Crypto Exchange Bitmart Confirms $196M Lost in Security Breach

BitMart has suffered a hack that lost it $196 million in a number of cryptocurrencies, a report says.

The hack was first reported on Saturday night (Dec. 4), when security analysis firm PeckShield showed that a BitMart address was showing large outflows of entire token balances, sometimes for tens of millions, to an address known as “BitMart Hacker.”

PeckShield later tweeted that the losses were around $100 million on the Ethereum blockchain and $96 million from the Binance Smart Chain.

BitMart representatives initially denied the hack and called it “fake news.” The company originally posited that the outflows were just regular withdrawals.

Then the company confirmed the security breach hours later.

According to the report, the hacker had been using decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator 1inch, trading the stolen assets for the cryptocurrency ether and then using a secondary address to deposit the coins into Tornado Cash, a privacy mixer. That made it more difficult for the funds to be tracked.

Cybercrime, including hacking and fraud related to crypto, has been on the rise since the pandemic started as many people and businesses began relying more on the internet to conduct daily life and business.

PYMNTS writes that hackers have begun stealing crypto from just random individuals, as the “crypto boom” has been attracting more normal individuals and “mom and pop” types of businesses. This is a change from the usual hacking targets, who were often wealthier investors.

See more: Hackers Target Phones of Small Crypto Investors

The carriers have upped their security measures in response, while law enforcement is trying to team up with other entities to address the breadth of scams.

The Federal Communications Commission has boosted rules for wireless carriers to tighten restrictions. In response to that, some companies like AT&T have said the new restrictions could end up with customers subject to more fraud overall if requests to switch devices or carriers are mistakenly tagged as SIM swap scams where hackers switch information from one device to another.