Authorities have been working hard at investigating this week’s hack. Cryptopia, a cryptocurrency exchange in New Zealand were struck by an attack costing them around R33 Million. Despite the exchange cooperating with the authorities, all possibilities including Cryptopia’s role in this situation are under consideration.
On January 16th, an official release was made confirming that there are ongoing investigations at Cryptopia’s main office in Christchurch. The authorities have acknowledged the company’s full cooperation in the situation. For now, this has laid to rest any rumours of an internal hack or the apparent “exit scam”.
New Zealand deployed a working group in order to investigate Cryptopia’s exchange offices. Some of the members of this team include members from the Canterbury CIB, and New Zealand’s cybercrime task force the High Tech Crime Unit.
Cryptopia was a somewhat small-scale cryptocurrency exchange. They were dealing with around $2 Million in daily transactional volume prior to this attack. Since this incident, it is said that Cryptopia lost between $2.5 – $3.5 Million worth of Ethereum (ETH) and Centrality (CENNZ) tokens.
New Zealand Crypto Exchange @Cryptopia_NZ has been hacked. We came to this conclusion after observing an ETH transaction (https://t.co/NqBirTc0jS), of 19,390 ETH being moved out of Cryptopia’s tagged wallet to an unknown address.
Hacken and @CER_Hacken are looking into this case. https://t.co/KGf7g4egrM
— Hacken (@Hacken_io) January 15, 2019
At the time of writing, a finite amount of information has been released regarding the measures used in order to trace the hacker. Police mention that their inquiry is still in its early stages. There is still a focus on investigating Cryptopia’s digital and physical security mechanisms.
In addition, authorities have noted that “online speculation” in cryptocurrency is a result of the attack. Presumably, this statement refers to community outrage about the poor security practices implemented by Cryptopia. On a side note, despite the exchange fully cooperating with the authorities, the police have not ruled out the possibility of an inside job. As a result, they are keeping an “open mind” during this investigation.
The press release states:
A priority for police is to identify and, if possible, recover missing funds for Cryptopia customers; however there are likely to be many challenges to achieving this.
In conclusion to this brief update, the authorities debunked all claims stating the police “stormed Cryptopia’s offices”. Following this, they ask anyone with information on this event to contact [email protected]
It seems as though Cryptopia, a little-known cryptocurrency exchange now holds the distinction of the first hacked crypto exchange in 2019. Hackers are constantly trying to get their hands on ‘free’ cryptocurrency.
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