Bounty offered for recovery of $2 million in digital currencies stolen from Hong Kong firm
Hackers were reported to have made off with an amount equivalent to $2 million after they raided the cryptocurrency company Gatecoin. This is according to the company’s notice which they posted on the exchange website. The company which is entirely based in Hong Kong said that there had been a security breach on their websites and cryptocurrency accounts between May 9 and May 12. The breach gave unauthorized access to hackers who accessed the hot wallets which had both Bitcoin and Ethereum. After their heist, the hackers got away with 250 Bitcoins and about 18,500 Ethers, which is about 15 percent of the company’s asset deposits.
When in a hot wallet, cryptocurrencies are much more vulnerable because they can be accessed from anywhere in the world from any device as long as you connect to the Internet. But if the currencies get into cold wallets they are much safer because all the keys that are needed to transfer them are secure in a rather offline space.
How the hackers were able to do the heist is still a mystery to most, and Gatecoin is said to have employed Tehtri Security to perform a forensic investigation to check how the breach happened.
Gatecoin’s CEO said in a Reddit post that the investigation was taking longer then they had expected, and the company was still looking at ways to improve their securities for other crypto assets they have in their storage. Aurelien Menant’s post also indicated that the company was looking at ways they could raise funds so that all clients who lost their money would be fully reimbursed. The company plans to raise about $4 and $5 million so that they can help cover the losses and also strengthen their security systems as they want to launch a new security infrastructure.
Menant offered a 25 percent bounty for any return on the funds that were stolen from the company. He also offered a lifetime free trading on the exchange as a reward.
Menant’s company, Gatecoin, is an exchange company and also a trading platform for some the digital currencies on the market at the moment. Menant is a co-founder of the company which started in July 2013. Menant has previous experience with J. P. Morgan and BNP Paribas. He is also a founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, which is an association that aims to promote the Bitcoin technology.
Over the years, many hackers have been targeting the exchanges as they hold large amounts of money at one time. Back in April another exchange firm, ShapeShift acknowledged that they were victims in an inside job which saw them lose close to $230,000. An employee stole 315 Bitcoins ($130,000) after which he was fired, and he gave details to a hacker who managed to steal another $100,000 from the company.
BTER, a China-based exchange also reported having lost $1.75 million worth of Bitcoins back in February last year. Bitstamp, a European exchange had lost 19,000 Bitcoins ($5 million) about a month earlier.
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