Upbit, a top South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange that lost $51 million worth of ether (ETH) to hackers last year, has announced that it has resumed deposits and withdrawals for the altcoin, reports Business Korea.
Following the incident, the exchange platform suspended withdrawal and deposits for two weeks while it conducts investigations into the cause of the irregular withdrawal. Furthermore, the company moved all digital currencies from hot wallet storage to the more secure cold wallet storage.
Also, if the investigations reveal that funds were indeed lost, the company stated that it was going to cover up the lost funds from the platform’s account. UpBit, however, advised users not to deposit ETH until the issue is cleared.
Back in May 2019, North Korean hackers targeted clients of Upbit to steal bitcoin (BTC) from them. The hackers impersonated the company’s admins to deceive customers into releasing more personal details.
For now, it is unconfirmed whether the incident that occurred on the exchange platform was a hack or something else. However, observers and the crypto community, in general, await more information from the company that could probably explain how 342,000 ETH left the platform’s wallet.
Upbit Moves On After Massive Ether Hack
Cryptocurrency exchange hacks and heists remains a pain in the neck for market participants in the digital assets ecosystem and South Korea’s Upbit exchange tasted its fair share of the bitter cake last November, in a $51 million ether (ETH) hack.
However, after nearly two months of shutting down deposits and withdrawals for the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Upbit has now decided to move on with its normal operations.
Per sources close to the matter, Upbit, the Dunamu-owned bitcoin (BTC) trading venue has reinstated ether (ETH) deposit and withdrawal services on January 13, 2019, just a few days after it reportedly normalized deposit and withdrawals for other altcoins including litecoin (LTC), XRP and EOS.
Notably, in a bid to safeguard its assets from future hacks, the exchange has made it clear that it has now replaced the previous ether wallet with a new wallet system and has asked users to take note of its new ether wallet addresses.
“We have put in place a new wallet system for deposit and withdrawals of digital assets. It is difficult to specify whether to open or withdraw funds one by one or all at once in the future.”
The Journey so Far
While centralized exchanges are yet to find a permanent solution to the menace of crypto hacks, most established platforms, including Changpeng Zhao’sBinance have put measures in place to ensure users get their entire funds back even after a major hack.
Reportedly, Upbit recently released its due diligence report and the exchange stated that it covered the entire 342,000 stolen ether with its own assets.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that bad actors are targeting Upbit crypto exchange.
As reported that, the North Korean hacking group, Kim-Soo-Ki, launched a phishing attack on Upbit, in an effort to steal user’s funds.
Despite the ups and downs, Upbit remains one of the Korean crypto exchanges doing its best to promote the growth of the blockchain ecosystem. The exchange organized its first blockchain developer conference in September 2018.
South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges seem to be the worst hit when it comes to hacking attacks, compared to their western counterparts. Some of these hacks resulted from a lack of proper security on the part of the exchange companies.
The UpBit incident looks like the Bithumb incident in April 2019 that was later confirmed to be a hack. Just like UpBit, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, noticed an “abnormal withdrawal” from the platform’s hot wallets. However, the platform suspected the hack was an inside job, subsequently losing millions worth of crypto assets.
Apart from the hacks, the regulatory framework for virtual currency exchanges in South Korea is stringent. The country’s regulatory watchdog, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced plans to oversee bitcoin exchanges operating in the country, a move that could cause further problems for exchanges.