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Bitmart exchange suffers hack with losses totaling $200 million

Hackers are increasingly targeting crypto assets, and the latest incident is the attack on Bitmart, a trading platform. The theft, which was successful, has been valued at $196 million.

The crypto exchange platform has confirmed the heist, which it calls a large-scale security breach. While Bitmart claimed the assets withdrawn, Peckshield, a known name in the blockchain security and data analytics world, puts the stolen funds at almost $200 million.

Bitmart has stopped all withdrawals until further notice while it conducts a security review. It claimed the attack only affected a small percentage of its total assets, including Ethereum and binance smart chain “hot wallets.” All other wallets were safe.

The breach was first spotted by Bitmart, who noted lots of activities involving a Bitmart address. The address had a steady outflow of millions of dollars to an account identified as Bitmart Hacker.

According to data from Peckshield, around $100 million was lifted from Bitmart in different cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum blockchain and an additional $96 million from the binance smart chain.

The thieves stole from more than 2o tokens, including binance coin, shiba inu, and safemoon.

Cryptocurrencies can be stored in a hot or cold wallet or a combination of the two. When the crypto is in a hot wallet, it remains connected to the internet and gives the owner easy access to their assets which they can spend. However, the convenience comes at a risk of exposure to hackers.

Bitmart lets its users do spot transactions. It also involves in futures trading, lending, and staking. According to metrics trackers, it is among the busiest centralized crypto exchanges by volume.

While Bitmart is yet to confirm how the attack happened, Peckshield has said the hackers used the “transfer-out, swap, and wash” method to carry out the theft. After successfully moving the loot out of Bitmart, the hackers used an aggregator to convert the funds to ether, after which they were deposited into Tornado Cash, a privacy mixer. The last step makes it difficult to trace the stolen funds.

It is common practice for online thieves to use mixing or tumbling services which allows them to combine stolen and legitimate cryptos and avoid detection by swapping the resulting currency with other cryptos. It sometimes nullifies the benefits of blockchain as the final destinations of the looted funds become extremely difficult to identify.

This attack on Bitmart has been preceded by other successful recent heists, including the one on Celsius Network, who didn’t reveal how much was stolen. This was tied to the hack on BadgerDAO, which resulted in losses totaling $120 million.

Poly Network also lost $600 million to hackers, although the thief returned the money after investigators got close to revealing its identity. It claimed it was helping Poly Network identify security threats.

Here is the official release from Bitmart in full, which the company recently updated:

“Dear BitMart Users,

 We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets today. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. Hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately 150 million USD.

The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress. At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation.

During this period, we will strive to maintain transparency and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

BitMart Team”

Written by HackerVibes

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