KuCoin crypto exchange has reported in the hours leading up to press time that it had suffered a security breach. Following the KuCoin hack, the CEO of the exchange, Johnny Lyu, has explained, in a live session, the company’s next move to salvage the situation while also giving comfort to users.
September 26, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin said in a statement that it detected large withdrawals of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) tokens to an unknown wallet beginning at 19:05 UTC time on Friday.
(1/4) We detected some large withdrawals since Sep 26 at 03:05 UTC+8. According to the latest internal security audit report, part of BTC, ERC-20 and other tokens in KuCoin's hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange, which contained few parts of our total assets holdings— KUCOIN (@kucoincom) September 26, 2020
Kucoin CEO shares details of more than $150 million hack
In a live stream at 4:30 UTC Saturday, KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said that one or more hackers obtained the private keys to the exchange’s hot wallets. KuCoin transferred what was left in them to new hot wallets, abandoned the old ones and froze customer deposits and withdrawals, Lyu said.
According to Lyu, KuCoin’s cold wallets were unaffected. Cold cryptocurrency wallets are not connected to the internet and this makes them more secure than hot cryptocurrency wallets.
Lyu did not disclose the amount of cryptocurrency that was stolen, but said that KuCoin would release the hacker’s wallet address and a list of stolen funds.
Two Ethereum wallets belonging to KuCoin have sent more than 11,000 ETH, which currently trades at a price of about $350, to an unknown wallet address, according to data from blockchain explorer Etherscan.
The unknown wallet address has also received over 150 Ethereum-based tokens worth more than $150 million, the Etherscan address information shows.
KuCoin is investigating the hack
Over 200 cryptocurrency assets trade on KuCoin with a combined daily average volume of around $100 million, according to the crypto data site CoinGecko.
The price of KuCoin’s exchange token, KCS, fell by 14% to $0.86 within an hour on Saturday as news of the security breach spread on social media.
KuCoin is now investigating the hack with international law enforcement. The exchange will also cover all the losses with its insurance fund, Lyu said.
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