Hackers stole $196 million from crypto exchange startup Bitmart in a ‘large-scale security breach’
Cryptocurrency hackers strike again. Last August, hackers stole over $90 million worth of crypto coins from the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid. The crypto startup also said that some of its digital currency wallets had been “compromised,” and that hackers were transferring the assets to four different wallets.
Just four months later, another crypto exchange startup Bitmart reported over the weekend that hackers have stolen $196 million worth of digital assets, calling it “a large-scale security breach.” The theft was first reported by blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield.
In an official statement Saturday night, Bitmart confirmed the hack saying that hackers withdrew about $150 million in assets. However, Peckshield estimates that the loss is closer to $200 million. For now, Bitmart said it has temporarily suspended all withdrawals until further notice and said a thorough security review was underway.
“The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress. At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation,” Bitmart said.
Bitmart added in a statement that all withdrawals had been temporarily suspended until further notice and said a thorough security review was underway.
In a Twitter post, Peckshield estimated that Bitmart lost around $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the ethereum blockchain and another $96 million from coins on the binance smart chain. Peckshield said:
“Estimate loss of @BitMartExchange: ~$100M. Here is the list of the transferred-out assets and their amounts.”
— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) December 5, 2021
Peckshield added that one of Bitmart’s addresses showed a steady outflow of tens of millions of dollars to an address which Etherscan referred to as the “Bitmart Hacker.” Hackers made off with a mix of more than 20 tokens, including Binance coin, SafeMoon, and Shiba inu, Peckshield said.
Founded in 2017 by Sheldon Xia, the Cayman Islands-based Bitmart is a digital asset trading platform that offers a mix of spot transactions, leveraged futures trading, as well as lending and staking services, typically ranks as one of the top centralized crypto exchanges by volume, according to CoinGecko data. currency swaps.
Just last week, crypto lender Celsius Network also admitted to losing funds (though it didn’t specify how much it lost exactly), as a result of the $120 million hack of the decentralized finance platform BadgerDAO. And in August, hackers stole $600 million in the biggest DeFi hack after the interoperability protocol PolyNetwork was exploited on Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, and Ethereum.
Below is the full statement from BitSmart.
BitMart Security Breach Update
Dear BitMart Users,
We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets today. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. Hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately 150 million USD.
The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress. At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation.
During this period, we will strive to maintain transparency and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much.