$ 97 million stolen from Japanese cryptocurrency market, $ 45 million was in Ethereum tokens


The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid announced Thursday that it was the victim of a cyberattack in which hackers took over digital assets worth $ 97 million. Liquid said some of its digital currency wallets had been “compromised”, and the hackers were moving the assets to four different wallets. We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates, Liquid tweeted. In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended.

The company did not put a figure on the amount, but blockchain analyst firm Elliptic said its analysis estimates losses at around $ 97 million. Of that amount, $ 45 million was in Ethereum tokens, which are converted into Ether, preventing the hacker from freezing those assets. Other cryptocurrencies caught in the heist include bitcoin, XRP, and stablecoins. Liquid said in a blog post that the hacker targeted a multi-party compute wallet (MPC), which is used for the storage and management of crypto assets used by a Singapore affiliate, QUOINE PTE.

This is the second major cryptocurrency heist reported in the world of decentralized finance. It comes a week after the biggest theft of $ 600 million in cryptocurrency from a PolyNetwork protocol, which allows users to exchange tokens between different blockchains. These attackers returned half of what they stole the next day and eventually returned almost all of it ($ 135 million remains stuck in an account that requires a hacker’s password).

Liquid teams are still evaluating the attack vector being used and taking action to mitigate the impact on users, the company said in a blog post. Liquid will continue to do everything in its power to mitigate the impact of this incident and restore full service as soon as possible. In 2016, the ether cryptocurrency was threatened with extinction, the cause: the hacking of the ether cryptocurrency which had deprived Ethereum of more than a third of its value. To avoid the crisis, those in charge of the structure proposed to recalculate the blockchain so as to invalidate the stolen ethers. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin had said he would support such an initiative while acknowledging that it would not be won in advance, as the final decision rests with the miners who have the freedom to approve it or not.

The announcement of this measure triggered strong reactions in the Ethereum community. Opponents of this idea believe that if Ethereum was designed with its own dedicated programming languages, it was to avoid this kind of manipulation and to allow the system to operate transparently using the smart contracts protocol. These smart contracts allow in particular the automatic payment of funds when a certain number of conditions are met.

In its 2020 annual report, Check Point Research, an arm of information system security service provider Check Point Software Technologies, exposed the main methods used by cybercriminals to attack businesses around the world. The Check Point Software Technologies research team says in this report that the year 2019 was the year of cyber attacks. In fact, 38% of global companies have been victims of cryptocurrency hacking in particular. According to Check Point Research, which also states that no company is invulnerable in the face of a devastating cyberattack, these activities show no signs of slowing down so far.

Liquid assured that she was trying to find the funds and that she was working with other exchanges to freeze and recover the funds. She also assured that she would do everything in her power to alleviate the crisis and restore full services as soon as possible.

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