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Bitmart, a cryptocurrency exchange hacked, suffers losses worth $196 million

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  • Bitmart has lost $196 million in multiple cryptocurrencies, making this the most damaging centralized exchange breach to date
  • The hacker has been routinely exchanging stolen assets for cryptocurrency ether using decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch, then depositing the ETH into privacy mixer Tornado Cash via a secondary address
  • They are currently working out the details of the many approaches that may be employed

Bitmart has lost $196 million in multiple cryptocurrencies, making this the most damaging centralized exchange breach to date. The purported attack was initially brought to light Saturday night by security analysis firm Peckshield in a tweet.

One of Bitmart’s addresses is presently showing regular withdrawals of whole token balances, some worth tens of millions of dollars, to an address known as the Bitmart Hacker by Etherscan. Peckshield assessed the damages at $100 million in different cryptocurrencies on the Ethereum network and $96 million on the Binance Smart Chain in a follow-up tweet.

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The hacker has been routinely exchanging stolen assets for cryptocurrency ether using decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch, then depositing the ETH into privacy mixer Tornado Cash via a secondary address, making the hijacked money harder to monitor. Bitmart staff first stated that the outflows were normal withdrawals on an official Telegram channel, dismissing reports of the hack as false news.

Bitmart CEO Sheldon Xia eventually admitted that the outflows were really the consequence of a security compromise hours later. Sheldon Xia, the company’s founder, and CEO, later acknowledged the issue on Twitter, writing that a large-scale security compromise has been discovered involving one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets.

They are currently working out the details of the many approaches that may be employed. Hackers were able to get their hands on assets worth around USD 150 million. The exchange is doing a thorough security investigation, according to Xia, and all withdrawals are halted until further notice. PeckShield initially detected an unusually high number of outbound transfers about 7.30 p.m. UTC. It was discovered that starting at 4.30 p.m. EST, a number of tokens were transferred out of BitMart’s hot wallet. Large quantities of meme tokens, such as Shiba, as well as half a million dollars in the stablecoin USDC, were among the tokens.

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