Upbit, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by market-share and trading, has been hacked. At the moment, all trading activities, deposits, and withdrawals are temporarily suspended.
On Nov. 27, Lee Seok-woo, the CEO of Dunamoo, the company that operates Upbit, confirmed in an official statement that 342,000 ETH was transferred from Upbit’s hot (online) wallet to an unknown wallet.
In the announcement, Lee affirmed:
At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet. Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029.
The statement came after Naver, a South Korean media outlet, reported earlier today that Upbit abruptly suspended deposits and withdrawals from the platform. Naver argued that services were halted after approximately $50 million worth of ETH were transferred out of the exchange’s hot wallet.
This led them to suspect that the exchange was hacked since Upbit usually informs users in advance when large transfers are going to be made.
There is a disagreement as to whether it is currently hacked or moved from the exchange side to the cold wallet. The rational suspicion of hacking is because the exchange side usually informs users in advance when the cryptocurrency is transferred to the cold wallet.
Lee apologized to the platform’s users for any “inconvenience” that the incident may have caused and pledged to cover the losses with corporate assets. Additionally, all remaining funds were moved to Upbit’s cold wallets, and deposits and withdrawals would take at least two weeks to resume.
Unlike other major Korean exchanges, Upbit was the only operator to reveal an operating profit in 2018.
Last modified: January 11, 2020 2:31 PM UTC