Hackers steal $150 mn in cryptocurrencies from BitMart Exchange

Hackers withdrew about $150 million of cryptocurrencies from BitMart Exchange, according to the unverified Twitter account of the exchange’s CEO.
By BLOOMBERG
| Updated on Dec 06 2021, 12:54 AM IST
The BitMart Exchange hack was first revealed by blockchain security firm PeckShield Inc.
The BitMart Exchange hack was first revealed by blockchain security firm PeckShield Inc. (MINT_PRINT)

Hackers withdrew about $150 million of cryptocurrencies from BitMart wallets, according to the unverified Twitter account of the exchange’s chief executive officer. “We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets,” Sheldon Xia wrote in the first of three tweets, referring to Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.

An email sent by Bloomberg on Sunday to Xia’s work address, as listed in his Twitter profile, bounced back with a message “all recipient addresses rejected: access denied.” In another tweet from the account of BitMart.Exchange the company said that all withdrawals were temporarily suspended and asked users for understanding and patience. 

The hack was first revealed by blockchain security firm PeckShield Inc., according to multiple crypto-focused media outlets, and followed a plunge in cryptocurrency prices on Saturday. 

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PeckShield, in a post on its unverified Twitter account, initially put the loss at $100 million, then doubled the amount. Tokens impacted included meme ones like Shiba Inu as well as the stablecoin USDC, theblockcrypto.com reported, citing PeckShield.

BitMart last week announced the closure of a Series B fundraising round led by New York-based private equity firm Alexander Capital Ventures. 

Vietnam Police Bust $3.8 Billion Crypto Gambling Ring: VTV

Ho Chi Minh City police have detained 59 people tied to the biggest illegal online gambling ring ever uncovered by Vietnamese authorities, according to state-owned broadcaster VTV.

The cryptocurrency gambling ring had transactions totaling more than $3.8 billion, which includes the amount of money gamblers put in the ring and excludes reciprocal money from the dealer, VTV reported, citing information from the police.

Gamblers in the ring registered cryptocurrency wallets on a foreign platform called Remitano to buy cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or USDT, also known as Tether, then would use the crypto to gamble on websites Swiftonline.live and Nagaclubs.com, according to the report.

Subjects admitted to authorities that they organized online gambling on those sites, which were intermediaries to international betting platform Evolution.com to earn commissions. When there were a large number of players, they crashed the websites in order to appropriate money from the digital wallets, the report said.

“This is a case of clear abuse of the Evolution brand,” Carl Linton, head of investor relations at Evolution said in an email. “The sites mentioned in the article are not customers of Evolution and our games are not accessible through these sites.”

We take this situation very seriously, the aggregator connected to these sites has been identified and notified to take immediate action towards their customer and we reserve the right to make sure that our demands are fully enforced.”

Ho Chi Minh City Police also detained items including 40 laptops, 79 cellphones, ATM cards, vehicles and cash worth more than 2.9 billion dong (US$130,000), according to the report.

Fraudulent activity is one of the main concerns about cryptocurrencies from regulators globally, in particular because many participants can transact across country borders and act with a relative degree of anonymity. Crypto-linked fraud is costing victims around the globe billions of dollars annually.

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First Published Date: 05 Dec, 11:49 PM IST
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