Bisq Exchange Suffers Cyberattack; Customers Lose $250K


It’s happened again, folks. Another cryptocurrency exchange theft is in the books. This time, the victim is Bisq, a trading platform that has temporarily ceased all its trading services thanks to a theft that has cost users at least $250,000 in digital funds.

Bisq Customers Have Been Robbed

Crypto exchanges are nothing new, but it is surprising how often they occur given how many advancements we’ve made in terms of security. Arguably two of the biggest crypto exchange thefts that have ever taken place occurred in Japan. The first was Mt. Gox in February of 2014, a company that saw more than $400 million in bitcoin funds disappear overnight.

The second is Coincheck, which makes Mt. Gox’s losses look relatively small. The Coincheck hack occurred nearly four years later in January of 2018 and saw over half-a-billion in digital funds stolen by still unidentified hackers.

Bisq attributes this recent attack to a “critical security vulnerability” that was taken advantage of by the thieves. The company is discouraging all trading activity until it can get to the bottom of the issue.

It appears the problem can be traced back to a recent update that the exchange experienced. The update permitted a security flaw to appear that allowed hackers to misdirect transactions and place money into wallets they ultimately controlled. As many as three bitcoin units were stolen, along with 4,000 Monero (XMR) tokens. As many as seven victims have been named at the time of writing.

Many other users are reporting either failed trades or missing funds as a result of Bisq’s attempts to fix the problem. Bisq is suggesting to all its customers that they consistently check information under their “open trades” tab and report any problems with locked-in funds to the company’s mediation department.

Security has become a major issue in the cryptocurrency arena. Many government bodies are enforcing know your customer [KYC] tactics that require all exchanges to better understand who their customers are. In addition, many additional companies – such as Moon Pay – are looking to take matters into their own hands and are doing everything they can to hire renowned security experts and attain the right tools that will potentially assist crypto traders in reaching their highest levels of secure trading.

This Happens Way Too Often

Still, these tactics haven’t done much to stop the onslaught of theft that occurs in the industry. When attacks aren’t happening on exchanges, they are occurring in ransomware form, such as in the recent case of Travelex, a foreign exchange firm that was forced to pay as much as $4 million in BTC funds to hackers that had infiltrated their networks and encrypted all their customers’ private data.

While Travelex says customer information hasn’t been compromised, the hackers explained a different story to the BBC.

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