Hack of Japanese Exchange Leads to Theft of $90 Million in Crypto

In the crypto space, the prospect of cyber attacks is an ever-present danger. This week, one of the top Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges, Liquid, reported that it had been hit by a devastating hacking attack that saw cybercriminals steal around $97 million in digital assets and transfer them to four different wallets.

When asked to provide details about the attack, Liquid informed the press that some of its digital currency wallets had been “compromised”. The exchange was on standby to provide customers with regular updates. But in a recent tweet, they explained that deposits and withdrawals will be suspended in the wake of the attack.

Although liquid didn’t provide an exact estimate of the cryptocurrency stolen, the blockchain analytics company of Elliptic, provided analysis that showed around $97 million in cryptocurrencies have been stolen by the hackers.

In order to avoid the stolen funds being frozen, the hackers are said to have converted around $45 million tokens from the overall haul into Ethereum via decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and SushiSwap. These blockchain-based platforms require no intermediaries.

This is the second major crypto hack to have happened in just over a week, August 10th saw cybercriminals steal over $600 million from a decentralized finance firm called the Poly Network. However, in an unusual turn of events, the hackers began speaking to the targetted organization and eventually ended up giving back most of the funds although $200 million is still locked in an account that requires a password from the original hacker.

Alongside other Japanese exchanges like OKEx, the Liquid exchange itself is ranked among the top 20 crypto exchanges globally by daily trading volumes, processing more than $133 million of transactions in the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap data.

It’s regulated by Japan’s Financial Services Agency. However, the watchdog was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.