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Crypto Exchange Upbit Reports 159000 Attempts by Hackers

Dunamu indicates that the six-figure attempts on Upbit is more than twice the one recorded in last year’s first half and a significant 1800% rise from a similar period two years before.

In the first half of 2023, hackers targeted Upbit, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, on more than 159000 instances.

An October 9 report by Yonhap News Agency shows that Dunamu, the company that owns and runs Upbit, reported the figures to Park Seong-jung of the People Power Party.

Hackers Target Upbit’s Rise to Prominence in South Korea Crypto Exchange

This report indicates a rise of 117% from the first half of last year and a significant rise of 1800% from the first half of 2020. Upbit is one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea. CoinGecko’s data shows that its 24-hour trading volume is nearly $1.2B.

To avert the hacking and bolster security, Dunamu claimed that Upbit added the percentage of funds held in cold wallets to 70%. In addition, it increased security interventions for the funds it has in hot wallets.

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Since their private keys are stored online, hot wallets are more likely to be hacked compared to cold wallets. Cold wallets’ private keys are stored offline on gadgets such as USBs and external hard drives. In 2019, the cryptocurrency exchange experienced a $50M exploit. However, a Dunamu representative said that since that time, it has not experienced any security violations.

Lessons From 2019 Exploit Averts Cyber Engineered Breaches in Uptbit

Following the 2019 hacking episode, the exchange embraced measures aimed at averting a repeat, for instance, distributing hot wallets and operating them. Till now, no cyber violation has been reported.

Nevertheless, Upbit was compelled to pause Apton token services late last month following the failure to recognize ‘,’ a counterfeit token that attained 400000 Aptos wallets. Seong-Jung admitted a rise in cryptocurrency hacks across the board. However, he requested the government of South Korea to implement more intervention.

Specifically, Seong-Jung urged the Ministry of Science and Technology to carry out large-scale whitewashing mock tests and probe the conditions of information security in readiness for cyber attacks against the virtual asset exchanges that experience recurrent hacking attempts.

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Clarity on Science and ICT Ministry Role Necessary to Combat Cyber Crime Targeting Crypto Exchange

Seong-jung also said the Ministry of Science and ICT’s role in their management and supervision is vague.

Since September, crypto exchanges have been the focus of attacks. CoinEx, an exchange based in Hong-Kong, experienced a $70M hack last month after one of its private keys was weakened. The company said that those affected will be compensated. In a September 24 attack, Huobi Global’s HTX exchange experienced a $7.9M loss. 

Editorial credit: Sergei Elagin /

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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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