Hackers steal $97 million from Japan’s crypto exchange


Just days after a hacker pulled off a very large crypto heist, another major heist has occurred. Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid is the latest victim of a cyberattack that has seen hackers stole with an estimated $97 million in stolen assets. The funds include $45 million in Ethereum coins, which the culprit is converting into Ether using decentralized exchanges to avoid them being frozen, according to Elliptic, a crypto tracking firm that is assisting Liquid in its investigation. 

Liquid revealed on Thursday morning, Singapore time, that it had detected unauthorized access of some customers’ crypto wallets. The breach prompted it to halt all crypto withdrawals, though other services including fiat withdrawals and deposits were kept open. In its recent update on Twitter, the company said it was tracking the movement of the stolen assets and working with other exchanges to freeze and recover the funds. 

The incident is the second major crypto breach to take place this month. Earlier, a hacker stole — and quickly returned — about $611 million in Ethereum, Shiba Inu, and other digital currencies from the decentralized Poly Network finance platform. The company later offered the as-yet-unidentified perpetrator a bug bounty of $500,000 for helping to identify security vulnerabilities in its systems. However, it’s unclear whether the reward was used as a bargaining tool or just a means of putting a positive spin on an otherwise damaging series of events. 

This is not the first time a Japanese exchange has been targeted. Back in 2018, Tokyo-based Coincheck lost $534 million worth of crypto tokens in a hack. Earlier still, in 2014, its Japanese peer Mt. Gox got hacked 400 million and $480 million in a crypto heist, which resulted in Japan’s legislators passing a law to regulate bitcoin exchanges.

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