Cryptocurrency trading platform Bitmart said it lost $150 million worth of crypto in a “massive” security breach.
“We have identified a large-scale security breach related to our ETH hot wallet and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this time we are still exploring the possible methods,” said the company’s CEO and founder. Sheldon Zia wrote on Twitter Saturday night. “The hackers were able to extract assets worth approximately USD 150 million.”
ETH, or Ether, is a type of cryptocurrency originally owned by Ethereum, a blockchain technology that includes several decentralized financial (DeFi) protocols. Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a blockchain network built to run contract-based applications.
bitmart said in a statement That all wallets except ETH and BSC are “secure and innocuous”.
The hackers used a decentralized exchange aggregator (DEX) to exchange the ETH cryptocurrency and then deposited the funds into a private Ethereum mixing service called Tornado Cash, making the funds difficult to track, according to CoinDesk,
Although the CEO of Bitmart said the total loss was $150 million, PeckShield, a blockchain security research firm, estimated more losses in the hacking incident, which resulted in a loss of $100 million in ETH and $96 million in BSC.
Bitmart is temporarily suspending all withdrawals until further notice, the company announced on Twitter late Saturday.
In another tweet on Saturday, Xia said that the affected ETH and BSC hot wallets comprise a small percentage of Bitmart’s assets.
PeckShield first flagged on Twitter Saturday night that a large number of outbound transfers were being made after various tokens were sent from Bitmart’s hot wallet.
newsweek Contacted Bitmart for comment.
Recently there have been several crypto hacking incidents in which millions of dollars have been lost. In August, Poly Networks, a protocol for crypto exchange, said it had lost $611 million after hacking what was suspected to be the largest fraud in “decentralized finance” (DeFi) history.
“We will take legal action and we urge hackers to return assets,” Poly Network tweeted at the time. Later during the same week, the hacker allegedly returned nearly half of the stolen funds.
Also in August, Japan’s cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid, experienced a hacking incident that reportedly resulted in the loss of $74 million worth of bitcoin, ETH and other crypto. The hack prompted the platform to suspend deposits and withdrawals at the time.