Hacker drawing concept
Hacker drawing concept. Freepik

Major South Korean crypto exchange Upbit has confirmed the theft of $50 million worth of cryptocurrencies, the exchange said in an official statement on 27 November.

According to the notice, earlier today the exchange identified an abnormal transaction from its wallets, which resulted in 342,000 ETH being transferred to an unknown ethereum address.

Deposits and withdrawals have already been suspended as a precaution, with the exchange saying that it could take “at least two weeks” before its services are back to normal. The exchange has also pledged to cover the loss using its own corporate funds.

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The notice reads:

“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet. Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029.”

30 minutes after the transaction took place, Upbit announced that it was temporarily suspending withdrawals and deposits “due to server maintenance”.

Data published by crypto transaction tracker Whale Alert, shows that the large ETH transaction was followed by a number of major cryptocurrency transfers.

According to the exchange’s notice, all other cryptocurrency transactions were in fact Upbit moving assets from its hot wallets to its cold ones, in order to prevent further losses.

Even though a large amount of Tron (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT) tokens were transferred to an unknown wallet, the Stellar (XLM), OmiseGo (OMG) and EOS transfers were all made from Upbit to crypto exchange Bittrex.

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), also vowed to “work with Upbit and other industry players” on Twitter. He further stated that if any of the hacked funds reach Binance, they will be “immediately frozen”.

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