Friday, January 21

They stole private keys, says brokerage firm that lost R$1 billion

Last weekend, more specifically on Saturday (4), the cryptocurrency broker BitMart was hacked and had her wallets stolen. The result of the invasion was a loss of US$200 million, more than R$1.1 billion, from their Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) portfolios.

Investigations into the case continue and BitMart has begun to release the first information about the hacker attack. According to the company’s CEO, Sheldon Xia, Saturday’s attack was the result of a leak of private keys from the broker’s hot wallets.

The stolen funds came from two wallets compromised by these leaks, however, he was keen to reassure customers that all other operations are safe and unaffected. On her Twitter, Xia updated the platform’s customers on the current status of containment measures.

“In response to the incident, BitMart completed the initial security checks and identified the affected assets. This security breach was mainly caused by stolen private keys that compromised two of our hot wallets. Other assets with BitMart are safe.”

private keys

To put it into context, hot wallets, also called hot wallets, are those wallets where cryptocurrencies are kept for quick transactions, so they have an internet connection. They are generally used to store cryptocurrencies that are always being used for trading and need to be moved frequently.

With that in mind, what happened to BitMart was that some of those wallets’ private keys were stolen. From the theft attackers simply retrieved the wallets on other devices using and withdrawn the funds.

Now the broker’s priority is to return to guaranteeing the security of its operations and resume trading.

“We are doing our best to restore security and our operations. We need time to make the necessary arrangements and our customers’ understanding during this period will be greatly appreciated,” added Xia.

As an initial deadline to resume its activities, BitMart believes that this Tuesday (7), the brokerage will resume its operations. It was also not disclosed what are the plans to recover the stolen value and, mainly, what will be the impact for all customers.