Upbit: A Hacker’s Favorite? Crypto Exchange Targeted This Many Time By Hackers

Web3 scams Voice of crypto
Web3 scams Voice of crypto

Key Insights

  • Upbit, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, has been attacked over 159,000 times in the first half of 2023.
  • This is a staggering 1,800% increase from the first half of 2020.
  • The attacks are likely due to how crypto exchanges are a very attractive target for hackers, as they hold massive amounts of digital assets and crypto.

The crypto industry is no stranger to hacks, scams and bad actors.

However, a few reports come to light sometimes, that completely take everyone by surprise.

A good example is how according to a recent paper from Upbit's parent company, Dunamu, the crypto exchange has been attacked an insane ~159,000 times.

What's even crazier?

These attacks happened in the first half of 2023 alone and are even a 1,800% frequency increase from the first half of 2020.

Upbit May Be A Hacker's Fave

According to recent reports from Dunamu (the exchange's parent firm), South Korea's Upbit, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has been targeted by hackers over 159,000 times in the first half of 2023.

These insane figures were reported by the South Korea-based Yonhap News Agency. It is estimated that these 159,000 or so attacks are a 117% increase from the first half of 2022.

Upbit's cyber attack history
Upbit's cyber attack history

Even more, the attacks in the first half of this year now hold a staggering 1,800% increase from the first half of 2020.

What exactly is going on? Are Hackers becoming bolder, or is this something else entirely?

Dunamu's report highlights a growing trend of cyberattacks on crypto exchanges, which by the way, are a very attractive target for hackers (because of the massive vast amounts of digital assets and crypto they hold).

This year alone, several high-profile hacks have occurred, resulting in millions of dollars in losses for investors.

Hackers Become Bolder

According to on-chain security company, Certik, nearly $1.5 billion worth of digital assets have been lost to hacks and scams so far.

2023 YTD losses
2023 YTD losses

One of the most common attack methods used by hackers is to target the deposits of users.

This involves exploiting vulnerabilities in the exchange's deposit system to steal user funds before they are even credited to their exchange accounts.

In fact, one of the most recent attacks on Upbit involved hackers exploiting a vulnerability in the exchange's Aptos token system.

The hackers used this bug to create a fake token called "ClaimAPTGift.com."

Before long, this token was distributed to 400,000 Aptos wallets. Users who clicked on the link in the token were taken to a phishing website, where their private keys were then stolen and used to wipe their wallets clean.

South Korean Government Urged to Take More Action

Based on the growing number of attacks on crypto exchanges, South Korean Representative Park Seong-jung of the People Power Party has called on the government to take more action.

According to the report, Seong-jung specifically called on the Ministry of Science and Technology to conduct a large-scale whitewashing, as well as mock tests in preparation for cyber attacks against virtual asset exchanges.

Seong-jung also criticized the country's Ministry of Science and ICT's lack of interest in managing and supervising crypto exchanges.

Upbit Makes Moves To Stop Attacks

So far, Upbit has increased its security measures to protect its users' funds.

The exchange now holds 70% of its funds in cold wallets, which are more secure than hot wallets because they are not connected to the internet. Upbit has also implemented additional security measures for funds held in hot wallets.

Overall, Upbit suffered a $50 million hack in 2019 but has not had any security breaches since then.

It is interesting, however, how Asian crypto exchanges are the most targeted by hackers.

For example, In September, a $70 million attack occurred with the Hong Kong-based exchange CoinEx due to a compromised private key.

Less than two weeks after that on 24 September,  Huobi Global's HTX exchange also lost about $7.9 million to hackers.

The attacks on Upbit now average about 879 attempts each day, leading to a growing need for better security measures.

 Although Dunamu did not include any specifics in the report, it is possible that hackers used several widely used techniques for the assaults, such as email phishing or DDoS.

Disclaimer: Voice of Crypto aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, but it will not be responsible for any missing facts or inaccurate information. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile financial assets, so research and make your own financial decisions.

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