South Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit Confirms Theft of 342,000 ETH

Siamak Masnavi

South Korean Crypto Exchange Upbit confirmed around 08:56 UTC on Wednesday (November 27) that it had had 342,000 ETH stolen from its hot wallet.

In a notice posted on its website, Upbit explained that at 04:06 UTC (13:06 Korean time) on November 27, 342,000 ETH (worth approximately $49 million) was transferred from its hot Ether wallet to "an unknown wallet". The address of this wallet is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029.

As soon as Upbit realized this, it says that it started responding:

  • All cryptoassets in its hot wallets were moved to cold wallets.
  • Deposits and withdrawals were suspended and they will not be resumed for "at least two weeks".

Upbit says that it will cover this loss out of its own funds.

It is interesting to note that Upbit's announcement does not say that the exchange was hacked (only that some ETH was stolen), which leaves the possibility that this could have been an inside job.

Lorne Lantz (@lornestar), the author of an upcoming book on blockchain technology, has used a visualization tool he has been working on to trace the movement of the ETH stolen from Upbit:

 We will keep this article updated as more information becomes available.

Update 1 (10:39 UTC on November 27):

Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ"), Co-Founder and CEO of crypto exchange Binance, says that Binance will work with Upbit and others to make sure that any stolen funds that make their way to Binance are frozen: 

 

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