Hackers steal $196 million from Bitmart exchange exploiting hot wallets on Ethereum and BSC

Following the hack, Bitmart has suspended all the withdrawals from the platform.
Bitmart said that the compromised hot wallets on Ethereum and BSC constitute a small percentage of funds on the exchange.

In yet another major security breach, hackers managed to steal a staggering $196 million in investors’ funds on the crypto exchange Bitmart. The crypto trading platform confirmed the same last Saturday, December 4, calling it “a large-scale security breach”. The crypto exchange noted:

We have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets today. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. Hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately 150 million USD.

Although Bitmart estimates the losses at $150 million, blockchain security and data analytics firm Peckshield thinks that it’s closer to somewhere around $200 million. As per Peckshiled, nearly $100 million have been transferred from hot wallets hosted on Ethereum. Another $96 million have moved from hot wallets hosted on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

Total estimated loss: ~200M (~100M on @ethereum and ~96M on @BinanceChain ). (Previously we only counted the loss on @ethereum). And here is the list of affected assets/amounts on @BinanceChain pic.twitter.com/cXXApDFtd7

— PeckShield Inc. (@peckshield) December 5, 2021

Bitmart also mentioned that the affected hot wallets constitute only a small percentage of funds on the exchange. All of its other wallets are secure and unharmed. The exchange further added that it will be temporarily suspending withdrawals.

Bitmart said that it is still clueless regarding the methods used by the hackers for siphoning funds. However, Peckshield calls the breach pretty straightforward. As per the security firm, it was a classic case of “transfer-out, swap, and wash”.

After moving the funds out of Bitmart, hackers reportedly used decentralized exchange aggregator ‘1inch’ to exchange the stolen funds for Ether (ETH). Later, the hackers deposited these Ether (ETH) coins to a privacy mixer Tornado Cash thus making it even more difficult to trace the money.

Hackers Stole 20 Tokens from Bitmart, Safemoon Crashes

As per reports, the hackers managed to steal these funds across multiple altcoins such as Safe Moon, binance Coin (BNB), BSC-USD and BNBBPay (BPay). Besides, a sizeable quantity of mem coins like Floki, Moonshot, BabyDoge also vanished from the hot wallets.

Of all these cryptocurrencies, Safemoon faced one of the most brutal crashes post the hack. Safemoon has been one of the most popular success stories during the crypto market bull run of 2021. Earlier in September, Safemoon touched an all-time low of $0.000001 and gained a staggering 600 percent over the next month.

However, since its highs, Safemoon has capitulated nearly 90 percent and is currently trading at fresh all-time lows. the recent hack taking place on Bitmart has added further downside pressure.

The recent case of Bitmart hack has been one among the many that we have been recently hearing. Last week, decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) BadgerDAO faced a major security breach with cybercriminals stealing more than $120 million worth of funds.

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