In the wee hours of December 19, Youbit was dealt a death blow in the form of another hack. The exchange, which was also hit in April, is closing down in the fallout of the most recent attack.
The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back
As revealed on its website, South Korean exchange Youbit has been forced to terminate its services after suffering another hack. The hackers ran off with 17% of Youbit’s funds, enough to drive the exchange into bankruptcy.
The exchange did not clarify just how many funds were taken from its hot wallets, but luckily, all remaining coins were kept offline in cold storage paper wallets. With the remaining funds, Youbit has promised to redeem 75% of all account balances, leaving the remaining reimbursements to be determined after the exchange reaches a settlement.
Hack, Rinse, Repeat
This is not the first time hackers have dealt a crushing blow to Youbit’s hot wallet reserves.
Back in April, when it still bore the name Yapizon, the exchange lost 3,186 Bitcoin in a similar attack. The funds, worth around US$5 million at the time, are now valued at over US$55 million.
The South Korean National Intelligence service believes that North Korean hackers were behind that attack, as well as a separate hacking of South Korea’s largest exchange, Bithumb, back in February. The Korean Internet and Security Agency is currently investigating Youbit’s most recent attack.
News of this attack will no doubt raise eyebrows in the international community and at home in South Korea, and time will tell whether or not this hack was another plot by North Korea to fuel its economy with cryptocurrencies.