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Cryptocurrency exchange Youbit shuttered due to security breach

Cryptocurrency exchange Youbit shuttered due to security breach

Youbit has now filed for bankruptcy after the firm lost 17 percent of its assets in the hack.

This was the second hack the exchange suffered this year. The incident wiped out 5.5 billion won (US$5.06 million) worth of assets, with customers bearing the losses. While hot wallets offer greater convenience, they also put funds at greater risk because they are connected to the internet. According to Youbit, security had already been beefed up after the first attack whilst the remaining 83 percent of the exchange's funds were moved into a cold wallet.

The National Intelligence Service based in South Korea is responsible for the investigation, and they have reasons to believe that the attack on the Coinis exchange in September 2017 was also carried out by North Korean hackers. "However, in order to minimize the damage to our members, we will arrange for the withdrawal of approximately 75% of the balance at 4:00 am on December 19, The rest of the unpaid portion will be paid after the final settlement is completed".

Cybersecurity researchers tell Newsweek that the activity is part of a worrying trend relating to hackers from Bluenoroff, a subgroup of the North Korean hacking group Lazarus famous for the Sony Pictures hack in November 2014.

While attacks by Lazarus have mainly been aimed at social disruption, recent reports indicate the group is increasingly going after money.

It's important to note that Youbit was just a small exchange that handled small volumes in South Korea's surging bitcoin scene. Analysis of the techniques used in the WannaCry attacks show strong links to Lazarus.

"They've also used related malware to opportunistically mine Monero coins on compromised servers".

Throughout the history of Bitcoin, hacks have amounted to painful losses.

On Wednesday, news agency AFP reported that bitcoin prices plunged about 15 per cent in Asian trade as investor sentiments took a hit on news that a South Korean exchange had been hacked.

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