For the second time this year, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit has come under attack by hackers. The exchange platform claims that the cyber-attack was made by North Korean hackers, announcing after the incident that it has filed for bankruptcy.
The cyber-attack was carried out earlier this week, with Youbit claiming that it had been robbed of some cryptocurrencies, though the quantity wasn’t revealed. This information was revealed on the homepage of their website, explaining to their users that the platform has concluded plans to file for bankruptcy. In addition to that, they will discontinue trading features, thus users won’t be able to trade cryptocurrencies while their holdings are withdrawn. Yapian Co., Ltd which is the company behind Youbit exchange platform stated that the attack that was launched on Monday morning made it impossible to trade around 17% of their total assets.
Youbit platform which was previously known as Yapizon experienced its first hack back in April, with the platform reportedly loosing roughly 4,000 bitcoin back them. Reuters revealed that according to sources that are close to the issue, the recent cyber-attack looks very similar to the one conducted earlier this year. If that is the case, then the platform didn’t boost its cyber-security to repel further attacks. The sources added that Youbit had to deal with several attacks that involved code that was used by North Korean hackers previously.
On Monday, December 18th, a spokesperson for the platform when contacted claimed that Youbit hadn’t been a target for the North Korean hackers.
On the same day, North Korea was labelled as the country behind the May 2017 WannaCry by the White House. The WannaCry attacks were one of the biggest cyber-attacks in recent history. The WannaCry ransomware hacked and locked hundreds of thousands of laptops across the world, with the hacker asking to get paid before unlocking the computers. The U.S officials though stated that the cyber-attack was primarily meant to create chaos, with money a secondary aim.
The U.S government further blamed the politically isolated country for the massive data breach of media house Sony Pictures’ networks three years ago. The data breach saw hackers wheel away with the Social Security numbers for 47,000 employees, while some embarrassing company emails and documents were leaked to the public.
According to George Kurtz, CEO of the cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, North Korea might be stockpiling bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to fund future wars. At the moment, both the South Korean police and the country’s Internet and Security Agency are investigating the hack.
Youbit revealed that this week’s hack was smaller in magnitude than the one suffered earlier this year. The platform added in their memo that users will be reimbursed their holdings, though partially.