Cryptocurrency exchange Bitmart is the latest victim in a devastating hack. The company has lost $196 million in a handful of cryptocurrencies. Security analysis firm Peckshield was the first to draw attention to the alleged hack on Saturday.
Bitmart the latest victim of cyber hack
They released an official statement saying they experienced a “large-scale security breach,” and claimed that hackers withdrew $150 million in assets, even though Peckshield estimates the losses closer to $200 million. Bitmart temporarily suspended all withdrawals and is currently conducting a security review.
Peckshield reported that one of Bitmart’s addresses showed a steady outflow of tens of millions of dollars to an address referred to as the “Bitmart Hacker.” It was estimated that Bitmart lost $100 million in various cryptocurrencies and another $96 million from coins on the Binance smart chain. The hackers managed to make off with more than 20 tokens, Binance coin, safemoon and shiba inu. The smart chain hot wallets, carried only a small percentage of the exchange’s assets.
A hot wallet is one connected to the internet that allows owners easy access to their digital currency so that they can access and spend their crypto. The trade-off for ease is being exposed to hackers.
Hackers finding ways to stay ahead of law enforcement
Bitmart says it is still unsure what methods these hackers used, but Peckshield said that after the breach was just your run of the mill “transfer-out, swap and wash.” The hackers then exchanged the stolen tokens for ether. The ether coins were deposited into a privacy mixer Tornado Cash. Tornado Cash is a program that makes the money harder to trace.
Hackers often turn to a mixing or tumbling service. These services allow users to launder digital money to make a new type of cryptocurrency. While blockchains are public, there are still ways to make it difficult for investigators to trace transactions to their target.
This is just the latest hack in a string of recent hacks. Last week crypto lender Celsius Network acknowledged losing funds, but did not say how much it lost. In August, Poly Network was the victim of an attack by a hacker who stole over $600 worth of tokens. Shockingly, the hacker returned nearly all of the money.