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CoinEx's Bold Move: Offering a Generous Bounty to Recover $54 Million Hack – A Risky Gamble or a Path to Redemption?

Police & Regulations
Jack Evans
Sep 15, 2023 at 10:13 pm

In a surprising turn of events, CoinEx, the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange, has decided to take an unconventional approach in dealing with the recent $54 million hack. Instead of relying solely on cybersecurity experts and law enforcement agencies, CoinEx has extended an olive branch to the attackers, offering a substantial reward if the stolen assets find their way back.

In an open letter that reverberated through the crypto community, CoinEx made a plea to the hackers responsible for the September 12th breach. The exchange platform offered a "generous bug bounty" as an incentive for the return of the pilfered digital assets. It went further by providing clear contact details and instructions on how the hackers could reach the CoinEx team.

The letter stated, "We encourage you to communicate and negotiate with us actively on the blockchain or through our official email address (support@coinex.com). If you are willing to return the stolen assets, we will offer you a generous bug bounty as a reward."

This bold move by CoinEx highlights the gravity of the hack's impact on not just the exchange but also the millions of global users who entrusted their assets to the platform. CoinEx emphasized its commitment to fortifying its security systems and tried to establish common ground with the hackers, considering them fellow blockchain enthusiasts.

CoinEx's message continued, "Whether you're dissatisfied with the current state of blockchain security or simply testing the security of the exchange system, we hope to build a sincere and open channel of communication… If possible, we sincerely invite you to discuss the future upgrade of CoinEx's security system."

However, it's essential to acknowledge that offering rewards for the return of stolen assets and attempting dialogue with hackers is not a guaranteed method for recovery. In many instances, hackers choose to ignore such requests. The odds for recovery become even slimmer when considering that the hack on CoinEx may have been orchestrated by the notorious Lazarus group, known for its ties to North Korean cybercriminals.

On-chain investigator ZachXBT pointed fingers at North Korean hackers as the masterminds behind the CoinEx attack. These claims were substantiated by blockchain security firm SlowMist, which cited transaction data linking wallets involved in previous hacks on platforms like Stake and Alphapo.

Moreover, the FBI has tied Lazarus to these attacks, suggesting that North Korean cybercriminals, who have reportedly siphoned off a staggering $270 million from cryptocurrency operators, might have also infiltrated CoinEx.

CoinEx's decision to reach out to the hackers behind the $54 million heist is a daring gamble in the world of cryptocurrency. It raises questions about the effectiveness of such an approach and whether it can lead to the recovery of stolen assets. The crypto community now watches with bated breath as CoinEx attempts to bridge the gap between trust and betrayal, hoping for a resolution that can restore both assets and faith in the security of digital exchanges.

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