South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit faced a staggering 159,000 hacking attempts in the first half of 2023, according to reports from its parent company, Dunamu. This figure represents more than double the incidents recorded in the same period in 2022 and an astonishing 1,800% increase compared to the first half of 2020.
The report, which Dunamu presented to South Korean Representative Park Seong-jung of the People Power Party, underscores the growing threat of cyberattacks on cryptocurrency exchanges. Upbit is among South Korea’s largest crypto platforms, boasting a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $1.2 billion.
To fortify its security against hacking attempts, Upbit took several measures. One significant step was increasing the proportion of funds stored in cold wallets to 70%. Cold wallets are considered more secure because they store private keys offline on external devices like hard drives and USBs. In contrast, hot wallets, which keep private keys online, are more vulnerable to hacks.
Despite a $50 million exploit in 2019, Upbit has not experienced any security breaches since then, according to a spokesperson from Dunamu. However, the exchange did face a recent issue when it temporarily halted Aptos token services due to difficulties recognizing a fake token called “ClaimAPTGift.com,” which had impacted 400,000 Aptos wallets.
The increase in cryptocurrency hacks has drawn attention from South Korean officials. Seong-jung called on the South Korean government to take more action in response to these rising threats. He emphasized the importance of conducting comprehensive cybersecurity tests and investigations to protect virtual asset exchanges from frequent hacking attempts.
The article also mentioned other recent crypto exchange hacks, including a $70 million breach at Hong Kong-based CoinEx and a $7.9 million loss at Huobi Global’s HTX exchange in September. CoinEx announced that affected users would be compensated for their losses as a result of the hack.