The South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology (MIC) has set up a probe into the theft of $30 million from the world’s sixth largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, Yonhap News reports Wednesday, June 20.
Bithumb, which is the dominant cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, briefly adjourn all deposits and payments on the trade as soon as it had discovered the theft.
According to Yonhap, the Ministry has stated that as soon as it recounts the Bithumb hack, the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) joined an immediate investigation into the case. The Ministry now plans to look into the factors that lead to the theft in cooperation with the law enforcement agencies and other groups.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MIC) says it has been probing the security levels of twenty-one cryptocurrency exchanges in the space of January and March of this year and has confirmed that most of them have security endangered.
These weaknesses include inadequate network isolation, lack of monitoring systems for unusual or dubious activities, and insufficient cryptographic key and password security management. In twelve exchanges, the MIC found the total absence of a security system.
In a different happening earlier this month, hackers made away with around $37 million from another South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail, which ranked 99th biggest globally by trade volumes during the period the theft occurred.
According to Yonhap, the MIC has said that the improvement measures consigned to Coinrail have not been adequately carried out during the investigation and that it now prepares to monitor Bithumb’s response.
Furthermore, the MIC has said that as of the end of this month, it plans to closely follow those 21 exchanges it has been keeping an eye on for security weaknesses, and ensure they upgrade their practices by September.
According to delegates from the Korean fraud detection project Sentinel Protocol, Bithumb’s hot wallet was hacked on the night of June 19.
Before the hack, Bithumb had moved a substantial amount of Ethereum to cold wallet storage after observing unusual penetration on its servers, also announcing an unexpected server check June 16 “to maximize security settings.”
The exchange has said it will repay users distressed by the hack:
“We checked that some of the cryptocurrencies valued about $30,000,000 were stolen. Those stolen cryptocurrencies will be covered from Bithumb, and all of the assets are being transferred to a cold wallet.”