth of Cryptocurrency Stolen
Date: September 12, 2023
Cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx confirmed that a hacker stole millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency in an attack on Tuesday. The global exchange, founded in 2017, did not respond to requests for comment but said in a statement they detected “anomalous withdrawals” from several wallets that are used to hold the platform’s assets.
Details of the Attack
An investigative team discovered several unauthorized transactions involving ETH, TRON and Polygon coins. While the company said the amount of losses is still being determined, blockchain data collected by several cryptocurrency security firms shows that about $31 million worth of coins was stolen from the platform.
Confirmation from Blockchain Security Firm
Researchers at blockchain security firm PeckShield said about $19 million worth of ETH, $11.5 million worth of TRON and $295,000 of Polygon coins was drained from the CoinEx platform.
Assurance and Compensation
CoinEx said in their statement that the funds stolen was a “very small portion” of the platform’s total assets. They assured all users that their assets are secure and untouched. The affected parties will receive 100% compensation for any loss due to this breach. For added security, deposit and withdrawal services are temporarily suspended and will resume post a thorough review. The company also pledged to eventually provide a “comprehensive” report about the incident.
Isolation of Wallet Addresses
In a follow-up statement, CoinEx said it has identified and isolated the wallet addresses linked to the attack. They are now working to create a solution for those affected and urged other cryptocurrency exchanges to watch out for any activity related to the addresses.
Recent Incidents in the Cryptocurrency Industry
After a brief pause in attacks in early 2023, several cryptocurrency platforms have dealt with incidents in recent months. Over the last three months, Exactly Protocol, Harbor Protocol, and Vyper — one of the most popular Web3 programming languages – have been exploited by hackers.
Hackers Connected to North Korea
Several of the most recent incidents were attributed to hackers connected to North Korea’s military, including a $35 million hack of cryptocurrency platform Atomic Wallet, a $100 million hack of Atomic Wallet on June 2, as well as two June 22 attacks in which cybercriminals stole $60 million from Alphapo and $37 million from CoinsPaid.
North Korea’s Lazarus Hacking Group
North Korea’s Lazarus hacking group has been one of the primary drivers of attacks on cryptocurrency platforms, using billions in stolen digital assets to allegedly fund its nuclear weapons program.
Hackers Targeting Cryptocurrency Firms
Blockchain research firm Chainalysis found that 2022 was a banner year for hackers targeting cryptocurrency firms, with about $3.8 billion in total stolen from companies in the industry, up from $3.3 billion in 2021.
About the Author
Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.