Bithumb hit in £24m hacker theft

Published on: 25 Jun 2018

Trading has been ceased on a major crypto-coin exchange after hackers stole some of the digital currencies it stored.

Cyber cash worth £24 million was swiped overnight from Seoul-based Bithumb as it suffered its second cyber breach in less than a year.

The news had an effect on other cyber currencies as the values of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple all fell as the news broke.

In a since-deleted tweet, Bithumb said: “Some crypto-currencies valued [at] about $30 million was stolen.”

Subsequent updates added: “All deposit and withdrawal services will be stopped to make sure [of our] security. We are providing compensation. Bithumb urgently asks our valuable customers not to deposit any funds into Bithumb wallet addresses for the time being.”

There are concerns that the theft was the result of a database upgrade that saw assets being transferred to a "cold wallet" - a term used to refer to external storage unconnected to the internet - as part of the process.

However, a link hasn’t been confirmed.

Coinrail, another South Korean crypto-currency exchange, was hit in a separate attack recently, with hackers stealing 40 billion won worth of virtual coins.