Cryptocurrency trading platform BitMart on Sunday announced that it has suspended withdrawals after discovering a cybersecurity incident that resulted in the theft of roughly $150 million worth of assets.
The platform claims that only the Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) hot wallets were impacted, and notes that the two wallets were compromised using stolen private keys.
“In response to this incident, BitMart has completed initial security checks and identified affected assets. This security breach was mainly caused by a stolen private key that had two of our hot wallets compromised,” BitMart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia said.
According to BitMart, the attackers were able to steal $150 million in cryptocurrency from the two wallets. Blockchain security company PeckShield, on the other hand, estimates that the exchange in fact lost roughly $196 million.
PeckShield also says that the hackers swapped the stolen tokens using the 1inch decentralized exchange aggregator, and then used the privacy mixer Tornado Cash to deposit the funds, which allowed them to keep their identities hidden.
The exchange platform says the compromised ETH and BSC hot wallets contained only a small percentage of its assets and that all of its remaining wallets are secure and unharmed.
“We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress. At this moment we are temporarily suspending withdrawals until further notice. We beg for your kind understanding and patience in this situation,” BitMart announced.
The platform is currently looking into ways to improve its security and expects to make asset deposit and withdrawals available to its users again starting December 7.
Furthermore, the company’s CEO announced that all those impacted by the incident will be fully compensated.
“BitMart will use our own funding to cover the incident and compensate affected users. We are also talking to multiple project teams to confirm the most reasonable solutions such as token swaps. No user assets will be harmed,” Xia said.
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