In a post on his personal Twitter profile, KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said that law enforcement are now involved in the ongoing investigation after the suspects behind the hack had been allegedly identified.
The KuCoin hack
Initial reports suggested that some of the exchanges hot wallets’ private keys were leaked, allowing hackers to gain access to the exchange’s Bitcoin, Ether and ERC-20 wallets. Given the value of the cryptocurrency stolen, it ranks as one of the biggest hacks in history.
In the days following the attack, the hackers responsible began laundering the stolen cryptocurrency through a couple of exchanges as was noted by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
As reported by Elliptic, a wide variety of cryptocurrency tokens were stolen in the cyberattack including Ether, Stellar, Bitcoin, TRON, XRP, various ERC-20 tokens, TRX, BSV, Litecoin, Tether and XLM. ERC-20 (Ethereum tokens) made up the bulk of the stolen tokens totalling around $150mln alone.
Over $17mln worth of cryptocurrency has since been sold for ETH through a number of decentralized exchanges which included DeFi Automated Market Makers (AMMs) Uniswap, Kyber Network, DEX.AG, 1inch.exchnage and Tokenlon.
Some funds frozen, returned
Given that some of the cryptocurrency that was stolen from KuCoin were ERC-20 tokens, the organisations managing these tokens were able to assist in freezing and returning funds.
Ocean Protocol and Tether either frozen some of the stolen tokens or forcibly returned them to Kucoin as they looked to consolidate some of their lost assets. Various exchanges also played their part in stopping the hackers from selling some of the stolen cryptocurrency on their platforms having identified the assets as originating from KuCoin.
Law enforcement now involved
According to Lyu’s Twitter post on October 3, another $64mln worth of cryptocurrency was recovered from various addresses linked to the cybercriminals, bringing the value of tokens salvaged from the hack to over $200mln.
KuCoin has since reopened deposits and withdrawals on its platform and BTC, ETH and USDT trading is expected to resume on the platform in the coming days.
Lyu also stated that the exchange had found ‘substantial proof’ identifying suspects as the perpetrators of the massive hack and law enforcement officials are now actively involved in investigating the case.