Crypto Exchange Bit Mart Hacked; Nearly $200 Million Reported Missing

It’s happened again, folks. Another crypto exchange hack is in the books. This time, the alleged victim is Bit Mart, which appears to have lost $150 million in digital currency funds at the time of writing, though some firms – such as Peck Shield, a blockchain analytics company – believe the company may have lost closer to $200 million.

Bit Mart Has Been Compromised

Peck Shield was the first entity to notice the breach. Analysts saw that around $100 million in crypto was missing through the exchange from the Ethereum blockchain, while another $96 million was allegedly stolen through the Binance smart chain. There were approximately 20 different tokens taken, including Shiba Inu coin and Safe Moon.

At press time, Bit Mart says that it has suspended all withdrawals until executives can analyze the situation further and figure out what happened. An official statement reads:

We have identified a largescale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this moment, we are still concluding the possible methods used. Hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately 150 million USD. The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on Bit Mart and all our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates on our progress. At this moment, we are suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation. During this period, we will strive to maintain transparency and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much.

The company also stated that all funds taken from individual users would be fully reimbursed through Bit Mart’s own reserves. Executives said:

BitMart will use our own funding to cover the incident and compensate affected users. No user assets will be harmed.

It is widely stated by security analysts that utilizing hot wallet storage does not compare with that of cold wallets, given that the former is tied directly to the internet and thus gives hackers a direct line to one’s crypto funds. They often recommend storing assets in an offline wallet, making compromises like this one much more difficult.

Why Does This Keep Happening?

Cybersecurity expert Steve Forbes commented on the high level of crypto theft that’s been occurring over the past two years as assets such as bitcoin have reached all-time highs. He says:

It’s no surprise that attackers are targeting crypto exchanges. In many ways, they are the new banks, which makes this a modern version of a bank heist with arguably less risk and less effort. As the threat of a ransomware attack continues to grow for all industries, crypto exchanges will be no exception.

Other major examples of crypto exchange theft include Mt. Gox and Coincheck in Japan.

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