The KuCoin cryptocurrency exchange fell victim to a hacker attack on Friday evening. According to a posting on the company’s website, large withdrawals of Bitcoin and Ethereum to an unknown wallet began to be recorded at 22:05 Moscow time.
The first evidence of problems appeared when users in the official KuCoin Telegram group began to complain about the impossibility of withdrawing funds from the platform. “We do not recommend users to deposit/withdraw assets at this time, given the current situation,” wrote the group administrator. “Transactions are just pending.”
Analyst firm Cryptoquant also drew attention to the sharp outflow of bitcoins from the exchange’s wallet, which instantly dropped to zero. This usually indicates a hack, since when problems arise in the system, the withdrawal of funds immediately stops.
On Saturday morning, the CEO of KuCoin, Johnny Liu, announced during a live broadcast that hackers had at their disposal the private keys to the exchange’s hot wallets. The exchange transferred the remaining funds to new wallets, temporarily stopping the possibility of depositing and withdrawing cryptocurrencies. The cold wallets were not compromised, Liu said.
Liu refused to disclose the amount of damage and promised to release the hackers’ addresses later. More than 11,484 ETH ($ 4 million) were withdrawn from two KuCoin ETH wallets to an unknown address. It also received assets in more than 150 ETH tokens, including Maker, USDT, OMG, and YFI, totaling over $150 M, in accordance with blockchain data.
Against this background, the KuCoin Shares (KCS) token rate fell by 14% to $0.86, after which it partially won back the fall.
The exchange involved international law enforcement agencies in the investigation. The stolen cryptocurrency will be fully compensated from its insurance fund, Liu confirmed. “If this attack affected the assets of any of the users, they will be fully compensated by KuCoin and our insurance fund,” the company said.
According to CoinGecko, KuCoin is the 16th largest cryptocurrency exchange on the spot market with a daily trading volume of $ 112 million.
Later Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, reported that Bitfinex froze 13 million in stolen USDT on the EOS blockchain, and Tether – 20 million on the Ethereum blockchain.