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article imageSouth Korean cryptocurrency exchange Youbit suffers second hack

By Ken Hanly     Dec 19, 2017 in Technology
Cryptocurrency exchange Youbit is shutting down after it was hacked for the second time in less than eight months. The exchange earlier called Yapizon lost 4,000 bitcoins in a hack in April.
Youbit has now filed for bankruptcy after the firm lost 17 percent of its assets in the hack. The company did not disclose how much those assets were worth at the time of the cyber attack.
Investigation started by South Korean government
South Korea's Internet and Security Agency says it had already started an inquiry as to how the hackers had gained access to core systems of the exchange.
Earlier attacks on the exchange were blamed on cyber-spies who were working for North Korea. More recent attacks on the Bithumb and Coinis exchange have also been blamed on North Korea. However, no information has been released as to who might be behind this attack.
United States also accuses North Korea of cyber attacks
The U.S. has accused North Korea as being responsible for the "WannaCry" ransom ware attack.
Ironically, Wanna Cry was traced by security experts to the exploitation of a weakness in older versions of WIndows not equipped with security patches by the U.S. National Security Agency(NSA). It was part of a large cache of stolen NSA cyberweapons that was publicly released by a group of hackers known as Shadow Brokers.
In a further irony, a U.K. hacker Marcus Hutchins found the author of the malware had embedded a kill switch in the program. This put an end to the attack.
Hutchins was later arrested when he visited the U.S. and charged with creating malware — unrelated to Wanna Cry.
Much of the firm's crypto-currency safe from the attack
The customers will get back about 75 percent of the value of the cryptocurrency they have with the exchange.
Any currency that was not being traded was safely stored in a secure wallet.
Youbit is one of the smaller South Korean exchanges. About 70 percent of trading in South Korea is done on the Bithumb exchange.
Criminal activity on the rise
As cryptocurrency gains in popularity it also attracts more criminals. Earlier this month, hackers got away with more than $80m in bitcoins from NiceHash, a Slovenia-based mining exchange as discussed in a recent Digital Journal article.
Another recent article claims that North Korea may mine bitcoin, demand payment for ransom in bitcoin, and also outright steal it.
An earlier Digtial Journal article also reports on the Youbit hack.
More about youbit, Cyber attacks, South Korea
 
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