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A security firm says, ‘Hackers take away USD 196 million from Bitmart, crypto exchange’

A security firm says, ‘Hackers take away USD 196 million from Bitmart, crypto exchange’

Summary:

  • Crypto trading platform Bitmart was hacked for $196 million, according to a security firm.
  • Bitmart issued an official statement Saturday night confirming the hack, describing it as a “large-scale security breach” in which hackers withdrew around $150 million in assets.
  • Peckshield, blockchain security, and data analytics business, believes the damage to be closer to $200 million.

Large-scale hack from Bitmart

A security firm reported Saturday that hackers stole $196 million from cryptocurrency trading platform Bitmart.

In an official statement issued Saturday night, Bitmart confirmed the attack, describing it as “a large-scale security compromise” in which hackers withdrew around $150 million in assets. According to Peckshield, a blockchain security and data analytics startup, the damage is closer to $200 million.

All withdrawals have been temporarily halted until further notice, according to Bitmart, who also stated that a full security examination is underway.

On Saturday, Peckshield was the first to identify the breach, observing a constant outflow of tens of millions of dollars from one of Bitmart’s addresses. Etherscan referred to this address as the “Bitmart Hacker.”

Bitmart lost roughly $100 million in various cryptocurrencies on the ethereum blockchain, according to Peckshield, and another $96 million in coins on the Binance smart chain. Binance currency, safemoon, and Shiba Inu were among the more than 20 tokens taken by the hackers.

The affected ethereum and Binance smart chain “hot wallets,” according to Bitmart, held only a “tiny percentage” of the exchange’s assets. All other wallets were “safe and untouched,” according to the statement.

What does Bitmart have to say?

Bitmart is a cryptocurrency exchange that specializes in spot transactions, leveraged futures trading, lending, and staking. According to reports, this is one of the top centralized crypto exchanges by volume.

According to Bitmart, it is still unknown what methods the hackers employed, but what transpired following the breach was rather simple, according to Peckshield. According to the security firm, it was a classic case of “transfer-out, exchange, and wash.”

Hackers allegedly used the decentralized exchange aggregator known as ‘1inch’ to exchange the stolen tokens for ether after transferring the funds out of Bitmart. The ether currencies were then transferred into Tornado Cash, a privacy mixer that makes the money harder to track.

According to Rick Holland, chief information security officer at Digital Shadows, a cyberthreat intelligence firm, cybercriminals frequently use a mixing or tumbling service. As per reports, these services allow consumers to mix criminal cash with clean cryptocurrency. This effectively creates a new sort of cryptocurrency, at which point currency swaps are used.

Although the blockchain is open to the public, there are still techniques to make it difficult for investigators to follow transactions to their final destination.

This is the latest in a string of recent hacks.

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