CoinBene's Unannounced 'Maintenance' Causing Concerns It Has Been Hacked

CoinBene, a relatively large cryptocurrency exchange, has recently entered an unannounced maintenance period at about the same time users noticed massive amounts of crypto were being transferred out of its wallets, leading to suspicions it was hacked.

On Twitter, the cryptocurrency exchange’s official account has responded to users who asked what was going on for their deposits to be pending for hours, by claiming they’re performing upgrades to better serve their users.

In a subsequent tweet, the cryptocurrency exchange tells the users deposits and withdrawals will be automatically processed once the maintenance period is over, and adds that the “completion time of the maintenance will be notified separately.”

Nick Saponaro, the CIO of blockchain firm Diviproject, has however suggested that a large hack may have actually taken place, as blockchain data seems to show up to $40 million worth of ERC-20 tokens have left its wallets.

Commenting Saponaro’s tweet, another user revealed the funds are being moved to a wallet market as a “cold wallet” by a user on Etherscan. The same user, he claims, has marked other wallets as “marketing” and “team,” hinting these could be internal tractions.

Responding to a user who told CoinBene the exchange seems to have been hacked on Twitter, the crypto exchange’s official account merely asked how it could help the user, who then pointed out the large transactions and the frozen deposits and withdrawals. CoinBene hasn’t so far responded.

In the user’s tweet we can see nearly 370 million Maximine Coins (XMX) have left CoinBene’s wallets. Notably, the little-known cryptocurrency has seen its price rise by over 700% this month, with 99% of the trading volume being on CoinBene, even though it’s listed on Livecoins and HitBTC.

MXM's price performance in the last 60 daysSource:CoinGecko

As far as fundamentals go, CCN reports that MXM is a coin set to be used on a cloud-based mining pool service, in which users need MXM coins to have hashing power. The cryptocurrency’s GitHub repository has had one activity recently, in April of last year.

Curiously, cryptocurrency exchange BitForex was reportedly going to list MXM trading pairs on its platform today, March 26. The CoinBene situation notably comes on the same day crypto exchange DragonEx was hacked.

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Israeli Hacker Indicted For $1.75 Million Cryptocurrency Theft

A hacker from Tel Aviv named Eliyahu Gigi was recently indicted for his alleged role in stealing roughly NIS 6.1 million (or $1.75 million) in cryptocurrencies from people in numerous different countries, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

According the indictment filed this week, Gigi operated numerous scam websites that infected computers with malware that would steal cryptocurrencies that were stored on the devices.

The hacker stole nearly $2 million worth of bitcoin, ethereum, and dash, before they were arrested in June of this year. Gigi carefully covered his tracks by attempting to use remote servers and doing his best to conceal the cryptocurrencies and the wallet addresses that they were stored in.

He then transferred the currencies between different wallets, split them into different cryptocurrencies and used other tactics to obfuscate the ownership of the funds.

During the investigation, it was initially suspected that Gigi was guilty of stealing $100 million, however, once the investigation was concluded, that number was significantly scaled down to less than $2 million.

According to the Israeli publication Globes the investigation was conducted by the Israeli Police's cyber unit, and led to the arrest of Gigi and his younger brother, a 22-year-old demobilized soldier. The news outlet adds:

At the outset of the investigation, suspicions were raised that the two brothers had stolen $100 million from digital accounts kept in bitcoin through an international fishing fraud. The indictment eventually filed was against only the older brother, and the initial suspicions that $100 million had been stolen were scaled down to NIS 6 million. [$1.75 million]

Police were initially tipped off to the crime after receiving reports the hacker was sending messages to users on cryptocurrency forums, directing them to a website that claimed to offer wallet management software.

Some of the users who received the message thought that the website looked suspicious. Worried about their security, they reported the websites and Gigi's forum accounts to police.