Home Crypto News News Huobi (HTX) $8 Million Hack: Justin Sun Offers Hacker Reward for Returning Funds

Huobi (HTX) $8 Million Hack: Justin Sun Offers Hacker Reward for Returning Funds

Teuta Franjkovic
Published September 26, 2023 9:30 AM
Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
Verified by Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
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Key Takeaways

  • The amount taken is small relative to HTX’s $3 billion in user assets.
  • It is equivalent to two weeks’ worth of earnings, Sun claims.
  • HTX provides a $400,000 “white hat reward” as an incentive for the hacker to return the stolen money.
  • Huobi marked its decade-long journey with a rebranding announcement, now known as HTX.

A cyberattack that targeted the major cryptocurrency exchange HTX (ex-Huobi) led to the theft of 5,000 ETH, or around $7.9 million, as a result.

A reputable crypto security organization named CyversAlerts was the first to report the hack.

The blockchain company claimed that a vulnerability in one of HTX hot wallets was the reason the attack was successful. Hot wallets are readily available cryptocurrency wallets with an internet connection.

Investor in HTX Global Justin Sun also acknowledged the previous September 25, 2023 attack on X.

According to reports from CyversAlerts, the international exchange appears to have discovered both the identity of the crooks involved and the crypto wallet address they were using. They have therefore reached out to the offenders and made an intriguing offer.

Justin Sun Extends a Job Offer to Hacker Or Considers Legal Action

According to information on Etherscan , HTX sent a transaction and a message to the hacker’s wallet address.

They let the offenders know who they were and sought the money back within a certain amount of time.

HTX has pledged to give the hackers a 5% bonus for the $400K worth of stolen money. According to , if the hacker returns the money, HTX stated it would take the hacker into consideration for employment as an exchange security consultant. 

The exchange did issue a warning, however, that if the hacker did not return the money within seven days, the business would report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement authorities and pursue legal action against the perpetrator.

According to information from CoinMarketCap , the native HT token of the platform is currently trading at about $2.44, having lost 0.72% over the last 24 hours.

CZ Appoints Binance Security Team to Locate Stolen Assets

In response to a tweet by Justin Sun, the creator of Tron and advisor to HTX, CZ Binance’s security team to assist in locating the missing assets. Sun further stated that HTX will compensate all losses for users. 

The day before the HTX attack, Mixin Network, a decentralized peer-to-peer network, experienced a nearly $200 million loss due to a hack involving a third-party cloud service provider’s compromised database.

0xScope, a Web3 SaaS analytics firm, conducted an independent investigation into the hacker’s previous interactions with Mixin Network. The address linked to the hacker, 0x1795, received 5 ETH from Mixin in 2022, which then moved to Binance.

On Mixin Network, deposits and withdrawals will resume “once the vulnerabilities are confirmed and fixed.” The strategies for restoring users’ lost valuables weren’t made public right away.

Could This Be Another Lazarus Group Attack?

Due to their porous security architecture and the size of the crypto money they contain, cryptocurrency exchanges have been a lucrative target for cyberattacks.

The Crystal Blockchain research  estimates that between January 2011 and February 2023, about $16.7 billion in cryptocurrencies were stolen.

A number of intrusions have been noted in the cryptosphere, and it is thought that the Lazarus Group, a well-known hacker group connected to North Korea, is to blame.

On September 11, well-known blockchain security company CertiK that a group of North Korean hackers had stolen $41 million from the Stake online casino. 

The company also stated that the same Stake attacker, the Lazarus Group, transferred and bridged 520,000 MATIC tokens worth over $266,000 to the Avalanche network.

Huobi could become the next target, just 12 days after the Stake online casino breach.

While there is currently no evidence linking the exchange attack to the North Korean hacking group, the upcoming days may bring much-needed clarity.

Recent Rebranding and Cyberattack

Shortly after rebranding from Huobi to HTX, the cryptocurrency exchange fell victim to a cyberattack. The rebranding aimed to boost user adoption and expand its global presence.

The official announcement of the rebranding occurred on September 13th, featuring ‘H’ representing Huobi, ‘T’ symbolizing Justin Sun’s Tron project, and ‘X’ representing the exchange itself.

Another interpretation suggests ‘HT’ represents the native token, and ‘X’ represents the exchange, also symbolizing its ten-year anniversary.

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