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Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and insider stories by TNW.

Hackers breach cryptocurrency exchange Bitrue for $4.2M in Ripple and Cardano

Bitrue expects to be back online soon

bitrue, bitcoin, xrp, ripple, cardano, ada, blockchain, exchange, cryptocurrency, hack

Another day, and another cryptocurrency exchange hack. Attackers have thieved $4.2 million worth of cryptocurrency from exchange Bitrue.

Earlier today, the exchange announced on Twitter (spotted by ZDNet) that it was subject to a hack in which bad actors made off with 9.3 million Ripple XRP ($4 million) and 2.5 million Cardano ($233,000) coins. At the time of writing, the amounted totals to a little over $4.2 million.

Half of the stolen funds have been transfered to private wallets, while the other half was moved to five exchanges – Huobi, Bittrex, ChangeNOW, Exmo.me, and Coinswitch.co. Huobi, Bittrex, and ChangeNOW have frozen $1.35 million worth of the funds, Bitrue told Hard Fork in a statement. Bitrue expects to recover the $1.35 million currently frozen on exchanges.

“After recovering the frozen assets, the net loss will be $3.15 million USD. This total includes $1.89 million USD lost from individual user accounts, and $1.26 million USD lost from Bitrue’s own hot wallet,” the statement reads. “The funds lost by user accounts were insured and will be replaced by Bitrue as soon as the exchange resumes service.”

According to Bitrue’s statement, the hacker exploited a part of one of the company’s internal review processes to gain access to a hot wallet. The funds of around 90 users have been affected, but Bitrue remains adamant that the situation is under control and that it will return 100 percent of lost coins to those affected.

System administrators at Bitrue claimed they immediatley detected the hack, and shut down the exchange within 30 minutes.

While Bitrue is communicating openly about the hack, it originally confused users after it announced it would be performing unscheduled “temporary maintenance,” that would last “about 15-18 hours.”

The website’s homepage was replaced with a message saying Bitrue is currently undergoing “scheduled maintenance.” At the time of writing, Bitrue’s homepage is still displaying this message. It seems Bitrue used the cover to begin investigating the hack.

About an hour ago, Bitrue said on Telegram that it’s expecting to have login and trading functions restored by the end of the day.

Indeed, this is just another exchange hack to add to the list for 2019.

Back in May, Binance lost over $40 million worth of Bitcoin in what it called “a large scale security breach.” Like Bitrue, Binance was adamant that users would get their funds back.

About a month later, hackers stole nearly $10 million worth of Ripple (XRP) from cryptocurrency exchange GateHub.


Update June 28, 2019, 0925UTC: It appears Bitrue has recovered from the attack, and its system is back up and running. The exchange says that affected users have been fully refunded.

Published June 27, 2019 — 08:36 UTC