Hacker Negotiations & Security Boost at CoinEx

Martin Walker
Sep 18, 2023 at 10:38 am

CoinEx, the cryptocurrency exchange recently targeted in a security breach, has issued an appeal to the hacker, urging discussions with the company. They've also offered a substantial reward if the stolen assets are returned.

CoinEx Extends an Invitation for Dialogue with Hackers

The hack, attributed to the notorious Lazarus Group sponsored by North Korea, prompted CoinEx to reflect on the importance of fortifying asset security on their platform, as outlined in a public letter on September 15.

Addressing the hackers directly, the letter emphasized the significant impact the theft had on the multitude of users who trust the crypto exchange. It urged the hackers to grasp the gravity of the situation and invited them to collaborate for a more secure, rational, and user-centric resolution.

CoinEx sweetened the offer by proposing a "generous bug bounty" if the stolen assets were returned and committed to enhancing their security systems. They extended an invitation to the hackers to collaborate on future security upgrades.

The breach, which transpired on September 12, saw attackers siphon off approximately $55 million from the platform's hot wallets, according to blockchain security firm SlowMist. This prompted a freeze on all deposits and withdrawals by the crypto exchange while investigations were ongoing.

Meanwhile, blockchain analyst ZachXBT identified the Lazarus Group as the culprits behind the attack, aligning with previous suspicions.

Approximately $70 million reported as stolen from CoinEx

In a subsequent update, CoinEx acknowledged that their initial estimates were surpassed, with the total amount stolen from the platform now believed to be around $70 million. However, they emphasized that this constituted a small portion of their overall assets.

CoinEx refrained from specifying a resumption date for their services but assured a phased reopening of withdrawals following rigorous security vetting. They confirmed ongoing efforts to upgrade their wallet architecture and froze suspicious addresses in collaboration with industry partners and peer exchanges. Additionally, they pledged full reimbursement to affected users and revealed plans to outline compensation options based on the stolen assets in future official announcements.

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