Bithumb Hacks - The Most Unusual Crypto Hacks in History
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Bithumb Hacks - The Most Unusual Crypto Hacks in History

2 years ago

Bithumb, a crypto exchange that has been a victim of a series of major hacks in the past. Did it manage to recover the stolen assets or did it lose the trust of its users too? Read more!

Bithumb Hacks - The Most Unusual Crypto Hacks in History


Although the world of crypto consists of a variety of exchanges, the South Korean exchange, Bithumb, has an incredible fan-following that proves its popularity in the community. It has a good global standing and is trusted by millions of people.

With Bithumb, you can easily access the world of digital trading since their innovative technological strategies and methods bring a considerable amount of ease to the user experience. This effectively increases the comfort level of the customers and makes the process seamless for both beginner and expert traders.

It’s a no-brainer that Bithumb is one of the top names in the digital financing revolution offering its users a wide variety of reliable trading options and a stable security system to protect their transactions and investments. However, their security systems have been tested to their fullest in the past.

The Bithumb Hack

Bithumb, which is one of the biggest crypto exchanges, was founded in 2014 and has over a million mobile app users and eight million registered users. Its cumulative transaction volume exceeds $1 trillion to date. The Bithumb hack was considered one of the biggest crypto hacks in history due to the grand scale of the South Korean exchange’s trading activities.

According to various reports, an unknown group of individuals hacked Bithumb’s volatile servers and managed to transfer a huge chunk of assets valued in different currencies to their wallets. Let’s discuss how the attack took place and how the platform rectified its security vulnerabilities.

When Did It Happen?

The Timeline of Bithumb Hacks

Be it a crypto hack, cryptocurrency scam, or basic data breach in a blockchain system, the risks continue to take place even after having stable security systems for the protection of customers and exchanges. Here we have compiled a detailed timeline of the past Bithumb hacks.

February 2017

It was reported that an unknown criminal group had stolen $7M in February 2017. The whereabouts of the hacker group remain unknown to date.

June 2018

The user information from a Bithumb employee's personal computer was stolen by the hackers and nearly $32 million of cryptocurrency was stolen.

March 2019

In March 2019, the largest South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb became the victim and stated that it was hacked for the third time. Almost $20 million worth of EOS and XRP tokens were stolen.

June 2019

The hack that took place in June 2019 shot down Bithumb to 10th place based on the trading volume, which was previously the 6th biggest crypto exchange in the world. This was considered as the largest attack on South Korea's Bithumb exchange where around $30 million digital tokens were stolen by the hackers.

The attack was made on the least secured storage mechanism, the Bithumb hot wallet. After this loss, the exchange suspended its operations and moved all users’ remaining assets into safe ‘cold’ wallets to keep them safe. They comforted their customers by promising that their loss will be rescued. The incident, however, emphasized the vulnerability of web-based trading.

Who Was Involved and How Did It Conclude?

It is still not known who was involved in the past Bithumb hacks. The uncertainty of security standards at Bithumb had been a major issue for most investors after repeated hacking attempts at the exchange. The third attempt served as the last nail in the coffin as it triggered a formal investigation from the South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (MIC) to identify the reason behind the theft of $30 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

The Ministry ordered the exchange to suspend its operations to avoid the loss from escalating and to incorporate standardized damage control practices.

As per the initial reports of MIC, inadequate network isolation, lack of monitoring systems to differentiate between ambiguous and usual trading activities, and insufficient mechanisms of the cryptographic key and password management led to the fall of South Korea’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Impact of the Bithumb Hack on the Crypto Community

Following the biggest breach of the year 2017, the crypto community has been consistently putting efforts to resolve losses and fix the downfalls. Since then, they have taken numerous security measures to ensure security. The aftermath of the recurrent hacks involved the communities realizing their loopholes and bringing new upgrades to their security systems.

This resulted in the involvement of various kinds of two-factor authentication mechanisms that verify the identity of the respective user and maintain documented and secure records of every user’s assets.

Other Hacks in the Crypto Community

Bithumb hack is one of the most recent heists in the world of cryptocurrency. The others are:

How Can We Protect Exchanges From Hackers?

  • Bithumb has recently introduced an ISMS service to keep the digital assets of their consumers protected and to safeguard their confidential information.
  • For protection against digital theft, users must have a registered account to initiate trading that will maintain dedicated access for the respective user.
  • Improvised regulations need to be conducted by the government to ensure the funds can be secured.
  • The OTP verification process should be made mandatory on all exchanges.
  • The trade monitoring system should keep an eye on the crypto exchange 24 x 7 to avoid security red flags, market manipulations, and illegal trading practices.
  • To prevent data leaks, customers are advised to keep their account details private.
  • Upgraded forensic tools to spot bug-spotting hack recognition.

Technology has changed the way people manage things. With digital evolution, many platforms have offered us ways to manage money online. Although cryptocurrency is the hottest gossip of the town right now due to its widespread popularity on the majority of social platforms, we must be aware of the potential downfalls and risks that their trading contains.

From the investors’ point of view, investments require well-thought and well-done research beforehand to avoid or handle the various crypto scams. The exchanges need to make sure that they develop a safe environment for their customers who are involved in regular trading activities and investment options.

According to various researchers, investment losses in most cases are based on the users’ lack of knowledge and failed investment strategies. So, if you are planning to try your luck at cryptocurrency, you need to be prepared and keep yourself informed of the challenges that await an average crypto trader.

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