Binance Freezes $27,000 in ETH Associated With the Upbit Hack of Late 2019

Francisco Memoria

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has frozen over $27,000 worth of Ether (ETH) associated with the hack of south Korean crypto exchange Upbit in 2019.

The funds were frozen after Whale Alert, a large transaction monitoring service, tweeted that 137 ETH ($27,160) were moved from an address associated with the Upbit exchange hack to Binance. Shortly after Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao responded to the tweet saying the exchange was “on it.”

It’s worth noting the transaction was flagged as on Ethereum blockchain explorer Etherscan tainted funds are tracked and addresses associated with hacks, scams, and other illicit activities are tagged so users can easily identify them. It’s unclear whether Etherscan’s ETHProtect tool was used.

Soon after, Changpeng Zhao revealed the funds were frozen and Binance would work with Upbit and law enforcement agencies to investigate the transaction. It’s possible the hacker was merely tsting out whether it would be able to withdraw the funds using Binance or not.

As CryptoGlobe reported, Upbit was hacked in November 2019 for a total of 342,000 ETH that got stolen from its hot wallet. A report citing data from Uppala Security’s Sentinel Protocol later on claimed a total of 20,500 ETH had already been laundered.

While its unclear who was behind the Upbit hack, reports have suggested North Koran hackers have targeted the platform’s users before the exchange itself was hacked. The users were targeted with phishing schemes designed to steal their private keys and information.

Featured image via Pixabay.