As the cryptocurrency market lost steam and people began to panic again, a group of hackers conflated users’ fears by targeting Bitmart, a cryptocurrency exchange. Earlier on Sunday, Bitmart Founder and CEO Sheldon Xia confirmed the hack, noting,
“We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. The hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately USD 150 millions.”
On the contrary, security researchers PeckShield estimated a total loss of $200 million in various assets. As per the researchers,
“Total estimated loss: ~200M (~100M on @ethereum and ~96M on @BinanceChain). (Previously we only counted the loss on @ethereum). And here is the list of affected assets/amounts on @BinanceChain”
The hackers targeted over 20 tokens, including Binance Coin [BNB], Safemoon, and BPay, among others, but meme-coins, such as BabyDoge, Floki, and Moonshot, were also popular.
The exchange is currently conducting a security audit, according to Xia. Withdrawals have been halted until further notice due to the protocols.
Peckshield had called attention to the hack on Saturday and estimated the sum lost to be close to $100 million over the Ethereum blockchain. However, as it delved deeper, the researchers noted that the exchange’s BSC reserves were also being drained, which was close to $96 million.
Peckshield observed that it was a straightforward play for the hackers, one wherein they “transfer-out, swap, and wash.”
The CEO followed up with an update noting,
“At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation. Thank you very much.”
Well, it appears that the hacking season has returned. This is especially concerning in light of the recent attack on lending platform Celsius.
On December 2, its decentralised finance [DeFi] protocol BadgerDAO was hacked, resulting in a $50 million loss. The team is now looking into the problem and has halted all smart contracts on the protocol.