The South Korean National Police Agency has compiled a report of known hacking incidents that occurred in the country since 2016, according to local media.
The report entitled “Status and Measures of Hacking Damage of Virtual Currency Exchanges in the Last Three Years” was submitted to the South Korean government and unveiled by lawmaker Cho Won-jin on Wednesday. The data shows “there were seven [crypto exchange] hacking cases since 2016” and the amount “illegally withdrawn through hacking was 112 billion won [~$99 million],” Dtoday reported.
“The amount of money stolen by the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges has been steadily increasing every year,” Boan News noted. “The amount of illegal withdrawals, which was only KRW 300 million [~$265,282] in 2016, increased to KRW 40.5 billion [~$35.8 million] in 2017, and two hacking cases occurred in 2018, amounting to KRW 71.3 billion [~$63 million] in theft.”
The Korean Digital Times added:
From 2015 to 2018, there have been 158 cases of hacking of virtual currency personal wallets, in particular, 91 cases this year. However, [only] in six cases were arrests made.
According to the report, there were 62 reported cases of wallet hacks last year.
For crypto exchanges, one incident was reported in 2016. Crypto exchange Ripple4y was hacked on July 26, 2016. Four exchange hacks were reported last year: Yapizon on April 22, Bithumb on June 28, Coinis on Sept 23, and Youbit on Dec. 19. Youbit was formerly Yapizon but changed its name after the April hack. This year, two hacking incidents were recorded: Coinrail on June 10 and Bithumb on June 19.
Government Inspections Ineffective
The Korean government has been conducting security inspections of crypto exchanges operating in the country. Ten of them were inspected between September and December last year; 21 were inspected between January and March this year. Many security issues were found, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.
Commenting on the report and the inspections by the government, lawmaker Min Kyung-wook was quoted by Boan News saying:
The nature of cryptocurrency exchanges is always exposed to cyber threat…the hacking accidents occurred even in the places where the government conducted security checks.
Specifically, three crypto exchanges were hacked even after they were inspected by the government. Youbit was inspected in October last year but was hacked on Dec. 27. Similarly, Coinrail was inspected in February this year but was hacked on June 10. Bithumb, one of the country’s largest crypto exchanges, was the latest hack victim. The exchange was inspected twice by the regulators but was hacked on June 19.