On November 29, 2019, the hackers responsible for stealing from Upbit finally started dispersing their plundered ETH.
Just a day ago, the renowned South Korean exchange Upbit was compromised, and $50M of Ethereum (ETH) was reportedly stolen.
Now, $16.5M of that stolen ETH is on the move and has just been sent to another unknown wallet.
According to updates on twitter by Peckshield co-founder Chiachih Wu, the movement has so far seen 112,020 ETH worth over $16 million in all being transferred to two addresses. The newly formed addresses start with 0x9A207194cb and 0x3408EdCa2d respectively.
Immediately after the hack, Chiachih Wu noted that several small transactions had been sent from the hacker’s addresses.
A part of the stolen funds have been sent to Binance and Huobi accounts, but the small size of the transactions indicate that the hackers are testing the waters to see if the assets would be frozen after being deposited.
It has now emerged that the hackers have made another five addresses with varying amounts of ETH in each. Their original address also includes a set of pending transactions that have sat unconfirmed since the hack.
The event, which was one of the largest recorded ETH thefts, has raised questions about UPbit’s security. It has also led many to wonder about the overall safety of cryptocurrency exchanges following the massive 4.4 billion dollars lost via hacks in 2019.
Major Exchanges Come to Upbit’s Aid
The crypto community has come together to support Upbit after their disastrous hack. Major exchanges have since offered to help Upbit deal with the situation.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced that Binance would ensure that any crypto from the hack making its way to the exchange will immediately be frozen. Likewise, Livio Weng, CEO of Huobi Global, has also assured Upbit of their support by stating they will “watch & secure any funds from the security incident at Upbit.” Weng also added that they would work with Upbit if any funds from the hack enter their exchange.
Moreover, KuCoin CEO, Michael Gan has taken to twitter to extend his support to Upbit and assured them that they would try their best to freeze any stolen funds that come to KuCoin exchange.
Finally, Eric Benz, CEO of Changelly, has reiterated the same stance on helping Upbit and stopping any hacked funds from passing through their platform.
Deposits and withdrawals to Upbit have currently been suspended and will remain like that for about two weeks.
What Happens Next?
Given the support that major exchanges have offered Upbit in the wake of the November 28 theft, it will be challenging for the hackers to liquidate the stolen ETH on these exchanges.
Furthermore, with so much attention on the case, any movement of the stolen assets will likely be flagged immediately, and this may lead to the hacker risking their identification.
The hackers will likely keep breaking up their loot into smaller portions and sending them to various new addresses to avoid detection as they attempt to cash out in small amounts.