Amid the troubles crypto exchanges are facing in 2023, another centralized crypto exchange “Remitano” has fallen victim to a hack, losing close to $2.7 million worth of digital currencies on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
Tether’s Intervention Prevented Further Loses
The alleged hack of the Seychelles-based centralized exchange occurred at approximately 12:45 PM on Thursday when one of the exchanges’s hot wallets started sending funds to an unknown address with no transaction history.
Blockchain analytics firm Cyvers detected these suspicious transactions and took to X to alert the crypto community of the incident.
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A total of $2.7 million worth of digital assets was sent to the attacker’s address, which includes $1.4 million worth of Tether USDT, $208,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC), and $2,000 worth of Ankr tokens.
However, Tether impressively took matters into their own hands by freezing the alleged address of the hacker thereby securing about $1.4 million worth of USDT before the hacker could make any further transactions or convert the stolen funds.
United States authorities are already pinning the incident on the Korean-based cybercrime organization called the Lazarus Group. The group which is believed to be working alongside the North Korean government, is responsible for several hacks that have taken place in 2023.
Remitano is a peer-to-peer centralized crypto exchange and payment processor that focuses on emerging markets. The crypto exchange primarily serves users based in emerging markets, including Pakistan, Ghana, Venezuela, Vietnam, South Africa, and Nigeria.
So far, the crypto exchange has failed to provide any statement concerning the alleged hack.
Lazarus Group Alleged Attacks In 2023
Korean-based cybercrime organization known as the Lazarus Group has been responsible for some of the biggest hacks in 2023. The group is reported to have stolen close to $200 million in 2023 alone, resulting in about 20% of crypto hacks in 2023.
On September 4, 2023, the group was able to steal over $41 million worth of digital assets from one of the world’s leading crypto casinos Stake. However, the betting platform resumed its operations a few hours after the incident, claiming its user’s funds were not compromised during the hack.
On September 12, 2023, CoinEx experienced a massive hack that was believed to have been orchestrated by the Lazarus group. Cyvers had alerted the crypto firm, telling them to halt all withdrawals and deposits immediately after detecting multiple suspicious transactions from the platform but it was too late.
According to Cyvers, the group managed to steal over $27 million worth of crypto assets from the platform. However, subsequent reports show that the attackers were able to make away with over $55 million.
Nevertheless, after the incident with the betting platform Stake, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released several addresses relating to the group and has nudged crypto exchanges to avoid transactions to the alleged addresses.
The Lazarus group is reported to have stolen over $2.3 billion worth of crypto assets since it started its operation in 2009. However, the group first gained popularity when it hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 for over $35 million in IT repairs.
Total market cap chart struggles as hacks continue | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on Tradingview.com
Featured image from Gulf News, chart from Tradingview.com