South Korean cryptocurrency exchange YouBit files for bankruptcy after getting attacked by hackers for the second time in a year.
YouBit posted on its official account saying that on Tuesday morning at 04:35 am (local time) external hackers stole “about 17 percent of total assets”.
As a result of the hack Bitcoin’s price fell from just under $19,000 to just over $18,000.
YouBit, previously known as Yapizon, ceased deposits and withdrawals and posted an apology note on its website. The note said that customer’s cryptocurrency assets may mark down to 75pc and YouBit will disburse its remaining cryptocurrency to return the funds to its customers.
“Due to bankruptcy, the settlement of cash and coins will be carried out in accordance with all bankruptcy procedures,” the exchange said in a translated statement. “However, in order to minimize the damage to our members, we will arrange for the withdrawal of approximately 75% of the balance at 4:00 am on December 19, The rest of the unpaid portion will be paid after the final settlement is completed.”
“We will do our best to minimize the loss of our members by 17%, through various methods such as cyber comprehensive insurance (3 billion [won]) and selling the operating rights of the company,” the company wrote.
This is the second attack of such nature on the exchange, after an earlier attack in April that resulted in the loss of nearly 4,000 Bitcoins. YouBit said that since the April attack, it had made “every effort” to improve its security by hiring more security staff.
Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) is looking closely into the matter. According to recent reports, South Korean intelligence services suspect that previous cyber attacks on domestic exchanges were backed by North Korea. A total of 7.6 billion worth of virtual currencies have been stolen in the previous cyber attacks, reported KISA.
Researchers claimed that the code used in the attacks over the summer is “virtually identical” to the malicious code used in previous attacks that were proved to be linked with North Korea.
On Wednesday, USA blamed North Korea (especially Kim Jong-Un’s regime) for the rampant ‘WannaCry ransomware’ attack that took place in May and affected about 200,000 victims across 150 countries. The attack was considered as the biggest of its kind that completely paralyzed NHS clinics and hospitals.
As cryptocurrency prices are rising day by day, there is a sudden increase in cyber attacks focused on platforms dealing with these virtual assets especially Bitcoin which has reached surprising heights. Digital exchanges and Wallets are a hot target for hackers and experts fear that such attacks might get more dangerous if the cryptocurrency prices continue surging.