The cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has fallen victim to a massive hack, resulting in the loss of an estimated $53 million worth of Ethereum (ETH), TRON (TRX), and Polygon (MATIC).
This cyber heist has left the exchange and its users reeling as they grapple with the aftermath of one of the largest crypto hacks of recent times. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts were left in disbelief as news of the hack spread like wildfire.
— CertiK Alert (@CertiKAlert) September 13, 2023
CoinEx, known for its wide array of supported cryptocurrencies, saw its security defenses breached, resulting in a loss of digital assets.
According to reports from Chinese journalist Colin Wu and blockchain analytics company PeckShield, the exchange’s hot wallets were compromised, leading to a theft of more than $53 million.
The stolen assets included Ethereum (ETH), TRON (TRX), and Polygon (MATIC), raising concerns about the security of even the most established cryptocurrency platforms.
Despite the massive loss, the prices of these cryptocurrencies showed surprising resilience, with little to no immediate impact on their market values.
TRON even saw a significant gain of over 5% in the 24-hour chart, leaving many puzzled by the disconnect between the hack and market reactions.
CoinEx responds swiftly to the breach
CoinEx immediately mitigated further damage as news of the hack spread. The exchange announced the suspension of deposit and withdrawal services, effective at 23:18:30 (UTC+8) on Sept. 12, as part of its wallet maintenance efforts. This move was essential to prevent any additional unauthorized access to user funds.
The exchange’s response also included transferring the remaining assets from the compromised hot wallet to secure cold wallet addresses. The CoinEx cold wallet currently holds approximately $89 million in assets, with Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) accounting for a significant portion of the holdings at $51.7 million and $18.23 million, respectively.
In a reassuring message to its users, CoinEx emphasized that the security breach had not affected user assets held in the exchange’s cold wallet. The exchange pledged to cover the financial losses from the hack through the CoinEx User Asset Security Foundation.
A troubling trend in the crypto world
The CoinEx hack is just one in a series of recent cyberattacks targeting cryptocurrency exchanges and prominent figures in the industry.
In a separate incident, Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum (ETH), fell victim to a SIM swap attack that resulted in his social media account being hacked. The hackers used Buterin’s compromised Twitter account to promote malicious links, stealing over $690,000 from unsuspecting users.
These high-profile incidents highlight the growing sophistication of cybercriminals in the cryptocurrency space. It is a stark reminder of the crypto community’s need for robust security measures and constant vigilance.
Connecting the Dots
Blockchain investigators have suggested a potential link between the CoinEx hack and a North Korean state-sponsored threat group. The attackers behind the CoinEx breach inadvertently connected their address to a previous hack involving $41 million from OP and Polygon. This connection has raised suspicions about the involvement of North Korea in the attack.
In conclusion, the CoinEx hack has sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency world, underscoring the persistent threat posed by cybercriminals.
As the exchange works diligently to recover and fortify its security measures, the crypto community must remain vigilant and prioritize security to protect digital assets in an increasingly risky landscape.