Over $150 million stolen by hackers from cryptocurrency exchange BitMart

Hackers stole at least $150 million from cryptocurrency exchange BitMart in what the company described Monday as a “large-scale security breach.”

The BitMart team wrote in a declaration posted on its website that the hackers involved withdrew approximately $150 million from two of BitMart’s wallets used by customers, and that the company was temporarily suspending withdrawals while it investigated the breach. The company stressed that all other wallets were “secure and unharmed”.

NBC News cited information from blockchain and security analytics firm PeckShield reporting that the financial loss was likely closer to the stolen $200 million.

“We are currently conducting a thorough security review and will post updates as we progress,” the company wrote. “We ask for your kind understanding and patience in this situation. During this time, we will strive to maintain transparency and we appreciate your support.

The breach is the latest in a string of high-profile cyber incidents over the past year, many of which have involved ransomware attacks against key companies like Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS USA.

The attacks drew federal attention to hackers’ use of cryptocurrency exchanges to facilitate ransomware payments, with the Treasury Department sanction SUEX OTC cryptocurrency exchange in September over ransomware payments. It was the first time the Treasury Department issued sanctions against a virtual currency exchange.

BitMart is not the first cryptocurrency exchange targeted by hackers. Approximately $600 million in virtual tokens have been Fly from cryptocurrency firm Poly Network in August, although almost half of the funds were later returned by the attackers. The alleged pirate later told NBC News that the attack had been “for fun”.

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