N. Korea likely behind Bithumb hacking

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South Korean authorities are close to concluding that North Korea was behind a cyberattack on the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange in June, according to sources in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Oct. 16.

It‘s likely that the hacking was carried out by North Koreans, they told local media outlets, citing analyses on access routes and internet addresses. The prosecutors’ office declined to officially comment, saying the investigation is still ongoing.

In late June, personal data of 31,000 users, or 3 percent of all Bithumb users, were compromised after an employee opened email job applications contaminated by malware. The stolen data included phone numbers, account number and transaction records.

Korea is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest digital currency markets, with Bithumb’s daily transactions reaching over 2 trillion won (US$1.77 billion). With the growing cryptocurrency market, the country’s is also increasingly being targeted by hackers, according to industry watchers.

Other Korean exchanges that fell victim to cyberattacks include Yapizon and Coinis. In April, cyber currencies worth 5.5 billion won were stolen from Yapizon and on Oct. 5 Coinis reported that they lost some 2.1 billion won to hackers.


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