Hacker steals $49m worth of cryptocurrency from Upbit exchange


Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has confirmed the theft of 342,000 ether (the currency of Ethereum) early on Wednesday, worth about $49 million at the time.

Lee Seok-woo, the CEO of Upbit’s parent company, broke the news in a blog post, saying an unknown hacker transferred the ether from Upbit’s wallet to his wallet at around 1pm Nov. 27 local time.

In reaction to the theft, Upbit halted all deposits and withdrawals for “at least two weeks.”

According to the post, Upbit will cover the damages with its own assets.

If you’re interested in seeing how the hacker moved $49 million in a single move and paid the low, low fee of about $3 to do it, the actual transaction is here.

There have been other suspicious transactions coming out of Upbit today, as noted by CoinDesk. But Upbit CEO said in the blog post that those transactions were just Upbit moving funds from one wallet to another.

Theft from cryptocurrency exchanges is a fairly common occurrence. Earlier this year, hackers stole $40 million worth of crypto from Binance, $32 million from Bitpoint, and $4.2 million from Bitrue, to name just a few incidents. Cryptocurrency intelligence company CipherTrace said in July that approximately $4.26 billion worth of cryptocurrency had been stolen up to that point in 2019.

Prices of major cryptocurrencies have fallen sharply following the news, with Bitcoin going down 2.74% in the last 24 hours and Ethereum losing 2.16% in that period, according to CoinMarketCap.

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